Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Lost Voice and the lo(a)st cause? - IIM Rohtak, Raipur, Trichy Interview

It was the last of my IIM calls, and the last but one of all my calls. (MDI is the other one). After the A call, which I thought went well (when much to the contrary I got blunt feedback from people asking me not to expect much) I was pretty much relaxed. The centre was IIM Lucknow's Noida Campus and people in Noida actually knew that the campus was in existence. A ride with a bank officer later, I reached the 'college' (Not going to risk any tongue in cheek remarks about the boring bank officer lest he finds out about the blog from somewhere! :O ). There were quite a few familiar faces in the same slot, from the Ahmedabad and Kozhikode calls. We were divided into 4 panels and I was placed into Panel 3. 

And my luck with 5 continued. Have been the 5th person to be interviewed in all my calls, Kozhikode, Indore, Ahmedabad and then this one as well! But there was the minor problem of a Group Discussion before the interview. Had never been in a GD before (Discounting the Shapoorji Pallonji and the Career Launcher ones) and with the dead voice courtesy the Delhi Cold and a mild version of the Delhi Belly due to the centre being way too far from the New Delhi, left me praying for my luck. But luck was running out, and I was left in a good group. 

GD Topic: Rural india is being ignored. We look there only for profits. We are heartless parasites.(They expanded this into a paragraph of sorts)
Time: 12 mins + a couple of mins for thinking which ended 30 seconds after they started

Those who have been with me in GDs pretty much know that I open my mouth lots, but get heard only a little and my bad voice mad things worse. I was pretty much a silent spectator for most of the time, despite multiple attempts. I soon gave it up as a lost cause, and went into analysis mode and started spotting the 'Professor, Gatekeeper, Time Keeper' ala Career Launcher's PDP Videos. And that was some fun before I suddenly got a moment of silence to enter and make my point. (and a few subsequent points too). On the whole it was a pathetic GD, similar to a fish market except that all of us(them rather) were arguing to prove the same thing! There was one guy who kept looking at his watch permanently, and telling us that time was about to get over more than saying anything else!

Then the panel ended the GD and asked us to wait for the interviews. And I guess I wasn't alone in being happy that the GD had finally ended. Then after a quite long wait, came my turn for the interview. Was a pretty short interview, and hence do not remember which interviewer asked which question. So here goes the experience.

Panel : Two professors apparently of IIM Lucknow and me. 

P: Tell me about yourself
Me: (The same old crap, I'll refrain from posting it here once again)
P: Who is Maulana Azad? Tell about him. 
Me: Sir, he was the first education minister of India, and is responsible for India's education system. He was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1992. And of course, he was a freedom fighter too. 
P: (Glancing through my marksheets) Why so much of transport and environment. What do you learn in them?
Me : Sir we have two papers each of Transport and Environment Engg. In Transport 1, we studied about Ports, Airports and Railways. In Transport 2, we dealt with Highways. Environment was ...
P: (Interrupts) What is a Freeway? Expressway?
Me: I am not very sure about a freeway, but an expressway is special kind of national highway where the roads are 8 laned. And there are no stops permitted. It is for high speed travel.
P: What are the two kinds of roads used?
Me: Sir, roads can be made of either Bitumen or  Concrete.
P: What are the advantages and disadvantages of concrete roads?
Me: Concrete roads are very costly sir. And they are weak at the construction joints that are made at the end of the day's work. On the other hand, they are much more resistant and have a longer life when compared to Bitumen roads.
P: What is the cost of building Bitumen and Concrete Roads?
Me: (Thanking my stars and Vineel for making me attend that particular class of Transportation Engg a week ago !!) Sir, a Bitumen Road costs about 50 Lakh per Kilometer and a Concrete one about 1 Crore a Kilometer. This is for a 4 lane road, built on a plain surface. 
P: Okay, what is the width of Broad Gauge and Metre Gauge?
Me: Sir, as the name suggests, a Meter Gauge is 1m wide. Broad Gauge is 1.33m wide sir. 
P: 1.33m? Sure?
Me: Yes sir! (It is 1.43m, I just checked)
P: What are the advantages of Meter Gauge?
Me: Sir .. Uhmm Uhmm Uhmm .. (And coughed a bit so that he had time to think of another question)
P: Ok, you would have seen the Delhi Metro. What is the cost building 1km of it?
Me: Sir, it depends on how you are building it. Overbridge, underground or on the surface. Under ground would be the costliest. And on the surface the cheapest. 
P: I don't want to know all this! Cost. Tell me cost alone. 
Me: Sir, I don't know the cost sir. Sorry.
P: (Puzzled Expression and tries to go into serious mode) Then why on earth did you explain all this? You should have told I dont know sir, in the beginning itself. When you started explaining all this, I thought you will give me a detailed estimate. 
Me: (Put on my best possible smile) :D 
P: Ok, you are a National Level Quizzer and play Chess. What are your other interests?
Me: Sir, I like writing. I am a part of the Editorial Board of the college that has worked on three magazines including the Golden Jubilee Edition of the Magazine. I also have been maintaining a blog for the last 4.5 years. 
P: Oh, that's nice. What do you blog about?
Me: Sir, initially I started out with Film and Music Reviews sir .. 
P: (Interrupts) Film Critic or reviewer?
Me: Sir, it depends on the movie. If I don't like a movie, I become a critic. (And both me and the Panelist who asked the question laughed. The other one didn't appreciate this moment of fun, and was hell bent on taking my case!)
P : What films do you watch?
Me: Sir, only regional ones mostly. Tamil Cinema. 
P: What else do you write about?
Me: Of late about IIM Interviews of mine and poems too. 
P: (Cant see any more chance of taking my case in this and shifts to his favourite topic for the day - Politics and the same set of questions he'd been asking everyone before me)
P : What are the Political issues that India is facing these days?
Me: Sir, the scams that have hit the govt - 2G, Adarsh, CWG etc. Elections in 5 states including Tamil Nadu in April - May .. 
P: (Interrupts again)Is the 2G scam bureaucratic or political?
Me: Sir, it cant be exactly classified. It involved politicians mainly, but then most of the times when politicians are involved, bureaucrats are involved too.
P: What is the constituency of Manmohan Singh?
Me: Guwahati sir.
P: Is he from Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha?
Me: Rajya Sabha. 
P: No of Members of Lok Sabha?
Me: 534. (It is 543 !! Aaaah)
P: How are members to Rajya Sabha Elected?
Me: Sir, 12 members are selected by the president from various fields of eminence. The rest of the house is of members nominated by various state legislative assemblies. 1/3rd of the house changes every 2 years. 
P: Is DMK a Regional or National Party?
Me: Sir, it is a Regional Party with a presence majorly in Tamil Nadu and very little presence in Karnataka.
P: What is the criterion for a party to be a national party?
Me: Sir, it should have a vote share of 10% in 4 states of the country for it to be classified as a national party. 
P: Thank you Shrinivas, you can leave. 

Interview Time - 11 mins. 
My shortest interview so far. Shorter than even the fiasco at SP Jain. Dont know what to expect from this after the fiasco of the GD.


Srinjoy said...

Sure Convert, if it matters.

Some corrections: No of seats in Lok Sabha is 545 (543+2 anglo indians).

Expressways need not be 8 laned. Differentiating factors are maximum speed possible and only exits and no turnings.

Ashish said...

Dude it seems like a convert.

Rishi Kant loves SRM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RishiKant said...

freeway term is only used in US so it's ok if we don't know what it is.

Congrats sir for getting IIM-A