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Personal Interview Questions

These are the actual questions asked in interviews, arranged according to the respective institutes and academic stream of interviewees. All the questions were given to us by the interviewees. The list spans interviews over 3 calender years.

IIM-Ahmedabad
Engineering
Nishant Mittal (B.Tech., Textile) (IIT, Delhi)

  • Tell us about your childhood.
  • Courses in the last semester
  • Laplace transformations
  • From which institutes have you got calls?
  • What is Sensex?
  • Do you have a job at hand? How long do you plan to work there?
  • What are gabardines, Oxford wear, plain wear?
  • Which are the G-7 countries? Name them.
  • Nuclear powers — who are they? Define what is a nuclear power.
  • Ringitt is the currency of which country?
  • Discuss South-East Asian crisis
  • Textile industries — problems & Solutions
  • Was asked about my batchmate Rajat Sood
  • Questions on my Family
  • US — What is its rank in population?
  • Sunil Gopalan (BE Elect and Commn.) (DCE) Any three questions we should ask you.
  • Iridium Telecom project — long discussion
  • Discussion on beauty contests and Aishwarya Rai
  • Optical fibres — how they work?
  • Data and voice transmission — the difference between the two
  • Budget — GDP, fiscal deficit, excise, sales and octroi taxes. Checked my basic understanding of each of these.
  • Mobile vs land phones (PSTN). Technology differences.
  • State of Internet in India. What should be done to improve it?
  • What is the penetration of computers in India?

Commerce
Pramod Marar (BCom Hons.)

  • Regression and correlation (graphs and equation)
  • Diamond-water thrift ( “My father is a diamond merchant!!” )
  • What do my name and surname mean?
  • Relation between profit and loss account, balance sheet
  • Sources and uses of funds
  • Names of some management gurus
  • Deep interest bonds
  • Sec 80l, 88 of taxation…Discussion
  • Double/triple taxation bond…What do they mean?

Bankim Mitra (BCom Hons.)

  • Name all the subjects in graduation.
  • Difference between diminishing and decreasing returns
  • Should doctors be governed by an ethical code of conduct?
  • Latest developments in Kosovo in the last 24 hours.
  • Preparation of fund flow statement
  • Relationship among profit and loss account, balance sheet, and fund flow statement

Science
Saurabh Upadhyay (BSc Hons., Physics)

  • What were you doing for the last three hours waiting outside ( the interview hall )?
  • What is your impression about the panel?
  • What questions do you expect from us?
  • You are from Asansol. Why are you studying in Delhi?
  • What is Boyle’s laws?
  • Kepler’s laws and problems to solve
  • Ellipse — importance in physics
  • Difference between an ellipse, hyperbola and parabola
  • General awareness — TRAI, Lahore-bus-trip of the PM

Maneesh Upadhyaya (BSc,) (St. Stephen’s)

  • Why shift from science to management?
  • Difference between preference and normal shares
  • ICICI — talk about the company.
  • Which game requires most energy?( My hobby is playing Badminton!! )
  • What is the difference between a manager and an entrepreneur?
  • Budget — Discuss the features
  • Cricket and badminton related questions
  • Five fastest sports

Economics
Varad Pande (BA Hons., Economics)

  • What did you think of the case discussion?
  • Linear programming — minimization of problem with some constraints
  • How did Career Launcher help you?
  • Career goals? While answering — Have you prepared the answer?
  • Women’s residence in the college
  • Is a girls’ college better?

Atul Kumar (BA, Economics ) (IIFT)

  • Why IIMA from IIFT?
  • Bihar — why is it so low on development in spite of being politically so aware?
  • Enron controversy
  • District divisions — is it desirable?
  • Women’s Reservation Bill
  • Eco: Indifference curve, asked to plot. Why convex? Examples of concave;
  • Equation of indifference curve

IIM-B
Engineering
Sumit Sapra (BE, Electronics and Communication) ( DCE )

  • Introduce yourself.
  • Students do not attend classes in DCE? How did you find it? Do you attend?
  • You are grades-oriented? What do you know about IIM-B classes? It is rigorous — What is your reaction?
  • Oh! Coaching? What else did you get to know there?
  • Why MBA? Why not work experience?
  • Who is an entrepreneur? Which sector?
  • What is IT enabled industry? Give some examples.
  • Events: Which ones did you organize?
  • Sports: Which position in basketball?
  • Favourite player?
  • What is Karl Malone known as?
  • Which programme do you watch on TV?
  • Favourite subject — digital electronics
  • Did anyone outside tell you that we do not know about it?
  • How does a cellular phone work? What are the companies providing the services?
  • How is that signals of various operators do not clash?
  • How does digital TV work?
  • Do you want to know anything else about IIM-B?

