XAT 2020 Topper Aiswarya Padma B Who Scored 96.986 Percentile Says, “Adherence and Hard Work Betrays None”
XAT 2020 Topper Interview, Aiswarya Padma - 96.986 Percentile: Interminable hard work and dedicated attitude towards situations will surely lead to success. Aiswarya Padma Balaji who scored 96.986 Percentile in XAT 2020 is a student of Applied Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering from College of Engineering, Trivandrum. Aiswarya suggests that having done the groundwork as well as having strong command on basics are key factors for any MBA aspirant who is aiming to land up in any of the prestigious management B-Schools across the country. In an exclusive talk with Careers360, Aiswarya shares her experience about the road to XLRI Jamshedpur. Read the full interview to know the success mantra given by Aiswarya Padma Balaji. She further added that giving a lot of mocks for the GD-WAT-PI process is equally vital as giving mocks for CAT/XAT exams. Read the complete conversation if you are aiming for XLRI and interested in knowing about its selection process, dos and don'ts and other such details.
Latest: Registration for XAT 2021 has commenced from September 12. Know all about XAT 2021 exam.
Careers360: Congratulations on converting to your desired institute! How do you feel? Please tell us a little bit about you.
Aiswarya Padma B - Thank you so much! I feel very excited! I still can’t believe the fact that I converted XLRI. It’s been a wonderful journey so far, I’m an Applied Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering student from College of Engineering, Trivandrum. I started preparing for MBA exams in my 3rd year of engineering, enrolled with T.I.M.E Trivandrum for CAT coaching.
Careers360: What is the selection procedure at XLRI Jamshedpur?
Aiswarya Padma B - The exam to be given for XLRI admissions is XAT, which takes place on the first Sunday of January every year. Based on the exam difficulty, cut offs are posted in the third and last week of January along with the interview shortlist. Once you are shortlisted, you can attend the GD-WAT-PI process in the city and date of your choice, based on the options given by XLRI. From over 75,000 XAT test takers, about 4,000 students are shortlisted for the GD-WAT-PI process, and the final results are announced usually in April.
Quick Links -
Careers360: Please elaborate on your overall experience of the selection procedure at XLRI Jamshedpur.
Aiswarya Padma B - After giving the XAT exams on January 5, 2020, I awaited the results anxiously and once it was declared, I found out I had secured a 96.986 percentile. I was happy I had given my best, but I was still unsure of receiving interview calls as my percentile was on the lower side. Two days later, I got two emails inviting me for the BM as well as HRM interview processes and I was so elated to have been considered for the same.
My GD-WAT-PI processes for HRM and BM were scheduled for March 8 and March 10 respectively and I started preparing intensively for the same as I wanted to give it my absolute best. I reached out to my seniors from college, who had converted XLRI, and T.I.M.E mock GD PI preparation, for help and they guided me through the whole process
After the interviews, I was not very satisfied with it but I waited with a lot of hope for the final results. On May 20, when it finally came, I was so happy and excited to see that I had converted XLRI-HRM and was waitlisted at number 11 for XLRI-BM. I was sure of converting the BM program in the subsequent movements and now that I have, I feel so blessed, happy and excited for this journey that awaits me at XLRI! My parents and mentors have been a great support throughout and my seniors were the best, just leading me and holding my hand throughout it.
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?
Aiswarya Padma B - My CAT percentile was very low, as fear and stress got the better of me. I only had calls from XLRI for the HRM and BM programs.
Careers360: What was your PI topic and how did you structure it? Did you find it easy or you had a difficult time writing/ thinking about the topic?
Aiswarya Padma B - My topics were as follows:
For HRM topic was “Should recruiters look at social media profiles of candidates in order to recruit them?”
For BM topic was “Are Gandhian principles relevant in Business Management?”
We were a group of eight students for the GD. We were given 5 minutes to structure our points and note them down. As soon as the interviewer asked us to start, I grabbed my chance and initiated the GD (for both BM and HRM) with my strongest point and guided the discussion that way. It was a good experience as I had prepared for this with many mock GD-WAT-PI offered by T.I.M.E and was comfortable with it. After the GD, we were asked to summarise the discussion as WAT, in 10 minutes. I was also familiar with essay structures and found it easy to finish it within the stipulated time. Giving mocks for GD-WAT-PI helps a lot for this as they help your mind in thinking and structuring points in a limited amount of time and it helps for the final process as you’re already accustomed to the process.
