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My Interview Experience - IIM Calcutta PGPEX (1yr MBA)

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Joined: 18 Jun 2016
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Location: India
GMAT 1: 720 Q50 V37
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My Interview Experience - IIM Calcutta PGPEX (1yr MBA)  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jan 2018, 11:35
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Hi all,

Here is my Interview experience for IIM Calcutta PGPEX (1yr MBA). Hoping this experience helps future applicants.

The interview was at Hotel Monarch Luxur, Bangalore on 12th Nov and it culminated in an admit, fulfilling my 13 year dream of joining in one of the IIMs.

My Profile:
Work Experience: 12 Years.
Function: IT Project management in a Engineering based company, leading a project management office team and testing team.
Education: B.E., Production Engineering
GMAT: 720. Verbal: 37, Quants: 50
International Experience: About 3 Years, mainly US and short visits to multiple countries.

Interview Experience:
My interview had 2 male professors (P1 & P2) and 1 alumnus who joined halfway through the interview.

P1 came out to call me into the interview room. Went in and took a seat after wishing both good morning. The interview started casually with one of them asking me how I was and when I arrived in Bangalore. I told them I arrived yesterday morning. Surprised they asked me why so early. I told them that my in laws are in Bangalore and I wanted to make my wife happy. P1 jokingly asked if i had been pampered at my in laws place. I smiled and said yes.

P2: You have been with your company for a long time (12 Years, same company). What do you do there?
Me: Told them what I did, but P2 was not listening enough. He probably had gone through the application and knows what I do. P1 was listening, so I telling him the story.

P2: You seem to have seen and done it all. why do you need an MBA now?
Me: Told that I would like to move from Project Management toGeneral Management and for that a comprehensive knowledge on all subjects are necessary.

P2: Told me that I don't need an MBA to grow in a technology organisation and asked me why I think i needed it.
Me: I dont remember what i told exactly but it was on the lines of thinking perspective, strategic decisions etc.

P2: asked me if I know that Technology companies like GE are not led by MBAs.
Me: Not sure about that sir, but in my company everyone in general management or in the path to general management are MBAs

P2: Asked me if i have done budgeting, resource management as part of my job.
Me: Yes.

P2: So you are already have some experience and with more experience you will get into GM.
Me: I explained that my budgeting decisions are more like finishing the project within the budget but i don't get to decide on fixing budgets to projects. On resources I explained that my experience is limited to choosing the best resources among existing ones for projects. I would like to make bigger decisions that would benefit the organization as whole.

I was then asked to explain what kind of decisions I would like to make. I explained one example of why our company recently acquired another company recently though the business was not going very good. I told them how I hadn't guessed that coming and once done why it made a lot of sense. I told them how that acquisition added value and improves revenue.

P2 was still holding to the ground telling me that I was able to understand the logic and still don't need an MBA.
I told him that I was able to understand after the decision, but I would like to make such decisions on my own in the future, I know I have the potential to make such decisions and all i have to do now is learn.

P1 asked me why I think i have the potential and I explained my strengths.

Then there were questions on Tamil Nadu Politics (I'm from Tamil Nadu)
Was asked about Kamal Haasan and Rajini in politics and what kind of impact they would make.
I explained that once people were differentiating screen life of an actor and real life of them, but things have changed. Bad choice of words while explaining didn't go unnoticed. P2 jumped at me and I apologized and corrected myself. Concluded by saying Rajini will not make a big impact but Kamal might because of him holding to his principles even when objected by majority. But neither will succeed in the near term. (immediately after coming out of the interview realized that i could have made this conversation a lot better)

Then was asked about Modiji visiting Ex CM Karunanithi.
Told that it was a good gesture by the PM but that wouldn't necessarily change the political situation as DMK is banking on anti BJP sentiment to win elections and will not form an alliance.

P2: But anything can happen in politics right? BJP has formed alliance with a lot of parties that are against its principles right?
MeL Yes Sir. anything can happen.

P2: What is the one party that BJP has not joined hands with.
Me: Was thinking about TMC but given the tension Tirnamool wasnt coming into my mind (dumb considering the interview is for Calcutta). Gave up after a couple of seconds and said I dont know.

P2: Congress.
Me: Ofcourse sir. Yes. (I'm not going to forgive me for this blunder. But it all comes down to presence of mind)

P2: BJP has joined even Communist parties, you know
Me: Yes Sir
P2: When?
Me: Don't know sir (Another dumb moment)
P2: Moraji Desai Period (Was laughing at me as if i was the dumbest person he has ever met)
Me: Yes Sir. when a grand alliance was formed against Indra Gandhi.

P2: Ok tell me your other interests. what is your hobby
Me: Plinking and Target shooting.

Started asking what it is, can you shoot an apple of one's head. Commenting I was a dangerous guy.
I told that I use only airguns which are not powerful enough and I have never pointed my gun on a living thing. (again, bad choice of word. They could have asked me if I had ever shot at a tree)

I should have told Quants as an interest and could have answered some questions to make a good impression. realized only after getting out of the room. This would haunt me till the day results were out.

Was asked if I had applied to any other colleges. Told IIMA, IIML and ISB. Was asked if i had any questions. Asked a question about electives. Was answered.
Was asked to take a candy and leave. Thanked everyone and left.

Immediately after getting out of the room thought I did good and then started realizing places where i could have done better. All in all was a good experience.

Result: Converted. :)
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My Interview Experience - IIM Calcutta PGPEX (1yr MBA)   [#permalink] 01 Jan 2018, 11:35
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