How To Crack IIM Admission Interviews
Wondering how the Personal Interview experience is at IIM Ahmedabad? Read all about the real-life experiences of students at IIM A, along with the top 10 Tips On How To Prepare For The IIM A interview, and more in this article!


Cracking the interview round of IIM Ahmedabad, one of the most prestigious B-schools in India, is a dream for many MBA aspirants. The IIM Ahmedabad interview is a crucial step towards securing admission into this top-notch institution. It is designed to assess a candidate’s ability, knowledge, and suitability for the rigorous academic curriculum offered by IIM A. Therefore, it is essential to prepare effectively for the interview to increase your chances of success.

Before diving into the specifics of how to crack the IIM Ahmedabad interviews, let’s briefly touch upon the CAT exam preparation, as it acts as a gateway to the interview process. The CAT exam is a national-level management entrance examination that tests a candidate’s aptitude, logical reasoning, and communication skills. Therefore, it is crucial to devote sufficient time and effort to CAT exam preparation to ensure a strong performance.

Once you have successfully cleared the CAT exam and secured an interview call from IIM Ahmedabad, the next step is to prepare for the Group Discussion (GD) and Written Ability Test (WAT). GDs are conducted to assess a candidate’s ability to communicate effectively, think critically, and work well in a team. It is essential to stay updated with current affairs, have a clear understanding of various viewpoints, and practice articulating your thoughts in a structured manner.

The Written Ability Test (WAT) is another component of the selection process that evaluates a candidate’s writing skills. It typically involves essay writing on a given topic within a stipulated time limit. To excel in WAT, you can develop your writing skills by practicing regularly, reading extensively, and maintaining a well-structured approach while presenting your ideas.

After successfully clearing the GD and WAT rounds, the next and final stage is the Personal Interview (PI). This round aims to assess a candidate’s personality, knowledge, and suitability for the programme. It is crucial to build up your profile to crack the PI round of IIM Ahmedabad. This can be done by highlighting your academic achievements, internships, work experience, extracurricular activities, and leadership roles. A well-rounded profile can significantly enhance your chances of success in the PI round.

To better understand the interview process, it is always helpful to learn from the experiences of those who have been through it. Alumni from IIM Ahmedabad can provide valuable insights into their interview experiences and the types of questions asked. Their guidance and tips can assist you in preparing thoroughly for the interview.

Moving on, it is essential to be well-prepared for the questions that are commonly asked in IIM Ahmedabad interviews. These questions can range from topics related to your past experiences, academic achievements, goals, current affairs, and even hypothetical situations. Preparing well in advance, researching the past interview experiences of candidates, and practicing mock interviews can go a long way in boosting your confidence.

In conclusion, cracking the IIM Ahmedabad interviews requires adequate preparation and a well-rounded profile.  

Article Overview

Also Read: 10 Most Wacky Questions Asked in IIM Interview 

Stages of the Selection Process at IIM Ahmedabad:

The selection process at IIM Ahmedabad consists of multiple stages to identify and admit the most promising candidates for their MBA programme. The stages are as follows:

1. CAT examination: CAT is a national-level management entrance exam conducted by the IIMs for admission to their postgraduate programmes.

2. Shortlisting for written ability test (WAT) and personal interview (PI): After the CAT results are declared, IIM Ahmedabad shortlists candidates based on their CAT scores and other predetermined criteria.

3. Written ability test (WAT): In this stage, candidates are given a WAT topic or a situation on which they have to write an essay within a specified time limit.

4. Personal interview (PI): After the WAT, candidates go through the Personal Interview round. During the PI, candidates interact with a panel of faculty members, industry experts and IIM Ahmedabad student or Alumni.

5. Final selection: Based on the candidates’ performance in the MBA entrance exam  – CAT, WAT, and PI, along with their academic and professional backgrounds, the final selection list is prepared.

These stages are crucial for MBA aspirants seeking to get admission in at this top b-school. Beyond knowledge, the candidates must exhibit traits like confidence, composure, and effective communication skills to excel in these rounds.

In the WAT-PI round, candidates are evaluated based on various parameters. Such as their communication skills, proficiency in writing, subject knowledge, attentive listening, level of confidence, leadership capabilities, presentation aptitude, interactive skills, decision-making process, problem-solving proficiency, critical and analytical thinking abilities, and open-mindedness.

MBA aspirants kindly note that all top MBA colleges, including IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, IIM Raipur, IIM Udaipur, IIM Shillong, among others, have a similer selection process for admissions for their MBA/PGDM programmes. IIM interview calls are issued to candidates who have shown real promise during the selection process and have handled the questions well with reasoning. 

Top 10 Tips On How To Prepare For The IIM A Interview

Preparing for an interview at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) is a crucial step towards securing admission into one of India’s premier business schools. Here are some essential tips to help you get ready:

1. Research IIM-A: Start by thoroughly understanding the institute’s values, culture, and academic programmes. Familiarise yourself with the latest news and achievements of the institute to demonstrate genuine interest during the interview.

2. Know Your Application: Review your application thoroughly, including your academic and professional background, extracurricular activities, and achievements. Be prepared to elaborate on any aspect of your application that may be discussed during the interview.

3. Current Affairs Awareness: Stay updated with current affairs, both national and international, especially those related to business, economics, and social issues. The interview panel may ask questions about your perspectives on recent events.

