[2013-15] IIM-Calcutta WAT/PI Experience Thread

Please share your WAT/GD/PI experiences in this thread . Stick to the format given below: Name: cat percentile (OA): Sec1: Sec2: 10th and 12th Marks: Work Ex : Extra-curricular/Co-curricular: Anything special Date…

Please share your WAT/GD/PI experiences in this thread . Stick to the format given below:


cat percentile (OA):

10th and 12th Marks:
Work Ex :

Anything special

Date of Interview:
Location of interview:

WAT - topic
WAT experience :
your view of your preparation(0-5) and performance(0-5):

No. of people in the interview panel:
Questions in PI:
Duration of PI:

your view of your preparation(0-5) and performance(0-5).

All the very best puys.
CATroid to the rescue! I'll take up the honor of posting the first Hyderabadi WAT/PI experience! Infact the first of the season! Hope that turns out to be a lucky charm! I'm going to be super lengthy! Hope y'all don't mind that!

Name: Avinash K
CAT score: 96
Sec1: 94.65
Sec2: 93.46
Category: NC OBC
Work Exp.: 27 months (Information Technology Infrastructure Services)
Graduation: B.Tech (Electrical and Electronics Engineering) - 73.15
12th: MPC - 93.3
10th: SSC - 91.5
Hobbies Mentioned: Reading books, Graphology (Both were told as risky by one of the faculty at a coaching institute. First especially, as my read list includes The Diary of a Young Girl, Mein Kampf, Animal Farm, Satanic Verses. But still went with the gut feeling)

Date of Interview: 18th Feb'13
Place of Interview: Hyderabad

WAT topic: A civilization can be measured by the care it has shown towards it's least fortunate members. Is that a good yardstick? give your viewpoints
20 minutes, 200 word limit

WAT experience: I've felt I've written a good essay. Four paras, first para showed my inclination, second para one point of view with example, third para other point of view with example, fourth para gave what I felt as a good yardstick. Ample time for 200 word essay.