Careers360: Did you get external help or join a coaching school to prepare for PI? When did you start your preparations for it?
Aiswarya Padma B - I had enrolled at T.I.M.E Trivandrum for CAT coaching, and they also helped me with the mock GD-WAT-PI process. I started my preparation in January itself, as soon as the XLRI shortlist was declared for the GD-WAT-PI process. I had also reached out to my seniors from college, who had converted XLRI the previous year, and they helped me a lot with my preparation.
Careers360: Do you think that PI requires some separate preparation apart from what you mentioned?
Aiswarya Padma B - The GD-WAT-PI process requires a lot of preparation as it carries a lot of weightage for the final results. The preparation is actually a process of self exploration, where I found and answered a lot of questions about myself, as behavioural questions play a very important role. Apart from the mocks offered by T.I.M.E, I made a set of questions for myself and answered them. Kept restructuring them and preparing myself for all types of questions they could ask me about me. I also worked on current affairs, GK and so on, related to my profile and fields of interest. I worked on my resume too during the preparation time, gathered all relevant certificates and so on.
Careers360: Are there ways to handle a situation when one has no answer to a question during PI?
Aiswarya Padma B - There is nothing wrong in saying “I don’t know”. Despite my intensive preparation, I was not able to answer 2-3 questions during my interview, and I did not even think of improvising as I didn’t want to look like I was giving an answer for the sake not answering it. I genuinely told them I didn’t know, and they proceeded onto the next question. There might be ways to improvise and give smart answers, if you are a person that can do it smoothly, but I didn’t want to risk things going sideways because of the two or three questions I did not know overshadowing the rest of my performance.
Careers360: How must one approach a PI topic? Could you share some Dos and Don’ts for the same?
Aiswarya Padma B - I think giving a lot of mocks for the GD-WAT-PI process is just as important as giving mocks for CAT/XAT exams. We must practise writing short 1 page essays, efficient communication, speaking in a group and so on. Most of all, we should be able to answer questions about ourselves. During GD, we will be given 5 minutes to gather our thoughts, and we must note down all points that come to us then, structure it into good sentences and time each point according to the discussion flow.
Some of the DOs -
Note down all points during the time given before GD
Try to speak and express unique points during the GD
Keep your calm during the process
Try to initiate and conclude the GD if possible
Speak at least once during the GD, because if you remain silent, they have nothing they can evaluate your GD performance on
Some of the DON’Ts -
Do not get stressed or tensed on seeing the interview panel or on entering the GD room
Do not interrupt others while speaking
Do not repeat points
Do not hog the discussion. Give others a chance to speak
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 PI?
Aiswarya Padma B - Time management does help the interviewer understand the candidate as it is an essential skill for MBA. Whatever skill set that you add, also think of 1 or 2 instances where you portrayed that skill as it can help you explain the skill set if it comes up during the interview.
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.
Aiswarya Padma B - I was tense as I waited in the waiting room for the GD-WAT-PI process. But after my GD, I felt that I had done well, so I eased into it. Both my HRM and BM panels consisted of three professors. I felt very scared during my HRM interview as the panel wasn’t very comforting and all my answers didn't seem to satisfy them. I left the room without saying “Thank you” as I felt too tense.
During my BM interview, as it was Holi, and also because I was the first person to be called in, I felt optimistic. I wished the panel good morning and Happy Holi! I was comfortable throughout the whole interview, I caught a smile or two from the panel and that gave me the confidence to go on. I left with the very hearty “Thank you!” to them, hoping that I had shown them that I had what it took to make it to XLRI.
Careers360: Which interview turned out to be the best one? Enlighten us about the finest one according to you.
Aiswarya Padma B - My BM interview was the best one I faced. It was on the day of Holi and I was the first person to be called in. I entered, happy, optimistic and hopeful, wished the panel a very good morning and happy holi! I was able to answer the questions confidently, it was mostly based on the points I had given during my GD, about Mahatma Gandhi. In the end I was asked about a famous personality, with the same name as mine, and I blurted out a wrong answer by mistake, at which point they all started laughing. I corrected myself in the end and was able to end the interview gracefully, with a “Thank you!”.
Careers360: What about the questions which you found difficult to answer? How did you reply to those?
