Updated: May 4, 2020
Grad: BA (Maths and Economics), Christ Church College, Kanpur
CAT'16: 98.66 percentile
Work-Ex: 0 (fresher)
Date: 27 Feb 2017
Two professors: P1 and P2
I was allotted Panel 2. It had 6 candidates including me. While we sat there to write WAT, one of the panelists took my name and told me I was the first one to be interviewed, 2–3 minutes after the WAT was over. He then took the rest of the names in the order their interviews were. He went on to tell us that we need to carry the folder and original ID while we come for the interview. I realized I didn't carry the wallet with me while they moved us to the panel room and the wallet had my DL, PAN and VOTER ID. I got under a little stress whether I would make it in 3 minutes to go, search for my wallet in the bag which was stuffed with clothes and get back in time.
WAT: Do you think that it is the moral responsibility of doctors and hospitals to keep patients alive as long as possible regardless of the quality of life?
I feel like I went a little off track by particularly focusing on the ‘quality’ of life in my essay and not talking much about the responsibilities of doctors but I started and ended it to the point.
I rushed to the waiting hall after the WAT was over, got my PAN card and ran back. I was a little out of breath when I reached the lobby and one of the panelists came out to call me inside and this is how it went after that:
P1( sitting diagonally to me, going through my file very religiously): Tell me something about yourself which is not in the form.
Me: So I would start with my name…
P1: That’s written.
Me: Sir, I'm a final year graduate in..
P1: That’s there too.
I lost confidence. I started off like that because it made me comfortable. I actually had prepared only one thing for the interview and it was ‘Tell me about yourself’ and I pretty much messed it up. I don't even remember what I said after that but I told them about SSB recommendation, playing counter strike and that I'm the sort of person who wants to excel at things. I even took a deep breath after that when P2 took over.
P2: As far as I know, this XYZ university where you're from doesn't have a good reputation.
Me: Sir, I took a gap year after my 12th and prepared for JEE. I didn't get a rank good enough to get into even NITs so I took admission in XYZ college which has a good reputation in my city although I agree that the university’s overall reputation is down due to their low marking system.
P2: Baki sab to thik hai( everything else is alright), How do you justify your marks in graduation?
Me: Sir, I had to appear for my exams in the first year along with the medical tests which were taking place in MH, Allahabad. I couldn't manage it well but as you can see there's a 10% increase in my marks in second year and I'm aiming for 15% increase this year. Moreover, average marking of our university is quite low. One of my friends who has scored highest in BA 2nd year in college this year has got 62%.
P2: You won't reach 60%
Me: Sir, I will try my best.
P2: Why didn’t you join the army after getting recommended?
Me: Sir, I was diagnosed with kidney stones. I never knew I had them.
P2: But they give you time for that..?
Me: They do, 40 days. In my case, it wasn't possible to get rid of them in 40 days.
P2: But there are ways to get them removed?
Me: (Explained everything under the sun about kidney stones and all the techniques which are used and why weren't they useful in my case)
P2: So Manuj, I see you're an Economist, Can you tell me that after Demonetization, if 20% of the currency didn't come back to the government, what would be the first reaction of the government and reserve bank?
Me: (having economics in your grad doesn't make you an economist -_- ) Sir, it's quite obvious that it must have been the black money which didn't come back to the government.
P2: Okay, what step would government take then?
Me: They will bring in new ways (said irrelevant stuff because I didn't really know what to say)
P2: (realizing I didn't know, turned to P1 and asked him if he wanted to ask anything)
P1: What is Full employment?
Me: Sir there's nothing like full employment if we refer to its literal sense (explained him Frictional and Structural Unemployment and that they’d always be present etc).
P1: Do you know about any country which is heading to full employment state?
Me: (taking a pause) No sir, I am sorry I am not sure.
P1: Shall I ask more from the Microeconomics?
Me: (puzzled why he said that :/) Yes sir.
P1: What is indifference curve?
Me: Explained. (He looked satisfied)
P1: Do you know about the Cobweb Theorem?
Me: No sir, I have never read about it.
P1: But it's a very famous theorem in Economics.
Me: Sir, I will definitely look it up after the interview.
P1: Have you been part of any extra curricular activity?
Me: Sir, I was the part of Jagran Youth Parliament this year. (Gave a brief account of what it is and what I did there)
P2: So you must be reading Jagran newspaper?
Me: No sir.
P2: But you were a part of it.
Me: Sir I participated along with my friends in college. I read our subscribed newspaper.
P2: Okay, (turning to P1), Do you want to ask anything more?
P1:(in a low voice, to P2) It's fine
P1: Okay Manuj, you can leave now.
Me: Thank you sir.
It lasted for 13–15 minutes. Could have been a lot better if I didn't lose it in the start. Answered 2 out of 3 questions he asked me from economics and personal questions went smooth. Waiting for the results.
This answer has been reproduced from Quora with Manuj's permission. He wished all the non-engineers good luck for their upcoming interview rounds and hoped that this could benefit them.
For more, keep reading the IIM Interviews.