IIM Bangalore Interview Experience | Shweta Arora

Updated: Jun 13

15th March, 2018, 8:00 AM India Habitat Centre, Delhi

After document verification, we were taken to the interview room for WAT. There were three panelists, P1, P2 & P3 (two gentlemen and a lady in that order). They gave instructions and we began writing. The question was (non-verbatim) -

“Discrimination is not learned by experience, it is taught. What is your opinion about the same? Validate with relevant examples.”

As it is suggestive to not take a stand in the beginning and discuss both sides of the coin, I followed the same approach. In WAT, the reasoning behind your opinion matters more than your stand.

After the WAT, we were asked to wait for our turn. I was the 3rd person (out of 8) to be interviewed in my panel. Since the first one was absent, I was the 2nd one to go inside the interview room.

My turn came at 10:15 AM.

P3 announced my name and I followed her into the room. P1 and P2 were busy going through my form. I wished them all and took a seat with their permission.

P2 - How are you today, Shweta?

S - I’m doing fine, Sir.

P3 - (reading my SOP) So, you’ve mentioned that you are a self-motivated person. Can you share an instance where you motivated yourself in life?

S - shared an experience.

P3 - (quoting from my SOP) Tell me more about this contest you participated in - ‘International Space Design Contest’. Were you in the science stream earlier?

P1 - (joining) Did you switch from science to commerce?

S - No, Sir. That was in class 8th.

(P1 and P3 nod)

P1 - Why did you take it up, were you interested in science?

S - I was interested in exploring this opportunity for its international exposure and for the motive of working in a team.

P3 - So, what was the contest about?

S - shared the details of the contest, the project that we made, the mission - inhabiting people on Mars and laying out the nutrition plans for them.

P1 - What all difficulties did you face while achieving the mission?

S - talked about the differences b/w Earth and Mars, how the atmospheric and areographic barriers were taken care of, mentioned the shuttle, stay and nutritional requirements and situations of crisis that could have arisen.

P1 - So, you like Space? Any recent developments in the news?

S - talked about Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster in Space.

P1 - What do you think of Elon Musk?

S - talked about his potential, diverse ventures and enthusiastic nature.

P3 - But, don’t you think he’s a little too much into everything?

S - shared how most of the great people are recognized for one/two avenues, but those achievements are a result of several unrecognized avenues that they touch upon in their lives. Gave the example of Steve Jobs and calligraphy.

P2 - Shweta, what was your favourite subject during graduation?

S - I liked marketing the most.

P3 - What is branding?

S - told.

P3 - How is it different from advertising?

S - told.

P3 - What is the difference between packing and packaging?

S - told.

P3 - What are the layers of packaging?

S - told.

P3 - Let us say, I am a commoner. What difference does branding, packaging or advertising make in my life? How do these things affect my decisions?

S - Ma’am, in a mega-store, where there are tens of detergent brands in a row, the moment you look at an ‘orange-blue pack with a splash in the middle’, you know it’s ‘Surf Excel’. The moment you watch an ad on the TV with a ‘whitening layer running over the clothes’, you know it’s ‘Tide’. These brands occupy a place in our subconscious mind and become our preferences even before we realize. These subconscious preferences alter our buying decisions as consumers.

P2 - You’ve studied accounting, right? How do you account for branding in the books of accounts?

S - Sir, as branding is an expense.. (interrupted)

P2 - No, not as an expense, think of something else.

S - Sir, branding leads to an increase in the value of goodwill of a company. So, it would show under the Assets side of the Balance sheet.

P2 - As?

S - As an intangible asset.

P2 - And when would it show as an intangible asset?

S - (confused) Sorry, Sir. I am unable to understand your question.

P2 - When will the expense get converted into goodwill?

S - (unsure) Sir, when the expense leads to a favourable impression in the market.

P2 - No, think again.

S - (guessing) Sir, probably when the valuation of the company gets done.

P2 - Are you sure?

S - No, Sir.

P2 - (smiling) Then you shouldn’t be bluffing.

S - I’m sorry, Sir.

P1 - Have you studied money and banking?

S - Yes, Sir.

P1 - What is money?

S - stated the definition using the term ‘generally acceptable’.

P1 - Is credit card money?

S - No, Sir.

P1 - Bitcoin?

S - (looking at P2 and careful this time) I am not sure, Sir.

P1 - It’s okay, try to guess.

S - I think it is, given that it is a medium of exchange generally acceptable by a group of people. But, it isn’t backed by a regulatory body, so I’m not sure.

P3 - What backing does rupee have?

S - The RBI authorizes it, Ma’am. We have the governor’s sign on currency notes.

P2 - Do you remember what the currency notes read?

S - (couldn’t recall) “I, the Governor of RBI, promise the bearer.. (interrupted)

(P1 and P2 laugh, P3 smiles)

P2 - Is it “I, the Governor of RBI”? When you go home, read it on the note.

S - (facepalm!) Sir, I don’t remember the exact line, but the governor assures the bearer that an amount equivalent to the face value will be paid.

P3 - So, if I take this note to RBI, what will it give me in return?

S - (confused) Ma’am, since the currency is no more backed by gold in India, I think it should be the purchasing power.

P2 - Tell us something about the Nirav Modi fraud case.

S - explained.

P2 - Do you know any other instrument that could’ve been used instead of LoU for importing the goods?

S - there are trade bills which can be discounted and other instruments of money and capital market for raising funds, but I’m not aware of something like an LoU.

P3 - Do you know the recent development in news about LoUs?

S - (I hadn’t read newspaper for the last couple of days) Sorry, Ma’am. I haven’t read anything about it recently.

P3 - Last question, what is wrong in this statement - “Stephen Hawking, the Nobel Laureate, who taught at the Cambridge University, passed away recently.”

S - (again, I had not read) I’m not sure, Ma’am. (I didn’t want to guess that he’s not a Nobel Laureate as I didn’t believe it to be true. Turns out this is what was wrong in the statement - he wasn’t a Nobel Laureate)

P2 - Thank you, Shweta. You can have a toffee.

S - (smiling) Thank you.

I came out of the room, shared the experience with other candidates. They were relieved to hear that the panel is not grilling. To be honest, I felt that the interview was pretty average. I could have done better, had I stayed updated with the current happenings. I would also like to admit that my answers were not very lucid. However, it was a great experience.

Verdict - Rejected.

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