Monday, February 27, 2012

IIM Lucknow (2012-2014) Interview Experience

So, finally I have decided to give a detailed account of my interviews with my answers, hopefully it will help a few and also help me remember what happened on these days.....

So, to start with, here I give my account of the IIM Lucknow interview :

Venue: Bangalore

All of us were divided into groups of 10, for the WAT (written ability test or the essay writing) and GD

It was announced that the essay would be for 15 mins. And then the GD on the same topic for 13.5 minutes (whatever that means J )

The topic was : “Inflation is as violent as a bugger, as threatening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman.”

I tried explaining the three aspects as given in the topic, e.g. the robber robs you of money by taking it away.. Inflation robs you by reducing the value of money with you.. etc.

The GD was a very peaceful one, as we tried to stick to the topic and not start giving some useless statistics (which happened with another group)... it was a nice discussion where everyone had something to add.

Then came the interview time, I was 7th to be interviewed in my panel, but it didn’t take that long.

There were 2 panellists, one old, the other younger than him, let me call them the Older professor (OP) and the one younger than him, (YP)

YP: Please take your seat (Also takes my mark sheets and certificate folders)

OP: So, Ankit, you have written your religion as Hinduism...why so?.. the others have written it as Hindu.

Me: Sir, Hinduism is the religion, I am a Hindu, but my religion is Hinduism.

OP: Where did the word Hindu come from?

Me: Sir, people living across the Sindhu river( also known as Indus) were called Hindus.

OP: But who gave this word?

Me : Don’t know Sir (actually the arabs gave it)

YP: So you are from Lucknow, what does your father do...and the others in the family?

Me: told

YP: So IIT Guwahati, nice... arrey very low grades (6.82/10) J ...why?

Me: Sir , I was involved in a lots of extra-curricular activities ..

YP: But that is EXTRA curriculars, after curriculars, so it means you can’t manage time properly?

Me: Sir, I did realise my mistake, as you can see in the final year I have got more than 8s in both sems

YP: Final year has projects too, I know :D ....So.what activities were you involved in?

Me: Sir, I agree it was a mistake on my part,I have realised it and have tried correcting myself in all ways possible. As far as extra-curriculars is concerned, I was so passionate about my sports, that I almost didn’t give anything as much importance in my life at that point of time .

OP: Did you achieve anything in sports, what sports were you involved in?

Me: Sir, i was involved in weightlifting, I built the college team from scratch which is a strong team today at the Inter-IIT level. I also won gold at state level and was in the state team for North-east games.

OP: That’s nice.... J

YP: Inter-IIT ? many IITs are there?

Me: Sir 15 ( if another didn’t come up yesterday J)

YP: Arrey, awesome %ile(99.99)... must be having all calls?

Me: No sir, A and C apart from L

YP: Why??...may be because of your college CPI,,,, see I told its important (smiling) J

YP: So you work in HAL?...why HAL?

Me: why HAL as in?

OP: Like did you have any other offer?

Me: Yes Sir, I had for TCE, I chose HAL because of the varied experience which I was going to get here, I get to design a component, see it manufactured, installed on an aircraft, used by the pilot and then a feedback from the pilot, so even if I am involved in only the design , i get to see the whole process....which provides for immense learning.

OP: But you have got the feedback and stuffs at TATA too...

Me: Sir added to all this, the salary was also a bit higher for HAL...and the fact that working with Fighter aircrafts is an experience in itself, i get to see the jaguars and the Mirages everyday, I learn so much by just looking at their designs.

YP: So, why is Tejas project taking so much time

Me: Sir, we should appreciate the fact that though the project is running very late but projects for design and development of fighter aircrafts do take a long time for even the successful organisations...more so in case of Tejas, the things like the sanctions imposed after the nuclear tests have contributed immensely in the project getting late....

YP: Which engine are we using currently for Tejas?

Me: Sir, currently the GE made engine is being used..

YP: Ohh.. the Kaveri engine is still not in use?

Me: No Sir, It has not been able to satisfy all the required parameters.

YP: Why are we lacking so much in these technologies..

Me: Sir Kaveri is being developed by GTRE, so I can’t comment, but we should understand that developing the first jet engine is a big milestone... once we have achieved that..the path ahead would be much easier..

YP: But still, where do you think we are lacking?

Me: I can comment on HAL and the inefficiencies I find here...(told about the under utilisation of the talent available... merit based on years and not performance, the managers are not managers....etc.... a long discussion..more than questions answer session)

YP: To OP, Sir would you like to ask something

OP: So you have done mechanical engineering, what are your favourite subjects in it?

Me: Sir thermodynamics, also I get to use a lot of SOM in my work.

OP: SOM....ok (........sanattaaaa..... J)

Me: Sir I really liked the course on Collaborative Design, in the final year.

OP: What did u learn in it...what’s special about it?

Me: I got to know the steps involved in designing anything...also there was hardly any theory in the course... all was learnt by doing..we were divided into groups and worked on assignments where we learnt the concepts of the course....(some gyan sharing after that J )

YP: So , Ankit it was nice talking to you, all the best for your future, you may leave J

Me: Thank you Sirs


Saturday, February 25, 2012

IIM Ahmedabad (2012-2014) Interview Experience

So today I will post the experience of the interview, which gave me sleepless nights J

The IIM Ahmedabad process did not involve a GD, there was an essay though for which 11 minutes (1minute for thinking and 10 minutes for writing) were given.

The topic of essay was “The sate of poor health care in India”.

I tried touching upon the reasons (lesser funds, corruption leaking the funds), consequences (poor quality of life, poor hit the most who need it the most) and solutions (such as greater public private partnership) briefly. 10 minutes mean you hardy have time to do much.

