Personal interview at IIMs: Suggested approach


The general perception associated with the most of the IIM aspirants is that
securing a seat at IIMs is far more unpredictable than registering appreciable score
in CAT exam and personal interview is considered the biggest hurdle. There can
hardly be any methodology which predicts the precise list of probable questions
however, our application, approach and most importantly persistence can certainly
be tuned. It is worth saying that not even those whose ranks are among couple of
thousands but also those with perfect 100 percentile are insecure of their places
primarily due to unpredictability of interview and intensive area of interest it
encircles. Followings are the areas of improvement.
o Avoid hiding facts, data and tangible failures
It’s well known fact that while hiding facts, data or tangible past failure; one has to
fabric many stories and virtually enters in the zone of trust deficit with the panel,
there is apparent increased pressure also, not to forget the embarrassment and
consequences which follows after it gets revealed. Hence , it is far more advisable
and secure to put straight and look composed and trustworthy.
o Don’t keep contradicting
Remember they tend to carry a complete track record of not only of your academic,
professional and personal details through various means but also of your
preferences, quotations you have made either during prior interaction such as
group interview or any other public forum. Contradicting what you have stated
during the same interview is a big no as it generates a chain reaction of trust
deficit, however, some phrases will help you avoiding the embarrassment of
contradicting such as, though, I strongly favor eradication of death penalty, I
won’t mind if it is carried out for the sack of national integration and religious
o Don’t boast of your achievements or exaggerate it !
Intimating or educating them regarding your achievement politely is different from
your boasting of it. You must take pride in your hard won credentials as well as it
is the requirement of hour to highlight these , yet utmost care should be taken in
not to present it arrogantly or look egoistic . Remember, one common quality
among most of the incredible achievers was benevolence.
o Be diplomatic while referring other institutions or employers
There is a tendency of talking ill about other institutions or employers intentionally
or erroneously to please them or to fulfill other agendas, sadly most of the time it is

bound to backfire, as they consider it a breach of ethics and high morals. It seems
they firmly believe in this quote “ When someone backbites or talks ill of someone
else, he will definitely talk ill of you as well.”
o Don’t look self obsessed
We have to make sure that we don’t look self obsessed. Most of the time
interviewers give you a free hand and avoid interrupting while we make a point just
to give you enough space to be at home, it’s not any indication of their assent on
you views. Many time they seem very encouraging and supportive, don’t get
trapped and carry false believe of making huge impression on them.
o Avoid first person or second person reference
As far as first person is concerned it’s always safer and more logical to refer third
party as source rather than you being the one. For example, it is far better to
convey that an editorial report published in a leading daily says “Demonetization
had adversely affected the Indian economy” than “ I am damn sure demonetization
had badly hampered Indian economy.” on the other hand referring them on the
receiving end won’t be good manner. Rather than saying “ If you visit any govt.
office, you must have to pay bribe, if you fail to pay what is demanded , they will
severely punish you.” It is consider better to put it as “ If someone visits any govt.
office, one has to pay bribe”
o A polite “NO” is more impressive than beating around the bush
Finally, there is no sin or harm in politely showing inability in answering the
questions once or twice than giving lame-duck excuses or fabricating bullshit
stories. Stating “ I regret that I don’t remember the answer or I can’t recall the
exact data or number “ presents you as an honest and reliable candidate.

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