7. What is the first thing that you said after entering the interview room?
Doesn’t sound bad, does it? However, it was around 1PM and obviously the salutation didn’t fit. I quickly realized I had erred and corrected myself. The panelists smiled sensing my nervousness and that, I think, was the gesture that made me feel at ease and gave me that much needed boost of confidence.
So yes, a proper salutation should be the first exchange with anyone in either a professional or a personal setting. And remember to have a cheerful disposition. “Smiling is infectious, you catch it like the flu, When someone smiled at me today, I started smiling too.”
8. What was the first question and your response to the same?
Considering that I gave around 8 interviews, I do not remember. Some panels started off with simple, innocuous ice-breakers like “How is your day going?”, “Tell us something about yourself”, or questions about your hobbies. However, some panels preferred to jump straight to the core of the interview, reserving such casual conversations for the latter half of the dialogue.
9. If you could remember a few questions and the corresponding responses please do share the same.
Questions asked during the interviews focus around either of your academics, work experience, application form inputs, general awareness, logical reasoning etc.
- I remember having quite a detailed and intense discussion with one of the panelists on which Sherlock Holmes’ story is the best, on the reasons Sir Doyle killed him off in “The Final Problem”, on who was the smartest among Sherlock, Mycroft, and Moriarty (P.S. It’s Mycroft!)
- There was one interview wherein I fielded over 2 dozen questions spanning across alogrithms, computer networks, database design etc in a span of 20 minutes, all obviously technical.
- Puzzles and logical problems too - I suggest Puzzles to Puzzle You by Shakuntala Devi, and the Aptitude section of Heard on Wall Street by Timothy Crack.
10. Was there any question that made you uncomfortable? How did you tackle the same?
I remember one interview where the interviewer clearly had a preset bias against me (or my profile, to be precise) and he made no effort to conceal the same. 80% of the interview centered around my average engineering GPA. Having resolved to be absolutely honest in all my dealings, I was forthcoming about my laziness and lack of interest in the course (which I only realized after it was too late). The response to my defense was a counter-question asking me to
11. What was the thing that you highlighted in your CV?
There are 2 different CVs one has to prepare during their MBA - one soon after joining (for the summer placements), and one during the first half of the 2nd year (for the final placements).
For the first, you can’t really have a lot of CV points from your MBA time except for if you manage to win the first year student body elections, or are selected into multiple clubs. In the same line, my CV for summers consisted mostly of my previous achievements - in CAT, BAT (Bloomberg Assessment Test), in various national mathematics and science Olympiads, a few PoRs (Positions of Responsibility) from college and school, summary of my 2 previous internships, and other extra-curricular activities.
For the latter, it is good practice to populate it with the work you have done during your first year of the program. I included my involvement with a few clubs that I was part of, a start-up fest that I had organized with 30+ participation, details of my summer internship and the work done there, and a couple of other academic and industry projects I had undertaken as part of a few courses.
(Still 3 more Parts to go...watch this space at 6 PM, Monday)