Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My first ever IIM Interview.

First there was an essay, followed by an interview. 

Topic: 'Having no opinions, is the only conducive way for a peace of mind'
Number of Ppl present : 40 (35 present)
Time: 30 mins
Other Salient Details: The paper had 5 A4 size sides. There was no word limit. You were given 25 minutes to write.


When I tried entering the room, they asked me to wait for a couple of minutes so that they could have tea and snacks.

Panel : 
P1 - Prof Sukumaran Bhaskaran (Not very sure)
P2 - Prof MP Sebastian

P2 came and opened the door and asked me to enter. 

P2 : Good morning, have a seat. Introduce yourself.
Me: Good morning sir. I am S G Shrinivas
P2 : Oh! You aren't Abhishek? (There were 4 Abhisheks in my slot) Has Mr. John stopped sending people in order?
Me: I'm not sure sir. He asked me to go next. 
P2 : No problem, you can continue. 
Me: I am S G Shrinivas ..
P1 : Football? As in Soccer?
Me: Yes sir, my favourite team is Manchester United.
P2 : What other calls do you have?
Me: Ahmedabad, Indore, Kozhikode, Rohtak sir.
P2 : Ok.
P1 : Okay Shrinivas, that's nice. You focussed on all your activities, achievements; but what about your social contributions? Have you done anything for the soceity?
Me: Sir, I have. In my middle school, I mobilized funds for the Indian Leprosy Foundation. Now, I am doing a project for removal of fluorides from hand pump water that will touch the lives of many poor people in rural MP and Rajasthan when implemented.
P1 : But you never mentioned all this earlier. Does this mean you do not consider your social responsibility to be equally important?
Me: Not at all sir., Even the other day, I saw this orphan on the road,selling earbuds. We aren't supposed to buy such earbuds, as they are harmful. But I thought, by buying a couple of packets, I will at least give him money for one square meal.
P2 : That's nice to know. Ok. So what do you think are the problems faced by India today?
Me: Sir, it is tough to pinpoint just one problem. In my opinion, poverty and corruption are the most important problems faced by India today. Also, I feel that both are interlinked. Corruption leads to poverty. Poverty also fuels corruption.
P2 : Wait wait wait. Ambanis are corrupt. But I don't think they are poor!
Me: Sir, that wasn't what I meant. What I meant to say was that poor people also become party to corruption indirectly. Take the example of the PDS in India. Most people who are eligible to get 20 kg rice, get only 15 kg. But they do not complain, because complaining will lead to them losing out on even the 15 kg that they get. In this way, they indirectly fuel corruption. 
P2 : Everyone is corrupt. But since your mother is in the police department, you wont agree that the police is corrupt, will you?
Me: No sir. Even the police department is corrupt except for a few people. Even in politics, it is a sewage. Once you get in,you become part of it. 
P2 : No, not necessarily. There are many honest leaders. 
Me: Yes sir, Exceptions are there in all cases. 
P2 : Okay, name a woman police officer who faced a lot of problems due to being straightforward. 
Me: Sir, It would be Mrs Kiran Bedi. At TN, it would be Ms. Letika Saran and Mrs. Thilagavathy, the first IPS from TN. 
P2 : Hmm. Do you know Mt Abu?
Me: Yes sir, It is in Rajasthan.
P2 : What is the speciality of Mt Abu?
Me: I am not very sure sir, but I think there is a Jain temple there. 
P2 : Are you sure?
Me: No sir, I am taking a guess. 
P2 : Have you heard of Bramhakumaris?
Me: I have heard of them, but do not know much about them. 
P2 : Sir Creek?
Me: I'm sorry sir. 
P1 : Have you travelled around the world?
Me: Sir, I haven't had the chance to travel so far. 
P1 : In india?
Me: Yes sir, I have travelled extensively. 
P1 : Okay, where do you think India is headed for in the next 20 years?
P2 : You said Chennai is the Detroit of India. Why?
Me: It is the car manufacturing hub of our country sir. 
P2 : Do you know what happened to Detroit recently?
Me: Yes sir, in the recession period, lots of car manufacturers had problems. Like General Motors. 
P2 : Do you want the same to happen to your Chennai? 
Me: Sir, I don't think Chennai will face that problem, as most cars manufactured here by Ford, Hyundai etc are exported. Also, India is a developing country. The demand will only keep increasing. 
P2 : Are you sure?
Me: I did my training in Chennai port Trust. There, the highest import-export volumes are for Coal and then Hyundai's cars.
P1 :
P2 : Where else does Hyundai manufacture in India?
Me: As of now, just in Chennai sir. 
P2 : Sure?
Me: Yes sir!
P2 : Okay, you are a Civil Engineer. What is the major problem, from a Civil Engg point of view that India is going to face, in the next 10 years?
Me: Oil sir?
P2 : Oil yes, other than that?
Me: Drinking water crisis sir. 
P2 : Yes. What do you think are the reasons for the same? What do you think can be done?
P2 : Do you think water mixed with detergent can be recycled?
Me: Definitely sir., but it cant be used for drinking purposes. It can be used for other stuff like cleaning toilets etc. 
P2 : Why doesn't the government ban such detergents that cause so much damage?
Me: < Explained about banning not being easy, corporate lobbying, loss of jobs etc>
P1 : Ok, nice. Tell me a leader whom you admire the most. 
Me: At a smaller level, it would be Rahul Ramesh, the chief editor of the Editorial Board of my college. He was a person whom I admired a lot and has inspired me a lot. A a larger level, it would be Gary Neville of Manchester United; just for his passion. He is not some one who is very talented, but has made it to where he is just because of hardwork. For similar reasons, I also admire Rahul Dravid and Rafael Nadal. Both aren't as talented as others, but have got here due to sheer perseverance. 
P1 : Okay, this Mr. Ramesh you told about .. 
P2 : Yes, his college senior .. 
P1 : What did you find great about him?
Me: Sir, the post of the Editorial Board's chief editor is a crown of thorns. There are a lot of problems associated with it. And this guy, despite preparing for CAT, took the post which was offered to him. He worked so hard, motivated others to work and got the best out of people. That is something I really admire in him. This guy put team before personal goals, and sacrificed CAT for the year, and worked for the Ed Board. We brought out a magazine that was much appreciated by all the alumni, for the Golden Jubilee Year of the college He had confidence in his ability, and gave CAT this year, got 99.4 and 5 calls.
P1 : Ha ha! That's nice! Good you added that last bit. I love the CAT and would be personally disappointed with someone who gave it up, for something else. 
P1 to P2 : Anything else?
P2 : I'm done. 
P1 : It was a real pleasure talking to you. Thank you so much. 
Me: Thanks a lot sir. 
P2 : You may leave now, and dont forget to get your documents verified before you leave. 

Duration of Interview : Atleast 30 mins

It was a chilled out interview. And I thought I managed to do justice to most answers. 
Verdict : Awaited.