Wednesday, 3 April 2019

  • I never really liked being in a stress interview

     03 April 2019 - Raviteja Gullapalli

    Well, if you read the previous post that I've written, the dream to get into IIMs started and ended in 50 days. Well that's what I thought as well, until I came across a special course by IIM Calcutta called PGDBA. More details here.

    About the course, it's mostly related to statistics and it's business applications. It has been designed to give a holistic idea of the field of business analytics and data science in lieu of traditional MBAs. The course design is one of the reasons that the program has grown to the extent that it has, and it will in the future.

    I've applied for the entrance exam around Jan this year and got shortlisted for the interview in March 2019. It was mostly effortless until I sat for the interview few days ago.

    This is not just a blog post, this can be helpful to many aspirants just like me. So read on.

    Location: Bangalore

    My preparation was mostly algebra, statistics and high school mathematics. I did brush up a little about automotive stuff.
    I was technically the last one to be interviewed by the panel. The very first impression i had after seeing their faces was that 'I'm screwed'.

    Faculty 1 (IIT KGP): Asked me to tell them about myself.
    Answer: Basic question, I started with my passion towards automobiles while I was interrupted by Faculty 2 within the first few seconds.

    Faculty 2 (IIM): Drew a simply supported beam and asked me to derive the deflection equation with X upon unit load.
    Answer: Told them the equilibrium boundary conditions using BMD but I forgot the moment equation. So, I told them the same.

    Faculty 3 (ISI): Asked me if I had even prepared for the interview, and walks out of the room. I got shit scared and numb at this point.
    Faculty 2 (Trying to calm me down): He asked a question on number of relations possible between two sets, that I could answer. Still my mind was not over the first question that I couldn't answer properly.
    Faculty 3: Comes back into the room and starts lecturing me about how my roots as a mechanical engineer should be strong. As a CAE Analyst working in core for the past few years my confidence levels drained completely at this point.

    Faculty 3: Started a rapid fire round on questions related to thermodynamics, aerodynamics etc...
    Answer: I could not answer all the questions. Those I didn't know, I said I don't know. I forgot most of fluid mechanics as it was never my area of interest. I tried getting back at them with my knowledge in strength of materials,  statistics and machine learning which were relevant to the course I'm applying to and in line with my stream of work, but they kept digging into the 'i don't know' questions.

    Faculty 3: He said, how much ever successful I am in my current role, I should never forget my roots. As a bachelor's from mechanical he said that I should be familiar with atleast the basic concepts.
    Answer: Yes. I listened to their lecture for another two minutes. It was a good lesson learnt. But they were just playing around my low confidence levels after a point.

    Faculty 1: Please prepare well for the next year's batch atleast.
    Answer: I said, sure. And thanked them for everything. It was an utter disappointment.

    Obviously despite a good score, I couldn't convert. This was my first ever stress interview and I hated it.

    And for all those who read all the way till here, no, i did not go back and refresh my knowledge in all the core topics. I'm sure and confident that those were not my area of interest. I think they just were asking tough questions to get done with the interview sooner.

    Suggestions for aspirants regarding preparation for the interview.
    It does not matter whether you know analytics or coding, focus on math topics and your core background. It's based on luck that you get to crack stress Interviews of this kind.

    Not blaming entirely on them. I've taken back home some good learning.

    Peace. RT.


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