Interview Date : 6th Feb Morning Slot.
NMAT Score : 210
Program Interviewed for : MBA Core
CD Topic : An antiques collector has a very important artifact which is believed to be bringing good luck to a tribe in the Amazon. But there is no scientific proof. If you are the collector, would you give the artifact back to the tribe?
Ethics based CD.
Review : 12 candidates to a group. I was 10th. But the seating arrangement was such that I was able to look at everyone and was not at a corner. CD progressed smoothly. Everyone got a chance to speak. Everyone started with 'He should give it back' vs 'He shouldnt give it back'. I was the first one to weigh pros and cons and verbally explain my thought process to the panel and group. A number of people were looking at the panel while saying their points. Whereas the norm is to look at everyone in the group. I looked at every single person while giving the points. I started speaking after the first 3 minutes as everyone who were eager to speak, finished and there was a lull. I seized the opportunity and spoke for a good 2 minutes. Another thing i did was to listen intently by looking at the person speaking and giving facial and verbal confirmations like 'hmm, yes, exactly' and smiling when a valid point was made and/or when anybody supported my statements and even when they contradicted my statements. On every valid point, I would jot down what was said and took note of what was said and what was left. This helped me streamline what I had to say instead of just rambling on random statements. In the middle, say about 8 mins into the CD, I gave a new point which was kind of an inference from a statement. And that was my star line as the CD got a new point to ponder over. I would definitely count that as a brownie point. Towards the end, everyone got a chance to conclude and was the second to last person to speak and I said, given everyone believes what we have discussed, we can conclude xxxxxx.
Special Points for CD : Smile. Smile when the panel arrives. Smile when they look at you. Say thank you when they give you the CD paper. Donot attack anybody, you will get a chance to speak. Say valid points. Look at the group while speaking. You are discussing the case with the, not with the panel. Listen intently. listening helps not to repeat important points which have already been said once or twice. Be original. Say original points and give original inferences. The CD is meant for you to display your analytical, people, vocab and public speaking skills. Being polite gives brownie points too.
PI Review : I entered the room after knocking and asking permission. I was told to sit. I only remember a few questions as there was a barrage of questions from go time.
Panel of 3. M1 55+, F1 55+, F2 45+
F2 - (on my internship) Is this a family concern from which you have done your internship? Said - Not immediate family, its my Mama's firm. Its an NBFC registered with RBI.
F1 - What is Mama called in english? Said Uncle. F1 - What uncle? Said Maternal Uncle.
F2 - Walk me through what you did after graduation. Explained - First studying for MBA entrances. Didnt get through. So uncle offered an internship as I was a finance student. Did internship for 8 months. The started an import export firm. (All eyebrows raised) So then explained what all I did in the company. Why shut down. Reasons - Bureaucracy and bribery.
F2 - Bureaucracy and bribery will be everywhere. What makes you think doing an MBA will take you away from all this? Said - No it wont. But I wont compromise on ethics and moral even if it means shutting down a profitable business.
F2 - What do you think about the current prices of dal in India? All the price rise? Said - I think it is because of hoarding. In 2009 it was around 60/kg and now its shot upto 150/kg. Input costs have not risen so much. Fuel has risen about 20%. So its the middlemen and hoarders that are responsible.
F2 - Do you think dal can be hoarded for so long? How long can it be stored before rats infest. Said - Our regular basmati rice are aged for 2-3 years before consumption. So yes, dal can be stored too. You need proper medication/box units to prevent insects and rats.
F1 - So walk me through what next. Said - I shut the business and started pursuing finance full time. Learned technical analysis of stock markets, started a consultancy where I advice clients on stock buying/selling. And I completed FRM from US.
This is when M1 came in, who until now was out of the process.
M1 - Oh! so you completed FRM. You are certified? Said - No just finished exams in consecutive attempts, not yet certified so cant call myself an FRM. Just cleared FRM Exams.
M1 - Tell me what is Negative duration? (Didnt remember and tried to say in my own words. Said something about negative interest rates) he again asked - What is it related to. Said - Fixed income, bonds or fixed income funds.
F2 - So why MBA? You should do CFA instead. Said - I am doing CFA. I want to do MBA because it will teach me the skills needed in an organization. It will help me relearn basics and its like a finishing school for business skills. This is where I can hone my existing skills and acquire new ones from the diversity. The diversity is another factor. Our group has 3 IT ppl, 4 Civil Enggs, 3 doing CA and me. This type of diversity is what attracts me towards an MBA as it will help me gets skills and knowledge from all of these people. Networking, Re-learning and Diversity.
F2 - So about your consultancy, how does it work? Said - I focus on technical analysis. So at end of day, I do my research and email to clients wit a buy, sell, hold, target and stoploss figures who then trade accordingly.
F2 - Do you trade? Said - No, I only provide advice, clients trade in their own accounts. But I do trade in my own account.
Then was asked about trading, I said trades can be punched in microseconds. Some more talk on trading.
F2 - Elaborate on technical analysis. Said - I specialize in trend following, dow theory, trendlines and RSI.
M2 - What is bollinger band? Said - It is like standard deviation. A volatility indicator. He said no its not standard deviation. I explained I dont know how its derived. but it is a volatility indicator, Explained how its drawn, etc.
M2 - Do you know stochastics, MACD, SAR, Parabolics? I said I donot know them. He said How do you follow trends then? I said - I use dow theory, and trend lines. He was not happy with trend lines.
I had to explain chart types like bar, candlesticks, line etc. Explained how trend lines are drawn. But they didnt understand. So I offered to draw on the whiteboard and show, but they refused.
F2 - You said about technical analysis. Explain the process. Said - I think technicals work best in short term to medium term. Not so much in long term. She asked what is short term. I said - anywhere from 5 minutes to 3 months.
In all F1 only asked me the english word for MAMA.
F2 did most of the talking about my CV
M1 must have been a finance prof because all he was concerned with were technicalities in finance.
In spite of the stress interview setting, I composed myself. Used body language wherever possible. Looked at everyone while explaining. Smiled when I didnt know an answer (twice). No umms and aahs. Because every question was factual and related to life after graduation, all answers were ones without abstract reasons.
Overall decent PI in my opinion.
Please post your views, Any chance of conversion?