Aiswarya Padma B - I was given a few analytical questions based on my GD topic and I found myself thinking for about 40 seconds about the answer, during which I was silent. The interviewers were patient enough to give me time to structure my thoughts and answer it. But it was unexpected as I was not prepared to answer such questions. But, I never lost my cool, I took my own sweet time to answer it and was able to do it to the best of my efforts. I was also not able to answer 2-3 questions as I didn’t know the answers, but I did not try to improvise or come up with a bad answer, so I honestly told the panel that I didn’t know, after which they moved onto the next question.
Careers360: In those situations, was the panel easy or harsh on you? What should one do when s/he has no answer?
Aiswarya Padma B - The panel was very patient and accommodating. They were not harsh on me, instead gave me a lot of time to give them a good answer. In cases I wasn’t able to answer, I told them I didn’t know, and they moved onto the next question. I think it’s not too bad to say “I don’t know”. But it’s not a strategy I recommend to be followed throughout the interview. As long as you are performing well and face two or three questions you don’t know the answers to, it’s okay to say “I don’t know”.
Careers360: What were the most fascinating questions you were asked? Please share your answers too.
Aiswarya Padma B - I was asked a lot of questions based on my GD topic, Mahatma Gandhi. I was also asked about the native place of Aishwarya Rai, a famous personality I share my name with. I was asked about a person that inspired me a lot to improve and develop myself as a person, and I answered saying it was one of my seniors from school that made me change my way of thinking and substantiated it.
Careers360: How different is an XLRI Jamshedpur interview in comparison to other top B-School interviews? Are there major differences? (If you have appeared for IIMs)
Aiswarya Padma B - I’ve not appeared for other interviews as I only had XLRI BM and HRM calls.
Careers360: How did you go about the preparations for PI? Did you search or look up some questions or practice mock PIs?
Aiswarya Padma B - I had enrolled at T.I.M.E Trivandrum for CAT coaching, and they also helped me with the mock GD-WAT-PI process. I started my preparation in January itself, as soon as the XLRI shortlist was declared for the GD-WAT-PI process. I had also reached out to my seniors from college, who had converted XLRI the previous year, and they helped me a lot with my preparation. I read up a few interview experiences and made a few questions for myself, which I kept on answering and restructuring during my preparation.
XAT 2021 Registration - XLRI has released the XAT 2021 registr...
XAT Exam Pattern 2021 - XLRI Jamshedpur prescribed XAT 2021 ex...
Questions related to XAT
xat andGMAT are different or same
Hope you are doing well.
See xat stands for Xavier Aptitude Test . It is held by XLRI, Jamshedpur for MBA or PGDM programs. To know more about xat you can check this site:
Whereaz GMAT stands for The General Management Admission Test which is held globally across nations for MBA.
To know more about GMAT use this link:
Have a brighter future ahead.
cat or GMAT are same or different
Hope you are doing well.
See CAT stands for common admission test . It is a national exam which is held all over the India. It is the largest exam for MBA.
Whereas GMAT stands for The graduate management admission test. It is a global exam which is held across the nations for MBA.
It is easier to score in GMAT in comparison to CAT. If a person studies with full focus and concentration he can easily achieve 700+ marks.
To know more difference about both the exams and to know about them in detail please use this link:
Hope this will help you. Have a great future ahead.
I want ebooks for XAT preparation. where do I get that?
Please visit the link of our website the ebook available and you can download it Free of cost.
Hope that's helpful
Best of luck
while filling the XAT form for registration do we need to upload the best of 5 marks in 12th or we have to provide with the marks of all the 6 subjects?
While filling the form, I guess there will be a box in that you have to fill out of what score you get this score for example 50 out of 100 so, if you are providing the 6 subject marks so just mention out of 100 you got that if there is no box related to the max. marks (out of ) so you should just provide best 5 marks.
I hope this information will help you
I am class 12 (pcm) student My aim is to get into the top B schools ,And I am from non english(my english is not much good ) background what should I do for exams cat, cmat, xat and more, which branch should I take for backup ?
First of all you have said that your English is not strong enough but let me tell you it's perfectly fine. To get admission in any top B school, you need to qualify the entrance examinations and before that you might opt for BBA degree, you can also pursue any subjects in your bachelor degree.
You can visit this page for detailed information about BBA degree BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration)
I hope this will help you.