Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mera Pehla Pehla IIM Interview

The Beginning...
Okay. Let's start from the beginning... So I appeared in CAT 2010 this year and got 92.57 percentile. I was pretty sure that I won't be getting any IIM calls this year. But fortunately I learned that I belonged to the Non Creamy Other Backward Castes Category and I have got some reservation in IIM seats. So to my surprise, I managed to get 7 IIM calls at this shitty percentile. My first call was from IIM Shillong but it's GDPI was scheduled at the last on 14th of April. My first Interview was that of IIM Kozhikode, the so called 'God's Own IIM', on 11th of March. The venue was Hotel Kenilworth, Kolkata and the timing was 9.00 am.

One day before the Interview...
I had two friends who had their interviews on the same day. One of them was my batch mate and I had met the other one in T.I.M.E. coaching during GDPI classes. We arrived at Kolkata a day before the Interview just to be safe and have some time margin. Then we searched for a cheap hotel near Park Street, though in my opinion it wasn't cheap at all. The whole day we kept talking about the likely questions that can be asked in the Interview.

The Doomsday...
So the morning came. Crows started cawing at the window of my hotel room. Hotel Kenilworth was just at 15 minutes walking distance from the place I was staying. So I preferred to walk. Got there half an hour ahead of schedule. The most peculiar thing about the hotel was that it had a very good lawn with tables and chairs where you can just sit, wait and watch the others. So they called us in 5 mins before 9.00am and then we had this essay writing competition. Basically it wasn't a competition as no one was gonna eliminated in this round. So the IIM's kept their reputation and gave us a very very vague & weird topic to write an essay on. The topic was something like this - "According to the Laws of Mathematics, Everything that is Real is Uncertain & Everything that is Uncertain is a Reality". Didn't knew where to start from, kept pondering for over five minutes, spent the next 25 minutes writing some bullshit. Started from atomic theory, went deep into string theory & then dived into the Chaos theory, about which I had learned something from a movie. Now what can you expect me to write on such a cool topic. Plus, I am not J.K. Rowling who can carve some magic story out of such a topic. To be Honest, my writing skills really sucks. So the Essay writing task was over and now was the time of Document Verification & PI. Another important thing I remember, IIM Kozhikode was the only IIM which had appointed a special person just for verifying documents. None of the other IIM's worried to much about the documents.

Meanwhile we also had tea, coffee and snacks being served by the hotel. There were 3 panels of 2 members each. I was to be Interviewed by Panel 1 and my number was 2nd last. So I had too much time to kill and ease myself. But you know, you can't really ease yourself in such a big event with too much pressure on your shoulders. I interacted with the other few candidates, just asked their names, where they were from, background, other IIM calls etc etc...

So finally my turn came. They called my name and at the same instant my heart started beating so fast that I thought I am gonna have a Heart Attack...But I knew that I'm not gonna die. I gathered all my courage and went in...So the interview was on...
Started with formal greetings.
They Judged my nervousness and told me to ease. Asked me if I wanted tea, coffee, water, juice anything. I was being too polite and rejected the offer, a decision that I regret now. At least I could had a juice.
They asked something about my background, family etc.
Then asked some Tech Question which was didn't even belonged to my branch. So, I told them my favorite answer "I don't Know."
Now, this was the time when one of the panelists saw my GATE Rank and asked me the most dreaded question that can be asked in a B-School interview "Why MBA?". I had prepared some bullshit on entrepreneurship and vomited that answer in front of them. Then, I looked at their faces and I saw kind of weird expression like they were thinking "Here comes another Entrepreneur...". The expression was quite clear to me and I knew that they are not buying my answer. I just stopped my bullshit & gathered my thoughts...
Then one of the panelist said "Didn't your coaching tell you how to answer this question?". The answer would have been 'no' but I told them a lie "I didn't attend a coaching". Again, they were not buying it.
Then they changed the topic and asked about my extra curricular's. Told them about watching movies as hobby. They asked about the recent Oscars. Though I didn't see the Oscar's but I answered their questions correctly. At least, this is the thing I am really good at, watching movies.
Then they asked which newspapers do I read. Answered them "The Hindu". They asked whether it's published in Ranchi. Answered them "No, it's published in Kolkata and reaches Ranchi at evening". Then they asked why do you read the Hindu if it's not published there. I thought the guy has got a point. Answered them some bullshit. They were not buying it again.
At last they asked "Do have any queries for us?". I asked them why IIMK is called "God's Own IIM". Now it's time that they said some bullshit that I was not buying.
Then they offered some toffees as a token to go with.

I knew... I wasn't gonna make it... My Interview was a blunder... The essay was even more worse... The only thing to console myself was the thought
"Koi nai yaar, abhi 6 aur baaki hain."

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