Updated: Jun 29
Months of CAT preparation followed by the IIM interviews can all go in vain if some common mistakes, repeated by candidates every year, are not avoided.
This list has been created in discussion with 25+ IIM students based on their interview experiences.
The 7 biggest mistakes made by candidates are:
Not greeting the interviewers properly One of our professors at IIM Ahmedabad used to talk about the candidates who forget to look at the time before greeting during the IIM interviews. Another improper greeting used to be the lousy handshake that candidates often extended by crouching over the table. These are some simple body language norms that candidates are expected to take care of.
Not utilizing the introduction fully Yes, introduction is a great opportunity to set ground for the follow-up questions that candidates are asked in an IIM interview. However, many of them don't know how to introduce themselves. They end up sharing a monotonous rehearsed answer and miss out on the amazing chance to give cues to the interviewer on what to ask.
Not driving the interview Either the candidate drives an IIM interview or the interviewer does it for him/her. Depending on the introduction and the candidate's presence of mind, the interviewer allows him/her to direct it. In fact, in a discussion with two IIM Ahmedabad professors, it was found that one of the expectations of IIM interviewers is that the candidate should take charge of the conversation.
Giving generic answers Not being prepared for the commonly asked questions is another mistake made by the candidates. Due to this, they often end up giving generic answers. Candidates who convert interviews often have incidents to share with respect to the questions asked. This can be done with a simple 3-step approach that students at IIM Ahmedabad often use for their summer placements.
Not knowing about themselves This might sound strange, but is one of the blunders made by candidates. They forget to search about their hometown, school, college, company, etc. and often are quizzed on general awareness questions pertaining to them. It is always recommended to go through the repository of IIM interview questions to be prepared with the kind of questions that can be asked.
Trying to bluff I was also a culprit who made this mistake during my IIM Bangalore interview. The interviewers are fairly experienced to judge if you are being genuine or not. Never try to bluff. If you don't know something, simply say so. You'll earn their respect for not lying and not lose much.
Not smiling enough Sometimes, IIM interviews can be hard. The interviewers often get into 'testing the candidate' mode and the candidates are not sure how to deal with such a stress interview. Smiling throughout the interview irrespective of the level of stress reflects a candidate's confidence.
This is all in store for now, avoid these mistakes and you shall do well. Wish you the best!
You may also like to read - How to Dress-Up for an IIM interview?