IIM-A PI experience-1

Here’s the PI experience of one of our Bangalore students:

(Prof Sanjay Sinha – P1)(P2-no idea about the name)
The guy before me had a long interview (close to 30 minutes). I was the second to go in for the PI. Both the professors were chilled out. Absolutely no stress.
P2 got my folder from me but did not open it.

P1 : So you work.
Me: Yes sir. I have working with ……..for 18 months as an Associate DBA and and my daily responsibilities include Space Monitoring, Object Creation, Object Migration, Schema refreshes and Troubleshooting Generic issues.
P1: Can you draw a chart of what you do at work
Me: I dint know what exactly he was looking for. So explained about my work.
P1: You work for an internal customer. Is it USA based ? What is the structure.
Me: I said Fidelity is split into 2 parts. FMR for North American Businesses and FIL for serving other parts of the world. As I was speaking P1 was drawing an organisational structure chart.
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IIM-K GD/PI experience 8

 Heres the experience of Shiv@Dadar


IIM-K GD/PI experience-4

Heres the experience of Saluj@Dadar


IIM-K GD/PI experience-3

Here’s the experience of Pushkar@Dadar

Tips for Group Discussions and Personal Interviews

Personality Development Programme (PDP)

Personality Development Programme (PDP)

The first things first — why

B-schools conduct GD/PI when students have already gone through an acid test. Isn’t clearing MBA entrance test enough to show that you are worth it? The simple answer is NO, because B-schools are simply not looking for walking dictionaries or logarithm books. They want candidates who can be trained and polished to be managers. The entrance test is just one stage where they see whether you have basic acumen to understand the course that will be taught during the MBA programme. In that too some parts of personality like ability to take decisions, ability to perform under pressure and analytical and logical thinking are assessed. But in order to get a complete idea of a candidate’s personality, B-schools go through this long process of assessing candidate’s personality.

There can be various ways of assessing an individual’s personality but group discussions and personal interviews are accepted tools to select a student because in a limited time they can give a fair idea to B-schools whether a candidate can become a manager or not. Students may argue that if this is the case, then knowing what B-schools are looking for and presenting yourself accordingly can actually help. Knowing what B-schools are looking for can actually help but not in preparing you for a superficial mask but to help you assess whether you have those traits which B-schools are looking for.

This brings us to other question: are managerial traits natural or can they be acquired? If they are natural, what is the need to do MBA? An MBA course teaches students how to achieve larger goals and it polishes those personality traits. But there are some basic traits that a candidate should have to go through the MBA process and to know that institutes conduct GD/PI.

Group discussion

A group discussion is generally a 20-to-30 minute process whose larger objective is to select those candidates who have the ability to perform in a team. Apart from this, the kind of topic given also helps panelists to know various traits of a candidate’s personality. In most of the GDs you are made to sit in a semi-circle and discuss a given topic. The topic can be as general as ‘Women make better managers’ or as specific as ‘India-US nuclear deal.’ What matters in group discussion is your stand on the topic, your ability to analyse the given topic, your awareness about the topic, and the way you present the topic. One person from the group is asked to introduce the topic, what follows is the discussion and the conclusion. The focus here is more on leadership and decision making, because in a GD you may or may not reach a consensus because the issues given to you are debatable. The end result of GD will not always be to reach a consensus but to assess your people’s skill.

Who wins?

Those who have:

Good listening skills: Listening doesn’t mean hearing. It means listening and understanding what the other person is saying. If you have good listening skills, you will be able to keep a track of where group discussion is moving. You will know different points that have already been raised and you have to bring in some new point.


Knowledge of the topic: Some years back content was the most important aspect of GD. Although content still holds its importance but in addition to that you are also weighed on how analytical and aware are you about your surroundings. Earlier it was just about discussing pros and cons of an issue but now knowledge gathered from various sources, analysed and presented in a structured form holds the key to success in GD. Reading newspapers, magazines, and going through Economic Survey would help in enriching the content of GD.

Confidence: You have all the knowledge and good listening and analytical skills, but you do not have confidence to assert what you are saying is right, may prove a negative point. In GD panelists do not know you personally; they would only be able to judge you from what you speak.

Introduction: Introducing the topic can make or break the situation. May be you do not speak for the next 10 minutes, but if you give a good introduction you are in. When the GD begins, everybody is speaking and you might not even be listened. But when you are asked to introduce the topic, you can take the situation forward. Explain the topic, don’t read what is written. Give brief introduction to the topic and what you think of it. People think that taking a stand in GD might to go against them. But there is difference in being assertive and in being rigid. You are expected to give your point of view.

Who lose?

Those who speak a lot: Of course not speaking in GD will not take you anywhere but speaking too much can also make you lose the GD. You have all the points and you can speak a lot on GD. But it is not a one-man show. It is a group discussion. If you try to grab the attention of the panelists, cut other person short, it shows that you are not a team worker. Also speaking a lot on the topic and just repeating one point will not be appreciated. You do not speak in the entire GD, but give valid points twice that can add value to the discussion, will be appreciated.

Those who become emotional: There are topics that involve some sensitive issues. You have all the valid points to support that women make better managers, but bringing in the element of argument and accusing other persons in the group will only help you in getting rejected.

Those who over-dominate: You are taking and managing the group discussion well, listening to the arguments, giving your point of view and letting everyone speak, everything is in your favour and suddenly you decide to be a godfather of somebody who has not spoken at all and who doesn’t have one single argument to present. Cutting short somebody who is making a valid point and asking the silent one to speak, can actually cut your points.

