Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Group Interview Experience- Arunika Ganguly

Name: Arunika Ganguly
Entrance Exam Percentile: CAT 95.68, XAT 95.34
Programme and Batch: PGDM 2014-16- Marketing
Work experience: Nil


For WAT:
1.       How was your performance in the MBA entrance exam? Also share your overall WAT experience?
My performance was decent in CAT and XAT both. My SPJIMR admission process was the 1st official MBA college interview I gave. I was slightly stressed as I did not know what to expect. Along with the WAT, there was a 10 min psychometric test on which we were questioned in the 2nd group interview.
2.       What was your topic for WAT and what was your Time limit?

The topic was ‘Comment on the merits and demerits of online education versus classroom learning’. The time limit was approximately 30 mins.

3.       What was your approach towards WAT and how would you rate your writing?
I would say I wrote fairly well. I knew what I wanted to convey and succeeded in putting it down on paper within the time limit.
4.       How did you prepare for WAT, your Time Management strategy?
I had been regularly reading the newspaper and was up to date on current affairs. I had some practice sessions with my coaching institute for time management.
5.       How did you structure your essay writing along with the time constraint?
I took a stand that was pro classroom learning. So I would write a supposed benefit of online or web based learning and then negate it by showing how classroom learning was better. In the end I wrote the conclusion. Since there was a time constraint, I made sure my arguments were concise and to-the-point.  I would quickly structure my thoughts in my head before starting so that I make minimum possible errors.
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?
It was a topic which required me to draw on my own experience and express my opinions rather than rely too much on facts and figures, though putting those in does strengthen your argument.


7.       Is there any advice for the aspirants who’d be appearing in the WAT test soon?
It is a good practice to regularly read the newspaper, especially the opinion columns, as it gives you a well-rounded knowledge base to approach any topic. One should also practice topics with time limits to learn to write a structured essay. That aside, the language and the manner in which you convey your thoughts is also important. It is important that your essay have a flow and be an interesting read.
For Group Interview:
1.       How many members were there in your interview board?
2-3. SPJIMR conducts group interviews instead of personal interviews. There are two rounds. If one qualifies the 1st GI, you proceed to the 2nd one. Each GI has 6 participants.
2.       How was your interview structured?
The interview board questioned each participant one by one. After a round of introductions, they questioned people further according to what they had said in their introductions. In between, some other participant was questioned on something which another participant had said.
3.       Was there any tough question for you to answer?
The questions asked in GI 2 required a lot of clarity of thought as some of them were about justifying my answers in the psychometric test. It could potentially be difficult if one is unable to explain why they have ticked a particular option. Questions needed to be answered with a clear objective and one had to make sure not to get sucked into one’s own argument. I did not face much difficulty as I was clear about why I had chosen a particular option.
4.       What were the key factors which you think influenced your selection at PI stage?
I was very clear in justifying my choice of specialization. Also I think I did not contradict my opinions which came out in my psychometric test which many other aspirants did. Even though I did not have any work experience, I spoke about my internships, which were relevant to the specialization I had chosen, with a great deal of enthusiasm.
5.       How did you prepare for your PI?
There were a few essentials. One needs to be clear about their long term and short term goals. Other things I prepared for were answers related to my strengths, weaknesses, hobbies, certain subjects from graduation which were linked to the specialization I had opted for. Apart from this a good understanding of current affairs is important. My background in Economics aided me in this aspect.

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 the interview of one of the IIMs. The interview was much more technical than I had expected. I think that is where I went wrong.
7.       Any interesting moment from your PI which you would like to share with MBA aspirants.
Most of us had prepared for the clich├ęd ‘why MBA’ type of questions. We were thrown off-guard when one of the panelists began an animated discussion on Bollywood. Everyone immediately pitched in and it was an entertaining discussion.

8.       What is your advice to aspirants for Personal Interview?

Just be yourself. The amount of preparation you can do for a PI is endless. Give your best for preparing but you cannot possibly know everything. At some point, you just need to believe in yourself and just be confident. Do however read up about the specialization you have selected as well as the subjects you pursued in your under-graduation.

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