“Confidence, Compassion & Emotional Quotient needed to get into IIMs” says Anushree Naik CAT 2019 Topper
Anushree Naik CAT 2019 Topper Interview - Impeccable efforts and perpetual hard work leads one to live their dream in real life and Anushree Naik is also one of those who not only lives the life of a Chartered Accountant (CA) but also goes to explore the aspects of management. She proves if you are an extraordinary personality and willing to be a multi tasker then there are no boundaries for you. Anushree also quotes about what it takes to ace an IIM interview and what qualities one should possess to get admitted in an elite B-school of the country. In an exclusive talk with Careers360, Anushree shares her journey to IIM Ahmedabad. She shares all the aspects of IIM Ahmedabad selection process and her preparation strategies for AWT and PIs rounds. She shares her success mantra for the aspiring MBA students in near future. Read the full interview to know more about the IIM admission criteria, selection process and how one should prepare for the next round once the individual has cracked CAT 2020. Know all the toppers of CAT 2019.
Latest: CAT application form 2020 correction window open now from September 27. IIM Indore introduces change in the exam pattern of CAT 2020
Careers360 - Congratulations on converting to your desired institute! How do you feel?
Anushree Naik - I feel overwhelmed! CA + MBA has always been a dream! I feel grateful to have the most supportive parents and a very encouraging sister, the best of the best mentors and seniors who guided me all along and close friends who kept me sane through all of this! I am looking forward to having an enriching and fun experience at IIM-Ahmedabad!
Careers360 - What is the selection procedure at IIM Ahmedabad?
Anushree Naik - After securing the requisite percentile and clearing their overall and sectional cut offs, they release a shortlist for personal interviews. This second round consists of an Analytical Writing Test and one exhaustive round of Personal Interview by professors and the alumni (AWT-PI round). The final selection is based composite score (score derived by considering 10 th , 12 th , Graduation, Work Ex, CAT and AWT-PI scores)
Know the selection process of IIM Calcutta by Madhuporna Pal
Careers360 - Please elaborate on your overall experience of the selection procedure at IIM Ahmedabad?
Anushree Naik - After scoring an overall 98.2 percentile and clearing all sectional cut offs I got shortlisted by IIM-Ahmedabad for their AWT-PI round. I started preparing for interviews by reading current affairs regularly and discussing it with my parents and friends. I took about 15 mock interviews with different people ranging from my boss at work to my mentors, friends, ex-students, seniors, etc.
I was the first in my panel and I was extremely happy about it. I finished my AWT (analytical writing test) about 5 minutes before time (that is how I had practiced), rechecked it twice and was waiting for my interview immediately after it.
I entered the room with a wide smile as deep down I was really excited. They started asking me questions on my work profile, which I did answer, but they seemed to be in disbelief of it and then they switched to the topics that were out of my domain. They asked me to solve a numerical question on GST that touched on the concept and impact of the change in prices of composite services (restaurant service) due to GST; I couldn’t answer it satisfactorily but yet stayed calm and confident. Basically the first 20 minutes of the interview wasn’t as I would liked it to be. They then asked me to opine on a few current, political and economic scenarios, which I could, in a very convincing way. I took advantage of that opportunity and laid my views with a lot of conviction. I think that was the first turning point in my interview. They then moved on to my extra- curricular achievements, which I was desperately waiting for. Being a certified graphologist they wanted me to analyse their handwriting on the spot. I seized the opportunity and spoke for 7-8 minutes at a stretch. Though they maintained a straight face, I was overwhelmed. That was probably the question that made it for me as I believe that is how they differentiated me from the others. They closed the interview by asking me a few public policy questions which were again something that I wasn’t very well aware of. Not losing any of the confidence till the very end, I came out of the conference room after a 50 minutes long interview, beaming. I was quite positive and I couldn’t wait for the results.
Careers360 - Which other B-Schools’ selection procedure did you appear for? How was your experience in other institutes vis a vis in the institute you have converted?
Anushree Naik - I got shortlisted for the Personal Interview round by IIM – Bangalore, Lucknow, Indore, Kozhikode, Shillong and all new and baby IIMs as well as the S.P.Jain Institute of Management Research (SPJIMR) apart from IIM-A. I appeared for all my interviews except IIM Lucknow (as it was scheduled after IIM A result). All my interviews were decent and the questions covered were on similar lines of IIM A interview. My IIM Bangalore interview was a very stressful one, but I managed it calmly and confidently.
