Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, popularly known as IIMC or IIM Calcutta is one of the most prestigious business colleges in India. Every year nearly 2 lakh aspirants appear in the CAT exam to make it into the top B-colleges of India, which includes IIM Calcutta.

Admission Process of IIM Calcutta

IIM Calcutta

IIM Calcutta goes with its own selection process for admitting candidates in the MBA programme. This makes the college maintain its reputation and quality.

Right from appearing in CAT 2018, to clearing the cutoff prescribed by the college for intake process 2019, IIM Calcutta is very conscious about selecting its candidates.

Apart from this, the candidate has to go through the selection criteria laid down by the institute. The selection criteria, however, includes a Writing Ability Test and a Personal Interview. The brief descriptions of both rounds are –

Writing Ability Test (WAT)– Average duration is 25 minutes, Word limit is 300 words. Some of the topics that could be asked in this year’s WAT are:

  • 10 Percent General Reservation Bill
  • Shashi Tharoor’s Literature Bill
  • Viewpoints on Sabarimala verdict by the Supreme Court
  • Is Artificial Intelligence taking jobs away?
  • Up-coming startup market trends in India.

Personal Interview – Average duration is 30 minutes, Number of Panelists is 3. Also, the interview round is generally percieved to be quite tricky. 

Candidates Past Experience with IIM Calcutta

Since the WAT-PI for IIM Calcutta is a renowned one, we have a step-wise guide to the WAT-PI process here. This illustrates the past experience of a student while appearing for IIM Calcutta.

Candidates’ background

  • The candidate has a Bachelor’s in Technology (B.Tech.) in Mechanical Engineering from a government institute. The candidate had 78% marks in B. Tech (Mechanical Engineering).
  • The candidate’s total experience is of 36 months.
  • The candidate scored an overall CAT percentile of 99.6.
  • The sectional percentiles of candidate were as 99.25 in Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), 99.86 in Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and 97.70 in Quantitative Ability (QA).
  • The candidate scored 91.8% (CBSE) and 82.8% (CBSE) in 10th and 12th standard.
  • The candidate was ‘male.’
  • Also, the candidate belonged to the General Category.
  • The hobbies of the candidate were – playing football (where he was college team captain) and travelling.

WAT Topic

‘In the light of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the right of privacy, express your views on making Aadhaar compulsory?’ was the allotted topic for WAT.

Personal Interview

After a long wait of 3 hours, the candidate was called inside. It was his final chance. As he entered the interviewing room, he saw 3 panellists sitting over there. They have been referred to as P1, P2, and P3, in the coming discussion. The candidate is referred with C.

As the candidate entered, the conversation began as follows:

P1 – Please sit down. (The common gesture)

P2 – Don’t tell me you’re an engineer. (Simultaneously, a taunt came, P3 was observing my walk)

C – I am a Mechanical Engineer. (Politely sitting on the chai, without making any noise)

P3 – Why do you want to do MBA? (Trying to know the reason for my change of field)

C – I want to learn management, (paused) as it interests me. (The panelist interrupts)

P3 – Why did you do engineering then? You could have done any other management course. (Wanted to find my weakness)

C – I started liking engineering after I completed my school (The panelist interrupts)

P3 – So now you are no longer interested in engineering? (Trying to provoke me)

C – I want to grow as a good manager and develop myself. (I explained to them)

P3 – Why didn’t you do an M.Tech? (Again, asked me about my change of field)

C – Sir, MBA will enhance me and help me in my growth. (I stayed on my point)

P3 – What do you mean by growth? (The panelist shifted question)

C – Growth means learning new skills to me. New things, which will enhance… (Panelist interrupted me)

P3 – Then why don’t you learn guitar and be a musician? (All the panelist laughed)

C – I am interested in management because while working with activates, I would learn many things simultaneously. It is like shaping things. (I gave a serious answer)

P2 – What is the graph of y=2^x? (Suddenly, the question came and a writing pad was offered to me)

C – Here is the graph. (I drew the graph correctly on the writing pad)

P2 – Excellent. (He was amazed.)

P2 – What is Reynolds number? (Panelist went into more technicality)

C – It is a constant. (I generalized it.)

P2 – What is Bernoulli equation? (Panelist went into more technicality)

C – It is related to kinetic and potential energy. (I generalized it.)

P2 – Everything in mechanical is related to that two. (He laughed and other two panelist joined)

P1 – You are weak in academics. (Straight judgment was passed)

C – While working for an industry from past 36 months, these concepts are hard to recall. I am a software engineer and everything related to it is on my tips.

P1 – So what do you do in your work?

C – I am a developer. (I told them my job profile.)

P1 – Are karte kya ho? Coding? (The panelist was infuriated)

C – Yes. (I got nervous)

P1 – Which language? (Strict question)

C – Java. (Told them directly)

P1 – Why is java is better than other languages?

C – Because Java offers a lot of flexibility and facilities which ….. (Told them in long, detailed way)

P1 – Can we exchange two variables without using 3rd variable? (More technicality.)

C – Yes. (Answered it wrong.)

P1– Are you sure? Think that your selection depends on it. (Panelist asked again.)

C – I said yes. (Smiled away)

P1 – You don’t bear resemblance to the picture you have on your profile. (Panelist was doubtful)

C – Yes, it’s because I shaved it for my interview. (They began laughing again)

P2 – So you love football? (They went for personal questions)

C – Yes I love it. I don’t see time while playing football. (I got excited)

P2 – How many positions are there in football?

C – Keeper, striker, defender, midfielders are some positions. Depending upon the position, players can be classified. (I was prompt)

P2 – What are the major formations that are been used by league teams these days? (Panelist was checking my knowledge about football)

C – Spain, Brazil, India, etc. use their own formations on ground. (The panelist was convinced)

P2 – Which is your favorite team and why? (Just an add on question)

C – Real Madrid and because… (Panelist interrupted)

P2 – Thank you. You may leave. (I was abruptly asked to leave.)

C – Thank you. (I got up smiling and left without making much noise)

Result – The candidate got selected.

Observation – The panelists need to assess and evaluate the real person inside you. They don’t need mugged up answers, which are taught by the coaching institutes to the aspirants. Every person has its own thought process and the panelists need to understand that.

They want to access your things according to the requirement for the management purpose. Apart from this, the panelists also want to know the orientation of the aspirant, the career path and how focused the candidate is for that.

Also, the panelists want to check the level of dedication of the aspirant. They are eager to find out how organized an aspirant is about his career. Also, they are curious to understand how the candidate wants to shape his career and how a Management degree will help him in achieving the same.

For approximately every interview, however, the ‘Why MBA?’question is mandatory. And every IIM Admission aspirant should be prepared for that. Apart from this, most of the questions revolve around the life and academics of the aspirant.

While answering the questions, however, the candidate should be confident, calm and sensible. He or she should be attentive, exhibiting a high level of self-esteem while giving introduction and organizing skills while communicating to them.

The panelists have a different set of question for every aspirant. Most of the questions are to check who drives the interview – the aspirant or the panel!

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