Ace your IIM Interviews! | The Bootcamp
January 10, 2018

Ace your IIM Interviews!

By Tapan Kulkarni


A lot of people stress on doing an in-depth study from various sources to identify what is asked in an IIM interview. An IIM interview is much more complex and structured than what is perceived and a lot of background work is required to ace it. The questions are designed in a way to test your ability to think on your feet and no amount of prep work can help you in that.What you can prepare in, is as follows:

  1. General Knowledge and Current affairs

What to do: Read newspapers, blogs, editorials, forums (Preferably in the English language)

Why: While you are not expected to know everything, interviewers want to get an idea on how updated you are in current affairs. If they realise that you are faltering in even basic level questions, that’s an automatic rejection. It’s never bad to have more knowledge than required. Your ability to answer any question asked, after giving a real-life example, will almost always gain you bonus points.

Common questions

  1. What is Czech Republic now known as?
  2. What is the difference between blockchain and bitcoin and bitcoin cash?
  3. What is the current repo rate?
  4. What do you mean by inflation
  1. Profile yourself

What to do: Identify your short term goals, long term goals, hobbies, extra-curriculars, strengths, weaknesses

Why

  1. Long term and Short term goals are very basic questions asked in every MBA interview. The interviewer judges you on the basis of the clarity in your answers and so it is very important to identify these first and see whether they are in line with each other.
  2. One must answer the “what are your hobbies?” question very carefully. There will always be a follow-up question to this and so it is of utmost importance to know everything related to that particular hobby. Select a few hobbies and do concrete research about each.
  3. Extracurriculars: Similar to hobbies, one must do a concrete research in all extracurricular activities which one wishes to mention in the interview. The interviewers may ask you an in-depth narrative of any activity you have taken part of and you must have ready answers for this.
  4. Strengths and weaknesses: Strengths are easy to talk about. Concentrate on the ones applicable in leadership and management roles. Try to identify situations where you have showcased these strengths. Weaknesses are slightly more difficult. Refrain from using generic ones like – “I work too hard”. Try to identify a weakness which goes hand in hand with your strengths and abilities.
  1. Mock interviews

What to do: Try to give as many mock interviews as you can. Try to cover the usual – Structured, unstructured, stress, etc

Why: A mock interview will give you the confidence to tackle an actual interview. You can sit with your mock interviewee and try to identify strengths and areas of improvement. Covering all types of interviews will also build your confidence on day and help you tackle all types of questions being thrown at you.

  1. Mock GD’s

What to do: Try to take part in mock GD’s and cover different topics – Political, Abstract, Case-based.

Why: This will help you decently prepare for the actual GD. The gist of these topics along with the flow of arguments is important to understand and analyse. While actual topics may differ, if one understands and can tackle the flow of the discussion, it is easy to capitalize on errors and points made by other candidates.

  1. Brush up communication skills

What to do: Try to listen to recordings of people talking to perfect pronunciation. Learn to structure thoughts in a short amount of time and present it accordingly. Practice speaking in front of a mirror to make yourself aware of the error in speech or tone.

Why: At an IIM interview stage, most of the candidates have similar backgrounds and scores. Communication skills is where you have to stand out from the rest of the pack. This will help you get more points in GD’s and Debates.

Timeline

Step 1: Brush up on current affairs and general knowledge

Step 2: Prepare a profile (on paper) about yourself – strengths, hobbies, etc

Step 3: Identify common points across your profile – relevant job experience, extracurricular activities, etc. which you could potentially use in an interview

Step 4: Attempt atleast 7 mock interviews and 4 GD’s. Try to cover maximum possible scenarios.

Step 5: Study and practice topics in your field of study and interest. Technical questions are almost always asked in IIM interviews

Step 6: Practice aptitude test questions – General Knowledge, Current Affairs, Math, English. You have to perform decently well in the aptitude test. This could be a differentiating factor between you and another candidate if it comes to that.

Step 7: Practice till you’re perfect! 


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