A word of caution: IIM A was very particular about things, such as not having mobile with you, so that should be followed strictly.

Then came the interview, I guess I was 5th to be interviewed, it really helps to have some off the topic chats with the people around, keeps you your natural being.

So there were 2 panellists, 1 very young, the other one was young too, so i’ll call them the prof . on the left (LP) and the prof. On the right (RP)

RP asked me to come in and take the seat, LP took my certificates and kept looking at them for almost 10 minutes, but it never came up in the interview.

So here it goes:

RP: So you work in HAL, please tell us briefly what work do you do?

Me: I work in the wing structural design department of HAL, do blah blah...

RP: Why do you want to study management?

Me: Sir i believe that i can contribute in a much more meaningful way with the knowledge of management , my experience in the industry is only going to help me understand the principles better and to be able to use it in the best way possible.

RP: But in your company you won’t get any preference because of an MBA

Me: Yes Sir, that’s true, i would like to work in a similar field, not in my organisation after MBA.

RP: So, do you feel this aspect hurts your organisation?

Me: Yes Sir, it definitely does, people reach the higher managerial positions by the virtue of their years of experience in the technical domain and not because of their managerial skills.

RP: Can you give an example where the lacking of these skills proves to be disadvantageous?

Me: The division of the teams within the department is very random, the tasks allotted too, there are cases where the manger and his team members are very well versed with the domain knowledge required, whereas some other teams, where neither the manager nor his team members know the things very well. The overall performance of the department is severely paralysed due to this, where all the resources available are not used optimally. Different people have different strengths; these should be kept in mind while allocating the work, which again is allocated randomly. All these happen due to the inability of identifying the best ways to optimally utilise the resources available!

RP: OK, so what do you mean by Public private partnership?

Me: Sir, its a joint venture in which public, that is the government joins hand with the private organisations to execute a project for mutual benefit.

RP: Can you give an example?

Me: The building of a road, after which the private partner is given the permit to collect toll tax for a certain period of time to recover the costs and the profit margin.

RP: How does the government contribute in that?

Me: Sir it gave the permit, it gave the land on which the road was built upon!

LP( for the first time) : So, where do you work?

RP: he works in HAL J

LP: Who are your customers?

Me: Its primarily the Indian Air force.

LP: What’s the revenue of your company?

Me: around 13,000 crores

LP: Liabilities?

Me: Don’t know!

LP : How is the payment made like?

Me: Sir, most of the payment happens in advance

LP: In which month does that happen?

Me: It keeps happening for the different projects all over the year

LP: But still, if they had to make it in 1 lot, which month would they do in?

Me: Don’t know for sure!

LP: Take a guess

Me: Probably April, when the new funds have been allocated, and also the revised tax rates!

LP: Why so they pay in advance?

Me: They are our only customers; we design and develop according to their customised needs...more so aircrafts are very high value products, a lot of money is required during the development phase too, we cannot develop and produce a fighter aircraft and hope that they would buy it!!

LP: (cross questioned a lot on this, why advance, i kept repeating the high investment, guarantee of buying , customised product stuff in different words J )

LP: So let me ask you a few probability questions, suppose I have a revolver with the two bullets(adjacent) in it, I shoot at you once but it’s a blank, now if you have a choice of asking me to revolve the wheel once before shooting or shoot immediately , what will you do?

Me: Sir revolve it, because i won’t be using the blank which has been used in the 1st shot if you don’t revolve it.

LP: OK, another question: You wait a bus stop (for 10 minutes), and you could be found at anytime between 3:00 and 4:00 equally, the same is the case with your friend, what is the probability that you 2 would meet.

Me: (thought of a time somewhere in between)... sir 1/ it would vary.....just a minute...

RP: can you draw the curve over the time range?

Me: 1/6 at 3:00 increases linearly to 1/3 at 3:10...stays till 3:50... and then decreases linearly to 4:00....(don’t know if its correct, went a bit wrong somewhere, but he questioned me something which brought me back to what I finally drew)

RP: So, tell me what do you get when you differentiate a function?

Me: Sir, the slope of curve at the point of differentiation

RP: How do you know if it’s a minima?

Me: If the 1st differential is 0 and the 2nd differential is +ve

RP: Why so?

Me: Because it means the slope is increasing at that point which will happen for minima, not a maxima

RP: Draw y=x^4

Me: Drew

RP: What’s the minima?

Me: x=0

RP: But 2nd differential is 0 too.

Me: Sir, the 3rd differential is 0 too, so we would look at the 4th minima in the same way as we looked at the 2nd!

RP: Why so?

Me: (Tried giving some useless gyan which was obviously far from convincing)

LP: OK, I want to ask 1 more question, an airlines is flying 2 aircrafts, 1 is used for a singe 8 hours flight daily, the other one is used for 4, 2 hour flights, which one is depreciating faster?

Me: The 2nd one, which is used for 4 hours daily.

LP: Why so ?... the one with 8 hrs flight will have so much damage to the engine...

Me: If it is being flown for 8 hours, it means it is capable of doing that, more so.. the aircraft goes through maximum damage , wear and tear during landing, so 4 landings would cause much greater harm than 1, also for each turn around, several non-value adding activities would be performed on the aircraft, required for clearance and safety precautions.

LP: But that adds to the airlines expenditure, doesn’t depreciate the aircraft

Me: Landing does, Landing is the worst phase for an aircraft during its flight, the maximum damage, wear and tear happen during this phase, this in itself will outweigh most of the ills happening to the aircraft with just 1 landing per day and would surely cause it to damage and depreciate more.

LP & RP: We are done , please take a toffee, you may leave!

Me: Thank you sirs !