Personal interview

Your academic skills were checked in the entrance test, your people’s skills were checked in GD, now comes the turn of gauging you on your own standards. The B-schools want to know how much you are aware of yourself and how much you relate your goals to your personal self. Students spend most of the time in going through course books whereas 90 per cent of the interview questions are based on you. What could be better than answering questions on yourself? But answering questions on yourself can catch you in a tight spot. There can be some rules set when it comes to GD because there are certain expected etiquettes, but there can be no rules set for the interview because everyone has sui generis personality. The best way to tackle interview is to sit and know you in and out. Think why you want to pursue MBA. Think and make a list of your strengths and weaknesses. Not only will it help you analyse your personality, will also help you prepare many other questions for the interview. The most commonly asked questions are:

Why do you want to do MBA?

What are your personal goals?

Where do you see yourself 10 years down the line?

What are your hobbies?

What are your strengths and weakness?

Tell us about yourself.

Who win?

Those with:

Self awareness– You should be able to delve on each and every aspect of your personality, family background, the city you come from and the institutes you have studied in. If you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses you will be able to justify them, for example the panelists may ask you about your poor academic record. As long as you know why you under-perform you can prove that.

Goal clarity- You should know where the MBA programme fits in and how it will help you achieve your long-term goals. There might be different reasons for doing MBA for different people and even for one person there can be more than one objective to do MBA, but you should analyse it beforehand rather than doing it in front of the panel.

Ability to maintain calm- The real you comes up when you are under pressure situation. The panelist will try to grill you on your weakness or on the answers you are giving. They want to put you under pressure and see whether you lose your calm once put under pressure. Students at this situation become nervous and it starts showing on their faces.

Who lose?

Those who:

Give tutored answers– You have your own strengths and weaknesses. But while attending the mock interviews you were told how some students gave impressive answers and got selected. If you would try to give the same answers, you might be caught.

Lie to the panelists: They are very experienced people and can catch you if you try to bluff them on your academic record or on a fact-based question or when you try to answer the question even if you don’t know the answer.

Think that battle is over- The interview is not over till the last question is asked. The moment a candidate says, “I am sorry Sir, I don’t know the answer,” he starts coming under the pressure. There is no harm in accepting that you do not know what the population of China is. They might try to put you under pressure by asking you the population of Africa, once again you say sorry and the pressure starts mounting. The next question is of your interest, which book did you read last? You know the answer but since you have already come under pressure you might not be able to answer this question properly because you are nervous. A chain of events that might ultimately lead to getting rejected.

GD/Extempore and PI @ FMS-DELHI

The process consisted of a G.D followed by extempore and P.I. The G.D topic was “Vandalism is the flipside of democracy”. The panel gave us clear instructions about the objectives of the G.D and asked us not to be loud, repetitive and relentless. We were group of 10 people with almost the general mix-a couple of loudspeakers and a couple of dumbers. I interrupted at least 5 times and made some useful contributions- I talked about the political machine using vandalism to gain political mileage. I also talked about the character of democracy w.r.t red -tapism and the procedure oriented ness which lets go off the miscreants easily.

I, being the last man in the group, had to wait for a good 5 hours for my shot at the interview panel after completing my G.D. and quite rightly I was asked to speak on the topic “the pleasure of being the last man in the queue” for my extempore which lasted for almost 3 minutes. I used a little bit of philosophy and stuff like- “No pain no gain” and “Pain leads to pleasure” and also that such pleasure would be very sweet after having endured so much pain…..

Then the interview begins. It was one of the weirdest I have even encountered. In my extempore I said I was a little tensed also while I was waiting for my turn. The panelists asked me the reason for my nervousness.

The interview panel consisted of three people including Dean, FMS. This is how the interview went.

Dean: So, Pavan, you are an engineer with 18 months work ex.

I: exactly sir.

Dean: In your extempore you said you were nervous. What made you feel nervous?

I: Sir, I have a flight to catch in an hour’s time from now. So I was a bit nervous.

Dean: Ohhh. I see. But you should have told the facilitators.

I: Sir, I have requested them to advance my slot, but they insisted that it would be OK for me to wait.

Dean: you are an engineer you said. So you must be able to answer this question. What was the order you followed as you entered the GD room and exited?

I: LIFO-last in first out.

Smiles all around. I too did.

Dean: Okay Pavan, we are going to strike some truce- no point fighting.

He asked me to leave at once and catch the flight.

I: sir, it would be my pleasure to spend some more time with you and I would like to undergo a fair process of selection.

Dean: We have a lot of parameters other than interview. Please don’t bother.

Panelist 3: Pavan what all calls do you have and percentiles?

I: I gave the whole list.

Dean: Thank you for being with us

I said my pleasure and left.

My IIMI GD and Interview

Student Name : Saurabh Bhansali – CL Mumbai – 2007 Interviews.

Date:7th Mar,2007

Venue:Institute of Hotel Management,Dadar

Time: 9:00 a.m.

Purpose: IIMI Selection process-Case Discussion followed by an Interview.

Group Discussion:-

Candidates: It was supposed to be a case discussion involving 8 candidates but only 6 were present.All the 6 candidates were males.The group comprised of a CA & 5 Engineers.2 of us were freshers and the remaining four had work-ex. The work-ex of the candidates with experience was 18 months.We were in the room at 9:05 a.m. There were three panels of two panelists each.The process started at 9:12 a.m.We were taken to a separate room by the Panel 1 where the CD & PI was supposed to take place. Continue reading