Don’t Try To Be Over-smart, They Will Kill You!

Date – 30th Jan

Venue – IIM A KLMDC annexe

Time – 1:30 pm

I reached one
hour earlier at the venue. They made us sit in the conference hall for a while.
There were 2 profs coordinating there and giving us instructions.

At 1:15 they
divided us in panels – 8 students in each forming a total of 6 panels. I was in
the first one and  fourth in queue. They
gave us a documents checklist form in which we were to tick the required
documents and attach alongwith originals and photo copies of the documents or
certificates if any.

At 1:30 another
prof arrived and took each panel to their respective panel rooms where 3 other
profs were waiting there for AWT. We were not allowed to carry anything except
for a pen and the blue form (which you received through courier) in the panel
room.

In the panel
room – One of the profs instructed about the AWT. 30 mins were allotted and 3
sheets were provided. One contained the question, other was a rough sheet and
last was the answer sheet on which you had to enter your details on the front and
write the essay on the back. There was no writing allowed on the question sheet
or the front page of the answer sheet.

My topic for
AWT was (as far as I can remember, all 48 students got the same topic so
revision from them would be appreciated) –

It contained an
argument and further questions were given

“I like
smoking. No one can make me quit smoking because someone says so or advertises about
its harmful effects. Anyway the woman’s desires are not valued much in the society.
Every activity a woman makes is put under close magnifying glasses. I want to smoke
till my body gives up. The pungent smell and taste of the cigarette has become my
favorite.

Question :

Analyse the
argument. What do you think was the line of reasoning used that made the writer arrive at the statement one is making. Identify the assumptions and supplement
with facts.”

After AWT you
were asked to wait in the queue. I was anyway fourth so returned to the
conference hall where the two profs were verifying our documents one by one by
calling names in order.

(After my documents
verification I proceeded to wait for my turn. You were not allowed to carry
anything inside the interview hall.)

Now the story
starts –

(After the third
finished I knocked the door and asked to come in. They said to wait for a few
minutes and they will call for me. After some time, one of the prof came and
invited me in “You were too excited to enter for the interview. Come on in”. I was really embarrassed and got nervous
since they were calling one by one and I didn’t know that and I had to make a
fool of myself by going on by myself and knocking on the door without giving
any time after third finished.)

So here
it goes

(there
were 3 interviewers sitting inside the panel room, a mid-aged fat one on the
left (L), a mid-aged smiling one who gave us AWT instructions in the middle (M)
and the old grumpy one who called me from outside on the right (R). R asked me
take a chocolate from the bowl kept on the table for the same purpose)

M:
So, tell me Rakesh, you don’t consider mining as engineering branch?

Me:
Sir, I do consider mining as engineering branch. Why, What happened. (he was looking at my interview form, so I
guessed some mistake was made by me in the application form)

M:
You have mentioned others as your discipline?

Me:
Sir, basically Mining was not mentioned in the list of branches when I was
applying for CAT so had to check others and then mention Mining Engg as my
branch.

M:
and you have also mentioned other as your university?

Me:
sir, NIT Raipur was also not mentioned in the CAT application so I had no
option then choose others.

M: OK

R: (gazing
at my blue form) so tell me (in some harsh voice) why should I be impressed
claiming you as a world record holder in most people dunking cookies at a time.

(I realized that intentionally since I had no
any outstanding national extra-curricular but I participated in Guinness World
records for most people dunking cookies at a time in IIT Bombay organized by
oreo in 2013 and we were able to make a new world record of 1796 people dunking
cookies at the same time, I had mentioned that one in my blue form)

Me:
(realizing my grave mistake) Sir, basically it was a mass participation event
by oreo where …

(interrupted
in between)

R:
No, no, did you listen to my question, tell me why should I be impressed ?

Me:
yes sir, I did understand your question and I think you should be impressed
because first of all it’s Guinness book of world records and it reflects certain
skill set which one needs to possess to make it to world record …

(again
interrupted in between)

R:
what do you consider as a world record. For a world record to be made there,
what should be its criteria?

Me:
Sir, first of all it should be unique that is it should not have been done
before and secondly it involves peak performance and you have to be
particularly focused to achieve any kind of world record.

R:
so, tell me here why should I be impressed..

Me:
sir, It involved group working ability which reflects my skill to work with a
diverse group of people and leadership skill

R:
leadership, how?

Me:
Sir, I volunteered and motivated my group to join this particular event at
IIT-B who were keen on going to some other events.

R:
Ok, I do agree it consists of group-working ability but leadership, no.

(I was sweating at this time but thanked that
this was over. Particular grilling on such small issue made me nervous. Soon, I
realized that I was only looking to the old prof all the time and was unable to
make eye contact during all this time. So I controlled myself and started
making eye contact with all of them.)

M:
any project you are doing, Rakesh?

