Updated: Jun 28, 2020
A couple of days earlier, I received a message from Shrestha Dasmunshi, who is an incoming student at IIM Lucknow Batch of 2022. Shrestha wanted to share her interview experiences with the CAT aspirants of the blog so that they can be well prepared for the upcoming exam and interviews. So, here is the post sharing Shrestha's two interview experiences: IIM Lucknow and IIM CAP (new IIMs).
10th: 10 CGPA
Grad: 8.419 CGPA
Degree: B Com (H)
College: Hansraj, Delhi Uni.
CAT 2019: 98.43%ile
IIM Lucknow 2020
Location: IIM Lucknow, Noida Campus
WAT (later scrapped due to the lockdown):
“Should Capital Punishment be abolished?”
There were 2 panelists – M1 and M2. I’ll refer to myself as S.
M1: So Dasmunshi, huh? Are you related to Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi?
S: Sir, he was my distant uncle, my father’s cousin.
M1: So how come you live in Delhi while he lived in West Bengal?
S: Sir my grandfather migrated to Delhi for work, while most of his siblings and cousins stayed in Kolkata.
M1: He was in a coma for a long time, wasn’t he?
S: Yes sir. He was in a coma for about 9 years before passing away in 2017.
M1: His wife is also a politician, right? What is her name?
S: Yes sir. Her name is Deepa Dasmunshi. She took over as MP of the Raiganj Constituency after Mr. Priya Ranjan.
M1: So you seem to know a lot about your family then! Tell us about your immediate family.
S: My father is a Principal Scientist with specialisation in vegetable sciences, working at IARI, Pusa. My mother did her Masters in Hindi Literature and is currently a homemaker. (Some more questions on my father’s education and why my mother did her masters in Hindi Literature when she could’ve studied the rich Bangla Literature.)
M1: So, you’ll get a lot of diversity points both for being a non-engineer and a female candidate. Do you think you need them?
S: Sir, I personally would have been alright even if I didn’t receive them because of my consistent good academic performance. However, the reason for the Diversity points in general, is, so the classroom discussions can become more holistic and multi-dimensional.
M1: Do all matrices have determinants?
M1: Interpret a Simplex tableau?
M1: (Regression) We have two variables: Height (dependent) and Weight (independent). How is it that two individuals with same weight can have different heights?
S: Tried explaining the concept of a fitted line but the professor moved on before I could complete my answer.
M2: Now, I will ask you five questions. If you can answer 3/5, I will be satisfied:
Name any other section in the income tax act, apart from section 80?
NPV vs. IRR?
What is SLR and what assets are included in its calculation?
Let’s say I make an offer to M1 about ending the Interviews by 5 pm. M1 does not respond. Is it a contract?
S: (Answered the first 3. Stumbled a bit on the 4th question on the concepts of offer and acceptance. I don’t recall the 5th question as it was an unknown concept for me)
L interviews are generally academic heavy (although mine was comparatively milder because of the long conversation regarding my last name). The first thing they ask for, is your school and grad mark sheets. So be prepared with ALL your subjects as anything from your mark sheets is fair game.
IIM CAP (New IIMs) 2020
Colleges under CAP: Ranchi, Trichy, Udaipur, Sirmaur, Raipur, Sambalpur, Bodh Gaya, Jammu, Kashipur
(Rohtak opted out of CAP this year and conducted interviews separately)
Location: Jaypee Siddharth, Delhi
“Should road construction be privatized?”
Wrote about the amended Motor Vehicle Act, 2019 which put the onus of construction on state governments and held contractors liable. Also talked about why Public-Private Partnership is efficient and gave examples of airports constructed under PPP and how those are the best constructed airports in the country.
There were 2 panelists – M1 and M2. I’ll refer to myself as S.
M1: Tell us about yourself and your family.
S: Talked about my graduation, internships and hobbies and then moved on to my father’s profession as a Principal Scientist at IARI. Also mentioned that his office was just opposite to the venue! (M1 seemed uninterested :P)
M1: So, scientist, huh? What is his specialization and what does his work involve?
S: His specialization is in horticulture and vegetable sciences. His research work involves preparing varieties of vegetables and fruits that have a higher yield/productivity. Apart from that, he is also a professor who teaches the Ph.D students at IARI.
M1: What are the different fruits produced around the country?
S: Apples in Kashmir, Litchis in Bihar and Oranges in Nagpur.
M1: With fruits having a very short shelf life, how would you solve the problem of wastage that it leads to?
S: Sir, I believe entrepreneurship can be the answer. An organisation, that can procure fruits and vegetables on real time basis from farmers and deliver them under a periodic subscription model to customers, could solve the problem of supply and demand which causes the wastage in the first place. (Admittedly, got this idea from an episode of Shark Tank ;))
M1: Do you know what is NREGA?
S: Sir MGNREGA…(M1 interrupts. He seemed impressed that I knew NREGA was now called MGNREGA)
Yes, sir, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Generation Act is a government initiative that provides 150 days of guaranteed employment to people in rural areas for daily wages. The jobs usually involve manual and unskilled labour. (Checked later that it is a 100 day initiative with a proposal to increase it to 150 days)
M1: What is Jan Dhan Yojana?
S: An initiative started under the Narendra Modi Government that seeks to create bank accounts for people all over the country, with a certain amount being credited to that account every month by the govt. The aim of the programme is Financial Inclusion.
M1: What is Inclusive Growth?
S: Sir is it related to Financial Inclusion?
M1: I don’t know! You have started taking our interview!
S: (Chuckles nervously) Sir, although I don’t know exactly, if I were to interpret it from context, I would guess it means computing the GDP of a country by inclusion of all activities, including the unorganised sector, which is currently difficult to trace for GDP computation.
(Checked later, this was one of the meanings of inclusive growth on a macro level.)
M2: So, you did a course on Financial Markets. Let me give you a scenario. An open terrace restaurant in Mumbai is very popular but due to heavy rains, it has to stay closed frequently. What financial solution would you give to mitigate this risk?
S: (The answer should’ve been related to diversification of risk by using uncorrelated investments but I completely messed up this question by giving non-financial solutions like building a transparent arc, etc. and him patiently telling me he wanted a FINANCIAL Solution, not an infrastructural one.)
M1: What is collection period?
S: (Answered from the point of view of Creditors and Debtors. He reminded me that collection can only be for debtors and for creditors, the term would be payment. I politely agreed.)
M1: (Some further cross questioning on the concept of turnover ratios and collection periods, relation between the two, which is better and when, etc.)
S: (Answered the questions and he seemed satisfied.)
Verdict: Converted 8/9 IIMs and waitlisted at Jammu!
These interviews were originally posted by Shrestha on Quora and have been shared here with her consent. Hope they give you an idea on how interviews are conducted post the CAT exam. I'd like to thank Shrestha for taking out the time to share her experiences with us all.