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