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Interview Experience IIM Calcutta 1 year MBA (PGPEX)

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Joined: 02 Jan 2018
Posts: 1
GMAT 1: 690 Q49 V34
Interview Experience IIM Calcutta 1 year MBA (PGPEX)  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jan 2018, 07:56
Hi all,

Here is my Interview experience for IIM Calcutta PGPEX (1yr MBA). The biggest take away for future applicants-just believe in yourself and this elite institution will open its doors for you.


My interview location was the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta campus at Joka. I had the morning slot on Day-1 of interviews and was the second person to be interviewed.

I reached the venue quite early on the D-day and was welcomed with a cheerful Hello! by the security guards at the gates. They showed me the direction of the venue and I moved into the beautiful campus. The first thing that anybody notices is the lush green environment and the sudden drop in temperature.

I moved on and reached the place where the interviews were to be held. I was shown directions and comfortably seated myself in the waiting room with the other candidates. Here I met such illustrious candidates, I wondered if IIM C had had a software glitch in me receiving an invite for the interview!! I met people with tremendous work experience and accolades; I met a person with an offer from CEIBS, a top ranked international university, but nonetheless present there to get admitted into what is known as the ‘Mecca of Finance’.


Work Experience: 5.5 Years (by March 2018 when I join the program)
Function: Assistant Manager-Credit in NPA management division of a top PSU Bank
Education: B.Tech, Mechanical Engineering
GMAT: 690, (Verbal: 34, Quants: 49)

Interview Experience:

Duration: 40 minutes

P 1: Professor-male

P2: Alumnus-male

I was asked to go into the room by a co-ordinator. I entered a long room and noticed a chair and walked towards it. On one side the panellists were sitting and I greeted ‘Good Morning Sir’ to each of them. None responded, and the butterflies in my stomach started leaping like anything. They asked me to sit and as soon as I sat the panellists started discussing among themselves that who will have the first go at me. They decided something mutually and it was the alum who began with the first question.

P2: Ok, Arjun so why don’t you tell us something about yourself?

Me: Started with a well rehearsed answer, forgot what I had prepared in between and came out with a mixture of some sorts. The alum kept nodding throughout and P1 was just reading my application and smiling as if looking at something extremely funny!!

P2: So I will come to the most obvious question, why XYZ company after ABC Company, since you are an engineer.

Me: I was prepared for this and answered how I wanted a more result oriented job, and wanted to make decisions on my own and not just be an executor of pre-defined jobs.

P2: argued that isn’t it with any role where people are unhappy with their duties and want to shift somewhere else.

Me: I was like yeah job satisfaction is a big concern here, but with me it is not like that. I currently love my job and enjoy doing what I do, but previously that wasn’t the case.

P1: Suddenly, what is your current CTC?

Me: Sir, it is INR xxx.

P1: Ok. Again went back to reading the application.

P2: So Arjun, do you like data? (Out of the blue, I don’t know why!)

Me: Yeah, I do, it helps us make more informed decisions.

P2: So you believe all the data that is published is genuine?

Me: No, I believe some data is sometimes fabricated to suit the concerned group or target audience. I gave an example of the population of India and Aadhaar and Bank accounts.

P2: So you mean that our government is lying to us?

Me: No Sir I will not call that lying but it is just political propaganda. Slight tweaks are there to suit the parties target audience.

P1: Suddenly, do you remember the 2G scam that happened in India.

Me: Yes Sir, somewhat I remember.

P1: So what was the amount in rupees-the total scam amount?

Me: Muttered some figure.

P2: So you don’t believe in published data, what in your opinion is the actual worth of scam!!

Me: In my mind, OUCH!! I again started defending my original statement about fabricated data.

P1: Interrupted me and asked who were the Finance Minister and Telecom Minister at that time?

Me: Remembered the Finance Minister correctly, and said cannot recall the name of the telecom minister (punching myself internally)

P2: Surprisingly says it is good that you admitted that and didn’t take us around in circles again!!

