Since I have already been selected in IIM Lucknow, I decided to go ahead and make public my interviews at the IIMs. I was withholdong it so far as one of my didis advised me not to make them public then. I have compiled two interviews in full - IIM Bangalore and IIM Lucknow (The one I converted!)
My first GD/PI was that of IIM Bangalore on the 12th of February. Here are the details:
Venue: Business Centre, Shangri-La hotel, Ashoka Road, Connought Place, New Delhi.
Time: 2.30 pm.
We were 16 of us in our group - 11 work-ex fellas and 5 freshers. All the work-ex fellas had an average experience of around 3 years... There were only two girls in our group - One was a M.B.B.S graduate and the other a work-ex girl!
We were divided into two groups of 8 students each... Both the girls were in my group (For me, that was not a lucky sign as girls tend to dominate the discussion easily). The Case Study involved a simple-looking case. We were given 10 minutes to study it and 15 minutes to discuss We came up with a main-plan very quickly and I managed to give 6-7 relevant points... I was happy with my performance...
You may feel that this is absurd, but they were really, really cool... This was even better than the one I went through to get a job in Accenture. There were two people taking the interview - I'll refer to them as Mr. A and Mr. B, both professors at IIMB... Here is the exact detail of the interview that took place. It was around 20-25 minutes long. I was waiting outside for my turn and then:
A (coming out of the room): Varun Reddy, please come in.
Me: (faintly speaking) Thank You Sir.
(I went straight in... I made a mistake by not wishing them inside. I sensed that it was better to be informal as it was a very cool atmosphere, but not that informal!)
A: Please take a seat, Varun.
Me: Sir, in that seat?
A: No, in that one (Points to a seat)
Me: Thank You Sir.
(I sat down, hands on my folder and my folder on my lap... I kinda sensed they wouldn't read my CV anyways, so I did not offer it to them)
A: You mentioned in your SOP that winning "Prodigy" in your college was the high point in your carer so far. What is this Prodigy anyway?
Me: Sir, in many of our college quizzes, we have a team of three students. But Prodigy is a solo quiz. We are on our own and have to fight it out ourselves.
(Just then, the tea-man comes and asks the if they want some. They reply in the positive. Then, they ask me)
B: Would you like to have some tea?
Me: No Sir, Thank you.
(Then I had a minor shock!)
B (Looking down at some pages, probably my recommendations and my transcripts): Tea thisuko ("Have some Tea" in Telugu)
Me (replying in English): No Sir, Thank You.
B (still looking down): Tea thisukovali kada ("You should have tea")
Me: No Sir, I don't drink tea, Thank You.
(Silence for a few moments)
B: Mee Patricks porolu andaru awaragalu... Roadla lo thiruguthuntaru ("You St.Patricks fellas are all loafers, just roaming around in the streets")
Me: Sir, that's the case with only a few students. There were still some of us who were studious in nature. I was also very studious at school sir.
B: You were studious? Joking aa?
Me: No sir, I was very studious and competitive as I did not like anyone to overtake me in terms of marks.
B: But your marks are very poor in 10th? (I had scored only 87.5%)
Me: Thats because my handwriting was very poor, Sir. I did very well in my pre-boards.
B: But still you scored less in the boards?
Me: Yes Sir, but I was one of only two students in my school to have scored 100 in Maths.
Me: Yes sir.
B: Kani nuvvu Patricks kada? Pakkana Anns, Francis loki elli line kottevanivanukunta? (But still, you were in Patricks, surrounded by Anns and Francis - All girls schools. Surely, you must have gone to their schools to flirt?)
(Now this was a bit too much, but I gave them an answer straight in the face)
Me: There was no need to go to their school Sir, we used to do everything from our balconies itself. (I never did that, I swear!)
B: Ha ha ha... (Laughing)
(After a few moments.... )
A: Varun , you said that quizzing is your hobby. What do you quiz on?
Me: Sir, general trivia stuff...
(Suddenly B Starts a Rapd-fire round)
B: Trivia, eh? What is Sehwag's Average?
Me: Sir, 56 - may be.
A: In what?
Me: In Tests...
A: And in ODIs?
Me: I'm not sure Sir, it's around the mid-thirties, i'm not sure of the actual figure.
B:What did Ambani do before Reliance?
Me: He was into coin-melting in the Emirates (Just said something like that... I was not sure if it was correct or not!)
B: When are Abhishek and Aishwarya getting married?
Me: Dunno, may be in a month or two..
B: When is VARUN getting married?
Me (without battling an eyelid): In five years.
B: Ha ha ha... (Laughing profusely... I felt he was a bit impressed!)
Me: That is, if you are referring to Varun Reddy....
Then "A" starts again... (He was a serious looking guy, but was smart!)
A: Varun, make any 3 quiz questions right now...
Me: (I told them that I prepared a quiz for one of my college fests last week and quoted three questions from them, along with the answers.)
A: Tell me any 3 business-related questions.
Me: Sir, I don't actually prefer biz-quizzing, still i'll try (And managed to make just one question there!)
A: What do you think are the qualities a person should possess in order to become a good Quizzer?
Me: Sir, he should be well-aware of what is going on in this world, read the newspaper daily and try to gather good information. He must be in touch with other quizzers to know about the hot topics to search for and also exchange information with them on a regular basis. I keep myself in touch with my juniors on a regular basis and exchange info with them about the latest stuff...
A: So you just read the newspapers and collect stuff, that's just wasting time. How is this useful in Management, this trivia stuff of yours?
