Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Group Interview Experience- Ashish Khandelwal

Name: Ashish Khandelwal
Entrance Exam Percentile: 99.04 (CAT)
Programme and Batch: PGDM 2014-16
Work experience: 20 months – Tata Motors Limited

For WAT:
1.       How was your performance in the MBA entrance exam? Also share your overall WAT experience?
It was good. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting a high percentile because I feared that I may not have done as good as my preparation was, so when the results came out I was delighted. I thought we got very little time to work on WAT question. But given that everyone had so little time, I wasn’t really concerned about my performance in the WAT.

2.       What was your topic for WAT and what was your Time limit?
Topic was something related to globalization. I don’t remember the exact topic. Time limit was approximately 20 minutes. But since WAT was combined with Psychometric test, so it felt like more time would have been better.

3.       What was your approach towards WAT and how would you rate your writing?
I tried to structure my thoughts before writing down anything. Since I knew there would be little time to work out and come up with beautiful openings/ending notes, I decided to focus mainly on the flow of thought. At the end of it, I think I did reasonably well. I would rate my submission as 7/10

4.       How did you prepare for WAT, your Time Management strategy?
I don’t think you need to dedicatedly prepare for WAT unless you want to work upon your English. Given the undergraduate study and corporate work experience, you tend to develop a knack of how it is written. I read the topic and pondered over it for about a minute or two, thinking more on how to make it look like one coherent piece rather than expansion of bulleted ideas.

5.       How did you Structured your essay writing along with the time constraint?
As I understand, whenever there is a time constraint the best way to work is divide it into 3 sections : Introduction, Middle and Concluding. I followed the same approach. Once I had the structure clear in my mind, it didn’t take long to pen it.

6.       Was the topic tough for you to write? Please share the difficulty while outlining the structure for the essay and how you tackled the problem?
The topic was very general. No special knowledge was needed to “crack” it. Since I was reading a lot of articles and newspapers as part of my preparation for CAT, topics like these weren’t difficult at all. The only thing that required me to be cautious was to decide what to include and what not to include.

7.       Is there any advice for the aspirants who’d be appearing in the WAT test soon?
Just relax. It is not a big deal. Have confidence. Trust yourself & you’ll ace it.
For GI-1:
1.       How many members were there in your interview board?
3 : 1F+2M

2.       How was your interview structured?
It was nicely structured. No random questions were asked. It was more organized to seek clarity regarding the choices for specialization in MBA that we filled in our profile sheet.

3.       Was there any tough question for you to answer?
The atmosphere was really conducive for open interaction. I don’t think there were any tough questions.

4.       What were the key factors which you think influenced your selection at PI stage?
I was able to justify my interest in my specialization despite not have a relevant work experience.

5.       How did you prepare for your PI?
I talked to my friends, took help of colleagues at workplace and skimmed through the internet for some tips.

6.       Did you appear for any other PI exercise at other top B-schools? Please share a few experiences (where you went wrong).
I appeared for FMS, IIM-K. Both of them were good. Both of them were heavily focused on my work experience. Converted IIM-K. Not Converted FMS.

7.       Any interesting moment from your PI which you would like to share with MBA aspirants
For a certain question, I responded that Indian youth is the ideal target segment for the product. The interviewers stopped me in between and turned to the other candidates for their opinion. Obviously, everyone disagreed and came up with their own different propositions. The interviewer then turned towards me and asked me if I still maintained my original stand. I responded by seeking permission to address the group itself. Eventually, I was able to drive my point across.

8.      What is your advice to aspirants for Group Interview?
Be clear which specialization you want to opt for. Once you are convinced, it is much easier to convince others. Don’t get too worked-up in the interview. Prepare well but don’t take it too seriously. Your chances of selection are more if you be just yourself. Canned answers from coaching institutes won’t help you much.

For GI-2:                                   
1.       How was your GI-2 experience different from GI-1?
GI-1 was more based on our own understanding of what we want from MBA and why we want it. GI-2 was more general and actually talked about things that would happen in life after MBA-in personal & professional life.

2.      What according to you was different/unique in your interview (ex: over Skype, Extremely technical, completely non technical etc.
It was quite fun-filled. The atmosphere was light and everyone was laughing.

3.      How was your selection post GI-1 communicated to you?
Names were announced in the hotel lobby where all candidates were seated after interview.

4.      How did you overcome your nervousness(if any) during the interview?
I kept talking to a fellow(now friend in XLRI). I tried to crack some jokes and all that made sure I don’t get consumed by the “next-is-my-interview” thought. By the time interview started, I was feeling pretty relaxed.

5.      What role did your background play during the interview process
Not much. It was open discussion. Nothing related to background.

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