IIM A conducts an AWT (analytical writing test) for 20 minutes which is more like a case study analysis whereas all other colleges conduct a WAT (writing ability test) which is mostly an essay writing.
Careers360 - What was your AWT topic and how did you structure it? Did you find it easy or you had a difficult time writing/ thinking about the topic?
Anushree Naik - My AWT Topic -
Private School owner opposes the reservation of BPL students as he thinks they won’t be able to fit in and will eventually drop out. I mentioned the concept of inclusive education. I opined that every student must be given an equal opportunity at the primary education level.
Careers360 - Did you get external help or join a coaching school to prepare for PI and AWT?
When did you start your preparations for it?
Anushree Naik - I started my preparations after CAT. I had taken coaching for my IMS Tutorials in Mumbai. I practiced writing essays on random topics and also took about 20 mock interviews.
Careers360 - Do you think that AWT and PI requires some separate preparation apart from what you mentioned?
Anushree Naik - No.
Careers360 - Are there ways to handle a situation when one has no answer to a question during PI?
Anushree Naik - I preferred to honestly admit that I wasn’t aware of an answer incase I had no clue about the topic they were asking.
Careers360 - How must one approach an AWT and PI topic? Could you share some Dos and Don’ts for the same?
Anushree Naik - Practice is the key to writing logical and structured AWTs. For interviews one must be prepared as well as a little candid during the interviews while maintaining to be honest and confident throughout.
Careers360 - Is there a particular kind of time management strategy that should be added to the candidate’s skillset? Will it help in writing a complete structured AWT and Personal Interview?
Anushree Naik - Always time yourself while practicing AWTs. Take enough mock interviews before you appear for your final interviews.
Careers360 - How did you feel when you faced the interviewers during the PI? Please share a few details like the size of your panel and your overall experience.
Anushree Naik - IIM – Ahmedabad Interview:
I was the first in my panel (of a total of 7) and I was extremely happy about it. I finished my AWT (analytical writing test) about 5 minutes before time (that is how I had practiced), rechecked it twice and was waiting for my interview immediately after it. One of my interviewers was a professor and the other one was an alumnus of IIM-A. The total duration of my interview was 50 minutes and it was very exhaustive.
Careers360 - Which interview turned out to be the best one? Enlighten us about the finest one according to you.
Anushree Naik - All my interviews were a mix of easy and difficult questions. None of them were a cake walk. At the same time I tried to keep my confidence high in all the interviews and answered the questions honestly!
Careers360 - What about the questions which you found difficult to answer? How did you reply to those?
Anushree Naik - I tried to answer it in bits. If I was partially sure of the answer I would explain whatever I could calmly and confidently. I also mentioned that I wasn’t completely sure of the answer and would try to go back and read up on the same.
Careers360 - So in those situations, was the panel easy or harsh on you? What should one do when s/he has no answer?
Anushree Naik - They were not harsh on me in most interviews except one interview which was structured yet a stress interview.
Careers360 - What were the most fascinating questions you were asked? Please share your answers too.
Anushree Naik - I was asked to analyse my interviewer’s handwriting on the spot as I am a certified graphologist in two of my interviews. In one of the interviews I was also asked to justify whether Graphology can be classified as a Science. I explained how Graphology is a pseudo-science and explained how it can be used in decision making. I was asked to talk about my personal blog and then asked to answer a few questions on the same. I was also asked about some ethical dilemmas faced in my job as I worked remotely in the fraud risk management department of a company.
Careers360 - How different is an IIM interview from a non-IIM yet top B-School interview? Are their major differences? (If you have appeared for IIMs)
Anushree Naik - I appeared for all IIM interviews and S.P.Jain Institute of Management Research (SPJIMR) Interview. I had a profile based interview call at SPJIMR which was right after I had taken only a very few mock interviews at my Coaching Centre IMS. SPJIMR conducts two group interviews before the final selection. The first round is a technical and academic qualification oriented round where 5 interviewees are interviewed at once by 2 professors or alumni or a mix of both. The ones who qualify the first round, go ahead for the second round of group interviews which is a round to check a candidate’s character, morale, beliefs and honesty. IIMs have a Written Ability Test and a Personal Interview in most cases. I personally found the interviews conducted by IIMs to be more grilling, exhaustive and interesting. Though I converted both my calls from SPJIMR and IIM-Ahmedabad, I will be joining the latter.