P1: Laughs out loud and keeps on pointing at something at my application.

P1: Why do you want to pursue consulting as a career?

Me: By this time all my prepared answers had gone out through the roof! I started saying something that came to my mind.

P1: Interrupting, so which consulting firms are you targeting?

Me: MBB and some other accounting firms:

P1: You will need to be top of the class; I don’t think you will be able to do that.

Me: OUCH!! OUCH!! I said I will do whatever is needed to be top of the class!

P1: Gives me a question on probability: something based on cubes.

Me: I try to go about the problem and was fumbling.

P1: Offers me some almonds and says maybe they will help you think!!

Me: I put an almond and start chewing and ask if they have something which will help me get rid of the interview blues!!


P1 & P2 start laughing and I continue with the problem. In comes a person with Samosas and Bread Pakodas or something like that. The aroma was very good and both P1 & P2 turn towards him. I in the meanwhile proceed with the problem and when they turn towards me and look at the paper in front of me they seem somewhat convinced.

P2: Picks up my application form and asks that you seem to have very good marks in Mathematics all throughout, was it by fluke?

Me: No Sir, I love maths. I was always good at it and you cannot be consistent by fluke throughout.

P1: Asks me to find the average number of branches of my Bank in the country and explain my reasoning.

Me: I answer this quite comfortably.

P1: How many countries are there in the world?

Me: I answer xxx

P1: How do you base your answer? Or was it random guessing?

Me: Explained my logic, brought in members of UN as criteria for counting and somehow they seemed convinced.

P1: How many States in India? How many Rivers in India?

Me: I gave some approximate answers.

P1: So what salary are you expecting after PGPEX?

Me: Mentioned a range.

P1: You won’t get that much jump, be realistic.

Me: I said dreams are always made up of unreal things.

P2: So Arjun, tell me how you will contribute to the class?

Me: Start with a well prepared answer on diversity and public experience.

P2: Stops me and asks no tell me really how will you contribute to the class?

Me: Again start saying something and they let me go on for a minute.

P1: Gives me an integration problem and says can you solve it?

Me: I said it has been a long time since I did this but nonetheless tried and came up with an answer.

P2: So what other schools do you have an admit from?

Me: None have applied to IIM A and ISB.

P2: So which school will you join if you get admits from all three.

Me: 100% IIMC

P2: 100%?

Me: Yes Sir surely.

P2: But why IIM C so surely?

Me: An institute with the best faculty in the industry, where the faculty have actual experience of working in the field ranging from the IMF to top MNCs. Small batch strength shows that the institute is not interested in Business but imparting quality education and create actual industry leaders.

P2: We have ways to find out if you join some other school, remember that!

Me: You would not need that effort Sir, as I will surely be here!!

P1: How do you deal with criticism?

Me: I take nothing personally, a mantra my manager has taught me. Also I smile at the person criticizing me and try to confuse him!!

P1 & P2 together: So that is why you were smiling since the beginning.

Me: Smiled with a wider mouth!!

P2: Any questions for us?

Me: As ked about electives and also what do they look for in candidates.

P1: Answered that it depends on person to person, that what they are looking for.

P2: Ok, Arjun, It was nice meeting you, Bye!

Me: Thank you Sirs! Bye!

Result: Converted!! :cool: :cool:
Joined: 07 Feb 2017
Posts: 16
Location: India
Concentration: Operations, Operations
GMAT 1: 610 Q48 V26
GMAT 2: 640 Q47 V30
GPA: 3.7
WE: Engineering (Manufacturing)
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Re: Interview Experience IIM Calcutta 1 year MBA (PGPEX)  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Feb 2018, 12:05
Congratulations :)

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Joined: 10 Feb 2018
Posts: 9
Re: Interview Experience IIM Calcutta 1 year MBA (PGPEX)  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Feb 2018, 04:27
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Re: Interview Experience IIM Calcutta 1 year MBA (PGPEX)   [#permalink] 13 Feb 2018, 04:27
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