What Are The Most Important Things That Are Looked for In An IIM Interview?

So let me spill the beans. I have talked to a few professors at FMS and a few other B-schools and here is what they have to offer:

  • Honesty: No one likes fake people and neither do B-school professors. They are evaluating you on your honestly, ethics and truthfulness. That is the reason that they try to grill you upon topics like your hobbies, interests, work experience. They want to understand that how thorough you are with your work, hobbies and past life experience. Here the make or break would be if you are faking something. They want to understand your personality and see if you are a genuine person. The way you narrate your life story tells them how honest, genuine and hardworking you are.
  • Behaviour: They want to understand your perspective on various topics. They are trying to gauge you on your behavioural aspects such as willingness to learn, openness to criticism, understanding of world affairs, etc. They also want to understand your relationship with the world around you.
  • Hard work/Diligence: How good are you as a worker? How can you contribute to an institute? They want to be sure of the fact that they are admitting a person who is hardworking and can contribute towards the growth of institute. That is why, they ask you about your achievements and contributions. They usually go deep in understanding you role in various activities you have done. Here, they are looking at your achievements at one end and your personality at the other end.
  • World View: An MBA is a general course. You don’t need to specialise in one subject as you did in your graduation or you do in other masters courses like M.Tech, M.Sc, etc. A good business manager needs to wear multiple hats. They want to gauge you on that aspect. That’s why they ask all those perception based questions. They want to understand whether you are aware of various issues of your state, town, city, nation and world in general. Further, they want to understand how you form perspectives about a particular topic. Are you too biased towards one opinion or do you take a balanced and more holistic view? They also want to judge you on various aspects of your knowledge like polity, economics, sociology, etc. They are also looking for someone who can understand and evaluate a problem from various perspectives.
  • Communication/Confidence/Knowledge: Contrary to the popular belief, PI is not just about these aspects. They are just hygiene factors. You need to be an effective communicator. An effective communicator doesn’t mean someone who is fluent in English. A story teller with average english speaking skills is way more effective than a person with very high english fluency but no substance. They don’t expect you to know about everything happening in the world but they want you to be aware of important events which would shape the destiny of this world.

At the end of the day, a B-school is not your usual college campus. B-school students are not your usual undergraduate college goers. They are much more mature, have a balance view about various topics and understand their limitations and strengths. A professor/interviewer is looking for a colleague with whom he can discuss topics as varied as mysticism to bakar over a cigarette or chai. So present yourself as a mature, sensible and versatile person who can add colour to the campus.