Your preparation: 3.5/5
Performance: 3.5/5

Three panelists (Sardarji: My favourite, Super Experienced Professor, Experienced Professor)
EP: What is the general talk about us outside? Your interview hasn't started, tell
me: Sir, just that questions were being asked on acads, general awareness
SEP: what are acads?
me: related to education
SEP: acads?
me: Sir, it is the short form of academics
SEP: 3rd or 4th?
me: CAT? (Was confused but felt super glad he felt so )
SEP: yes
me: No sir, it is my first attempt
SEP: Why didn't you go for CAT till now?
me: It's always been my plan to go for MBA after a couple of years of work experience. Even after joining the company, I started my preparation only from the second year.
SEP: (looking at the goals) We don't offer any entrepreneurial courses here, why do you need an MBA for entrepreneurship?
me: Sir, I feel a good manager makes a good entrepreneur
SEP: Do you know any entrepreneurs who had MBA? Tell me the entrepreneurs you know?
me: Mark Zuckerberg (he's a huge influence on me)
S: Indian
me: Narayanamurthy
SEP: he doesn't have an MBA
me: Sir, he has worked for Patni for a period of 6 years during which he might have acquired the managerial skills and confidence needed for entrepreneurship.
EP: What kind of companies do you want to work for?
me: Sir, I would like to work for a company which would provide me with decision making opportunities. Preferably sales and marketing companies
SEP: so like Unilever?
me: (thought for a few seconds, I didn't just want to nod along with his choice of company) told ITC
SEP: more or like similar company, ok what is the soap ad that comes in the TV frequently, starts with V (was trying hard to recollect)
me: (initially was scared that I won't be able to tell that product but thanks to IIML ABM preparation, product name struck me) said Vivel
SEP: Aw yes, so do you want to sell soaps, what products to you want to sell?
me: Sir, not necessarily a product I'm looking at a service probably gaming (I was scared inside that I would be grilled on the business plan for that)
EP: ok service
SEP: what is venture capital?
me: (used my half knowledge) it is the investment made into a domain of business
SEP: all the capital is eventually being used in business, what else capital do you have?
me: (thought for a moment and said) marketing capital and told I don't know sir
SEP: ok that's what I wanted to hear
SEP: so in your hobbies, you mentioned these books. Have you bought Satanic Verses online?
me: No Sir, I just googled it and found the pdf (I was scared about the topic getting diverted into book piracy, luckily that didn't happen, something even better happened)
SEP: is it? I've read that book, I would like to have a copy of that. I'll look up.
EP: Tell the authors of all these books
me: said
SEP: What's your opinion on Satanic Verses?
me: I feel it's overhyped, even the controversial parts form only two chapters of book
SEP: What is common in all these books
me: (I was thinking)
SEP: Narrate me the story of Satanic Verses
me: started and was going good
SEP: Enough I just wanted to know if you've read the book
S: Why did you read these books?
me: I'm not an avid reader when I was in teenage but as I grew I developed interest. I've read Mein Kampf to know the Hitler's Ideology behind the persecution of jews, I've read The Diary of Anne Frank to know how a jew felt during that period, I've read Animal Farm to know the satirical take on communism.
S: What's the use of knowing all that?
me:It is the history that teaches us, knowing how we evolved would help us in dealing present better
EP: What is your take on Palestine?
me: it's been recently given the observer status by UN. Palestinian land was occupied by jews for their seperate homeland cause.
EP: Should they be given a country or not?
me: There's a conspiracy that Jordan is behind Palestinian struggle. But, I still feel palestinians should be given a nation and a nation for jews too.
SEP: Have you ever analysed your handwriting?
me: yes sir, earlier I used to have this tendency to do things all on my own which is shown in single stokes of letter g. Later I've realized the importance of being social and I started having loops in g, not too inflated not too small. The way I see it is, the fact that you're making an effort to change your handwriting keeps telling you to change personally at the back of your mind.
SEP left
EP: Let's talk about something else, what is semiconductor?
me: a semiconductor is a material which allows free flow of electrons upon injecting impurity in it.
EP: no, no explain
me: (with all my tenth, inter, graduation knowledge I pulled out something which I felt was correct but the panelist didn't feel so) Sir, in a material some electrons are in inactive state and some are in excited state. An impurity has free electrons in the outer orbit, which when injected into material causes more number of excited electrons and hence flow of electrons in semiconductors.
EP: (pointing at bottle) if I inject electrons in this, is it going to conduct?
me: No sir, that is an insulator
SEP: (returned from outside) I heard you saying free electrons, tell me what is semi?
me: partial
SEP: do you know any semiconductors?
me: (thinking)
SEP: What if inject iron into these materials, iron has number of free electrons
me: (well played sir, that's a checkmate to me) Sir, that is what I recollect as far as I know sir
EP: where do you work?
me: told
S: what is the domain?
me: Information Technology Infrastructure Services, it contributes to about 10 percent of our company's revenue.
EP: What is the kind of work that you specifically do?
me: told (it's a service support project, nothing much technical about it, they too understood it and hence the below sarcastic remark)
EP: so, you're a receptionist, you're job is clerical
me: Sir, there may not be much technical about it, but I was made back-up lead I've to take care of shift activities, shift resources, shift SLA
EP: what is cloud computing?
me: The client uses the services provided and pays back as per agreed rates
SEP: there's no cloud in it, what is it?
me: It is the location where services are provided
SEP: is it physical?
me: no sir, virtual
SEP: explain
me: Sir, can I take an analogy and explain?
SEP: yes
me: We use up the electricity produced by the government and we pay back the government as per the bills. The same way, if I want to open a business it would be expensive for me, so I would go to a cloud computing service provider and take the services and pay him back
SEP: ok
EP: My last question to you, do you have a wrist watch?
me: yes sir
EP: tell me how does it work
me: (looking at my watch trying to think meanwhile SEP made below sarcastic remark)
SEP: you're not going to find how it works by looking
me: (raised my head and told) Sir, I'm trying to think
SEP: ok
EP: (kept providing clues) crystal
EP: quartz crystal
me: (tried to think and answer) crystal is for frequency, it sets frequency for the discs inside to rotate the seconds hand.
SEP: that is not what he has asked, crystal, what does the crystal do?
EP: piezoelectric effect. Did you have it in your syllabus
me: (I was tempted to say out of syllabus but controlled myself, he himself replied)
EP: come on you must have definitely had that
me: yes sir, I'm not able to recollect that definition. Can I tell you another example where I've read about the piezoelectric effect.
SEP: ok tell
me: In a pub of UK, beneath the dancing floor a separate material would be placed, as people dance on the floor, it would convert into electric energy which can be used. This is based on piezoelectric effect
SEP: ok thanks that's all
me: Thank you all!

