IIM Interview: Tanmays success story to IIMAnisha Mukhija
IIM Interview Experience
Every MBA aspirant’s dream is to get into an IIM, especially the Trinity (IIM A, B, C). So it’s no surprise that most of you must be wondering how difficult is it to get through the IIM GD & Personal Interview round (we obviously are well aware of CAT’s difficulty level!). So, here is the real-life experience of Tanmay who not just got a call for GDPI but also converted it, along with some who couldn’t make it through. Read on to get to know about their IIM interview experience.
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IIM Interview Process
UG-84.8% Physics, St. Stephen’s College, Delhi
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IIM Interview: AWT Topic
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The panel consisted of two members, lets say P1(Most probably a professor, 40’s maybe) and P2(A middle-aged man, probably an alumnus). There were 8 candidates in each panel, and we were asked to come in the order prescribed by the panel. Meanwhile, one can get his/her documents verified by the professors in the hall.
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IIM Interview: Personal Interview
P1 went to the washroom after the previous candidate left. When he came back, he asked me to come along with him. I greeted both of them and waited for permission to be seated.
Part 1: The Mild Introduction
P2: Sit down, please.
Me: Thanks a lot, Sir.
Waited for P1 to sit down, and settle
Me: (Taking 5 seconds) Discipline, Sir. In my three years of college, I’ve never seen a day wherein all our classes had been suspended, and mass bunks are a rare phenomenon. The teachers are really (P2 cuts in)
P2: So, how are the teachers at Stephen’s? Are they good?
P1: (Interrupting while seeing the picture I had submitted in my form) Is this really you Tanmay? Doesn’t seem like so! What sort of metamorphosis have you been through? (I had a picture with a beard, and quite understandably I had come for the interview clean shaved)
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Me: (In a humorous tone) It is me, Sir. Just that I had a beard on. The picture is just two months old. (P1 laughs, then stays quiet after this)
P2: (Continues) Yes, so, How were the teachers?
Me: Yes sir, I must say the teachers are really good.
P2: (Interrupts) Accha tell me, what is the percentage of teachers that you consider are good?
Me: I can easily say that 7-8 of the 10 teachers in my department could be considered excellent.
P2: So Tanmay, in your opinion, what is the definition of a good teacher?
Me: According to me, a good teacher is one who doesn’t just “preach”, but “interacts” too. Because for the student to excel in his/her respective field, he should share a healthy relationship with the teacher so that his problems can be issued anytime he wants. (P2 nods)
P2: Who would you choose Tanmay, a teacher who delivers great lectures, and has supreme knowledge of the subject, but doesn’t interact much or let’s say, isn’t that friendly; or the otherwise?
Me: Sir, as the knowledge of the subject is the first and the foremost requirement of a teacher, then I would choose the first one as he had a better knowledge of the subject.
P2: No, consider that the second teacher also has a good view of the subject, and he can reasonably impart good lectures on the subject as well.
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Me: Then I would stick to my point, sir. I would choose the more interactive one.
P2: Okay, okay. (Silence for a while)
Part 2: The grueling academics
P2: So Tanmay, Physics. Should I ask you some questions on Physics?
Me: Yes sir, sure. (Gets scared a bit)
P2: Can you tell me what is a white dwarf?
Me: (Smiles) It is a small star in its end state. The white dwarf becomes too small, and above a certain limit, which is equal to 1.44 times the mass of the sun,i.e. The Chandrashekhar limit, it collapses onto itself and becomes a black hole.
P2: Okay, so how is this limit detected? Does it really exist or is it just an assumption?
Me: No sir, it does exist, and it is an actual limit.
P2: How is this limit checked/detected then?
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Me: White dwarfs with a massless then or equal to the CS limit have been observed/detected by us. But no white dwarf with a mass greater than this limit has been detected. So that is pretty solid evidence about the existence of such a limit.
P2: You talked about black holes. So, what are these black holes, or first tell me why is a black hole black, why is a white dwarf white? Does it really appear white?
Me: No Sir, it’s not necessary that it should appear white. There is a classification of stars based upon the luminosity, under which different stars are allotted different colors.
P2: Okay, are you sure?
Me: Yes sir, I am. (I was a bit wrong here, which I found out later)
P2: So tell me about black holes then? If light cannot escape it, how come we are able to detect it?
Me: Black holes are detected using the absence of light/waves from a particular part of space, which comes under the general theory of relativity. It (Interrupts)
P2: What are the two theories of relativity, what is the difference between the two?
