XLRI was my first interview for a B-School and I believe it certainly was my best. I'll be sharing my complete WAT-GD-PI experience in this post.
General Engineer Female with 1.5 years of WorkEx at Infosys Limited.
XAT Score: 98.97 percentile
Since XLRI allows us to book an interview slot of our choice, I selected 08:45 AM on 1st March 2019 for my interview. The interview location was later communicated to me as 'Welcom Hotel Bangalore'.
I reached the venue 45 minutes before the allotted timing and waited with others in the waiting hall. There were 3 interview panels- 2 for BM and 1 for HRM. Soon enough we were given our seating order for the GD and I was given the number tag 1.
At the XLRI interview, we have a Written Ability Test first, followed by the group discussion and finally the personal interview.
The topic for the WAT+GD for the HRM panel was 'It is absolutely correct to engage in corruption if it's being done for a good cause.'
We were given single sheets of paper and we had to write about the topic and later have a GD on the same. The GD went really smoothly with no one interrupting others and patiently listening to whenever someone spoke. Everyone had a chance to put in their points and made around 3 entries during the discussion.
Since I was first in my panel for the PI, I was feeling pretty confident and relaxed. I always enjoy being the first in interview panels because it helps me go in with a fresh and clear mind.
There were 3 interviewers in my panel. A middle-aged lady professor (L) and 2 middle-aged male professors (M1 and M2). I was asked to sit and M1 started looking up my application on his laptop. No one asked me for the folder I was carrying.
L: So you have 2 years of work experience?
Me: No Ma'am, it's 1 year and 5 months.
L: Which company did you work for?
Me: Infosys Limited Mangalore Development Centre
L: Are you a computer engineer?
Me: No Ma'am. I graduated in Electronics and Telecommunications. But I enjoy programming and hence I joined Infosys.
L: Tell me about your project at Infosys.
Me: I work in the Support and Maintenance team of the HR applications of my client company. My client is one of the biggest tech product companies in the world. (I didn't name my client since I thought that won't be ethical.)
L: What about your college project? Can you describe the same to me considering I know nothing about electronics?
Me: As a group of 3, I built my engineering project which was an automated pet feeder. (I explained the project in layman terms for about 3 minutes. I couldn't see any facial expressions on all three interviewers. This made me a little nervous.)
M1: So you are from IIIT Bangalore?
Me: No Sir. IIIT Pune.
M2: Tell me about the shortcomings of the HR applications that you support.
Me: (Started explaining a technical one and got interrupted.)
M2: Do not think of it from an end-user perspective. Look at it from the HR perspective of the company.
Me: (Gave two shortcomings and this lasted for around a couple of minutes)
M2: You work in Infosys right? Tell me how did the Vishal Sikka issue impact employees like you?
Me: Sir, I was still in my final year of engineering when this issue came up. I had already been placed at Infosys and there was a sense of fear among all placed students that whether this issue will affect our call letters. Usually, Infosys starts calling the placed students for the training at Mysore right from June. But that year they started only in October. Hence many students who were placed at Infosys ultimately joined other companies to do away with the waiting.
M2: So you can say you were affected too?
Me: Yes, sir. I was.
M1: Tell me other than hobbies what other things are you interested in?
Me: (with a smile) Sir I'm interested in Human Resources Management
M1: (Still poker-faced) Can you prove that?
Me: Yes, sir. I did a work from home internship in Human Resources with a company called FlairTales. I did this while I was waiting for my call letter from Infosys. (Since everyone was silent, I continued) At this internship, I was taking care of recruiting interns for positions like Social Media Marketing and Graphic Designing. I was handling the Internshala account of the company for this.
M1: So you took interviews for the applicants?
Me: Yes Sir. Telephonic interviews.
M1: What are the disadvantages of a telephonic interview over a F2F one?
Me: One of the biggest difficulty I faced while taking telephonic interviews was that I couldn't come to know if people were reading out answers to certain questions. Also in telephonic interviews, we cannot judge a person's attitude and confidence.
M1: Tell me about a mistake you made while recruiting a candidate.
Me: (Started explaining a situation and was interrupted in between.)
M1: (looking at M2 and L) I'm done asking questions. Shall we let her go?
(They all agree in unison)
M2: You can leave now.
As soon as I come out of the interview panel, a guy tells me that my interview was very short. He said, "Only the folks with longer interviews have a chance at getting selected."
He was clearly wrong since I'm joining XLRI this June.