Careers360 - How did you go about the preparations for PI? Did you search or look up some questions or practice mock PIs?
Anushree Naik - I started preparing for interviews by reading current affairs regularly and discussing it with my parents and friends. I took about 15 mock interviews with different people ranging from my boss at work to my mentors, friends, ex-students, seniors, etc.
I also prepared a detailed CV and was prepared to answer questions about myself, my
strengths, my weaknesses, failures and successes, etc.
Careers360 - And finally what are the aspects or qualities that the interview board looks for in a candidate?
Anushree Naik -
Authenticity in Answers
Conviction with which we answer
Courage in entire life journey
Character & Personality of the student
Compassion & Emotional Quotient
Also Read: Aayushi Garg's journey to IIM Lucknow.
CAT Admit Card 2020 - IIM Indore will release CAT 2020 admit c...
Best Books for CAT Preparation - Know About the syllabus, fact...
Best study material for CAT 2020 preparation - Know the right ...
CAT Exam Centres 2020 - Candidates could select at least six C...
CAT 2020: How Vedic Maths helps to speed up calculation? - Kn...
Questions related to CAT
sloved question paper of CAT b.des 2020
Here is the link of CAT previous years question papers with solutions (2017,2018,2019) . Hope this will help you to boost your preparation for the exam.
Hope it helps.
All the best.
i belong to telngana gor 321 marks in neet2020 air289957 can i get b cat mbbs female candidate
Reg Help &
confirm seats under MGMT/NRI Quota,
only NEET qualified.
bookings started for confirm seats
all over india.
My branch is Electrical Engineering and in my college i have very less chance of placements . So what jobs should i go for so that it could be counted as work experience if I want to go for CAT exam ?
For MBA , work experience is not compulsory. You can get into MBA colleges without a work experience. It's like good food placed in a good plate. If you have a work experience you will get a good job or with more package . Otherwise it will depend on your academics.
My Neet 2020 score is 566 . I belong to BC cat. in Tamilnadu. What are my chances in Tamilnadu government colleges??
It's quite difficult to predict that whether you will get seat or not as cut off marks for medical colleges keeps changing every year depending upon various factors like number of students that appeared in the exam, kind of marks obtained by them , toughness level of the examination etc.
But when we go through previous data then with 566 marks , you hold a chance to get a seat in a Government Medical College
In Neet 2019, 470 marks for obc category was the cut off marks to get a seat in Government Medical College under Tamilnadu state quota and it was for Government Medical College and Hospital, Pudukottai
With 566 marks also have chances in following govt college under state quota-
*Government Medical College, Omandurar Estate, Chennai
*Government K.A.P.V. Medical College, Trichy
And a few more
Above prediction is on the basis of past year data but cutoff keeps changing every year due to many factors as mentioned earlier, so to have a clear picture of the colleges in which you have to chances and
to get the complete list of colleges in which you have chances, you can go through our college predictor at
It gives you a personalized report with top college in which you have chances for admission , with the help of predicted colleges you can make better choice while filling your choices of colleges during your counselling
what jobs an engineer can do if he does not get campus placement and want to appear in CAT exam so that his work ex will be counted??
Most IIM's usually gives only 5-15 % of weightage to work experience (major weightage is for CAT score and PI) with points for approx. 24-36 months of work after which they don't count it ( which means work experience of more than 2-3 years will not give you any extra edge during selection)
Since you are an Engineering graduate, it is usually advisable to go for a technical job related to your field not just because it is easier to get but but because it is easier to justify in your CV. CAT values versatility but there is a fine line between versatility and randomness. What I mean to say is that if you go for a job which isn't even remotely related to your field of study then you'd probably be asked for reasons as to why you chose to do that. So if you were to go for a sales job after completing a degree in say, Electrical Engineering, you'd have to to explain your shift in career paths. To avoid such justifications and to to make the most of your CV, go for a technical job or maybe an Analysist position, anything which you can either link to your Engineering degree or to a Management degree.
Best of luck, Good day!