My interview @ IIM A

I had terribly screwed up in the Group Discussion (happens only for ABM students). I was not able to speak a single word in my first-ever GD at IIM A.

As a result, I had no hopes whatsoever of clearing when I went for the interview. This was an advantage in a way that I was very calm and had already decided that there was absolutely no chance.

The interview started with the customary questions (Why MBA, Why Agribusiness Management) moving on to the achievements and ended with a rapid fire session of Mathematics.

The Customary Questions

So, why do you want to join IIM Ahmedabad?
Because I preferably want to stay in India, the fees is low as compared to the foreign institutes and there are only a few colleges for Agribusiness Management in India -IIM A being the best among them.
(I had written in the form that I had offers from other universities- totally downplayed this one. I was never in awe of IIM A but even if you are, I guess you should not show that to the interviewer ) 

Why Agribusiness Management?
I have studied Food Engineering for four years. I have come to realize that although I like Agri/Food sector as such but I am not that much interested in the technical aspects of it. I find it difficult to understand. Also, when I did my internship I was given a managerial project which I found much more interesting and thus….blah blah

Why an year gap?
(This was the most difficult and expected question. I took an year drop for JEE preparation after screwing up big time in JEE.)
Because when I saw the brochure for JEE while applying, I saw Agricultural/Food Engineering and I was intrigued by it. I had a very strong intuitive feeling that I should be in this sector. I researched, found out good colleges for it and only IIT and UDCT were my options. And therefore, even though I had offers for CS/ECE, etc. I took an year drop.

He stared at me and said “I cannot believe it”. I said nonchalantly, “I can’t do anything to make you believe but that is the truth”

(This is by far the biggest bullshit I have pulled off ever in my life. The nonchalance to his reaction worked I guess.)

Achievements and CGPA

What is your most significant achievement till now?
(Many people screw up here. They say I was a gold-medalist in this that subject and when they are questioned on that they have already forgotten it)
I don’t give that much importance to academic achievements and so I would say that being chosen to work for the most important project of the year for Cadbury in 2010 is my major achievement till date.

Tell something more about this project.
Explained in detail. 

Your CGPA (68%) seems to be on the lower side. Isn’t it?
No, it is not.
It is average. In my institute, percentage system is followed and the topper gets around 78%. I understood the concepts but my retention level for technical concepts was low. If I was good at engineering, I would have never come for MBA at the first place. Considering the fact that I had no interest whatsoever in engineering, I would say I have done a very good job.
I am satisfied with what I scored.

Rapid Fire Round – Mathematics

(This was a Mathematics prof which I came to know later)

Interviewer: You scored 800/800 in GRE. It seems that your Maths is very  good.
Me: Yes Sir.
Interviewer: What are your favourite topics?
Me: Mmm..I like Calculus.

1. Calculus

Interviewer: Give an example of a function where [math]\int_0^1 \! f(x) \, \mathrm{d}x.[/math] is 0 and f(x) is not equal to 0.
Me (did not remember the function): Drew a graph of y= -2x+1
Interviewer: Is this the only function?
Me: No, there can be many such functions.Whenever the area above the x-axis and the area below the x-axis is same this will be 0.

Interviewer: Isn’t area a scalar quantity?

Me: Nope. Vector.

2. Triangle
Interviewer: What is the sum of angles of a triangle?
Me: Interior angles or Exterior angles?
Interviewer (smiling): Interior.
Me: 180 degrees.
Interviewer: Sure?
Me: Yes
Interviewer: 100%?
Me: Yes
Interviewer: Even if it is on the surface of the earth?
Me: Yes, yes, Sir. Anywhere it is 180 degrees.
Interviewer: Draw a triangle on a ball and measure the sum of angles. It won’t be 180 degrees.
Me: Obviously. Because it won’t be a triangle then.
Interviewer: Why?
Me: The three sides will not be in the same plane.
Interviewer: So, how would you define a triangle?
Me: A closed figure formed by three non-parallel straight lines in the same plane.
Interviewer: Ok, good.

3. Parallel Lines
Interviewer: Can there be two lines which are parallel but not intersecting?
Me (thinking that all parallel lines are not intersecting but still answered in one word): Yes.
Interviewer: Sure? Draw and show me.
(puts a pen and paper ahead)
Me: I can’t. I need a scale.
(starts laughing)
Interviewer: Can there be two lines which are not parallel and not intersecting?
Me: Yes.
Interviewer: When?
Me: When they are not in the same plane. Skew lines.

Interviewer: Define skew lines.

Me: I don’t know the exact definition but when two lines are not in the same plane they are skew lines.

The interviewers were amused and told me that I can go.

I thought that I would not make it because of the Group Discussion. I had planned this interview with my friend. Everything fell into place perfectly. This was my first ever and best interview till date.

It was Waitlist 17 when the results came. Just scraped through. 😉

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