Updated: Jul 8, 2020
Based on the 8 IIM interviews that I attended in 2018, this was an observed repetitive pattern of the flow of discussion:
The order of the questions is more or less on these lines:
Introduction & Follow Up: Here, you are expected to set a ground about your background and mention any hobbies you may have. If you don’t mention, they tend to ask. This is followed by questions on bits of your introduction that they may need clarity or are intrigued in.
Trick Question: Generally, the introduction is followed by a trick question or a puzzle. My hypothesis is that it is asked early in the interview to create an environment of stress and test how the interviewee fares over the next couple of minutes.
Academics and Work Experience: Here, questions are asked ranging from your academic subjects to their application in real life/business world, about your work experience, the value you added. This is a good opportunity to bring up your internships if you have done some.
Value-based or Hypothetical: These are more like ethical questions or questions about why you want to do an MBA, or where do you see yourself in the next 5–6 years?
Current Affairs & General Knowledge: This is self-explanatory. The topics tend to be recent (within a year of the interview). If you’re asked questions from GK, it is highly likely they will be related to your city/company/college/hobbies, etc.
Any Questions you may have: The interviewers ask if you have anything to clarify from them. Just a casual closing remark.
The length of the compartments shown in the picture reflects how long the different types of questions are discussed.The colour of the compartments reflects the relative importance of the different types of questions and the scope of screwing them up:
Green reflects opportunities to drive the interview - if you practice these well, you can decide to set the flow of the interview or to close it.
Yellow reflects opportunities to impress - there are no right or wrong answers to these types of questions. But, if you manage to give an insightful answer, you can fetch brownie points.
Red reflects danger zone - prepare them extremely well because there is very little scope of screwing up here. They give a lot of importance to these types of questions.
Note: This is based on a sample of the interviews I attended, have read on Quora and have heard from my batch mates. You can prepare by using these insights but don’t get bogged down after attending an interview if a certain part doesn’t go well. In the end, they look for your profile as a whole, of which interview is just a part.
Read more about IIM Interviews.