IIM Interview 1 - IIM Indore
So here I am to put down highlights of my first ever IIM Interview and this was for IIM Indore on 11th of Feb 2009. I had chosen Kolkata as center of interview for most of my interviews and there I was in Kolkata on 10th afternoon with another of my batchmate who was through for interviews too.
After reaching rest house we took a short break and freshened up. Post this we began the preparations for the next day which was supposed to be a big show off of our smartness, talent and aptitude. We did not want to be caught unaware at the last moment and hence prepared ourself of the logistics right then rather than waiting for next morning. We got out formals out of the bags to confirm that creases were sharp, knotted the ties to their right lengths and gave a fresh coat of polish to the shoes. Once this was done, we got to reviewing the documents and cross checked the certificates required were there in the folder. We gave a second look to certificates and forms to ensure everything was in order. After dinner we went through the talking points we had prepared for interviews and then took to bed early as it was going to be a early start next day.
Next day, as planned the alarms banged us up from our slumbers at 5:30 AM. Yeah, it may sound odd when one hears about waking up at 5:30 for an 9:00 AM interview and trust me that this was something I must have done for the first time that day. However, the excitement of the occasion made the timing irrelevant. The car which was supposed to take us to the center was there on time and we left the rest house with enough margin in hand to overcome any "eventualities". The center as per the admit cards was The Kenilworth Hotel in Palk street area. We were well before time and probably among firsts to land in this high profile location (atleast for us).
We were called in for a group discussion in a group of 8 candidates at about 9. The moderators were already there in the room. We had a discussion on a case based problem and were given 5 minutes for getting together our thoughts followed by 20 minutes of discussion. The case was related to a technology company known for bringing innovative products in market. Though the company was famed for their technological and marketing expertise, their recent launches had been a failure. As is true with any failure, the company faced blame game between various stakeholders and hence a solution was sought to resolve the deadlock between various wings of management. We all had a lot of views to contribute and none of us wanted to be left behind in expressing those. Moreover we were all trained to ensure that we had to gain the eye of the moderators to ensure we get through this round. However, in all we had a good constructive discussions if we leave aside a few highs and lows. After the discussion we were taken back to the waiting room, a well put up place to wait.
Then was the turn of the Interviews and candidates were being called in one by one. Thus the eager wait begun for our turn. The order of presentation being random contributed to anxious moments which in my case was further aggravated by the fact that I was the third last person to be called. The wait in the special room allotted was quite enlightening both intellectually and personally. All sort of knowledge based questions floated around covering the diversity of fields from politics, economics and other usual stuff to art, design and astrology. Fortunately there was someone or the other to give in an answer for most of them. Though the atmosphere in general was filled with anxiety and apprehensions, the presence of IITians in majority allowed for all sorts of useless gossip "bakar" (to say technically) to find its way. And this bakar was the only thing which helped everyone keep their nerves in control until the right moment.
Finally came the phone call for which I was waiting for almost ages now. Yeah you read it right - it was a phone call. Actually one of the panel was calling candidates on a landline phone provided by the hotel and this particular one was the panel which was supposed to judge me for my ability to join the institute. The interview in a nutshell radiated an sense of eager interviewee and bored interviewer. The interview started with my intern at IIT Bombay in signal processing. Actually the interviewing professor seemed to be a bit into filters (electronic) and I had to face some unheard of jargons on audio (my guess) filters. Once this professor was done grilling me with the technical stuff, another panelist, a lady professor pitched in with her inquisitiveness about Europe. Now this was a relief after the heavy knowledge based stuff. She picked on the significant incident question on the form and started by asking me to elaborate on my answer and then further covered basics of what I can say as "a senior advising someone on a foreign visit". The interview continued for about 20 minutes, each of which seemed like years.
Finally the interview concluded and I was offered to pick a couple of toffees from the bowl and was permitted to leave. And out came me guessing whether the chocolate was a consolation gift or an statement of congratulations (given the fact that they were offered selectively) !!!!
Yeah obviously I know my answer now.... :)
I have put up additional material to supplement this article. All related articles to help for CAT preparations are available at http://www.expressions-kt.in/search/label/IIM_CAT