4. Brush Up Your Academic Knowledge: Be well-versed in the fundamentals of your undergraduate subjects and any relevant work experience. While the interview is not meant to be a test of technical knowledge, a strong understanding of your field can boost your confidence.

5. Practice Mock Interviews: Conduct mock interviews with friends, family, or mentors to gain experience in answering questions confidently and articulately. Focus on communicating your thoughts clearly and concisely.

6. Develop a Storyline: Prepare a coherent and compelling story about yourself, highlighting your strengths, achievements, and goals. Structure your answers to showcase how your experiences have shaped your aspirations.

7. Analyse Case Studies: As IIM-A often employs a case-based approach in interviews, practice analysing business case studies. Focus on problem-solving, critical thinking, and your ability to present logical solutions.

8. Be Authentic: While preparing, remember to be true to yourself. Present your real motivations and goals, and avoid memorising scripted responses. Interviewers appreciate authenticity and genuine passion.

9. Dress Appropriately: Dress professionally and neatly for the interview. Your appearance should reflect your seriousness and respect for the occasion.

10. Practice Body Language: Pay attention to your body language, maintain eye contact, and project confidence. A positive and composed demeanour can leave a lasting impression.

11. Ask Questions: Prepare insightful questions about the institute, the programme, or any specific interests you have. This demonstrates your eagerness to be part of the IIM-A community.

12. Stay Calm and Confident: On the day of the interview, stay calm and confident. Take a deep breath before entering the room and remember that the interviewers are interested in knowing you better.

Remember, an IIM-A interview is an opportunity for both parties to get to know each other. Showcase your strengths and be genuine in your responses. Good luck with your interview preparation!

To discover additional insights on How to prepare for your forthcoming IIM interview, be sure to watch this informative video provided by CATKing.

GD PI WAT Preparation: 10 Tips

Preparing for IIM Ahmedabad’s GD PI WAT rounds is daunting due to intense competition. This article offers valuable tips from experts and toppers on how to crack the selection process. It covers WAT, GD, and PI, emphasising the importance of preparation and confidence. CAT tips and personal interview experience are also included. Boost your chances of getting into this top b-school by following these expert insights.

IIM Interview 1

Maulik Banal (B.Tech EP, IITD), B-school – IIM A, Scored in CAT  – 99.86%

Chapter 1 – The Way to Acing Percentile in CAT 

It all began with my dream to pursue a management course at one of India’s premier institutes – the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. My journey started with completing my B.Tech. in engineering physics from IIT Delhi in 2022. While at IIT, I embraced my curiosity and passion for learning, exploring new things, and engaging in extracurricular activities. One transformative experience at IIT was joining Enactus, a social entrepreneurship club with a global presence. This exposure ignited a spark within me to venture into the world of entrepreneurship and startups. I developed a keen interest in business and envisioned having my own startup in the future. Playing musical instruments like piano, guitar, and xylophone, and participating in various sports added colour to my life. 

I carried forward this passion for extracurricular activities by joining drama, dance, and music clubs at IIT. My short-term goal was to create a strong network of like-minded individuals and learn from their experiences, especially in the realm of business. Ultimately, my long-term goal was to establish a successful startup or run a business of my own. This dream motivated me to perpare for CAT securing a score of 99.86% 

My CAT score:

VA and RC – Sealed score: 40.05 Percentile: 97.73

DA and LR- Sealed score: 40.44 Percentile: 99.84

QA – Sealed score: 40.31 Percentile: 99.52

Total- Sealed score: 120.80 Percentile: 99.86

Chapter 2 – The Interview Prep Phase

The interview preparation for IIM Ahmedabad was both exciting and challenging. As this was my first experience with both online and offline interviews, I wanted to ensure I was well-prepared. I meticulously brushed up on my academic subjects, focusing on topics like quantum mechanics, and the general theory of relativity – the topics I was most comfortable with. I delved into computational imaging and understood its differences from machine learning.

Chapter 3 – PI-GD Experience Interview 

On the big day, I walked into the interview room with a mix of excitement and nervousness. I was greeted warmly and asked to introduce myself. I confidently shared my academic background, extracurricular pursuits, and my experiences in Enactus, which instilled the desire to become an entrepreneur. The panel was impressed with my journey and delved into questions related to total internal reflection (TIR) in optics. I explained the phenomenon in detail, drawing diagrams to illustrate the concept. They further inquired about why the refracted ray did not scatter, and I clarified that it was due to a plane surface between air and water. They also questioned my understanding of light, whether it behaves as a wave or a particle. I confidently explained that light exhibits a dual nature, acting as both a wave and a particle, depending on the experiment conducted.

Chapter 4 – Kind of questions asked during IIM interviews (IIM question bank)

Academic questions

1. Can you draw a diagram of TIR?

2. Can you explain why this reflected ray does not scatter?

3. Where is it used primarily?

4. What is the photoelectric effect? Can you explain that?

Extracurricular questions

1. In chess, do you prefer playing with white or black pieces and named five Grandmasters (GMS)?

2. Can you name 5 GMs?

3. Who is your favourite chess player of all time? Can you tell me why you like him?

4. How do we play chess nowadays?

5. What is your favourite game of Tal? What opening was played in that match?

Questions on current affairs

1. Certain major events are going on across the world, How do you think it impacts India?

2. Last week election results were announced, Can you tell me who won?

Chapter 5 – Converted IIM Selections!

