B School Interview Experience – IIM Kozhikode

With the CAT/XAT results out and the B Schools slowly rolling out their PI Calls, it is time for the aspirants to gear up for the last round of preparation and ace that interview call of their dream B School. But the interview preps are quite different from your regular CAT mocks or solving that difficult LR question. While you are judged a lot on your logic and approach. A lot depends on your communication skill, your depth of knowledge in things you did in the past and your general awareness about the world around you. This article will cover those aspects and also will have a brief about my interview experience of IIM Kozhikode.

The First Step

The first step of interview prep is to prepare an answer for tell me about yourself. 99% of your interviews would start with this question and it is where the interviewer makes an impression about you. So, in order to have a balanced tell me about yourself speech, you should begin by talking about where you are from, what did you do in your undergraduate and your experience, interests, work experience. I would like to break it further into people who are freshers and people who are experienced

  • For Freshers
    1. Focus on what you did in college a lot
    2. Research works/ Certifications/ Projects/ Internships
    3. Rewards and Recognitions
    4. Position of Responsibilities (PORs)
    5. Extra Curriculars
  • For People with Work Experience
    1. Focus on PORs
    2. Focus more on work experience and have an in-depth knowledge about your vertical
    3. Rewards and recognition from college and office
    4. Extra Curriculars

You can add why you want to do an MBA in that tell me about yourself speech as well if you see that the interviewer is not stopping you midway. The rest of the questions majorly consist of deeper understanding of your CV, your logical and analytical thinking and your general awareness.

CV Question Preparation

Even though most of the IIMs do not ask for a CV, most of them want to have a deeper understanding of your learnings and knowledge regarding everything you did. For freshers, most of the questions involve the subject matters of their undergrad degree. People with experience might be asked from their undergrad subjects but the majority of the focus is on work experience and how well they understand the industry they are working for. Freshers might be asked about their favourite subject from their undergrad while for people with experience, the professors would like to know more about the different projects they handled in work. But, sometimes, professors might quote some random subject from the grade cards to ask what your learnings were from that particular subject. An useful tip would be to have a very basic understanding of the major subjects covered in your undergrads for freshers and have a good understanding about a few projects handled by you at work which can help you to drive your interview to your region of strength.

Logical Questions and General Awareness

A lot of B Schools have given up their GD processes and replaced it with Writing Ability Test. The topics covered in those include some recent occurrences and ask for your views regarding it. General awareness can be improved by reading the newspaper daily and following news articles from various applications like Knappily or InShorts. With calls out, a lot of renowned GDPI prep centres will launch their GDPI prep materials which are often comprehensive. The topics covered in interviews would include Social and Economic conditions of both India and Abroad not limited to current times. It is advised to have a particular hobby and be thorough with it. For e.g., if you choose cricket as your hobby, be specific that you follow India and only follow international matches and not much of Ranji tournaments. If your hobby is reading books, be specific about the Genre and favourite authors. A hobby without these specific mentions might prompt professors to ask questions from sections of that hobby that you have never heard of. The General awareness questions might include your view about a certain move by the government or something about recent elections or other recent happenings. These topics can be mostly from your state and the state in which the B School is located but it is not limited to it. IIM Kozhikode is known to ask questions like Who is the Chief Minister of Kerala, Name the neighbouring states of Kerala, How many cities you cross while you take a train from your city to Kozhikode etc. Logical questions include quants, puzzles, proofs of various geometrical laws, logical reasoning questions etc.

Other Questions

Other questions might involve basic HR questions which are situation based. Questions might be like, tell me a situation where you had an argument with your manager and how did you handle the situation. There can be some General Knowledge questions which are often used during stress interview to see if you crumble under pressure or not. It is advised to keep calm and never bluff in an interview.

My IIM Kozhikode Interview Experience

The questions asked to me during my IIM Kozhikode Interviews were as follows

  1. Tell me About Yourself

Started with the answer I prepared. Was stopped midway.

2.Tell me about something that is not generalized, something which is not in the resume.

Talked about my immense love for street animals

  1. Asked about the movies he watched recently and songs he heard recently?

This was a filler which the professor asked me just to ease me up

  1. Name 5 novels by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay

It was just out of the blue. Later I realised he asked me as he saw a lower score in Bengali in class 12 as compared to other subjects

  1. Tell me about Industrial Management?

A subject I read in Undergrad. I have 2 years of work experience in a bank and so I had no clue about this. I was honest and owned up that I do not remember.

  1. Tell me about your work/job?

Talked about my role, my sector and major responsibilities.

  1. What do you do in Data Analytics?

Talked about a few projects. Mentioned that I code using SAS and R

  1. Your explanation was complex and we could not understand, please explain in a simplified manner?

Brokedown the project into really simple terms so that it was easier for anyone to understand what I did.

  1. The main difference between SAS and R?

Explained it

  1. How will you remove blank space in a data frame in R?

Could Do it

  1. Was given 2 vectors, was told to find the difference between the third number of a vector and fourth of another one?

Could do it

  1. Prove that the sum of all the angles of a triangle sum up to 180 degree

Could do it

  1. What is the difference between 3G,4G and 5G

–Interrupted and told you can leave now…

The majority of the questions were based on my CV or past experiences. So, it is mandatory for people to be thorough with their CV. All the best.