Me (getting slightly emotional from inside, but did not show it out): Sir, trivia is not collecting facts and figures from the net like Sehwag's average or gossips about marriage (glanced at B for a second). Trivia means facts which are there in the articles, but people do not care to remember them, even though they are very interesting. And when you quote back such stuff to them the'll realise "Hey, I did not read this! Great stuff! How did I miss that? This fellow must be really good at it!". That's trivia, Sir...
A: Still, tell me the answer to what I asked..
Me: Yes Sir, as i wrote (in my SOP), I look at things from various perspectives and not just from a single angle - I do not specialize in any field, even in Trivia. I feel that whenver anyone is considering the solution to any problem, I can provide many differrent viewpoints to arrive at a logical and complete solution.
(Silence for a few moments...)
A: You watch movies, right? What kind of movies do you prefer?
Me: I mainly prefer watching Sci-fi stuff... the ones that show the future of mankind...
A: You mean like Star-Trek, the kids' stuff??
Me (coolly): Yes Sir, that kind of stuff... (I was cool now. I knew they were trying to make me angry... but I did not show any emotions!)
B: Which movie did you like the most?
Me: Serendipity, the one I saw very recently sir.
A: But that's not a sci-fi movie?
Me: Sir, I said I mainly prefer sci-fi stuff, but I watch movies depending on my mood... It was a nice romantic comedy.
B: So you felt it was a nice comedy.. where was the comedy in the movie anyways?
Me: Sir, if you put yourself in the hero's shoes and imagine the situation, it becomes very funny and entertaining.
B: So what do you feel about the ending of the movie then?
Me: It shows that what is written in your fate will happen to you...
A: So you think it is written that we will take you to IIMB with us?
Me: Possibly, yes!
A (smiling) : So you liked the movie a lot, eh? You must have like the heroine too, right?
Me: Yes Sir, she was very beautiful in the movie.
A: Yes, I know Keira Knightley is very beautiful...
Me: But sir, it was not Keira Knightley, it was Kate Beckinsale....
A: What? Are you joking?
Me: No sir, I am pretty sure it was Kate Beckinsale... (And for a moment, I really felt like meeting Kate Beckinsale face-to-face).
A: Oh... So you liked the hero too?
Me: Yes sir, he acted pretty well too...
A: Yes, Richard Gere, right? (He actually mentioned some other actor - I am not sure, but he mentioned the wrong name for sure!)
Me: No Sir, it was not Richard Gere for sure... I know he is (pausing for a few seconds to recall his name - It's tough for a guy to remember the name of the hero!)... yes sir, it was John Cusack..
A: Are you sure?
Me: Yes Sir, I am pretty much positive about that fact... I've seen few other movies of his...
B: Do you believe in fate?
Me: Partially... (He cut me straight away)
B: No, be sure... In the movie, are you like the hero or the heroine in the belief?
Me: A bit of both....
B: No , take one side....
Me (taking a deep breath inside): Well, I am more like Kate Beckinsale then...
A: So, you believe in fate... What according to you is fate?
Me: Fate is something that has been written for us, something that will happen to us...
A: Who writes it then? God? Or someone else?
Me: Well, I am a religious person in some sort of way sir. I am a Christian and am still coming to terms with the truth... I am not much sure sir, but I believe that there is someone, our creator, who has written our fate...
A: Are you aware of a theory called the theory of Intelligent Design?
Me: No sir...
A: Well, it says that everything was made as it is, as we see it today... the entire universe... And you must be aware of the theory of evolution?
Me: Yes Sir, I am...
A: So, which one would you prefer?
Me: Well Sir, I would prefer the first one... Beacuse, as I said before, someone has created all of us... The guys who support the theory of Evolution, well, they also talk about the big-bang that started it all... but then, they can never expalin what was the starting stuff - the stuff that exploded to form the universe as we see it today. There must have been someone who created that stuff...
A: But it was just there...
Me: No Sir, me as a human being cannot comprehend something like that - like this glass on the table, this chair - (I was pointing to those stuff!) - All these were made by someone, they did not come out of thin air like that - Puff - by magic. In my limited capacity as a human being I feel that someone has created this universe...
(Now, I was getting a bit tired of all this, still I managed to maintain my composure!)
B: So how are you feeling now?
Me (smiling): A bit relaxed...
B: How were the others feeling? Did you ask them?
Me: Not much sir, they came out of the room just as they went in....
B (smiling): So, how did you come to the room? Smiling?
Me: I was a bit nervous then, but now I am feeling nice....
A: So, what do your parents do?
ME: My dad works in BSNL - he is an SDE. My mom used to work for a bank a while ago, but she took VRS and now she is at home.
A: Your brothers and sisters?
Me: None sir, I am the only child of my parents...
A: That's why you are such a rowdy...
Me: I beg to differ Sir, I am not a rowdy... I admit I am a bit rebellious by nature, but not a rowdy.. I may look a bit stout, but I am relatively weak, physically...
A and B (Laughing).... then:
B: Well, you should do something about that young man...
Me: I am trying sir, still I manage to use my mental and verbal abilities to make someone shut up when necessary.
A: So what would you say about us when you leave this room...
Me (laughing): How can I say anything against you sirs? You are on the other side of the table...
A and B (Still laughing): No, still what will you about us when you go out?
Me: Once I go out, I'll forget about this and start concentrating on my next interview.
B: Well, do you have any questions for us?
Me (only a big idiot like me would have asked such a question): Sir, when can I expect the results to come out?
A: Well, we also don't have any idea... Keep checking the website from the middle of next month...
B: Well, thank you young man... Hope for the best in your future...
Me: Thank You Sir...
(And so, I left the room!)
The interview was good and so was the GD. But I was having an eiree feeling about all this... I don't know why, but after coming out, I felt I would not be selected. By the way, one of the girls in that group managed to get all 6 IIM calls...