CAT entrance exam is known to be the toughest exam to qualify for admission to MBA course in various IIMs (Indian Institute of Management) of India. CAT 2017 is scheduled to be conducted on Sunday, November 26, 2017 in two shifts with the similar exam pattern as that of the last two years.
After qualifying for CAT, MBA aspirants will have to apply before time to the preferred institutes which accept CAT scores. Each institute set their own CAT cutoff percentile. The admission committee of the institutes will then seek the eligibility of the candidates based on their percentile in CAT 2017 entrance exam. The short-listed candidates are then called for the further selection procedure comprising Group Discussion, Written Aptitude Test (WAT) and Personal Interview at the Institute on a given date and time.
The old IIMs used to conduct their own CAT selection procedure as described above. However, the new IIMs organize CAP (Common Admission Process) rounds. In the CAP rounds, participating IIMs announce the merit list of candidates and intimates them to appear for a common Written Aptitude Test (WAT) and Personal Interview. The performance of candidates is assessed by the representatives from all other IIMs. IIMs prepare their separate merit list based on the scores marked against the names during the CAP rounds.
Now there are times when few students are not able to crack the interviews even after getting 90+ percentiles in CAT exam. After qualifying for the Admission Procedure and getting shortlisted to appear for personal interview or WAT or GD, candidates fail to prepare well for interviews. Normal interview session is of only for 10-15 minutes or few may even last for longer time which is taken by 2-3 interviewers.
Following are the basic reasons why while sitting as an interviewee, candidates fail to possess the good skills to judge the mind of interviewers and crack it.
Mere concentration on CAT scores: while honing the entrance exam skills, candidates must also prepare for the interviews through various modules as the time after the declaration of CAT result is not enough to learn the tactics of interviews.
Zero knowledge about the questions asked in Interview: candidates must research beforehand regarding the questions to be asked in the interview. These days the coaching institute provide enough material to the students in respect of mock interviews and let them aware of the questions to be asked therein. Questions based on the weaknesses, strengths, hobbies, academic achievements, qualifications, and professional experiences mentioned in the CV are asked during an interview. Mock interview helps in practicing to communicate and in improving one’s body language. In addition to this, there are several active online websites providing the stuff to be asked during an interview.
Presentation skills/ Negative approach: most of the candidates bluff or get arrogant during the interview as they are not aware of the basic etiquettes of interview. Candidate must answer to every question with a zest and confidence backing up themselves with valid facts and details. At the same time, giving affirmative answers increases the scores during the presentation. Having high level of confidence and to the point is the only secret to crack an interview.
Irrelevant answers during an interview: having a wide approach while preparation is the best thing one can do to crack the PI rounds. The vision of the candidate behind pursuing the course should be clear, beneficial for the society as a whole and result oriented to leave an impact on an interviewer.
Zero tolerance level: few candidates fail to maintain the composure and get trapped into the web of the answer seeker. Interviewers test the tolerance level of an interviewee to know how much is the pressure could be taken by the candidates. Knowing such basic things and being true to the information given in CV and keeping the track over the real intentions of an interviewee behind asking the questions would help the candidates to perform their level best.
Few Examples of the Weirdest Questions Asked
Panelist 1: What do you know about IIM Calcutta?
Ans: Student gives a proper well-versed answer from the website.
Panelist 2: Okay, tell me what do you know about IIM Bangalore?)
Ans: Candidate could not answer properly this time.
Panelist 2: So, you know more about Calcutta than Bangalore? Didn’t you get a call from IIM Bangalore?
Ans: With a poker face, without showing any emotion in the tone of voice. Student answers,” Ma’am, I do have call from IIM Bangalore but its interview is two weeks later.”
From IIM L interview,
P1: So tell me Abhishek why do you have ‘1993’ in your email-id?
A: Sir, I needed a bit more professional id as compared to my previous one.
P2: So what was your previous id?
A: Sir, it was firstname.lastname@example.org <smiling like an idiot>
<Both laughing at me>
P2: So you think you are not perfect anymore?
*Suddenly the pseudo-intellectual philosopher in me wakes up*
A: Sir, even the air around me is not ideal, how can I be perfect.
< Both look surprised, me smiling like a madman>
Q: You seem to know a lot of math. What do you like in it?
A: I like numbers, Sir.
Q: Ok. So tell us, what is the absolute truth?
A: (Wow, what? Where did that come from and how is that related to numbers.) How would I know, Sir. I’m just a human being. They say God knows the absolute truth.
Q: Ok then, define God mathematically.
A: Sir, God is the One. (They smile).
Result: Convert. 😛
The questions asked in interview are only developed based on the curriculum vitae (CV) handed over by the candidate as well as the answers given in written aptitude test. One should be very clear about the facts presented and must not give dubious answers to the questions asked. For instance, if an interviewer asks you about the projects done by you as written in a CV, be clear about it and let them know how it was done without any doubts and without stuttering.
Candidates must give some time to thoroughly revise and practice that is being experienced and pursued till the time as well as keep yourself updated with the current affairs happening all over the globe. Reading newspapers daily at least few weeks before an interview to have a hold over general knowledge as well as candidate must have their own view-points over the current scenarios which may be asked to assess the approach of the candidate during an interview. Good communication skills are the cherry on the top.