PI-WAT Experience: Impress the panel with your introduction to crack PI, says Samir Jaju, IIM Lucknow
Urvashi Dalal, 29 Dec 2016, #IIM Lucknow
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After cracking CAT 2015, Samir Jaju secured admission in the prestigious IIM Lucknow. Sharing his experience of selection rounds, Samir in his interview with Careers360 talks about the importance of your introduction at the time of interview.


Samir shares that the Personal Interview (PI) panel judges you within the first 15 minutes of the interview. They ask you questions on the basis of the introduction given by you, hence the importance of your impression via introducing yourselves is vital. He further shares how reading habits can get you through the Writing Ability Test (WAT).


Read Samir Jaju’s interview below:


Careers360: What is the selection procedure at your B-school?

Samir: I got admitted to IIM Lucknow. There was a writing test and a round of personal interview. There was no GD.




Careers360: What was your WAT topic and how did you structure it? Did you find it easy or you had a difficult time writing it?

Samir: My topic was “There is a line between right and wrong”. In a topic that is based on a recent issue related to Pestle, it is easier to write, as you might try to show your knowledge or understanding of the topic by pouring all the facts you know or putting your thoughts down in a careful or organised manner. But this is one topic which won’t lend itself to structure easily.


I wrote about how right and wrong were relative but they relied on some absolute principles, and from those principles as the bedrock, we could derive all ethics and morality.  However, the line gets blurred often as world isn’t simple.  I hope I got an extra point for simply for mentioning something from moral philosophy.


Careers360: How did you prepare for your WAT?

Samir: I think the only way to prepare for WAT is by developing a habit of reading. It is something that worked for me. I never used to read much before college, but in college, and the two years of working, I read a lot, out of my own interest. There is no such thing as true creativity with which a person can think of a completely new idea out of thin air. Everything that we can possibly think of comes from our experiences and our exposure to ideas and knowledge. Hence, to be able to write better and be able to write about a lot of topics necessitates that you read a lot.


For those who have interviews less than a month away, too, should try to read as much as possible.

Some of the websites that I found useful are concise encyclopaedia on econlib.org, libertarianism.org, pragati.nationalinterest.org, and the Indian bloggers on top 100 economics blog, specifically those of Amol Agarwal and Gulzar N.


Careers360: What are your suggestions on tackling a WAT topic about which you don’t know anything?

Samir: This would be a very difficult position to be in. But my guess is you should not back down and still write about the topic in a generalised way. However, since you don’t know a lot of facts or the concepts that you’d need to write intelligibly on the topic, your style then becomes of utmost importance. It’s not that having deep knowledge about a random topic on that fated day of your interview, I’m sure even the B-School professors recognise that. So even when you can’t write in depth about a topic, your style of writing will convey enough information about yourself that the panellist wants to know.


Personal Interview


Careers360: How was your experience of appearing in a personal interview? How big was the panel?

Samir: I had five interviews in the entire season. You’ll have to realise not all of them will go well. And you can’t generalise anything from the name of the institute that is interviewing you.  As there will be roughly two dozen panels in each institute’s process and they will be in a different mood at different time of the day.  A 20-minute interaction is really all they need to get the information they are looking for.


My IIM Lucknow panel consisted of two members. I went in and in no time I was out. Though my answers were inputs to their next questions.


Careers360: Among all the interviews you have appeared in, which one was the best and why? Share your best PI experience with us.

Samir: My IIM-L interview was the best. They mostly asked me questions on statistics since I have worked as a Business Analysist. The panel, somehow, sensed my preparedness or enthusiasm about stats from my introduction that they were led to ask questions on it. Either way, if there is an interest or a hobby that you think helps you think better as an engineer, student, employee, human, etc., do bring it up.


Careers360: How did you prepare yourself for PI? What were the PI questions that you searched for your preparations?

Samir: I don’t think I followed any structured plan to prepare for PI. But here is what the future aspirants must follow:

  • Try to write down your goals in short, medium and long term. Focus on what they mean to you. On a psychological level, why do you need to achieve them?

  • Write a page or two about the career you want. People often know about the careers they want to go for. I wrote two pages on product management. It is okay if you haven’t decided. Just pick one that suits your profile or background and stick to it in the interviews.

  • Write about your traits, strengths and weakness.

  • Try to write down answers to commonly asked HR/instances based questions.

