MBA GDPI Testimonial: How IIM-C student, Sumeet Kalaskar, cracked the PI round

In this interview, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM-C) student, Sumeet A Kalaskar  shares his experience on the most important stage of admission process, which is the Personal Interview (PI) round. Sumeet got admission to PGDBA (Post Graduate Diploma in Business Analytics) 2016-18 batch, jointly offered by IIM-C, IIT Kharagpur and ISI (Indian Statistical Institute) Kolkata.  A Pune University graduate in Computer Science, Sumeet shares his personal interview experience along with a few tips for MBA aspirants to benefit from.

Q. How long was your interview?

A. My interview lasted for almost 25-30 minutes

Q. On the basis of what are the questions asked in the interview round?

A. We are all given a form to fill at the beginning of the entire process. The questions asked during the interview round are wholly dependent on the answers written in the form. 

Q. What kind of questions were asked to you? 

A. Plenty of questions were asked. Questions related to my background, short term and long term goals, kind of projects undertaken during graduation, reason for doing MBA( which is a very important question), hobbies,favourite subject, my choice of specialisation in MBA and why, future plans, were the questions asked. 

Q. What’s the most challenging aspect of an Interview? Could you give us an example with respect to the experience you had?

A. The most challenging aspect of an interview is when they cross question you about something you said while you are already answering a question. For instance, when they asked me what was my favourite subject, I replied Maths, and went onto say that I taught Maths and Quantitative Aptitude. Before I could complete my statement they asked me questions on algorithms and asked me to explain a few of them.

Q. What do you think contributed in your selection?

A. I presented my answers in detail, backed by numbers and statistics wherever needed. My responses weren’t mere opinions. They were well corroborated answers supported with reason. By the end of it all, the panellists want to see if you have an entire plan chalked out—why you want to do MBA? How is your background going to help you in it?Whether or no, you have a well decided plan ahead of you? They like candidates who have a career plan in mind. Candidates who fail to justify their replies, find it difficult to crack the PI round. I was quite clear about the aforementioned questions as I had a well chalked out plan. Perhaps that’s why I could justify my answers well and convince them with my replies.

Q. How important is GK in the PI level?

A.I was asked general awareness questions pertaining to the kind of answers I gave in the form. That is why one must be very sure about what he/she writes in the form. 

Q Any tips you would like to share with candidates?

A. 1) Know exactly why you want to do MBA, and why you want to specialise in a given field. Have a well chalked out plan. Remember, institutes look for managers, not entrepreneurs. 

    2) Know yourself inside and out so that you can answer questions based on your personality well. 

    3) Justify your answers. Don’t just share opinions. Give sensible and well thought out, honest responses. 

    4) Revise your basics, and by that I mean, all that you’ve studied till graduation and work experience as they can question you about it. 

    5) Don’t stress as that will not help you give clear and precise answers. 

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