IIM Interviews Always Have A Surprise Element In It – Subhra Halder – IIM Lucknow
IIM interviews are different from that of an interview at a non‐IIM yet top league B‐School. IIM interviews always have a surprise element in it. Believe it or not, the candidate gets a lot of chances to turn the board in his/her favour. It solely depends on your logical and sensible approach to answering the questions and most importantly, keeping the conversation going in his/her favour.
As IIMs look for a balanced profile, there is a chance of getting interview questions based on all academics, work experience, general awareness as well as interests and achievements. So, it is advised to be thorough with all of these well before the actual interview day.
1. How do you describe IIM interviews and how easy/uneasy was it before our Lucknow Panel?
Well, IIM interviews are way enriching and self-evaluative in nature. Though I had taken 4-5 mock interviews to brush up some basic HR and technical questions, real interviews often take you on a roller-coaster ride. For me, IIM Lucknow interview was no exception to that and I had to keep the confidence bar ticking high all the time with a smile on my face and optimism in my heart.
Among all the interviews, the IIM Lucknow interview was the best one for me in terms of the unpredictability and wide range of questions associated with it. My initial responses were not up to the expectation and I tried my best to re-direct the flow of the interview to my strengths and achievements. I succeeded in that and the rest of the interview was on my hobbies, interests and favourite pastime. I answered them with passion and some real life experiences, which helped me in better articulation of answers. And in turn, the panellists didn’t lose interest over my candidature. So, it’s very imperative to note that – ‘It’s not over until it’s over’.
2. How did you handle questions for which you had no answer?
My first question was on explaining the phenomena behind lightning and thunder, which came as a sudden jolt to me. Never in my preparations, had I expected a question of this genre. However, I kept my calm and explained the same in a very layman terms and politely conveyed that I was unable to recall it. The panel was neither rude nor easy to me. Rather, they asked me to keep thinking on those lines and come up with a better explanation of the same. It is always advised to keep calm when one gets a jolt of the blue during the interview. It might be the case that the panel members are planning to check your behavioural aspects more than your answer. So, just be yourself and stay mentally prepared for contingencies.
3. How did you prepare yourself for PI? What were the PI questions that you searched for your preparations?
PI preparation is a perennial process. We can definitely improve our way of answering but we can’t generate content in those one-two months of preparation slot. That’s why my interview preparation started much before the actual CAT exam through regular reading of newspapers, blogs and articles on my subject of interests. There are some very basic HR questions that needs clarity of thought and expression while answering it e.g. – Questions on About yourself, strengths, weaknesses, role model, biggest achievement, biggest failure, short & long term goals, the purpose of pursuing management and many more.
These questions require a lot of brainstorming and introspection in its initial stage. Later, one should always get the answers reviewed by some senior/faculty or confidante for their inputs. I had taken ample number of mock interviews at my coaching center and made the best use of faculties to improve the quality of my answers and body language.
About the Author:
This article is written by Subhra Pratim Halder, Batch of 2018 IIM Lucknow. He is a core member of Media and Communication Cell of IIM Lucknow and a two-time National level winner of essay writing competition by National Human Rights Commission. A writer at heart, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org