Me: The first one is the Special theory of relativity, which deals with objects moving at or above the speed of light (oops)
P2: Above the speed of light?
Me: (Shit!) No Sir, I’m sorry. At the speed of light. So, yes, objects moving at light speed and the phenomenon that occurs in such situations like time dilation, length contraction, etc. And the general theory of relativity deals with the concept of gravity. It states the concept of spacetime.
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P2: What is this spacetime?
Me: It can be regarded as a fabric of space and time. Umm, let me show you.
(The table was covered with a cloth, whose sides were hanging across the table. I took that part of the cloth, and lifted it with my hands)
Me: Consider, this is spacetime. And anything that has a mass leaves a depression in the fabric, which is actually gravity. Also, if two black holes revolve around each other at fast speeds, a disturbance is caused (Showed him the waves created by the disturbance in the cloth). These waves which you see, are the gravitational waves, around which a lot of research is going on in physics currently. (On seventh heaven after doing this) *P1 and P2 both nod*
Me: Yes sir, exactly.
P2: Why did you say waves then? Is there a difference between ripples and waves?
Me: Yes sir, ripples are generally circular, but waves can be one dimensional too (Told him an example about standing waves)
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P2: So you’re saying that ripples aren’t waves?
Me: No sir, they are. But with the restriction of the circular centre etc.
P2: But you said, ah okay, accha leave it. *All have a light laugh after this small confusion*
Part 3: The Weird Question
P1: So Tanmay, why do you want to do an MBA? Being from physics, and doing so well, why the trmeition?
Me: (Just started to blurt out my memorized mewer, when P1 interrupts and throws the really unexpected question)
P1: I’ve heard a lot of such mewers, Tanmay. Rather, tell me, what is that thing, or what is the one thing that can keep you in Physics?
Me: May I take a minute, Sir? (Had no idea how to tackle this)
P1: Yes, sure.
Me: (Started blabbering some mewer about arousing interest in popular physics at school level)
P1: No, that’s not what I’m asking. Let me ask you something, As I can see that you’ve done so well in Physics, and having gone through such a rigorous admission process at Stephen’s (Asked me about the interviews which had been a regular part in admissions since 40 years at Stephen’s), right?
P1: As you know that this country has a lot of managers, but the number of physicists is too less. And once you go on to do an MBA, you can’t return back to Physics. Shouldn’t you think about your choice once again?
Me: I’ve been studying this subject for the past ten years now, and if I’m still not able to tell that whether I want to continue with it in my career, then my studying should’ve gone in vain.
P1: You people at this age just want instant gratification, and do not intend to do the “Tapasya” that a student should do.
(I just nodded)
Part 4: The Smooth End
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P2: Have you done any courses on websites like Coursera?
Me: (Thank God, it ended) No, sir. I haven’t.
P2: Okay tell me who is the Vice President of the US?
Me: M. Pence. I’m sorry I don’t remember the first name.
P2: Was Donald Trump the governor of any state before becoming the President?
Me: No, Sir.
P2: What was he then? What was his occupation?
Me: I’ve tried to search a lot about that but to no avail. He was a celebrity cum actor cum wrestler cum businessman cum.. Whatever you want to add. (All laugh after this)
P2: What do you think about his policies?
Me: Most of them are downright absurd, for instance, the wall on the US-Mexico border.
P2: Why does he want to build such a wall?
Me: To stop illegal activities like drugs, illegal trade, etc.
P2: What is wrong with the plan, then?
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Me: In this age of globalization, you can’t stop trade between two active countries of the world due to such minor factors.
P2: Then why does a border(LOC) exist between India and Pakistan? It should be removed.
Me: To stop the inflow of hostile elements like terrorists etc.
P2: That can also be the case with the US and Mexico then.
Me: (Getting a bit frustrated) Sir, India, and Pakistan have been in a state of war since 1947. We’ve fought such deadly wars and the situation isn’t stable still. This is not at all the situation between the US and Mexico.
P2: (Seemed satisfied) Thanks Tanmay. We’re done, I guess. Take a cookie.
(I take a cookie with some hesitation. I bid thanks to both the panelists and left the room.)
The interview was overall decent. However, the panelists weren’t that satisfied with that Physics-MBA question. Apart from that, the panelists were really nice, and they didn’t grill that much. In my view, I had done pretty well, but we never know about the future. Fingers crossed.
Yes, sir, I must say the teachers are really good.
I hope this article on IIM Interview experience helps you prepare for your GD-PI.
Don’t give up and All the very best!
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