Sudhir Kamat (BE, Computer Science)

  • Good marks in XII, why did you join DIT ( now called NSIT )?
  • Why do you want to shift from software to MBA?
  • What, why about MBA? Why not four years of experience?
  • What are products?
  • Where are Indian industries heading?
  • Name some products and companies.
  • Venture capital — How would they help you in your software firm? ( “I said I wanted to start a software company” )
  • As a venture capitalist, what would you look for in a software company?

Commerce
Vijaya Tudu (BCom Hons.)

  • Background
  • Accounting concepts
  • Why not banking — why MBA?
  • Dance — various forms, of which form are you the student? ( “I am a dancer” )
  • Latest book and what did you learn?

Surender Singh (BCom Hons.)

  • Principles of accounting
  • What does dy/dx mean?
  • what is the point of inflexion?
  • What are the emerging issues of finance?
  • What is Capital account convertibility?

Science
Saket Narang (BSc, Physics)

  • Who is your idol — questions on Peter Drucker (“my Idol”)
  • Which books do you read — how did it help you understand management?
  • How did you contribute to your physics society?
  • What is Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle?
  • Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawkings — discussion
  • Quantum theory and gravity, particles
  • What is standard deviation — what if it is 0?
  • What is the weight of a squash racquet?
  • Do you watch movies?
  • I was shown Akshay Kumar’s photo — “talk about this person.”

Subodh Kumar (BSc, Botany)

  • Should the interview be general or specific?
  • How do you relate botany, law, management and computers?
  • Name five botanists who contributed to the society.
  • Discussion on Rabri Devi, government and on IPKF.
  • What is the difference between LAN and WAN?
  • Botany related questions.

Economics
Aparajita (BA, Economics)

  • What are Marginal costs?
  • Is replacement cost a marginal cost?
  • Spectacles manufacturing — what is marginal cost?( ” I wear specs ” )
  • In labour — regular and contractual — which one is a marginal cost?
  • A loan processing company — what are salaries, fixed costs?
  • If workers increase, what would happen?
  • Computer processing application — what is the characteristics of cost function?
  • What are the characteristics of a step function?
  • What is the Break-even point — depict in spectacles business — total revenue?
  • Who were the last two Governors of Reserve Bank of India?
  • Name the Hill resorts of Tamil Nadu? ( ” I had mentioned travelling as a hobby ” )
  • Which rivers merge at Sunderbans river basin?
  • Economies of scale — steel plant

Ruchika Rishi (BA, Economics) (MIB, DSE)

  • Three equations — Cost + Profit = Price; Price – Cost = Profit; Price – Profit = Cost — used by three different businessmen. Can you comment on their psyche?
  • Of these three people who is a monopoly, who is a PSU, etc.?
  • Banks — costs and expenditures
  • You are an MD of a rural bank — what would you do to decrease costs?
  • Rural economy has more gold. What are the opportunities & implications?
  • Balance Of Payments — pre-1991 and current scenario — comment

IIM-C
Engineering

  • Vikram Singh Parmar (BE, Civil)
  • Fundamentals of de-watering
  • PERT and CPM – Discuss
  • Michael Jordan — grilling ( ” I mentioned that I enjoy playing basketball”)
  • Name the novels of Lapierre and Collins? (“Reading is my hobby”)
  • If the desk is made of RCC (cantilever slab) — where would be the tension and compression?
  • Column of ratio of cement to concrete
  • About the correspondence course of IMS…(“I prepared through IMS correspodence course ” )
  • GD — how was it? How should I conduct myself?
  • Walls of IIFT — my opinion (“the roof of IIFT is structually appealing. That was my interview center”)
  • Why don’t you join armed forces? (“Both my parents have a defence background”)

Amit Varma (BE, Mech.)

  • Introduce yourself briefly.
  • Why management?
  • Political situation — your views
  • Engineers joining MBA — pros and cons
  • What are your expectations from IIM-C?
  • Will engineers join MBA if the pay as an engineer is the same as an MBA?
  • Qualities of a world-class manufacturer
  • Are students in public schools of Delhi snobs?
  • Can they make good managers?

Commerce
Vijaya T. (BCom )

  • Difference between accounts and finance
  • Your favourite subject — management accounting
  • Write down three questions on economics on which we could grill you.
  • What measures would you adopt to enhance profits of a company?
  • What are the tools of cost cutting?
  • Was asked to solve a problem in differentiation.