  • Write two pages each on your college life, office and your company, school life and upbringing.

  • Write three page about your favourite topic.

  • Practice recording your answers and listen to the sound of your voice. You should do this for introduction.

  • Never, ever forget to think of a question at the end of your interview.

  • Finally, stop saying ‘um’, ‘eh’, and a host of filler words. It takes only a month to do so. Just be conscious of them while speaking anything.

Also Read:

GD-PI-WAT Interviews


Stay tuned to www.bschool.careers360.com for more news and updates


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Questions related to IIM Lucknow

Showing 36 out of 36 Questions

I am from SC category.. Graduated in bachelor in veterinary science.. I have average academic profile... How much should i score to get FABM and ABM of IIMA and IIML.... As i have graduation in allied agriculture so will it hamper my chances?

Vemireddy Rushitha Student Expert 15th Oct, 2019

Hello Aspirant,

As you have mentioned that you belong to SC category, you should have a minimum of 60 percent and above to make it into any of the above mentioned colleges. Therefore make sure to get this percent. The course that you have already persued might not add up as your advantage since it is not related to the field you are applying.

Good luck!


i am a general category btech student 10-93 percent 12-95 percent btech( mechanical) -78.6 percent work experience 2 months passed out 2019 june no drop years what is a good score to achieve in simcats . and what is the minimum percentile to get calls from IIM l,k,i or fms .

Afreen Anjum Student Expert 18th Sep, 2019

As you ask about to which rank you will get iim other mention colleges so to get these colleges through simcat..
As here I am talking about IIM.. so different I am have different cutoff as a you are talking about simcat not cat so if you consistently scoring across 90 your simcat
then you  should score five more. In your actual cat to  get top colleges like IIM colleges.
All the best!!

What are my chances of getting into top IIMs or the new IIMs. I have 97% in Xth, 93% in XIIth and 59% in UG. Is my UG percent a reason for concern? Except A,B what all IIMs do I have a chance at?

Ashish pal Student Expert 16th Sep, 2019

Hello dear aspirant.

You are having fair chances of getting a good IIM.

You past score is not going to matter that much. Now you have to appear in CAT exam and after that if you qualify that you will be having a written ability test then after personal interview. This procedure makes your merit so try to score as much as you can.

Ok good luck


Can I change my b.school after one year like in first year IIML to IIMA in second year.

Afreen Anjum Student Expert 18th Aug, 2019


Yes you can change your one b School to another.. if your college allowed to do if that college or school where you want to get admission accept your application and promote you in second year on the basis of your first year in other B school...

All the best


If I have 6 years gap after B.Tech from UPTU but I score 99% percentile in CAT 2019. Will I get admission in IIM Lucknow?

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 20th Aug, 2019
Dear Himanshu, you haven't mentioned your Category. Neverthless, IIM Lucknow has a 3 stage Selection process; Written Ability Test, Personal Interview and Final Selection. Candidates will be shortlisted based on CAT score, Academic performance and other Criteria. You havent mentioned if you have been working for the past 6 years because PGP-SM course prefers a minimum of 24 months as  working experience.  In 2018, the percentile cut offs have been as follows:
                              QA                DLR            VARC        Overall
General               85                  85                 85                90
NC-OBC              77                  77                 77                82
SC                        55                  55                 55                70
ST                        50                  50                  50               65
PwD                    50                  50                  50                65

For being shortlisted for Written Ability Test and Personal Interview, the following chart is followed on a composite score of 100:
Scaled CAT Score:                                   60
12th marks:                                              10
Graduation:                                              10
Work Experience:                                   10
Diversity Factor for Academics:           5
Diversiry Factor for Gender:                  5

Method of scoring can be found on the official website. Those candidates who are eligible after these 2 roumds are called for Written Ability and Personal Interview Test. The final score is calculated based on this scale:

  • Common Admission Test:  30
  • Academic Performance (12th  + Graduation): 5+5
  • Diversity Factor (DF academics +DF gender): 5
  • Work Experience: 5
  • Writing Ability Test: 10
  • Personal Interview: 40
  • Final Score: 100

The minimum marks that you need to score in Personal Interview are 12 out of 40. Considering all this, if you score 99% in CAT, you will be eligible for further rounds. And you should score good in every round of interview to really get into IIM Lucknow.
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