Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Group Interview Experience- Himaghna Banerjee

Name: Himaghna Banerjee
Entrance Exam Percentile: 94.5 (CAT)
Programme and Batch: PGDM 2014-16
Work experience: 21 months
For WAT:
1.       How was your performance in the MBA entrance exam? Also share your overall WAT experience?
My performance in the MBA entrance was below average. My score had declined from that of the practice tests. SPJIMR conducts a psychometric test along with the WAT. Both the tests were conducted in a single time slot.

2.       What was your topic for WAT and what was your Time limit?
With respect to WAT, my topic was very generic,’ which is the song that defines you’, and was aimed at understand the personality of the candidates better. An overall time limit of 30 minutes for both the psychometric test and the WAT were given. The key is to finish the psychometric test quickly and not think too much.

3.       What was your approach towards WAT and how would you rate your writing?
I chose humour as the key attribute of my WAT, but made sure I did not digress from the topic. I thought my writing was average.

4.       How did you prepare for WAT, your Time Management strategy?
I did read about a few topics. Apart from that, there was hardly any other preparation.

5.       How did you structure your essay writing along with the time constraint?
I wanted to make sure that the whole essay had a flow to it. Given the time constraint, I chose not to write more than 300 words.

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 not tough, but it was important that I connected the topic to my personality and relevant experiences.

7.       Is there any advice for the aspirants who’d be appearing in the WAT test soon?
Use of examples, from personal experiences or otherwise, relevant to the topic can be used to substantiate your point. Identify an indirect way of highlighting your achievements or experiences that add value to your candidature.
For PI:
1.       How many members were there in your interview board?
SPJIMR conducts two group interviews. Some candidates may be eliminated after the first group interview (GI 1). There were about 5 interviewers in GI 1 comprising professors, alumni and HR executives of some companies. In the second group interview (GI 2) there were only two interviewers (professors). As it is a GI, there were 7 candidates being interviewed simultaneously in both the interviews.

2.       How was your interview structured?
GI 1 revolved mostly around judging whether I was fit for the specialization I had selected (SPJIMR asks you to opt for a specialization prior to giving out interview calls). The basic questions here were ‘Why MBA?’ and ‘Why this specialization?’ In GI 2, the questions were mostly related to your personality and experiences. The interviewers were looking to understand the candidates better. In both GI 1 and GI 2, apart from a generic discussion on a current topic, there were no questions that tested your knowledge base.

3.       Was there any tough question for you to answer?
Nothing in particular, as most questions were directed at personal experiences.

4.       What were the key factors which you think influenced your selection at PI stage?
Clarity of thought on my objective of doing MBA, my career goals and my strengths probably were the key factors.

5.       How did you prepare for your PI?
I had taken an online course on PI. It provided me with a direction for my preparation. The preparation mainly involved structuring the answers to the common personality related questions.

6.       Did you appear for any other PI exercise at other top B-schools? Please share a few experiences (where you go wrong).
I had appeared for the PI process of SIBM Pune. The interview process was short and mostly revolved around my personal experiences and ambitions. I had cleared the interview.

7.       Any interesting moment from your PI which you would like to share with MBA aspirants?
We had to wait a long time before the interview. The interviewers asked if we were hungry, which we frankly agreed. The next thing you know is that we were having sandwiches during the interview.
8.      What is your advice to aspirants for Personal Interview?
It is also important to not get carried away during the interviews. Also, keep your answers crisp and to the point. Generally, interviewers lose interest during long answers. Finally, it is ok to admit your weaknesses.

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