After successfully converting my IIM Ahmedabad call, I am thrilled to have been selected to study there. I am excitedly looking forward to the immense exposure and opportunities that await me at this prestigious institution. It’s a dream come true, and I am eager to make the most of this incredible learning journey ahead.

Also Read: Top 5 Tips To Crack Your Job Interview In First Attempt By Dr. Akhil Shahani

Interview 2

Sejal Sahni, Fresher, B.A. (Foundations in Management) (IPM, IIM Indore), B-school: IIM Ahmedabad, Scored 99.67%ile CAT 2021

I am Sejal Sahni, and I couldn’t be happier to recount my CAT journey. Though challenging, it taught me valuable lessons in staying composed, being authentic, and embracing my areas for improvement. The interview experience served as a constant reminder of the determination and passion needed to realise one’s aspirations.

10th – 10.0 CGPA, 12th – 94.0%, UG – 85.4%

Chapter 1 – The Way to Acing Percentile in CAT 

I had a burning desire to join the prestigious IIM Ahmedabad. As a fresher with a B.A. in Foundations in Management from IPM, IIM Indore, I knew the road ahead would be challenging, but I was determined to give it my all. My hard work and dedication paid off when I achieved an impressive CAT percentile of 99.67%, with 99.97%ile in quantitative aptitude, 96.2%ile in data interpretation & logical reasoning, and 96.96%ile in verbal ability. 

Chapter 2 – The Interview Prep Phase

The interview process for IIM Ahmedabad commenced on 27th February 2021, in HSR Layout, Bangalore, during the afternoon slot. Before the interview, I made sure to thoroughly prepare myself. I knew the interview would be a crucial phase in the selection process, and I wanted to be ready for any challenge that came my way.

The day began with the analytical writing test, where I had 20 minutes to write a 250-word limit essay on a given topic. The topic revolved around the debate on banning advertisements for children, as they can influence unnecessary purchases. I analysed the argument, provided a counter perspective backed by an example of a relevant study, and conveyed my viewpoint on the matter.

My CAT score:

QA – 99.97

DILR – 96.2

VA – 96.96

Chapter 3 – PI-GD Experience Interview 

The interview panel consisted of two male members, P1 and P2, who seemed to be in their 40s. As I stepped into the interview room, I felt a mix of excitement and nervousness. At one point, my mask got stuck, and I struggled to take it off, which was a little embarrassing. However, I gathered my composure and began the interview.

P1 started by asking about my mention of marketing being necessary for monopolies during the AWT. I confidently explained my perspective, clarifying that I referred to monopolistic competition and the role of marketing in such scenarios.

Chapter 4 – Kind of questions asked during IIM interview (IIM question bank)

1. What made you decide to pursue an MBA at IIM Ahmedabad?

2. Explain your views on banning advertisements for children. Provide a study that contradicts this argument and share your perspective on it.

3. Is advertising the same as marketing? If not, what are the differences?

4. If given an advertising budget for a product targeted at rural masses, which medium would you use for advertising?

5. How do you measure the impact of an advertisement placed on a specific medium?

6. Are buyers of luxury cars using system 1 or system 2 thinking?

7. What biases did Kahneman and Tversky talk about in their work?

8. Explain your research project in psychology and the methodology you used for the survey.

9. Why would foreign universities want to set up campuses in India under the national education policy?

10. Have you been following the Budget? Who is X (named individual), and why is he related to the Budget?

11. Do you have any campus placements due to your integrated programme?

12. Why do you want to leave your current course at IIM Indore and join IIM Ahmedabad?

13. What are your hobbies? How tall is a basketball pole?

14. What is the difference between boys’ basketball and girls’ basketball?

15. Why do basketballs have grooves instead of being smooth like footballs?

16. Can you explain the three-second rule in basketball?

17. How did you ensure the legitimacy of survey responses for your research project?

18. Why do you think financial accessibility is a significant factor for foreign universities coming to India under NEP?

19. Have you ever read the work of Kahneman and Tversky? What theory did they give?

20. What is a bias, and how is it different from a systematic error in thinking?

Chapter 5 – Converted IIM Selections!

Throughout the interview, even amidst occasional laughter from the panellists, I maintained my composure and confidence. They were impressed by my genuine passion for marketing and my eagerness to step out of my comfort zone. As the interview concluded, I felt a sense of achievement, knowing that I had put forth my best effort.

Also Read: How to justify 1 or 2 years gap in IIM Interview?

Interview 3 

Pulkit Sethia, B-school – IIM Ahmedabad, Scored 99.6+ in CAT 2022

Chapter 1 –  The Way to Acing Percentile in CAT 

Preparing for the CAT exam and aiming for the prestigious IIM Ahmedabad was no easy task. I put in dedicated effort and managed to score 10 CGPA in X, 95.8% in XII, and 8.62 CGPA in my undergrad. CAT 2020 was my first attempt, and I was elated to achieve a score of 99.6+ percentile. 

