My IIM Lucknow Interview Experience

I grow nostalgic as I write this. It was almost this time of the year last year. The dreaded day had finally arrived. I was sitting in front of the panel, the dream team. I had been waiting for this day for the past 2 years. I had finally gotten the opportunity to prove my worth, to get admission in an IIM, to enter the prestigious institution.

I had built that up so much in my head that when the day finally came, I couldn’t help but contain the jitters I was feeling the day before. I had played the glorified version of the interview so very many times in my head, where I would say such amazing trivia to the panel that they’d be swept off their feet and immediately “invite” me to IIML. Yeah, well, I am dreamy like that.  

But here’s what actually happened the day of the interview.

  • Reaching the venue: It was uber-hot in Delhi during April. I was dressed in business formals and sweating like crazy. The AC in the car broke down a day before and perspiration was the word of the day. Somehow, dehydrated I reached the venue.
  • The endless wait: I reached the waiting hall and found myself amidst a plethora of people talking, studying, mugging up stuff, praying, bustling up and down. Clearly, everybody was anxious and desperate to get in. And I realized I was just one of them. One among the thousands.
  •  “WAT”, why, when: The Written Ability Test(WAT) was fairly easy. I had to write on democracy in India and I had more than prepared for it. Armed with all the facts and figures, I wrote down all I could in those 15 minutes. But it’s all relative. If it was easy for me, it must have been easy for others too. I let that thought pass and did my best.
  • The Interview: I was the first one to be called in my panel. I walked in and saw two professors going through my WAT paper. They greeted me and asked me about my background. After that, I was asked a few questions regarding GDP and what I had written in my WAT. And finally, the dreaded question – Why MBA? I spoke what I had practised for days, but they didn’t seem impressed. I didn’t know what to make out of it. They looked at my grades and asked me about my favourite subject. And they thanked me and that was it.  The interview lasted for barely 7 minutes. 7 minutes?! I had heard about interview experiences going on for up to 40 minutes for successful candidates and I get 7 minutes? Does that mean they weren’t impressed? (Well, to be honest, I had so much to say but didn’t get to say all that I had learned and practised).
  • Post-interview dissonance: I was absolutely perplexed after the interview. Didn’t know what to expect. Did they take such a short interview because they liked me or they had made up my mind to reject me outright? With all the questions running through my mind, all I could do was wait. The endless wait, yet again.

But, as it turned out. They did like me! The day the result was declared was the happiest day ever. The dream had come true. 7 minutes was all it took for me to jump the bandwagon to hell! The journey had begun…

Sambhavi Ganguly

Sambhavi Ganguly is a second-year student at IIM Lucknow. She is a Core Member of IIM Lucknow's Industry Interaction Cell. She has about 4 years of work-ex in Synopsys India as an R&D Engineer. She loves reading and dancing. She lives by the mantra of "Keep it simple, silly!" :)


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