A couple of personal questions, I've answered them pretty well.
It was a 30 minute interview. I was the fourth to be called.

Sardarji was smiling all the way, nodding, probably HR. He was my favorite face to look at in tensed situations.

After the dismal performance at IIM L interview, I felt IIM C interview has gone well. Reply with your views on it.

Your preparation: 3.5/5
Performance: 3.75/5

Verdict: Awaiting

I think it was super awesome...u totally rocked!! All the best 😃

Name: Partha Sarathy

cat percentile (OA): 99.97
Sec1: 99.97
Sec2: 98.71

10th: 87.80 (CBSE, 2002)
12th: 91.5 (State Board AP, 2004)
Work Ex : 54 months
Extra-curricular/Co-curricular: Quite a few project presentations, Technical fest organizing

Date of Interview: 18-FEB-2013
Place of Interview: Hyderabad

WAT - In most cultures marriages are an occasion for celebration .Do you agree with this? Give your reasons for the same
WAT experience : I was happy with my WAT experience. The topic was relatively broad and I was able to do enough justice within the time
Preparation: 4
Performance: 4

No. of people in the interview panel: 3 (P1: Sardarji, P2: Senior Prof, P3: Prof)
Questions in PI:
1.) What do we call you? - I have a very big name
2.) Where are you from basically? - Visakhapatnam
3.) What is your opinion on Telangana?
I said I am for it and gave valid reasons for the same.
4.) What about people who do not want to separate?
Gave ways in which their concerns can be handled in a nice way. New projects to other reasons and al. This part of Telangana discussion went well
5.) What book do you generally read and what are you reading now?
Jeffery Archer's Clifton Chronicles.
6.) Authors I like? - Sydney Sheldon, ROwling, Tolkien, Archer
7.) No Indian Books? Only a few of Chetan Bhagath.
8.) Author of the recent Shiva Trilogy? He is from IIMC...
I could not recollect - They said that is alright and I did not miss much.

Now all hell broke loose
9.) What is Vector (as in Maths)?
Could not recollect exactly....
10.) Difference between Speed and Velocity?
Said an alright answer but had to relate vector question with this. Speed with a direction is velocity.
11.) Sin theta representation. Asked me to show Sin 0. I was about to start by saying in a Right Triangle but my over-thinking mind ruled me out saying it cant be so easy. So drew a Sine Curve and tried explaining from there. At last on much prodding, when I gave the opposite Side/Hypotenuse answer, they said that was what they were expecting.
12.) Trigger concept in Database - Answered
13.) Normal Forms in DB - Was answering and was cut off by P2 and taken back to that Sin 0 Question.

P2 was not happy with the time taken to answer Sin 0 Q. I said I was thinking from an entirely different perspective and apologized
P2 said, I need to recollect all my math (my Quant is strong), cox there will b3 6 courses in 6 weeks and then exams after which we cannot go back to that 6 courses at all. So I have to be careful.
They said Good and Thank you. I thanked them back and left.

Duration of PI:20 mins

Fingers crossed, but I felt IIML interview was better. I am just hoping I could scrape through IIMC.

PI Preparation: 3.5
PI Performance: 3

Please give your opinions.


Nice interviews @CATroid and @pardhu1987 ! So the Panel is really trying to prod your learning and understanding of various things.

By the way, are the documents supposed to be attested by a notary? And don't they discuss the WAT essay that you submit?

documents are supposed to be notarised by any Gazetted officer.
They may or may not discuss the Essay
@pardhu1987 said:
@chandler99documents are supposed to be notarised by any Gazetted officer. They may or may not discuss the Essay
They did not ask any questions on ur work ex? please share ur work profile...
They only asked few Qs on Database as I have told - Triggers and Normal Forms
I have been working in the IT industry for the last 4.5 yrs
but curiously not much from work perspective
@smritimaurya thank you :)

WAT time?

and the length?

