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How to crack GD-PI-WAT: Vidisha Mehta an MDI Gurgaon student shares her experience of appearing for the GD-PI-WAT rounds. Vidisha had her path planned. After taking a break from her work experience of 16 months Vidisha decided to pursue her MBA dreams and thus started preparing in the best way possible. She attended interviews at different B-Schools and mentions that the question she was most commonly asked was about her decision to take a break from work life.
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In this interview with Careers360, she mentions the different methods and questions she prepared for, her answers to the questions shot at her and most importantly her approach towards the WAT topic and the stress interview she faced during her PI session.
Careers360: What is the selection procedure at MDI- Gurgaon? How was it different compared to the other interviews you attended?
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Vidisha: Students were invited for further rounds on the basis of their overall CAT percentile as well as sectional cut offs. The selection procedure had three rounds which included: WAT, GD and PI. When compared to the other interviews I attended the procedure was more or less the same everywhere. I attended the interview procedures at SP Jain, FMS, XLRI, IIFT, SIBM Pune, NMIMS Mumbai and MICA. The procedures are usually standardized and run smoothly everywhere. A few positives about MDI compared to the other colleges were that the calls were sent out well in advance, giving us ample time to prepare. Also, they asked us only for the copies of documents saving us the hassle of travelling with original documents.
Careers360: Can you share with us in detail your overall experience of attending the selection procedure of MDI?
Vidisha: Yes, I had a very pleasant experience. The process was very smooth and started on time. At the very beginning, our educational and other relevant documents were verified. Then, they moved on to the other processes.
Careers360: What was your WAT topic and how did you structure it? Was it easy or did you find it difficult to attempt?
Vidisha: My WAT topic was ‘Indians are good at being second best but not first’. I had a little difficulty in deciding a structure for the topic as I could not figure out whether I was allowed to argue with this point or not. I ended up arguing against the point and put in a few examples for the same.
Careers360: How did you prepare for WAT? When did you start you start preparing for the PI-WAT rounds?
Vidisha: I attended Endeavor Coaching classes in Ahmedabad from March 2016 to March 2017. Post CAT 2017 results, the coaching institutes started conducting GK sessions on a regular basis which helped us prepare for PI-WAT rounds. They also simulated mock GD-PI sessions for us.
Careers360: Do you think that a separate preparation strategy is required for WAT?
Vidisha: The coaching classes I attended never held any separate sessions for WAT. As long as one is caught up on current events and is able to think out of the box when confronted with abstract topics, there is no need to have a separate preparation for GD. Most WAT’s are usually handwritten; so I would recommend to practice writing if one is not used to writing fast; work on your handwriting as well.
Careers360: Please share with us the WAT topics which you were asked during the admission rounds. How should one tackle a WAT topic, if s/he does not have any knowledge about it?
Vidisha: The topics were, ‘Early morning breeze’, ‘If you were trapped in a glass box’, ‘Case study based on the culture of working overtime in Japan’, ‘When in doubt, go to sleep’
If it is an abstract topic, just use your imagination. It is easy to come up with a parallel situation. On the other hand, if it is related to current affairs or basically something for which you will need domain knowledge, then the most important thing is to not bluff. They will catch you in seconds. Try answering with a justification, as to why you know nothing about the subject matter. They might just be kind enough to tell you a little bit about it
Careers360: What are the possible Dos and Don’ts when attempting a WAT?
Vidisha: As per my experience one must structure their thoughts before they start writing. Stay within the word limit and be concise and not use a lot of fancy jargon; as it may not work in your favour. And of course, as I mentioned earlier; do not bluff.
Careers360: Do you think there are some time management skills required for a student to write a complete structured WAT?
Vidisha: Well, if a student has scored well enough to crack an MDI call, it is conceivable that he possesses the time skills required for this task.
Careers360: How was your personal interview experience? How big was the panel and how did you feel while facing them?
Vidisha: I had to go through a stress interview. For the first half, they kept arguing against any answer I gave them. The second half, on the other hand, was quite pleasant. The panel had 2 people. I entered confidently but felt considerably stressed as the interview progressed. The ordeal lasted for about 10 minutes.
Careers360: Among all the interviews you appeared for, which one do you think was the best and why? Share your best PI experience with us.
Vidisha: My best PI experience was at SCMHRD, Pune. I started the interview on a high note. They had an extempore process instead of WAT. And I managed to come up with a small poem during my extempore. This boosted my confidence enormously and it was smooth sailing after that.
Careers360: Which were the most difficult questions shot at you? What were your answers to those questions?
Vidisha: The most difficult question (the one I was asked everywhere) was ‘Why I chose to take a break after merely 16 months of work experience? Since there were some personal responsibilities for which I needed to be close to home and could do without the financial stability for some time, I took a break from work. Moreover, I had already decided to pursue my MBA. I decided, it was the best time to take a risk such as this and bank on myself. This was the answer I provided everywhere.
Careers360: How did you handle the situation where you had no answer for a particular question asked to you? How did the panel react to this?
Vidisha: Whenever I was asked a question that I was not sure about I would usually apologize and tell them, “I am afraid; I have no knowledge on this topic and am unable to answer this question.” At times, you may have a faint knowledge about the subject and may need time to frame your answer. At such times, it is perfectly okay to ask for a few minutes to think about it and answer.
Careers360: What according to you were the most interesting questions asked? Please share your answers as well.
Vidisha: The questions which were most interesting according to me were;
Who is your best friend? If I called her right now and asked about your worst traits, what would she tell me?
Dhwani Parekh, my friend from school. She would complain that I am a little too serious. Second, What does your name mean?
Vidisha means special direction.
Careers360: How is an IIM interview different from a non-IIM yet top B-School interview?
Vidisha: Unfortunately, I had only one IIM call which was from IIM-Shillong. Their interview was very different in the sense that it was the only interview I faced wherein they asked me questions related to my undergraduate studies.
Careers360: How did you prepare yourself for PI? What were the PI questions that you searched for during your preparations?
Vidisha: I prepared by updating myself on GK and current affairs. I attended mock PI sessions at my coaching classes. I searched for PI questions asked over the past years, prepared answers to them and wrote them down as well. I made it a point to refer to them daily for reinforcement.
Some of the PI questions I prepared for were:
Tell me about yourself
Why this college
If not this college, where would you go? Suppose you get admission nowhere this year, what will you do?
What does your name mean
Politics in your state
Why do you have an educational/work gap
What major do you want to opt for and why
Favourite marketing campaign and why
A Person you idolize and why
Careers360: Was there an embarrassing moment for you/or a question you think that was difficult or impossible to answer? What was your reaction that time?
Vidisha: When I was asked about a few well-known CEOs, I mentioned three names and then drew a blank. That was quite embarrassing. I told them I needed a moment to think. And they were quite patient as well.
Careers360: What was your GD topic? How did you approach it?
Vidisha: The GD and WAT topics were the same for the selection process at MDI
At first, I had a doubt whether to go for or against the topic. Finally, I argued against the motion using a few examples from Bollywood and Cricket.
Careers360: How much did you contribute during the discussion? Did the discussion reach a conclusion?
Vidisha: The GD lasted for around 15 minutes. I made inputs about 3-4 times and also summed the discussion in the last 30 seconds.
But, we could not reach a conclusion. Although, we did sum up with the top points mentioned during the discussion.
Careers360: How many candidates were there in your group?
Vidisha: We had about 10 candidates in a group.
Careers360: What was the overall experience of this process?
Vidisha: It was quite an adrenaline rush.
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