How To Beat The Interview Blues
On 9th of January, 2015, CAT results were declared to end the period of uncertainty and anxiety. After burning the midnight oil for months, I managed to score 96.79%ile overall with 99.8%ile in Verbal section being the highlight. As expected, I received calls from all the new IIMs. In the following few weeks, I did all I could to prepare myself for the second leg of the race.
So, the day had finally arrived. I still remember how I rushed to New Kenilworth Hotel, Kolkata, on the morning of 19th of March, 2016. Once all the candidates had gathered, we were directed to assemble in a hall and wait for further instructions. After waiting for about half an hour we were briefed about the process. After the brief, we were asked to get our documents and certificates verified.
Thereafter we moved to a different hall where the WAT was being conducted. Our topic was “Networking is more important than academics for success in life”. We were allotted 20 minutes to write. Writing a well-structured essay of 300 words in 20 minutes is a difficult task, unless you have regularly practised for it. I somehow managed to finish my write-up within the time limit though I could have concluded better.
Thereafter we went back to the waiting hall. After two long hours, I was called for the personal interview round. Interviews were being conducted in hotel rooms. I also sat outside one such room, and waited for my turn.
Sitting there, I was trying to arrange my documents for one last time, when a mid-30 guy opened the door and a candidate came out. While I was still measuring the level of exhaustion on the candidate’s face, the interviewer asked me to come in after two minutes. It may sound dramatic, but I had a flashback of my entire CAT journey in those two minutes.
Two minutes later, I knocked the door twice and then entered. The panel consisted of three interviewers, P1 (around 40, warm and jovial), P2 (around 45, mostly quiet and observant) and P3 (an elegant lady with perfect corporate looks). I greeted all the panellists and made myself comfortable on the chair once they asked me to sit.
P1: So Shreyash, is it your first time in Kolkata?
Me: No sir, I have been in Kolkata for the past three months for CAT preparation
P3: Interesting, so suggest us some places to hangout in Kolkata.
(At this moment I was really confused. Are they bored of interviewing and want to start on a different note or they just not interested in me?)
Me: Well sir, I haven’t explored Kolkata much but places like Chai Break, Backstage, Oly, etc, are really good.
(I wasn’t expecting such a question so my mind just froze and I just blurted whatever places I had been to in my time in Kolkata.)
P3: Interesting, by the way, by places I meant tourist spots.
(That moment I felt like killing myself!)
(While P2 was still looking at my file, P1 and P3 were busy giggling.)
P2: So, Shreyash tell us about your family.
Me: (I gave a crisp and structured answer. Before concluding the answer, I mentioned my family business as I wanted to take my interview in that direction.
(As expected, they asked me to elaborate on my family business and what role I played in it. I had an answer ready for this question so I answered it smoothly.)
P1: So, given that you have a decent family business, do you really think it’s wise to go for an MBA and invest 15lacs.
Me: (I told them how MBA education will help me in bringing a paradigm shift in my business and how it will be beneficial in the long run.)
(They listened to all that but weren’t convinced.)
P1: So, tell us something about yourself which is not mentioned in your CV.
Me: (I told them about my hobbies and the events that I had organised in my college.)
(After that they asked me some questions from my academic background. Though I graduated in Commerce but most of the questions were from Economics. I answered most of the questions.)
P1: Anything that you would like to ask?
Me: (Still too stumped to ask anything) No sir.
P1: Okay then, thank you.
Overall the experience was quite good. I was optimistic about chances and was praying to convert at least one of the new IIMs.
Three months later, results were declared and I converted all the new IIMs. Obviously, I chose IIM Raipur and I’m glad I made the right choice.
About the Author:
Batch of 2016-18