Rahul Joshi (BCom)

  • Career goals
  • Discussion on dictatorship
  • Integration of |x| + C with limits 1 to 1
  • What is a skew symmetric matrix?
  • What is the probability of getting a ‘head’ in three tosses of a coin

Science

  • Abhishek Aggarwal (BSc, Physics)
  • Education — what are your favourite subjects?
  • Laws of thermodynamics — entropy: give examples.
  • Super conductivity — applications in IT field
  • Haryana-Punjab dispute.
  • Fission and fusion — practical examples.
  • View on Pokhran.
  • Reading habits.
  • Name a few good Indian physicists and their contribution to society?
  • Why MBA?
  • How did you prepare for CAT?

Sahil Jain (BSc, Botany)

  • Career objectives — link to Botany
  • Oscars — major upsets ( “the Oscar awards were announced a week back”)
  • North-eastern states — name them, what are the major problems?
  • SGPC — problems in Punjab
  • Maths. — coordinate geometry, compound interest – Was asked to solve a problem in each of these topics.

Economics
Karthik Khare (BA Hons., Economics)

  • Why did you choose to do an MBA after economics?
  • GDP and correlation to development of communications network — why? Logically explain.
  • What is a GDP deflator?
  • Give a model for correlation as an economist.
  • Lowering of interest rates and effect on GDP
  • Other factors that would increase GDP
  • Favourite subjects?
  • What is inflexion point and when does it appear on a graph?
  • How can you measure inflexion point or locate it?
  • Which institute would you prefer? ( ” I had calls from IIM Bangalore,Calcutta, Lucknow”)

Arjun Purkayastha (BA Hons., Economics)

  • What questions do we ask you?
  • Do you think academic interview is good?
  • Theater — NSD director, manager, etc.(“My hobby is dramatics”)
  • Education system — comment.
  • Relevance of economics with examples
  • Ask yourself three questions that would judge your capability.
  • Choose between matrices and calculus for grilling.
  • Is x! continuous and why?

IIM-L
Engineering

  • Kashit Alam (B.Tech, Textile)
  • Tell us about yourself.
  • Hobbies and character-building
  • Basketball scenario in India
  • Considerations in playing snooker
  • Why MBA?
  • Salary expectations
  • How is Indian textile industry doing?

Akshay Saxena (B.Tech, Chemical)

  • Tell us about yourself.
  • Sugar industry — chemical process
  • Music and movies
  • Operating systems — examples and difference

Commerce
Nidhi (BCom) (HR resource in an organisation)

  • Why do you have such diverse interests?
  • Do you travel a lot — where?
  • What does your father do?
  • What do you do in your job?
  • Are the psychological tests reliable? (“We do a lot of these tests during recruitment/training”)

Kapil Manchanda (ACWA) work experience

  • Calculus — differential and integral
  • My work experience
  • Balance sheet, profit and loss account — why and what on entries?

Science
Meenakshi (BSc, Computer)

  • Cauvery Dam issue
  • What were the trouble-shooting measures used there?
  • How has NAFTA helped Canada? (“I had stayed in Canada for some time”)
  • Compare and contrast the Indian and Canadian cultures.
  • Why do you want to study in India, why not in Canada/Australia?

Management
Ashima Sharma (BBA)

  • Compare marketing strategy of De Beers and Mercedes.
  • How would you market liquor?
  • Will you take up a job with ITC?
  • Change in HR practices over the years
  • Career goals
  • Order in which you will go to IIMs and why?

Economics
Amit Diwan (BA Hons., Economics)

  • Capital convertibility. Is it advisable for India?
  • Why are you wearing a tie?
  • What preference do you have for specialization?
  • What application does economics have for management?
  • Why are so many economics guys coming today?
  • Why don’t you consider MA?

Shweta Aggarwal (BA Hons., Economics)

  • How did your GD go?
  • Indifference curves, utility concepts
  • Law of demand, exceptions
  • Types of goods — normal, inferior, giffin.
  • Find an economical situation to prevent the degradation of forests.

IIM-K
Engineering
Aman Batra (BE Mech.) ( DCE)

  • What are your career goals?
  • Consultancy — I was grilled on consultancy.
  • Why shift from engineering to management?
  • Why do you want to leave a job from L&T?
  • Questions on quality control and quality assurance
  • How to find the faulty machine?
  • How do you rectify design faults?
  • Calls you have got. Which one do you prefer?

Sachin Sharma (B.Tech, Industrial Engineering)

  • Work and time study
  • Fredrick Taylor —why is he known as the father of industrial engineering?
  • Production process — types of system.
  • Product cycle time
  • Five sentences about yourself
  • Hobbies — team activities.
  • CAD-CAM: how can a company benefit?
  • Have you got placed in the campus interviews?

Commerce
Rahul Joshi (BCom Hons.)

  • What is financial leverage/operating leverage?
  • Questions on differentiation — solve couple of problems.
  • Why MBA?
  • What are Producer surplus, Consumer surplus?

