Thursday, March 20, 2008

IIM interviews help

Hi there,
Though these days I'm not having time to pen down content to post on blog, what I thought I could do is scout for useful content existing on my hard-drive already and post it verbatim (no time to do the editing job either. sounds like a bit too much, but that's the fact). In the process I found a recent chat that involved advice on IIM interview preparation. Given the time of the year when many interviews are happening, I thought I should host the same here as it might someone out there seeking advice. So here you go... [standard disclaimers on typos, grammar etc. hold :)]
**** Begin of chat ****
11:20 AM Amar: hi..
me: hello
Amar: do uremeber me .. i was a st yr when u graduated in IIIT just had a small clarification
1st r u busy ?
11:21 AM me: go ahead, if u think it doesn't take much time
Amar: i got shortlisted for this yr for iim b could tell me about ur interview
me: ok... congratulations, that's a great news
11:22 AM Amar: thanks.. but gp p iis still htere there
me: gimme 1min
Amar: no prob.. i could ping later.. if u want
me: I'd sure respond
11:23 AM hi amar, I had B, I and L shortlists
11:24 AM I and L intvs preceeded B
Amar: oh same for me..
me: so in once sense i got some warm up how has the prep for GD and PI been for you so far. Did you take help of any coaching insti in this regard. It does help
11:25 AM at least for me it did
Amar: yea.. i took time classes
me: good GD and PI
Amar: all my interviews have been very short.. infact k lasted for less than 10 mins
11:26 AM me: are you a fresher? don't worry about the timing
Amar: no 2007 passout
me: ok
11:27 AM i feel the appropriate advice for you would be... list down 3 significant learnings at your work place, that you'd have in your kitty to talk confidently about
11:28 AM Amar: k..
me: if you managed any crisis, accomplished significant success against odds etc. for a 1yr or less person technical details will be thorough quizzed also
11:29 AM Amar: oh..
me: choose some 3 topics/subjects of your graduation are you the ECE grad or CSE grad from IIITH?
Amar: ce ece
11:30 AM me: in which case, I feel in the light of ongoing telecom players spectrum allocation row, u might be quizzed on fundamentals of what spectrum means what CDMA is , what GSM is
Amar: oh..
me: the person who asks you this question, mind you, need not be a guy with any technical knowledge on it in depth.
11:31 AM but take it for granted he has loooooooot of behavioral knowledge on the same
11:32 AM Amar: wow.. the interviews are really that thorough ?>
me: He might not know what CDMA full form is and what GSM full form is, but would know that CDMA is the best technology to use in a region thta has lot of particular disturbances like dust, pollution etc.
11:33 AM but don't panic
what you can cleverly do is
Amar: my fyp was on cdma :(
me: I did this. It helped me. Take each topic area and be the interviewer for yourself
11:34 AM start darting questions one after the other one question based on the previous answer. make a list of 30-40 questions with google at handsreach, finding answers is not at all tough
11:35 AM Amar: yea..
me: when you are finding out an answer mind you, you shouldn't spend hours on one question. Enough content that makes you appear knowledgeable, typically 3-5 sentences is all that you need
11:36 AM Amar: i had the list of questions too.. for ece k
me: within these 3-5 sentences summary answer see if a leading question can be asked
11:37 AM List of standard questions that people compile based on some test-papers and guides frequently asked questions section. That is a good read, but the approach I'm suggesting is that of making you appeal to the interviewer
Amar: yes i got that part
me: having analyzed few topics from those many angles, you'd invariably begin to feel confident on the topic
11:39 AM Proving theorems level kind of quizzing, you know would not be there, all you need to come out is having general grasp till atleast two levels deep on topics
Amar: so concepts first and details later ?
me: it is very unlikely that you run into the hands of a electrical engineer who comes to quiz you on finer details of complex theorems
Exactly you hit the nail right on the head
11:40 AM concepts general grasp (not too shallow either, at least two questions deep) you should have
11:41 AM now in the interview room what you do is the earliest you can, try to drag the interview towards these concepts that you have famialarized yourself with
11:42 AM Veer the discussion to your comfortable areas by annexing phrases or highlighting technical words that pique the interviewer interest to ask you a related question
Amar: they will see through that right..
11:43 AM me: if you bring in extraneous phrases quite not gelling then they might see through it
11:44 AM but in the very intro about yourself you highlight that while doing your FYP you had the best exposure of all the four years of graduation that might with great chance pique the interest of interviwer to ask sth about your fyp
Amar: hmm were u asked on al lthis in urs ?
11:45 AM me: i was asked about cdma and gsm some examples for countries using the both technologies that time hutch was being acquired by vodafone
Amar: oh..
11:46 AM me: try to show you have an opinion of yours on the contemporary issues that are happenign in the newspapers thta days newspaper is a must read, to be on safer side. if not at least the previous day's
Amar: doing that ..
me: in TIME you might have already been told about how important it is to have an opinion of your own, than merely stating facts
Amar: i mean not deep and all but..
11:47 AM yes...
me: i was asked do you think it's wise for vodafone to buy hutch
11:48 AM Amar: wooa
me: i didn't have that great an insight about the benefits entitled for vodafone in the deal, but in general i told given the growth story of indian telecom sector it makes sense to enter india
Amar: yea.. its biggest market the11:49 AM
me: and hutch is a sizeable player to make a headway in, rather than trying the route of acquiring stake in Airtel in bits and pieces
11:52 AM I think for answers like these which you get to improvise then and there, as in they are not what you planned and prepared for before hand, you can add in a humbleness element like "... while actual extent of the synergies is not fully known to me, but I think from a very aggregate view it makes sense to acquire hutch because...blah blah blah" they appreciate that you can admit that you have to learn more on things
11:53 AM Amar: oh..
me: but avoid obsequious phrases like "I don't know, but if you say it could be true, I'm willing to accept it"
11:54 AM Amar: agreable?
me: they want you to base your decisions on the reasoning YOU make for yourself good or bad try to come out as a person who has sufficient individuality
11:55 AM that's all the general fundae I can talk of
To summarize, the key points
Develop concepts at at least 2-3 levels deep
11:56 AM too much details is secondary
Phrase your answers so that whenever you see a chance to veer the discussion to your comfort zone, you would do that
11:57 AM Amar: k..
me: prepare template answers about your work and extracurricular and cocurricular achievements you did in college, that you can on the cassette and keep the flow for minutes at stretch
11:58 AM Amar: extra-currics are also asked uon i guess ?
me: If you got a question in the prepared domain, nothing like that. but even for improvizing sort questions, take time out to include some sort of logic of YOUR own before uttering the answer
11:59 AM yeah, extra currics was one of my strength point and part of my strategy was to veer them towards that area
Amar: k.. i have trekking as a hobby too..
me: excellent
12:00 PM Amar: i was on two of tem during college
me: these kind of things matter a loooot they'd love to pick people who have done something different in life than routine 'mugging'
all the best for your interviews
12:01 PM how many over, how many more?
ok, u seem to busy.
I gotta go too. bye
***** End of chat*****

All the best to all aspirants!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Who won finally is Arjuna!

At a place where it all appears as rat race... equations all seem to be framed faultily... a non-rewarding-yet-highly-taxing place... 'fairness' logic is propogated to be working but you just are not able to see it in action and especially in your case all appears unfair. What do you do, when winning is all that matters? You win and you can only win by being Arjuna and not Karna. Deep subtle logic holds all the above sentences together. I don't care if a passer-by fails to understand this. I'm writing this for one specific person who is desperately seeking a solution. Good luck dude!