Chapter 2 –  The Interview Prep Phase

In my interview preparation, I focused on anticipating potential questions and formulating concise yet convincing answers. I had a strong 40-second response ready for the expected question of why I wanted to leave the esteemed Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to pursue an MBA at IIM Ahmedabad. I emphasised my long-term career goal and the valuable opportunities an MBA from IIM-A could provide.

Chapter 3 – PI-GD Experience Interview 

On the day of the interview, I was presented with an analytical writing test topic related to Virat Kohli’s decision to take paternity leave during a cricket series. After the AWT, I faced a two-member male panel for the interview. The interview was cordial, and the panellists were interested in exploring my insights and knowledge.

Chapter 4 –  Kind of questions asked during IIM interview (IIM question bank)

1. Pulkit, you are working in a very esteemed organisation in our country. Why do you want to leave ISRO and join IIM for an MBA? Don’t you want to serve the nation anymore?

2. What is your role at ISRO?

3. What’s the budget of ISRO for the year 2020-21?

4. The space sector is seeing so many changes. Can you mention the developments and where this sector is heading?

5. How good are you with statistics?

6. How do you rate yourself in statistics?

7. What are the different probability distributions?

8. Explain with real-life examples.

9. Mathematical expression for Poisson distribution?

10. Explain mean, mode, and median.

11. He gave me a few numbers and asked me to find the mean, mode, and median of that data set.

12. You explained the mean, mode, and median mathematically. Tell me a scenario where the median and mode make more sense than the mean. You have 15 seconds to think.

13. Where are the other ISRO centres, and what kind of work happens there?

14. Is it justified for a country like India to spend so much on space when there are issues like poverty and unemployment?

15. Do you follow Elon Musk? What are the developments that SpaceX is focusing on aside from the Mars colony?

16. What are your hobbies? How do you spend your free time?

17. Covid-19 has shaken the economy. Still, the stock markets are making new highs. Explain why this is happening.

18. Explain the budget in one or two lines.

Chapter 5 – Converted IIM Selections!

Following an in-depth interview that spanned approximately 35 minutes, I anxiously awaited the verdict. Finally, on 14th May, I received the news I had been eagerly anticipating – I had been selected to join IIM Ahmedabad.

Interview 4 

Isha Nisar, BMS (Finance), B-School – IIM Ahmedabad, Scored 99.37% in CAT 2021

Chapter 1 – The Way to Acing Percentile in CAT 

Before I delve into my interview experience at IIM Ahmedabad, let me provide a brief background about myself. I scored 94.18% in the 10th standard (SSC), 89.08% in the 12th standard (HSC), and completed my BMS (Finance) with a score of 81.20%. I also had 14 months of work experience in Outdoor Media.

Chapter 2 – The Interview Prep Phase

During my CAT preparation, I secured a good score in each section. Throughout my academic and professional journey, I have been inspired by the desire to achieve excellence and make a positive impact on the world. Through my articles and achievements, I hope to inspire others to chase their dreams relentlessly, never letting go of their passion and determination.

Chapter 3 – PI-GD Experience Interview 

On 21st February 2020, I arrived at The Orchid, Mumbai, the venue for my IIM Ahmedabad interview. After the document verification, the candidates were divided into groups of 7, and I was assigned to Panel 7, being the third candidate in the panel.

My interview began with the analytical writing test, where we were given a paragraph to analyse. The topic revolved around the ban on additional homework given to students, and we had to present our perspective on the issue along with stated and unstated assumptions. I managed the 20-minute time limit well and felt confident about my response.

Chapter 4 – Kind of questions asked during IIM interview (IIM question bank)

Upon completing the AWT, I proceeded to the personal interview with two male professors from IIM Ahmedabad.

1. Do you know the previous candidate?

2. What is your name?

3. Why have you come today?

4. You have worked for 14 months. Are you still working here?

5. Tell us something about the company you worked for and your role.

6. Is Barter the actual word?

7. What is the turnover of the company? How many employees are there?

8. How do you do the pricing of media properties?

9. Give us an example of the pricing you applied.

10. So the clients get your business and not the other way around?

11. Is a company a contract? Why?

12. Is the foundation of a company a contract? What constitutes the foundation of a company?

13. What are your views on Sabarimala? Do you support the Supreme Court’s verdict?

14. Now compare this to the Ayodhya case. What are your views?

15. But what about the traditions and beliefs being followed in one and ignored in the other? What are your views?

16. Any questions for us?

Chapter 5 – Converted IIM Selections!

Leaving the interview room, I experienced a mix of emotions. While I felt content with my performance, I couldn’t shake my concerns about specific questions, especially those related to traditions and beliefs. Nevertheless, I firmly believe that my positive energy, friendly demeanour, and confident presentation played a crucial role in securing a spot at my dream college – IIM Ahmedabad.

Interview 5

Debashish Reang, B-school: IM Ahmedabad, Scored 99.37 in CAT 2019 

Chapter 1 – The Way to Acing Percentile in CAT 

In CAT 2019, I invested numerous hours in dedicated preparation, rigorously covering all sections. My efforts bore fruit, with an impressive overall percentile of 99.37. Specifically, I achieved a percentile of 99.57 in verbal ability and reading comprehension, 99.23 in data interpretation and logical reasoning, and 98.89 in quantitative ability.

