Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Group Interview Experience- Udit Dhiman

Name: Udit Dhiman
Entrance Exam Percentile: 98.8
Qualification: B.Tech in Mechanical
Programme and Batch: PGDM class of 2016 (Marketing)
Work experience: 22 Months

For WAT:
1.        How was your performance in the MBA entrance exam? Also share your overall WAT experience?
Overall I scored 98.8 percentile in the CAT. My emphasis was on CAT and my preparation was aimed to score well in the same. I managed to score 99.33 percentile in QA & 91.52 percentile in VA & LR section.
2.        What was your topic for WAT and what was your Time limit?
For SPJIMR, the WAT topic was “how would you explain facebook to your grandmom”. The time limit was 30minutes (included thee psychometric test as well).
3.        What was your approach towards WAT and how would you rate your writing?
My approach towards WAT is usually to collate my thoughts and jot down some points so that I have some structure to my essay. This also ensures that I do not stick to just one point while writing and cover a variety of points.
4.        How did you prepare for WAT, your Time Management strategy?
For WAT, I hadn’t prepared much and had only practiced on a few essays. Depending on the time limit allotted to various entrance exam my time management strategy would change, but it would essentially involve the following: I would spend 10-20% of allotted time to collate my thoughts & jot down the points, around 70 % of the time in actually writing the essay and rest 10-15% of the time in concluding the same.
5.        How did you Structured your essay writing along with the time constraint?

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?

Well, I was actually comfortable with the topic as it was more conversational and didn’t require facts and figures. I had heard the previous batch had got a topic on the budget for which adequate amount of preparation is required. But I had to be careful of not making it to colloquial and to not drag the same points and bring out some insights. It is important to note that evaluations essentially look for some nuanced points and thus the 10-20% thinking time is required.
7.        Is there any advice for the aspirants who’d be appearing in the WAT test soon?
I would suggest that certain amount of practice is very essential. Also, regular reading so that you are up to date with the happenings of the world is very essential.
For PI:
1.         How many members were there in your interview board?
Here at SPJIMR there were 2 Group interviews. Each interview comprised of two panelists.
2.         How was your interview structured?
The process is quite different and instead of having a GD, SPJIMR follows a pattern of group interview. Also, there are instances of role playing during interviews which makes the process very different from other B-schools. The first Group Interview essentially revolved around how was it that I was apt for the specialization I had chosen. So I spoke about the work-ex I had and other activities I had done in college and school which complimented my choice of specialization. Then there were some questions about why my decision to pursue an MBA and about my role in the company. I was the only guy selected from the GI-1 process from a group of 7 people. The second group interview essentially revolved around my personality. A lot of it was based on the psychometric tests that we had filled. Basically the panelists were trying to gauge what sort of personality one had and how would one react in different situations.
3.         Was there any tough question for you to answer?
There were a couple of questions wherein a lot of subjectivity was involved which resulted in a good discussion during the interview as well. These essentially revolved around faith and luck.
4.         What were the key factors which you think influenced your selection at PI stage?
It is important that the responses are given in a structured way which showcases the clarity of thought which I was able to accomplish. Also, the PI essentially revolves around your accomplishments and what have been your experiences so it is important to have your life story chalked out as that gives clarity to the interviewer as to why you are apt for that B-school and specialization.
5.         How did you prepare for your PI?
Well, as I have stated, I had chalked out my life story and also spoke to a few close friends as to how they gauge my personality which gave me a third perspective about what others feel about me. I had also prepared some standard answers which had real life examples (questions like Why MBA, Why marketing, etc). Also, it is very important to give mock interviews. I could only give 2-3 mock interviews but the insights you gain out of it is tremendous.
6.         Did you appear for any other PI exercise at other top B-schools? Please share a few experiences (where you went wrong).
I had gotten shortlisted for IIM Indore, new IIMs, FMS, IIM Shillong and a few other colleges. Amongst these I was able to convert IIM Indore & the new IIMs(including Shillong). My experience of PI was very good. Shillong was slightly tense as they laid a lot of emphasis on graduation and actually asked certain technical questions on the same & once the momentum breaks it becomes very difficult to make a comeback & thus it is very important to maintain your cool.
7.         Any interesting moment from your PI which you would like to share with MBA aspirants
As preparation (Specially for people with workex) it is important to brush up certain graduate subjects and know everything about your company. Also, reading the newspaper is a must so that you are aware about the happenings of the world.
8.         What is your advice to aspirants for Personal Interview?
It is very important to stay calm. Also, you need to understand that the interviewer wants to see the best in you and is not there to interrogate you. Thus if the interview progresses as a conversation then it works to your advantage. Also, it is important to do a certain amount of research on the B-school you are applying to.
For GD:                                      
1.        How was your overall GD experience?
None of the top institutes have GD anymore. SPJIMR has come with the concept of Group Interviews so that there is an amalgamation of the PI & GD. I gave some mock GD’s in my coaching classes. Biggest takeaway was to make relevant points rather than giving random points & trying to make your voice heard.

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