Me:
yes sir, currently I am working on Digital terrain modelling using DGPS.

M:
what? we don’t understand any jargons, clearly explain.

(I was like shit)

Me:
Sir, basically we are generating a model of terrain digitally using differential
global positioning system. What we do is take all the points……. (and so I explained my project work)

(I was somewhat now relaxed that this part went
fine without any grilling)

M:
so, have you sat for campus placements?

Me:
no sir, I have not yet. I am waiting for Coal India Ltd. (I realized, shit why did I just tell that)

M:
so, MBA or coal India

Me:
sir, obviously MBA

M:
apart from MBA?

Me:
no sir, I haven’t gave any thought. (again
why, god why?)

M:
so any interests or hobbies?

Me:
Sir, I like to solve puzzles like Sudoku, Rubik’s cube. I love playing guitar
and I read books in my free time.

R:
The guitar string, it is made up of what material?

Me:
sir, it’s basically made up of nylon. Nylon strings are used in guitar

M:
but it is made of metal, I think?

Me:
sir, there are several kinds of guitar; the classical acoustic guitar is made
of nylon string and other guitars like electrical and jazz guitar strings are
made up of metal (I did not realized it
at that time, since I was blank and the prof was trying to feed his words into my
mouth. FYI, The guitar strings are made of alloy of bronze and copper)

R:
oh, so how does this string made of metal works

Me:
(I was haphazard at this time and could
not answer it well) Sir, the plucking causes the metal string to change its
frequency and vibration and this frequency is picked up by magnetic sensors on
the guitar and are converted to sound using amplifier (It was not as smooth as I am typing here, I really blundered it this
time and took 2-3 times to clear to them)

(so I started on my own to ease the
situation)

Me:
sir, I basically play rumba which is a kind of flamenco style. It consists of
16 beats which is really nice to ears.

R:
What do you mean by flamenco?

Me:
(again, I was like why am I always
digging my own grave) sir, flamenco is a Spanish word.

R:
what is the meaning of this word?

Me:
(sighing) sir, as of now I couldn’t
recall the meaning of flamenco word, but I am sure it’s a Spanish word.

R:
any favourite artist which inspired you to adopt this style?

Me:
(again, I was blank) sorry sir, I
could not recollect any name (adding to
the fire) but there was a Pakistani boy who studied in MIT and I watched
his video over youtube and he really inspired me to play like that (now I do remember, his name was Amin
Toofani)

R:
(making a grumpy face) so I guess that your memory is not your best thing (and he notes something down on his sheet)(I
was really nervous now, on the verge of stammering)

M:
Ok, coming to your essay, you wrote about inter-cast marriages, how do you
think this is relevant to the topic. Had you gone through the question
carefully. Did you understood it?

Me:
(bleeding red) (I recalled of the
thing which I mentioned was some incident in Bangladesh) ye sir, basically what
I meant was inter-religion marriages which make women helpless and there was an
incident in Bangladesh in which the woman was muslim and her husband was a
hindu and he wrote some blog related to anti-islam and he was brutally killed
on the street for that

M:
so how that incident is significant over here

Me:
sir, what I meant to say was that there are many incidents in our country which
makes women helpless and leave them victims, other cases including “Nirbhaya”.
I do believe that India is still a male dominant society but we are evolving
and the argument really was set in a negative context. This doesn’t mean the
end of life, this world is beautiful and she should give herself another chance
rather than smoking cigarettes and ending up her life.

M:
OK… (sees around to other profs maybe so as to cross-question but none do)

M:
OK, Thank You Rakesh, you may go now, you may take cake or chocolate in front of
you

Me:
No sir, I have already taken. Thanks a lot sir… (and I leave the interview hall pushing the chair back in its place, and
my movement to outside was really not good. After all I was grilled on each
topic except for my project part)

(The third prof
on the left didn’t ask any question any of time and was only staring at me and
smiling. Maybe, he was judging my behavior under stress or noting my body
language, I don’t know)

So
this was how it went, hope to read some of yours.

Waiting
for April for the new GOT season (**** IIM-A, I’m not getting in, I know..)

Tips
for candidates whose interviews are scheduled later –

  1. Don’t try to be over-smart they will
    kill you
  2. Prepare yourself well like your hobbies
    and interests and internship/project if fresher. (I was so obsessed with
    CA I read the economist editions of over two months and CSR but were of no
    use. Since, they are gonna only ask you about your background. So don’t
    waste much of your remaining time on current affairs, there is a very
    little chance they gonna ask you apart from your field. Well do prepare
    about current happenings in your field. Since, I was a mining engineer and
    I think they may not have much knowledge about it so they didn’t bother in
    my case)
  3. Try to remain calm in case if they
    stress you. (It was my first so I messed it up)

Thank you! And all the best.

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