Chapter 2 – The Interview Prep Phase

Having cleared the CAT, my attention shifted to interview preparations for IIM Ahmedabad. I conducted extensive research on the institute’s values, programmes, and faculty to demonstrate my genuine interest. Mock interviews with mentors and peers proved instrumental in building my confidence and refining my responses. Furthermore, my sectional CAT scores provided valuable insights into my strengths and weaknesses, guiding my preparation strategy effectively.

Chapter 3 – PI-GD Experience Interview 

The interview day was filled with excitement and nervousness. The analytical writing test was  the ban on additional homework for students. During the personal interview, the panellists asked about my background, work experience in outdoor media, and my role in the business development team. We discussed Taylor Swift’s recent controversy, bioinformatics, protein folding, linguistics, and the power of language. I also shared my preference for Manali over Goa and discussed climate change.

Chapter 4 – Kind of questions Asked During Interview (Question Bank)

1. Tell us about yourself and your background.

2. What are your CAT sectional scores and how did you prepare for each section?

3. Explain your role in outdoor media and how you determine media property pricing.

4. Tell us about Taylor Swift’s recent controversy.

5. Describe the significance of AlphaFold and protein folding in Biology.

6. What interests you in bioinformatics and linguistics?

7. Discuss the impact of language usage on campaigns and communication.

8. Goa or Manali: where would you prefer to retire and why?

9.What are your thoughts on traditions and beliefs in society?

10. Do you have any questions for us?

Chapter 5 – Converted IIM Selections!

The fulfilment of my journey became a reality as I received the acceptance letter from IIM Ahmedabad, granting me the privilege to join this prestigious institution. The happiness and sense of accomplishment I experienced were indescribable.

Interview 6

Aniket Khasgiwale, B-school – IIM Ahmedabad (2010-12), Scored 99.99 in CAT 2009

I guess it’s about time I share my two cents of CAT wisdom.

Most of my schooling was done in Nashik, where I appeared for my X and XII standard exams. After completing XII, I had a strong desire to leave Nashik behind. Fortunately, I secured admission to the College of Engineering, Pune, where I joined the Electronics and Telecommunication department.

My academic performance was decent, with a CGPA of 8.13. However, I never felt a strong interest in electronics, so pursuing a job in that field wasn’t appealing to me. Although an MS was not an option, I decided that an MBA was the right path for me. The impressive job packages that IIM graduates were receiving were a significant motivator for this decision. Additionally, when I visited IIT Bombay during Mood Indigo, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of regret that I hadn’t made it to an IIT. That’s when I made up my mind that I would pursue my MBA at none other than IIM Ahmedabad.

Chapter 1 – The Way to Acing Percentile in CAT 

I enrolled at IMS Pune for CAT 2008 because they offered a special “Apex” batch, where they brought together the top 17 students to be taught by the best teachers. It was an enriching experience, and I gained a lot from the high-quality faculty and challenging classes, which featured advanced-level questions based on the CAT syllabus compared to regular classes. My performance in the Mocks was promising, and I felt confident about cracking CAT. Perhaps I was a bit too confident.

After securing a job in a software company, I decided not to take the entrance test for any other high-paying “core electronics” company because I was convinced that I would join top IIMs the following year. In fact, I didn’t even plan on writing any other MBA entrance test at that time.

Chapter 2 – From Dreams to Dust 

On November 16, 2008, I took the CAT, which turned out to be the last paper-based exam. After completing the test, I felt confident about my performance and eagerly went to my class to discuss the questions. However, it was during this discussion that I realised I had not done well in the Data Interpretation (DI) section. While it wasn’t a major screw-up, it was enough to lower my chances of receiving calls from prestigious institutes like IIM Ahmedabad or IIM Calcutta. In light of this realisation, I decided to take the XAT to expand my options.

As expected, my predictions came true, and I received just one call from IIM Kozhikode, and also one from IIM Lucknow Agri-Business Management. Fortunately, the XAT went well, and I secured an XLRI BM call too, which made me feel more optimistic about my prospects.

My CAT 2008 score was as follows:

  • Verbal Ability (VA): 99.8 percentile
  • Quantitative Aptitude (QA): 96.5 percentile
  • Data Interpretation (DI): 93.67 percentile
  • Overall: 99.59 percentile
  • Additionally, I obtained an impressive 99.97 percentile in XAT.

Chapter 3 – PI-GD Experience Interview 

My IIM Kozhikode WAT-PI experience turned out to be disappointing. I struggled to provide substantial answers and was quickly done with it. On the contrary, the IIM Lucknow ABM interview went surprisingly well, although I somewhat humorously managed to convince the interviewers that I had an uncle who owned a winery in Nashik, influencing my interest in ABM. The XLRI interview was positive, and I had high hopes of being selected. However, when the results came, I faced rejection from XLRI, followed by rejection from IIM Kozhikode, leaving me feeling utterly stunned and like a complete failure. I distinctly remember that day when my dad called to console me, and I nearly broke down in the middle of the street.

It was the first time in my life that I had failed at something I had put so much effort into. I couldn’t bring myself to check my IIM Lucknow ABM result until a few days later. To my surprise, I had made it through; I had converted my call! However, I had already made up my mind to take the CAT again. Many people suggested that I join IIM Lucknow, arguing that the placements were similar to the main course. Yet, for me, an MBA was like a once-in-a-lifetime commitment, and I didn’t want it to be in Agri-Business Management. Despite my teachers’ attempts to persuade me otherwise, highlighting the uncertainty of cracking the CAT again, I had an inner conviction that I would succeed the next time. The CAT and I had some unfinished business, and I was determined to conquer it.

