Interview Made Easy – Answering The Whats, Whys And Hows For IIM Interviews

Every year thousands of candidates are shortlisted to be interviewed by the IIMs but only 20-30% of them succeed in converting their IIM calls. According to a professor in IIM Kozhikode, on an average only one candidate gets selected in a day per panel. Naturally, the interviewee must be prepared to shine out among all other aspirants interviewed by the same panel. But how to prepare oneself for the same? What exactly are the panelists looking for, is the question that bothers every interviewee. A couple of candid conversations with the professors of IIM Kozhikode, helped generate some insights which hopefully would bring some clarity on this.

Right after entering the interview room, try to gauge the panel, or at least, try to identify whether it is a homogeneous panel, or a heterogeneous panel. You can do this by observing whether the panel gives similar or dissimilar reactions to the same situation (simply put, whether they are laughing at the same joke together or not), how they are dressed (formal, casual), approximate age of the interviewers etc.  This will help you in reading the interviewer’s mind and hence allow you to drive the interview. Do remember, you should keep the ball in your court, because, once it’s gone, it’s gone, baby! Ensuring that is again simple: you can give short and crisp answers to questions you won’t want to be probed further into, and can give a little long answer by highlighting key words (tone modulation) on topics you would like to talk about in the interview. Now while answering questions, maintain eye contact and have a confident air around yourself. Do not affix your eyes at a point on the wall somewhere in between the two interviewers (:P).

An interviewer mostly judges you on the following aspects:

  • ·        communication skills
  •       endurance to stressful conditions
  •        structured thinking approach

·         And in most of the cases they are willing to take honest and hardworking people who can take criticism in the right spirit and use that to fine tune themselves. An interview is nothing but an endeavour to know the person you are and assessing whether you are culturally fit for the IIM you are being interviewed for. With all the gyaan shared above, I’d like to conclude with a few pointers for preparing for an IIM interview:

  • ·        Work on your interpersonal skills, especially on how  to meet new people on a formal setup
  •       Develop a positive attitude and be humble, honest and respectful
  •       Develop analytical mindset by thinking critically  of a situation from different angles
  •       Update yourself with general knowledge and current affairs
  •       Know about the institute you are being interviewed for as that shows your sincerity
  •       Know about your hobbies if you are claiming them to  be so, for  example, if your hobby is  photography, you should at  least  know what aperture is, and so on 

All the best!



About the Author:


Noel is a second year PGP student in IIM Kozhikode.  She takes interest in music and literature. Writing is one of the many things she indulges in, apart from eating, cooking and sleeping.