@capitali 20 minutes, 200 word limit
CAT - 98.5
VA – 97.6 Quant – 97.1
10th - 86.5% (A.P)
12th – 96.1% (A.P)
Grad – IITM CGPA - 6.53
WAT topic: Business in India does not care about Democracy and Human rights. What are the steps you recommend.
Duration 20 minutes.
Experience: Blanked out had no idea about what to write, so wrote a about what I knew and tried to link it to the topic... it may look as if I have diverged from the topic.
Preperation: 3 (on a scale of 5)
Performance: 2
Interview panel members 3
I1: so what do you do?
Me: Sir I am a derivatives trader I trade currency futures EURO-USD AUD-USD crosses.
I2: Is it true that the career span of you people last 4 to 5 years??
Me: Sir for people who come with a number in their head approximately 4 to 5 years is sufficient to make that kind of money and then they leave to pursue other interests but there are also people who love the game and just continue with it.
I1: But aren't you guys the people who created the recent problems?
Me: Sir speculators help the market by bridging the consumers and producers of the commodity and they increase liquidity and competition of the markets and make them reach their fair price. Sure, there are people who try to squeeze markets like what armazaro did with cocoa market they tried thrice and succeeded once. What they did is they bought all possible contracts and took the price to a very high level.(went on blabbing about how a rich guy corners a market to become even richer and make the commodity unreachable to those who need it mentioned about trying to regulate the number of speculators )
I1: So what are you saying? Is it good or bad?
Me: Sir there are players like these who need to be regulated but speculators should not be removed entirely from the market. While there are bullish speculators there are people who attack from the bearish side so you cant exactly say speculators are pushing the prices high.
I1: Why is the traded volume so high than the actual volume?
Me: Sir there is lot of changing hands before the commodity actually reaches from a producer to a consumer. But eventually every speculator like a fund should clear their positions or declare them by the end of a quarter or a financial year. So despite the large traded volume the commodity goes from the producer to consumer.
I1: the government is trying to remove speculators from commodity markets
Me: Sir instead of removing them they can regulate them or control their number by giving slots every person before entering the market needs to declare if he is a producer or a consumer( the commercials) and if he is a speculator and the government can try to control the number of speculators.
I1: What is your call on Rupee?
Me: I don't know sir
I1: what is its value today?
Me: I don't know sir
I1: yesterday?
Me: I don't know sir
I1: Do you follow it?
Me: No sir I follow EURO and AUD
I1: So tell me about EURO
Me: Sir the condition is bad in both Europe and U.S. and the major problem with Europe is although they have a monetary union they don't have a fiscal union and if they do have a fiscal union that will threaten their sovereignty. Although they formed the union on a good reason to bring a common currency and to make imports and exports easier unless they have a fiscal union Euro wont survive.
I1: So do you think they will let it happen.
Me: No sir they wont hence I don't think Eurozone is not feasible in the long run unless they merge into a single nation and I think Germany should be the one who goes out first.
I1: No, I completely disagree Germany is the one who is funding Eurozone
Me: So but it is the one who is reaping the benefits of the current scenario.
I1: Thats exactly why I am saying it wont.
Me: Sir the way I see it germany is the odd one without it the remaining nations are in a fair ground.
I1: but it wont leave
Me: Sir I was speaking about an ideal case scenario.
I3: So engineering Physics, what is it ?
Me: Sir it is a an experimental branch started by IIT M which has theoretical physics and electrical engineering courses it started 3 to 4 years before I took it up.
I3: I have asked this question even yesterday so let see I have a red ball and I took it into a room with violet light what colour is the ball now?
Me: (thought for 2 seconds) sir the ball appears red because it absorbs all visible radiation except red and in the violet room there is no red colour radiation. While it absorbs violet radiation it cant absorb it 100% so a part of it should be reflected and hence it should look violet.