Chapter 4 – IIM Admission Re-attempt 2009

With utmost determination, I embarked on my CAT 2009 preparation journey. Enrolling in Byju Sir’s classes proved to be an enjoyable and confidence-boosting experience. Simultaneously, I also started working a job, which fortunately didn’t consume so much of my time that I couldn’t focus on my studies. However, I made the conscious choice to prioritise my goal of cracking the CAT above everything else, including the countless parties and movies my office gang attended. My sole focus was set on succeeding in the CAT.

The beauty of studying for the CAT was that I genuinely loved it. This intrinsic interest kept me engaged, and I rarely felt bored while studying, allowing me to dedicate even more time and effort to my preparation, further boosting my confidence. I approached the exam with unwavering self-assurance, undeterred by the shift to an online pattern or my moderate Mock CAT scores. I refused to let any doubts or uncertainties about the question types affect my confidence. I knew deep down that I would make it through, regardless of the challenges.

Finally, on December 7, 2009, I took the CAT exam, feeling positive and hopeful about the outcome. I was eager for the best possible results and ready to embrace whatever lay ahead.

Chapter 5 – True Brilliance 

On February 28, 2010, I was at home eagerly awaiting the CAT 2009 result. However, I encountered difficulty accessing the site. Fortunately, my friend managed to get through and promptly emailed me my result. As I opened the email, I couldn’t believe my eyes – it displayed 99.99 percentile! I was overwhelmed with disbelief and joy, and I couldn’t contain my excitement. I found myself rolling on the floor, laughing with sheer delight.

  • My CAT 2009 score was as follows:
  • Verbal Ability (VA): 99.80 percentile
  • Quantitative Aptitude (QA): 96.95 percentile
  • Data Interpretation (DI): 100 percentile
  • Overall: 99.99 percentile

Chapter 6 – Natural Born (IIM) Student 

I received five IIM calls – BLACK. Additionally, I got two FMS calls (MBA and MBA-MS), which meant I had to travel all over the country for my GDs and PIs. Some of the interviews went well (C, K), some were decent (L), while others didn’t go as planned (A, B, FMS). Throughout this process, I remained positive and confident, knowing deep down that I would succeed. The experience also taught me that an MBA was not just about securing a high-paying job; it held much greater significance and impact on one’s life. I got insights into the life of students at the IIMs and how an MBA shaped their journey, and I genuinely wanted to be a part of it. I strongly believed that I deserved to be a part of this transformative experience as if it was destined for me.

On April 25, 2010, I received the news that I had converted both my IIM Calcutta calls (PGP and PGPCM). Though other results were yet to be declared, I couldn’t have been happier with what I had achieved so far. Finally, my dream of starting my MBA journey at one of India’s top colleges was coming true. Looking back on the year-long wait, the hard work I invested in, countless mock tests, and even my decision to reject IIM Lucknow ABM, I realised that every effort was worth it. What made it possible was my strong self-belief, unwavering focus, tremendous willpower, and enjoying the learning process along the way.

Chapter 7: Converted IIM Selections!

After successfully converting my IIM Ahmedabad call, I made the firm decision to pursue my studies there, choosing it over IIM Calcutta. This achievement has filled me with immense joy and a sense of accomplishment.  my advice to MBA aspirants. 

​​ Also Read: How to Improve my Speaking Skills to crack CAT Interviews?

Interview 7

Shiva Prasad, B-School – IIM Ahmedabad (2009 – 2011), Scored 99.76 percentile in CAT 2008 

Chapter 1: The Way to Acing Percentile in CAT 

During my CAT journey, I initially possessed decent academic scores, but I lacked awareness about the significance of an MBA. My curiosity drove me to purchase the CAT application form, but unfortunately, my first attempt yielded unsatisfactory results. It was only after taking a scholarship test that I truly grasped the importance of thorough preparation. Consequently, I enrolled in a coaching institute, although I struggled with maintaining dedication at that time.

Subsequently, while working as a software engineer, I made another attempt at CAT, resulting in an improved percentile, but it still fell short of my aspirations. It was in 2007 when I finally acknowledged my keen interest in decision-making and decided to take CAT more seriously. Despite facing certain setbacks along the way, my determination to pursue an MBA remained unwavering. I also explored other tests such as GMAT and sought guidance from successful candidates to further enhance my preparation.

Chapter 2: Exploring More Options Over CAT 

GMAT demonstrated that I was not devoid of potential in Quant. In a fit of anger, I impulsively booked another GMAT date on June 6th, but once again, I had no concrete plan in place. However, this time, I decided to actively participate in the PaGaLGuY GMAT sentence correction and critical reasoning thread to challenge myself and gauge my progress. Engaging in discussions and learning from the explanations provided by successful members (puys) proved to be immensely helpful.

During my second GMAT attempt on June 6th, I managed to score an okay-ish 700 (QA-50, VA-34). Encouraged by this result, I set my sights on applying to ISB Hyderabad. I devoted a month to crafting my essays and sought feedback from my friends Pradeep and Spandan. Although I had a strong feeling that I would be admitted to study an MBA this time (with my best hopes pinned on institutes other than IIMs), I was disheartened when I received a rejection from ISB just two weeks before CAT 2008.

