XLRI Interview Experience

Date: 17th Feb 2014

Venue: Hotel Aashraya, Bangalore

Time: 2pm

The process consisted of 2 rounds: a group discussion followed by a personal interview.

Group Discussion Topic: Is IPL a Tamasha Cricket? 

The time allotted was 20 mins. I did not speak at all in the first few minutes but I managed to interject with some decent points in the middle. I tried to steer the conversation instead of explicitly taking a stand initially. A brief summary of my points made are as follows: 

  • What does tamasha mean in this context? Is it the quality of cricket or the non-cricket activities. I said that in this context, the quality of cricket should be considered for the discussion.
  • How it has actually benefited Indian cricketers: domestic cricketers being exposed to higher levels of competition, easing their transition to international cricket, making cricket as a serious career choice for youngsters. 
  • How it has made international cricket more exciting: batsmen taking more risks, bowlers being more innovative to contain the run scoring and the rising number of results in test matches
  • Scams are a part and parcel of any major sporting event.

We were then asked to present our conclusions individually. I concluded by saying that ultimately people watch cricket because they like to watch quality action on the field and not to see celebrities on TV. If IPL is a tamasha then cricket fans would stop watching it. Ultimately, its upto to the IPL council to ensure that the quality of cricket is not compromised. Otherwise, IPL will indeed be a tamasha.

I was the first t be called for the ensuing Personal Interview.

Personal Interview:

Panel: 3 professors: P1, P2 and P3.

The italics represent my thoughts or the reaction of the profs at that time.

P1: So Vishnu, tell me about yourself.

Me: [Blah] 

P2: You are still studying? Has a surprised look on his face.

Me: Yes sir

P2: What about the campus?

Me: Did he mean campus placements or campus in general(life, food, environment)? Sir, I am placed at SAP Labs.

P2: Then why do you want to do an MBA now?

Me: Sir, I would not want to risk by taking these competitive exams later on. Now that I have cleared it, I hope to do an MBA now.

P1: Well, we believe that XAT is the fairest exam in this country. You know, fairer than CAT, GMAT and others.

Me: Yes sir, but there is heavy competition.

P1: Ah, competition is there. That I agree

P2: So why do you want to do an MBA?

Me: Sir an MBA would give me a lot of advantages.

P2 cuts me: Well, what are those advantages? That’s what we want to hear.

Me::An MBA would improve my decision making skills, it would provide me with networking opportunities, help me to tackle a variety of problems..blah.

P1; What do you mean when you say networking?

Me; Sir, when  I interact with people with different skills, I can learn a lot of things.

P1: Do you know where Jamshedpur is?

Me: Jharkhand.

P2: So, you must be aware of our CM Naveen Patnaik

Me; Hmmmm he is the CM of Orissa sir. 

P2; Sure??

Me; Yes. Thank God he didnt ask me the current CM of Jharkand

P1: Have you heard of Tata Nagar?

Me: Ummm no sir.  P1 Looks quite surprised

P1: So what other B School calls have you got?

Me: IIMA and IIM Indore.

P2: You must have got interview calls from the new IIMs too right?

Me: Yeah, I got a call from IIM Trichy but I am not eligible to attend the interviews. Could not find a better word at that time

P2:Eligible?? What do you mean?

Me; Sir IIM Trichy takes the interview scores from one of the old IIMs to give their final offers.

P2: So among these schools which would you choose, what strategy would you adapt?

Me: Sir, I will talk to my seniors who are in these B schools to get a clearer picture.

P2: You know persons in each of the schools you have mentioned??

Me; Yeah

P2: But people will say that their BSchool is the best no?

Me: Sir, since I would be talking to them separately I can weigh their objective opinions relative to each other.

P1: If you get Ahmedabad, then toh you are going there!

P1: So lets say you are travelling from Trichy to Ahmedabad and Jamshedpur? Which of them is shorter? What all states do you cross when you travel from Trichy to Ahmedabad.

Me: I think Trichy Jamshedpur will be shorter. I make a V like shape on my hand. Say Ahmedabad and Jamshedpur are on the same horizontal level. But Trichy to Jamshedpur is a straight line.

P1: Do you think that IIM Trichy should take the interview scores from old IIMs? Lets say you want to join IIM Trichy over Ahmedabad, would you prefer attending one interview at IIMA or would you like to attend Trichys interview?

Me: Sir, I would prefer to attend Trichys inteview. My interview performance might not be the same on 2 different days, element of chance minimised. Talked a bit more on this, P1 wanted me to explain more points but I couldnt.

P2: Okay, are you good with current affairs?

Me: Yeah

P2: Recently there was a diplomatic meet on Syria, whats happening there?

Me: Was quite confident on this. Talked about Shia Sunni sectarian conflict, Assads role, Arab spring etc. Profs quite convinced.

P2: Jasmine revolution was it..the first arab spring movement? Has a skeptical look

Me: Yeah Jasmine in Tunisia

P2: You know there has been talk about whether the French model of democracy should be adopted in India.

Me: Yeah I agree. If you see the recent Delhi elections, Kejriwal managed to get just 27 percent of the vote share yet he managed to become the CM. What it effectively means is that although 73 percent of the people didnt vote for him he still became the CM. Explained clearly about this. Read about this just a few days back. Everyone convinced.

P1: Give me five uses of this water bottle.

Me: Thinking for some time. P2: Atleast tell one reason na.

Me: It can be used a flower vase! Nothing else came to my mind.

P1; Ahh thats quite good. What else?

Me: in 3rd standard mode. Sir candle, pen stand. Laughing like crazy inside my mind.

P2:  Let me ask you a math question. If I toss 99 balls and they turn up heads, whats the probability that the 100th coin will turn up as a head?

Me: Sir, if its a fair coin it is half. The previous events dont matter. Each toss is an independent event

P3: Suddenly comes in. So as long as the coin is fair its half?

Me: Yeah

P1: Who is your role model?

Me: Gandhi..blah.. Essentially I told that I like people who disprove conventional beliefs and succeed, used the word ‘iconoclast’ in between

P3: The word you used? Whats it again? Do you know its root?

Me: Iconoclast Sir. I dont know the root, I only know its meaning.

P3: The way your talking shows that you are not confident at all.

Me: Smiling sheepishly. Yes sir, this is my first interview. I am quite nervous.

P1: Thats ok.

P2: What are your interests?

Me: I like to read about behavioural economics. Standard economics theory does not talk the impact of psychology in economics…

P2; Cuts me..No in standard economics also we take into account human behaviour…Anyway continue

Me: Explained. Talked about books I have read.

P3: If you have read the black swan then you should have answered the math question properly. 

Me; Fumbling. But sir…

P3:GO read it again.

P1: Okay Vishnu. Thank you. You may leave. Take your file!









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