I3: think again
Me: sir there cant be 100% absorption sir so based on it it should look violet.
I2(who was absolutely calm got pissed off all of a sudden takes his phone out and points its back) what colour do you see?
Me: black
I2: why?
Me: because it absorbs all radiation.
I2: you just said that cant happen
Me: sir i still stand by it, it might have absorbed 99% and reflect 1% the 1% might not have made a difference to out eye.
I2: now what is your answer?
Me: Sir the ball will look black.
I3: Do you have a analog wrist watch?
Me: no sir.
I3 points to a wrist watch and asks: there is a battery inside it what is its function?
Me: Sir the battery powers the motor that runs the watch.
I3: there is no motor inside it have you noticed the one word that is common on all analog wrist watches? Have you heard about “Quartz”?
Me: yes sir, but I don't know the functioning of an analog watch.
I1: Why ? you studied physics...
I3: what are piezo electrics?
Me: I have heard the word in my +2 but I have not studied about it during my engineering.
I3: But you have done electrical engineering courses too.
Me: Sir I have done any course that has dealt with studying piezo electrics in detail and a piezo electric is a material that changes its electrical properties when pressure is applied. I have taken Engineering physics because of my interest in experimental physics. I wanted to purse..
I3: No you picked E.P because you got IIT M. Admit it.
Me: no sir I could have gotten other branches too like Comp Sci from Guwhathi Mechanical Eng from Kharagpur Chem from Madras.
I3: what is your rank?
ME: sir 1126
I3: became silent and then you wouldn't get mech from kharagpur
Me: Sir I would get dual degree in both kharagpur and madras.
I3: where are you from?
Me: Visakhapatnam
I3: You picked it because it is near your home.
Me: Sir Kharagpur is almost at equal distance from Visakhapatnam.
I3: So what electrical engineering courses have you done?
Me: I have done courses in signal processing
I3: what courses?
Me: Analog signal processing, Digital signal processing, Communication systems.
I3: what did you learn about in communication systems?
Me: Sir about communications like video, audio, antenna's, hard disks.
I3: So tell me when a new reporter tries to speak with an anchor he can't hear him but we can hear him why?
Me: Sir the T.V station transmits the signal to its satellite and we get it from it and the t.v reporter's signal also is transmitted via the channel's satellite and when they talk to each other we can see a lag because of the
I3: So you are telling that you at a place that is far away can hear him but they cant hear each other?
Me: Sir we get their signals from the channel's satellite but when they are both speaking to each other they are on a different network because they are speaking via the telephone so their communication is via another satellite that may belong to Idea or Vodafone so they might not be able to hear each other because of a problem in that network.
I3: looked convinced.
I1: You look good enough with your job why MBA.
Me: Sir in the long term it doesn't look feasible. I trade on a very small time scale 5 minutes the longest I held on to my position is 4 hours that too with some heat from management and I want to take long term calls that may last months years or even a decade. Also I trade completely based on technicals charts etc so for example when Mario draghi speaks I don't know how to interpret it because of my lack of knowledge I don't know if it is bullish or bearish so I want to learn about finance, public policy etc
I1: what is the difference between a trader and an investor?
Me: Sir a trader essentially takes advantage of the situation when he feels a market should move from one point to another. An investor looks in a very broad and long term way he stores his wealth in a certain asset.
I1: stores
Me: I mean invest in an asset where he sees growth today it may be 10 rupees but he invests in only if he believes it can grow to hundred or even more and he is in it for the long run it might be 10 years or 20 over may be even more than it. So one way of looking at it will be a trader is for short term while an investor is for the long run.
I2 looks both sides and says: okay thank you.