Despite facing setbacks, I persevered, and on November 16th, the day of CAT 2008, I encountered a new obstacle as I had a fever and couldn’t sleep all night. Although I was tempted to skip the exam, I pushed myself to go to the test centre. Seeing some friendly faces there boosted my adrenaline, and the rest, as they say, is history. Now, I won’t bore you any further with my personal journey and will instead share my strategies, hoping they will be of great help to you.

Chapter 3: Tips on How to Crack CAT 

Strategy 1: Diversify University Options – Instead of solely focusing on IIMs, consider applying to other reputable universities as well. This approach provides a safety net and allows you to approach the CAT with a calmer mindset, knowing you have alternate possibilities.

Strategy 2: Benefit from GMAT Preparation – Taking the GMAT not only helps with time management skills but also enhances your verbal ability in preparation for CAT. Many have found success in CAT’s verbal section by leveraging their GMAT verbal preparation.

Strategy 3: Embrace Mock CATs – Participate actively in Mock CATs as they serve as valuable training grounds. Treat each mock as an opportunity to experiment with different strategies and find the one that suits you best.

Strategy 4: Diligence over Intelligence – Recognise that hard work is key to success in CAT. Start preparing early and avoid last-minute cramming. Solving previous years’ mocks, especially those with challenging questions requiring specific concepts, can significantly boost your performance.

Strategy 5: Play to Your Strengths – Focus on solving questions that align with your strengths rather than solely following coaching institute assessments. Real CAT papers often include common-sense questions, and recognising patterns in answer choices can prove beneficial.

Strategy 6: Master Logical Reasoning – If you enjoy puzzle-based questions, practice and excel in logical reasoning, particularly puzzle-solving. IMS’s material provides helpful explanations for these types of questions, including para jumble questions.

By following these strategies,  I was able to enhance my CAT preparation and increase my chances of success.

Chapter 4: GD-PI Experience Interview 

After taking the CAT exam, I eagerly awaited the results, and to my delight, I received interview calls. Excited about the final admission process, I turned to PaGaLGuY threads to gather valuable insights. Specifically, I focused on compiling a list of Math, Electronics and Communications-related questions, especially those related to telecom, my area of expertise. Additionally, I prepared answers for general questions like “why MBA?” and sought help from my friends to conduct mock interviews.

To enhance my interview skills further, I attended two TIME mock GD (Group Discussion) classes. The questions and discussions on PaGaLGuY proved to be invaluable, as I encountered Math questions during my IIM Ahmedabad interview that were already on my prepared list. I owe a debt of gratitude to the puys’ (members of the PaGaLGuY community) for their contributions, as without their support, I might not have succeeded in securing admission to IIMs today.

Chapter 5: Converted IIM Selections!

In April 2009, I found myself struggling with insomnia, and the disappointment hit me hard when I discovered that my name was not on the leaked IIM Bangalore PGP list despite what I thought was a strong interview. The feeling of discouragement continued with rejections from IIM Lucknow (which I considered my best interview) and IIM Calcutta (a bad interview). This string of rejections left me feeling utterly depressed.

When the news of the IIM Ahmedabad results was announced, I hesitated to check them. Fear of yet another rejection almost held me back, but I mustered the courage to open the results anyway. To my astonishment and disbelief, I had made it! It was a moment I still find hard to believe. Later, I learned from one of my friends that I had been rejected at IIM Kozhikode.

My advice to all of you is to write the CAT exam for yourself and not for others. Emotions and external pressures can weigh you down and weaken your resolve. Throughout my journey, I kept a quote from the movie Shawshank Redemption in mind, which always served as a source of inspiration for me: Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.

Also Read: Is English compulsory in IIM interview? Tips to improve and speak fluent English in Personal Interview

Interview 8

Nishita Kumari, B-school: IIM Ahmedabad, Scored 98.82 percentile in CAT 2018

Chapter 1 – The Way to Acing Percentile in CAT 

I’m proud to share that I completed my Electrical Engineering from Dhanbad with flying colors. My academic journey was exceptional, achieving a perfect 10 GPA in 10th and an impressive 94.83 in 12th. During my BTECH, I put in my best efforts and managed to maintain a solid CGPA of 9.25.

Along the way, I also accumulated 2.5 years of valuable professional experience, which further enriched my knowledge and skills. My hard work and dedication paid off when I received an outstanding 98.82 percentile score on the CAT’18 exam.

With my impeccable academic record and CAT score, I had the wonderful opportunity to interview at some of the most prestigious business schools in the country. 

Chapter 2 – Getting IIM Interview Call & Prep Phase

Getting interview calls from IIMs and top MBA colleges was a dream come true for me. I was fully focused on preparing for the IIM interview. Thorough research on their values and programmes, knowing my application inside out, and practicing mock interviews became my priorities. I showcased my strengths, stay updated on current affairs, and project confidence during the interview. Being authentic and asking thoughtful questions did highlight my eagerness to join the IIM-A community. 

Chapter 3: GD Experience at IIM A 

The interview process had 2 steps: Document Verification and personal interview. The venue for the IIM-B interview was at Hotel Monarch Luxur, Bangalore. The document verification started right on time and was followed by AWT – It began at 1:50 PM and was over by 2:10 PM.