Prashant Gulati (BCom)

  • What is e-commerce?
  • What is your job description?
  • What is the most significant achievement in your life?
  • Why don’t journalists start their own ventures independently? (“I was the editor of the college mag”)
  • Is there a management’s interference in the running of newspapers?

Science
Amrita Verma (BSc, Statistics)

  • Statistical quality control — acceptance sampling, control charts
  • Differences in education between the schools in England and India
  • Piano grades and evaluation process in music .
  • Stochastic processes

Economics
Malavika Pillai (BA Hons., Economics)

  • Where are you from?
  • Questions on Kerala and God of Small Things.
  • What are consumer surplus and producer surplus — graphs?
  • Applications of statistics — time series
  • What is linear programming?
  • Elasticity of demand — examples of elastic and inelastic goods
  • Revenue maximization vs profit maximization
  • Is India going through stagnation and why?
  • Hobbies

Gaurav Vohra (BA Hons., Economics)

  • Tell us about yourself.
  • Why is India poor?
  • What are the different welfare indices?
  • What are your extra curricular activities?
  • Which is your favourite T.V. program?
  • What types of books do you read? How do they affect your moral values?
  • Talk about your father’s business.
  • Would you pay Rs 5 lakhs as the fee here?

IIM-I
Engineering

  • Sachin Sharma (B.Tech,Industrial Engineering) (IITD)
  • What is pulp fiction?
  • Pop music vs pulp fiction — difference
  • Wood pulp, fruit pulp — uses
  • Sawdust — uses
  • Why is outer covering of a tree darker?
  • What is plywood?
  • What is ebony? Where is it grown? What is bamboo?
  • Cactus — give example of a hallow cactus.
  • History of OR. Simple dual problem.
  • Why IIM Indore?
  • Kuch Kuch Hota Hai — story, moral, music director
  • Weakness — impatience

Amit Agarwal (BE Electronics and Instrumentation)

  • About case study — short-term and long-term solutions
  • Why IIM Indore — grilled?
  • About cricket — Bradman, Sachin, Gavaskar’s averages
  • What was special about Wasim Akram’s hat-tricks?
  • Latest all-rounder
  • Latest happenings in cricket
  • Which other calls? Which one would you prefer?
  • How will you contribute to your birth place?
  • What did you gain from your job?
  • Why management?

Commerce
Bankim Mitra (BCom, Hons.)

  • Current affairs — events in last six months.
  • Difference in IRR and NPV
  • How do you compare firms of different industries?
  • Concept of cash flows and fund flows
  • How do you calculate the net profit of a firm (accrual and cash basis)?
  • Difference between cash basis and accrual basis
  • Disadvantages of accrual basis

Rahul Joshi (BCom Hons.)

  • Differentiate monopolistic competition from monopoly with examples.
  • What is perfect competition?
  • Correlation and its applications
  • Difference between balance sheets of Godrej and SAIL
  • Differentiation and its applications
  • Questions on cricket( ” That was my hobby”)

Science
Mukut (BSc, Chem)

  • What do your name and surname mean?
  • Caste system
  • Fractional distillation chamber — advantages and disadvantages.
  • Where do you see yourself 10 years down the line — entrepreneur?
  • Which industry — what would you like to set up?
  • Hindi as a national language — for and against, give reasons.
  • Who has been the best prime minister? Why?
  • Global company vs MNCs of pharma industry

Shantanu Jain (BSc Hons., Physics)

  • How was your GD?
  • Physics laws applied to GD
  • Questions on physics — (“I was thoroughly grilled on some concepts”)
  • What was your job role? Why financial job?
  • Why physics then in graduation?
  • Which companies would you join?
  • What kind of company you want to set up?
  • Why do you want to quit your job?

Economics
Aman Jain (BA Hons., Economics)

  • Can you name some Nobel laureates in physics and economics?
  • Why shift from science to economics?
  • Indifference curves and isoquant curves.
  • What do their slopes signify?
  • What is the least-cost resource combination?
  • Amartya Sen and welfare economics
  • Ceat ratings — how many Indians and their position?
  • Who is all-time best test player?
  • Who will win the World Cup?
  • Mt Kilimanjaro, Alps — where are they?
  • Name of Kolkata port?
  • What is Nhavasheva?

Ruchika Rishi (BA Economics, MIB)

  • Impressions of the interview panel.
  • Extra-curriculars
  • Variations in marks in academics — give rationale.
  • Statistics — mean, median, mode with examples.
  • Difference between an MNC and globally-oriented firm
  • Define marketing and international marketing.
  • Explain your weaknesses.
  • Relevant examples for some weaknesses portrayed as strength.

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