Duration: around 20 minutes according to the guy who was outside (lost track of time).

·Never lost my cool was smiling most of the time
·Was very passionate about my answers and descriptions
·Look pleasing didn't take offence
·Got disheartened for a very small moment but wiped it off my face and came out of it very soon, not noticeable unless they were looking for it.
·Went further from the point I was trying to make more than once.
·Blabbed a lot.( they might have understood it as nervousness, may be I was nervous)
·Got desperate in between to impress them.
·Have this nagging feeling that it could have been a lot lot better.
Preperation: 4 ( on a scale of 5)
Performance: 2.5

Verdict: Don't know feeling really down
tell me your views.

Updated on 13th April 2013: Converted \m/
CAT - 96.1
VA – 85.8 Quant – 98.0
10th - 83.8% (A.P)
12th – 94.6% (A.P)
Grad – Andhra University Engg College - 75%
WorkEx: 50 Months( IT)
WAT topic: Business in India does not care about Democracy and Human rights. What are the steps you recommend.
Duration 20 minutes.

Experience: Blanked out had no idea about what to write, so wrote a about what I knew and tried to link it to the topic... it may look as if I have diverged from the topic.
Preperation: 3 (on a scale of 5)
Performance: 2

Interview panel members 3(P1(Didnt ask any questions),P2(Stressing),P3(Mostly questioning))
P1: Why is your initial in short form?
Me: Sir, its bcaz of space constraint, since my name is long

P2: You are from NC-OBC, but your salary is too high
Me: Sir, once I join IIM, I wont earn anything and its my father's salary which will be considered

P2: So, you belong to creamy layer now?
Me: No sir, I still belong Non-Creamy layer, since my father's salary is less than 4 lakh

P2: Do you really need reservation? Whats your stand?
Me: Sir, I think the reservation system should be revisited and given on economic basis rather than on Caste basis

P2: You can still write to us stating that you don need reservation and we will consider you under OC category. If you do that now, we will give you 20 marks right away
ME: Smiling

P2: Why are you smiling, I am serious
ME: Sir, I think its not wise to not to use opportunity when it is there

P2: Okay, we will give 100% reservation to economically backward people, is that Ok?
ME: Sir, then merit students from rich can't get seats

P2: Let them go to US and pursue MS
ME: Sir, 100% is too much. Anything greater than 50% is not required

P3: How do you decide this 40-50% line?
ME: Sir, everyone should be given equal opportunity

P2: Draw a rectangle, and show me how to convert it to a square
ME: Tried something to do in layman terms
P2: Draw a line
ME: Done

P2: You have a geometry box with you,now tell me how will you divide the line into two equal parts
ME: I will measure length with scale and keep a point at exactly half

P2: Scale is missing
ME: Drawn arc of perpendiculars joined the common points and told the line cuts perperdiculary at exactly half

P1: Any line drawn perpendicularly divides into half?(First question)
ME: Joined all sides, almost reached the point( Pythagorean theorem), but was interrupted to ask other question. I actually some precious time here, which will be my rejection main reason

P3: Whats your work profile?
ME: Told(Online gambling, Business Intelligence Developer)

P3: Do you think its legal to gamble in India
ME: No sir, but still some websites are operating illegally

P3: Do you test your application as part of Development
ME: Yes sir
P3: So, you played Poker which is not legal in India?
ME: We are just providing a service, and make sure that it is free of bugs
P3: Suppose I provide a service for assassination, is that legal?
ME: Sir, we actually play with virtual money not real money for testing and in-house tournament

P3: So, you played cards which is illegal in India
ME: Sir, playing with real money is only illegal, and book cases only when money is involved
P3: But you told that any sort of playing is illegal?
ME: Sorry sir, play money actually leads to real money

P3: Heard of EA?
ME: No sir(Dude, NFS....)
P2: Name some competitors for you company
ME: Told 3 Names

P1: OK,You know Prabhakaran?
ME: Yes sir, LTTE head
P1: Whats the controversy going on?
ME: Sir, Prabhakaran's son is killed by SriLankan army
P2: Is it not right?
ME: The way how he was killed was brutal, even offered snacks before he was shot?
P3: Might be he is trying to attack them with weapons
ME: No sir, he is 10 years kid and he cant do such things
P3: Did you see?
ME: No sir, its actually the experts in that field who told that he was shot from very close and its not ethical in war to kill those who surrendered

P3: Offering snack before killing in not ethical?
ME: Sir, people usually say that we shouldn't even shout at someone who is actually eating, but they have killed him sir

P2: Okay, you may leave

In between, P2 wrote something on paper and showing it to P1 and they both are laughing which clearly shows my narrowed chances. I fumbled in between sometimes which they clearly observed.

Preperation: 3 (on a scale of 5)
Performance: 2

Verdict: God knows, should have done better. I think Pythagorean theorem ditched me. They are very serious at Maths fundamentals.

Who are forming these WAT topics? Randomness...

@carrotilla said:
Who are forming these WAT topics? Randomness...
I think if u ace the interview than WAT may not hold much importance as its weightage is low..so even if u had a bad WAT u can make it in interview..

Do the extra curricular certificates also need to be notarized?

Do we also need to get the extra curricular activities certificates notarized?

Certificates need to be notarized means they need to be attested by a gazetted officer or they should have notary stamp....