AWT (Duration: 20 minutes)

Students in the panel: 6

Topic: “All news anchors are the same. There is no real news anywhere. They invite guests to their shows and ask aggressive questions like ‘in a country where leaders like Gandhi Ji laid their lives for the country, you are talking about potholes’. They try to sensationalise every issue. Govt. should control the media as soon as possible.

Analyse the above argument. Assumptions made. Whether you agree or disagree with the author & provide a proper explanation. Which evidence will strengthen or weaken this argument?

Chapter 4 – Kind of questions asked during IIM interview (IIM Question Bank)

The interview panel consisted of 2 panellists: 1 male (35-40 years old) and 1 female (30-35 years old).

My interview started with questions about my education:

1. Have you heard of Kirchhoff’s law?

2. Find the current in each branch of the circuit (one of the panellists drew a circuit on paper)

It was a simple question, and I could answer it well. Next, they asked me to state something about myself that was not mentioned in my resume. Since I had indicated in my introduction that my father was in a transferable job, they asked me about some of the places I had visited. I told them about a few places in Jharkhand, such as Koderma, Patratu, and Ramgarh. This led to the next question, where I was asked what Koderma is famous for.

The interview then shifted to Vinoba Bhave, since I graduated from Vinoba Bhave University. I was asked who Vinoba Bhave was and any of his famous movements. I did not know the exact answer (like the Bhoodan Movement and Sarvodaya Andolan ), but I did mention that he was recognised for his contribution to education. The interview focus then shifted to my education, where I was asked concept-based questions on calculus, such as:

1. What are integration and differentiation?

2. What is the integration of X?

3. Is it also summation? Is every integration a summation?

4. What is differentiation used for?

5. What is the difference between distance and displacement?

6. What is the difference between speed and velocity?

7. What are the quantities with directions called?

I was able to answer most of these questions, but I fumbled through some because of my nervousness. The interview focus continued to be academics, and the next subject they picked up was statistics. They asked me some concept-based questions again on the subject.

1. What is a normal distribution?

2. How will you explain it to a layman?

3. What will be on the X-axis and Y-axis?

The panellists then shifted the focus to my work experience at TCS.

1. What was your role at TCS?

2. Why a separate project? (Since I had answered the first question that I was in a PMO role and was responsible for managing resources for various projects and maintaining records.)

The panellists kept shifting focus from academics and work experience to questions about me. They asked questions about my hometown, interests, and current affairs (I had stated during the interview that I liked watching the news).

1. Jharkhand (my hometown) is a significant exporter of which items?

2. Do you know the history of coal mines? or Any place you know, and why is it famous?

3. What kind of news do you like?

4. What is the highest designation in the Indian Air Force?

5. What kind of music do you listen to (as my hobby is singing)?

6. Any favourite singers whom you follow? (I answered Nusrat Fateh Ali, so the next questions were based on this.)

7. Any two of his songs that you like?

8. He was from which Gharana? Have you heard about Gharanas?

After I answered all the questions with reasoning to the best of my ability, I was offered candy and asked to leave the meeting. The interview lasted for about 20 minutes. Although I did not clear the interview round, it was a great experience.

Chapter 6 – Converted IIM Selections!

Seeing my name on the selected list and receiving an admission offer from IIM A was a dream come true. The institute is a treasure trove of knowledge, learning, connections, and networking. The two years I spent at IIM A not only shaped me into the professional I am today but also imparted life lessons that have made me a better person overall.


1. How important are communication skills in the WAT-PI round?
Communication skills are highly important in the WAT-PI round, as they showcase the candidate’s ability to articulate their thoughts effectively and convey ideas clearly.

2. How should I prepare for an interview?
To prepare for an interview, research the organisation or institution, practice common interview questions, review your resume or application, and work on improving your communication and presentation skills.

3. What should I wear for the interview?
Dressing professionally is recommended for interviews. Choose appropriate attire that aligns with the organisation’s culture or the nature of the programme you are applying to.

4. How long does an interview typically last?
The duration of an interview can vary depending on the organisation and the level of the position. On average, interviews may last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

5. What kind of questions can I expect during an interview?
Interviews may include questions about your background, work experience, skills, strengths, weaknesses, future goals, and situational or behavioural questions.

6. How important are non-verbal cues during an interview?
Non-verbal cues, such as body language and eye contact, play a significant role in interviews. They can convey confidence, interest, and professionalism.

7. What should I do if I don’t know the answer to a question during the interview?
If you don’t know the answer to a question, it’s okay to admit it. You can ask for clarification or take a moment to gather your thoughts before responding.

8. How soon can I expect to hear back after the interview?
The timeline for receiving feedback after an interview varies. Some organisations may provide feedback within a few days, while others might take a few weeks.

9. Is it appropriate to ask questions at the end of the interview?
Yes, it is encouraged to ask relevant questions at the end of the interview. It shows your interest in the role or programme and helps you gather important information about the opportunity.

10. How do interviewers evaluate candidates for the position?
Interviewers evaluate candidates based on their qualifications, skills, experience, communication, problem-solving abilities, and how well they align with the organisation’s values and requirements.

Source & Reference:

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