Updated: Jun 29, 2020
IIM Bangalore evaluates candidates on the basis of a Statement of Purpose (SOP):
In my IIM Bangalore Interview, I was asked many questions from the SOP itself. I was wondering if the same happened to other students. So, I had a chat with the students of my panel post their interviews and found out that this was a common trend. Other IIMs have a set list of questions that they use to give direction to the interview. IIM Bangalore, on the other hand, uses the SOP to direct the interview.
Now, I was an IIM-B reject, so I thought it'd be unfair if I suggest how to write an SOP. That is why, I got in touch with one student from IIM-A (IIM-B convert) and one student from IIM-B and collated their thoughts on how to write a good SOP:
Flow of the SOP
The flow they both shared was as follows:
Introduction (academic and family background, life goal)
Why MBA (connecting it with your life goal)
Achievements & PORs (what can you contribute to the batch)
Weaknesses (very briefly) (that lie in the way of your life goal)
Why IIM-B? (how it will help you cover up the weaknesses)
Steps post IIM-B (to achieve your life goal)
Some Critical Points
The SOP will be used to ask questions on your qualities, achievements and academic background. So, mention only the points you're very comfortable with.
If there is anything you definitely want to talk about, make sure to knit it well in the flow of your SOP. There's a high chance the interviewers will pick it up.
Highlight your strengths across each achievement showing why you think they have made you capable enough to survive and thrive at IIM Bangalore.
Since you must have already bragged about your achievements, your weaknesses should reflect what you (really) lack and would like IIM Bangalore to help you with.
Your weaknesses should never be more than 2 and your achievements or strengths should always outnumber your weaknesses.
IIM Bangalore is very particular about why you wish to enter it. Remember, that your reason cannot be transferable to any other IIM or B-school. So, you can't say 'placements', 'peer learning', etc. It has to be something that is unique to IIM-B and also helps you cover your weaknesses.
Relate your story to the qualities that IIM-B students possess. Mention proudly how you see yourself as a fit in only IIM-B and no other institute.
Try to include some points about any social initiative you took because it fetches you brownie points.
Don't write a poem. Quotes are allowed but try not starting with one, it's too cliche. Instead, fit it well within the passage such that it doesn't disturb the overall flow.
Some lines from different SOPs, do not copy them, it might backfire if the interviewers have already read them:
Imagine a world where alarm clocks don’t exist, where purpose wakes one up and vision leads the day. I am an inhabitant of this world, which runs on self-motivation, creativity and the urge to add value to others’ lives.
My destination, which now, is a plant of a reasonable length, was initially a seed yearning to understand my family business. In our chemicals factory, the biggest challenge...
The study of tech courses in college backed by a position in the placement cell has prepared me to take a step forward in the direction of my dreams.
Coming under the shimmer of the sun that shines atop IIM-Bangalore in its logo, I visualize my stay at IIM-Bangalore as a journey of experiences, participation and deployment of skills to a decision making position in the corporate industry.
Hope this gives an idea. Now, start preparing your own and let me know if you have any questions. Here is a list of topics for WAT that have been asked in IIM-B interviews in the past. Wish you the best!