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Okay, so the long-awaited D-Day has come and gone. Many of you have performed as per expectations, while some may have a tinge of disappointment, thinking you could have fared a wee bit better. Regardless, no one knows which calls you might actually end up getting, and which ones you won’t. Hence, rather than biting your nails in anxiety and anticipation, how about doing the more sensible thing – Prepare for the next round -- the final hurdle – GD/WAT & PI. There is a good deal of time between now and your interview days, and try to make the most of it. So, I am listing some things, which I believe should come in handy for the next round.

If you think your battle with tricky math questions is over once you ace CAT, it’s not. Many a times, IIM interview panel will ask you questions from math areas like Calculus, probability etc. This is especially true for candidates with engineering/math background and also for those who aspire for a career in finance. In this article we have collated some math questions which are asked in IIM interviews. Please go through them and also share your answers in the comments section to support collaborative learning. All the best, Happy learning!

My first real failure was in my first semester. But I never allowed that to affect me. My friends knew just as well as I did that my potential was much more than could be revealed by stupid exams. By my final semester I had a backlog from every semester. My reputation as a chronic backlog boy is still strong at the college. But I had one advantage that almost everyone in my class lacked, and that was my self esteem. I admit, I cried when I failed. But that was the first time. The final backlog I cleared only through revaluation. And yes, when I had learned about the pre-reval score, I had a terrible breakdown. But no matter what, I always walled about with my head held high. Mockery that actually came to my face, I took with a pinch of salt.

In the admission process, once CAT is cleared, the unpredictability is over and I feel the GD/PI/WAT process is something you can control well with good preparation. Cracking interviews is a strategic discipline which involves a lot of planning and execution. Keep yourself updated about the current affairs, and that requires you to follow the news regularly. So dedicate at least 1-2 hrs daily for following the news. This will definitely help in you Written Ability Test. You need a deep understanding and opinion about any topic to produce a decent Essay in the stipulated time. Questions are often asked in the interview about the content of your essay and so last minute fact crunching will not help.

Most MBA aspirants are in the first few years of their working careers so very few might have had the opportunity of formally leading their teams. Some others might have been Captains of their college football or some other teams. But the large majority would be neither team leaders at work or past captains of sports teams. So where does that leave us? Are all Business Schools filled only with those who were team leaders at work or past sports captains? NO? Then, if it is true that all Business Schools want students with leadership qualities, where do all these leaders who fill their classrooms each year, come from?

The thing to understand is that IIM students do not come off an assembly line. They do not conform to any one or more stereotypes. They are all different from each other. At any great learning institution, particularly at IIM’s and other Business Schools, a student learns as much from the lectures and such, as from his batch mates. And this is made possible because each student brings their own unique perspective, based on their individual backgrounds, their knowledge and ideas, their various skills etc., to the discussions in and outside the class, so each one gets the benefit of everyone’s experiences.

We all know that! But have we wondered why Group Discussions are actually in place as a test before finally selecting us for MBA/PGDM? What do they want to test in a GD which cannot be checked in a Personal Interview? Let’s think from their point of view. Professors look for a certain amount of maturity, knowledge, and most importantly, inter-personal skills. How do we talk to other people in a formal setting! Do we respect others’ opinion or not! A Group Discussion is more or less a round where you just need to avoid a few mistakes and present yourself as a matured individual, who talks to others professionally and respects others’ opinion. I won’t bore you with actual dos and don’ts, you already know them.

You are all prepared with the list of could-be-asked-probable-questions and have rehearsed your answers. You have gone through them over and over. You have even had a full dress rehearsal. But what will you ask? Asking sensible impressive question to the interview panel can set you apart from others and have you earn brownie points. This juncture of interview is a great opportunity to make the interview panel think you are a good fit for the seat.

This is an extension to the written examination. You certainly wouldn't be asked questions pertaining to Stochastic Calculus or higher order differential equations. But the interviewers certainly expect you to have a basic logical inclination towards problem understanding and solving. Most of the time, they will not be interested in you giving them the final answer; rather they would expect and appreciate a systematic answer detailing your approach and methodology.

Plan ahead and think through all possible scenarios. This includes formulating answers to common interview questions and also jotting down answers. Prepare every question that could be popped up from your CV. You should go through interview scripts of people who had similar profile. Also, you should know enough about the company/ institute for whose interview you are appearing.