TISS Interview Experience 2019: The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) conducted its selection rounds in the month of March 2019. Candidates who obtained the minimum cutoff marks in the TISSNET exam and secured a place in the merit list were eligible to participate in the selection rounds.

TISSNET Selection Procedure 2019 comprised of three main stages:

  • Entrance Test (TISSNET 2019): TISSNET 2019 which was held on January 13, 2019.
  • Pre-Interview Test (PIT)/ Group Discussion (GD): All candidates who qualified the minimum cutoff appeared in the PIT (written test) /GD process.
  • TISS Interview (PI): This final stage requires the shortlisted candidates to appear in the Personal Interview round.

Post completion of all the three selection rounds, the final result bearing the names of selected candidates were released on April 22, 2019. On the basis of the merit list, candidates were offered admissions in M.A., M. Sc., M.H.A., M.P.H courses at TISS.

TISS Interview Experience 2019: HRM, Mumbai Campus

Narrating to you the unique TISS Interview Experience 2019 of an engineer who converted the TISS Human Resources Management Course for the Mumbai Campus. Given below is the Scorecard of the student:

Student Bio

  • Name: Sumnaunsh Gadade
  • Qualification: B.E. Instrumentation (Mumbai University). Secured 2nd position in the final year of engineering.
  • Work experience: Accumulated 42 months of work experience, working as a Design Engineer Instruments in a listed Norwegian detailed engineering company named Aker Solutions. (September 2012 to February 2016). Key areas of experience include oil and gas industry, chemical industry and telecom engineering.
  • Result: Converted the MA in HRM and LR Course at TISS Mumbai

TISS Interview Experience 2019: WAT and GD

Topic: Agricultural Issues

(There is proposed voting on the topic and we mutually decide in favour of this topic).

Writing Ability Test (WAT)

The introductory paragraph quoted the data of employment-unemployment survey of NSSO (National Sample Survey Office) regarding the share of agriculture in workforce, vis-a-vis services and industries and juxtaposed with data on GDP contributions of these three sectors and how this situation adds to vagaries of agriculture.

My second paragraph covered the issues in a holistic way, right from input to output. However due to  the paucity of time, I made a flowchart to depict the same. Covered issues like fragmentation of land, fertilizer and pesticides, irrigation, loans, insurance, impact of environment on agriculture and vice-versa, storage, market, agriculture and allied sectors, innovation and technology, the feminization of agriculture.

For the third paragraph, I again drew a flowchart in the same life cycle approach about the present steps taken by the government. Eg: PMKSY, PMFBY, NAM, SAMPADA, ICAR and KVK, Rashtriya Gokul Mission, NMSA etc.

In the fourth paragraph, that is the conclusion, I wrote about what more could be done. Wrote this in a point format, one below the other, the different suggestions like the implementation of the recommendation of Swaminathan Aayog, on the lines of green revolution, which gives a boost to the golden, pink and other revolutions, doubling farmers income, payment deficiency system in place of MSP etc.

P.S. The WAT was to be written in 200 words only. So, I was well within the word limit and covered the entire topic in a most holistic way. I had written an essay in the UPSC Mains on the same topic, so it helped. However, I don’t know about the representation. Because it wasn’t like an essay in a paragraph, but contained two flowcharts and data, like a General Studies (GS) answer in UPSC.

Group Discussion (GD)

I started off second. The girl before me was an MBA aspirant and was verbose while communicating and interacting with others. Therefore, when she paused to take a breath after a minute, I immediately chipped in and quoted the data of NSSO survey and inaugurated the topic. Later, I spoke at 6-7 intervals, proposing newer points and adding to the points put forth by members. I also requested the group to discuss the way forward and suggested a few points, which, in my opinion, was the way forward.

P.S. The overall GD went well for me. I could put forth all my points besides ensuring that it doesn’t turn out to be a monologue. At one or two instances, I felt I interrupted by the other group members. Also, we did not conclude the GD in time but did discuss the way forward. The panel was noting down the points during our Group Discussion. Overall, it was a satisfactory round where my performance was concerned, as there was no chaos and I could make all my important points and could drive the GD).

Click here to know more about TISS PIT Essay Topics 2019.

Personal Interview (PI)

(Last one to enter at 6 pm. Didn’t count the exact time, but was interviewed for around 25-30 minutes).

Knocked the door and went inside. Wished the lady first and then the other two gentlemen. Was offered a seat. Thanked them and took the seat.

Panel of 3: Middle-aged lady (M1), Old aged Gentleman (M2), Young Gentleman (M3)

M1: Please introduce yourself.

Me: Told my name and my graduate degree. Informed them that I had secured the second rank in the final year of engineering. Talked extensively about my job profile, the projects that I worked on and about being a part of the engineering improvement program. Spoke of my achievements in the company and about winning the ‘Project of the Year’ award by London Petroleum Economist. Also spoke about the company being a part of UN Global Compact.

M1: Why HR ?

Me: Gave a brief about pursuing a similar set of activities during engineering; viz; treasure and planning and management committee of the national level society, organised industrial visits and personality development programs for students.

  • Interdisciplinary coordination in the company and working on CSR projects.
  • A decent level of interaction and rapport with the HR manager of the company.
  • Impressed by the diversity in an HR role.
  • Was enlightened about Labour Laws.
  • Learnt more about HR while preparing for civil services.

M1: Have you read any books on HR?

  • Spoke of Armstrong’s Handbook on HR.
  • Also, made it clear that due to the paucity of time, I went through the index and referred blogs and websites like People Matters, SHRM etc.

M1: Are you still working with Aker Solutions?

  • No, I quit my job in 2016.
  • Preparing for civil services since 2016; couldn’t make it to the final despite clearing the preliminary round.

M1: What was your optional?

Me: Philosophy

M1: Why Philosophy?

  • Talked about how engineering inculcated in me a mathematical way of solving problems and taking a step-by-step approach.
  • Correlated it to how philosophy is all about a problem-solving approach taken by philosophers towards life-related problems.

Observation: The examiner was continuously writing down something while I was talking. She seemed satisfied with my answers. Didn’t ask any cross questions, though I was expecting more questions related to labour laws and People Matters, more questions on my job profile etc).

(Steps in the first gentleman)

M2: What kind of an engineer are you?

Me: Instrumentation Engineer.

M2: Asked a series of technical questions back to back:

  • What is a closed loop? (Explained with relevant examples).
  • What is an open loop? (Explained with relevant examples).
  • What are actuators? Answered and talked about control valve as well, and it’s application.
  • What are pneumatic signals? (Explained).
  • What kind of sensors are used to turn off lights when we step out of the house?

(Initially made a mistake and spoke of motion sensors. Then he started explaining how it cannot be a motion sensor, corrected my mistake and told me about infrared sensors. Seemed satisfied.)

M2: Who is your favorite philosopher?

Me: I spoke of an Indian philosopher Shankaracharya and his philosophy of Advaita Vedanta. Also added as to how this philosophy can be used to promote religious harmony in the present context.

M2: Countered by saying that Indian philosophy is not a philosophy, and instead used some term to describe it. Then went on to ask about a western philosopher that I liked.

Me: Spoke about Kant.

M2: What do you know about Kant?

Me: Spoke of deontological ethics.

M2: What else apart from ethics?

Me: Tried to drag our conversation to ways and means debate (he rightly pointed it out that this is also part of ethics).

M2: What else do you know about Kant?

Me: Took a few seconds and talked about mind and SAJ.

M2: What’s SAJ?

Me: Synthetic Apriori Judgment.

M2: (Nodded, and said yes, right) What is it? Can you elaborate?

Me: Fumbled a bit but told him about how it sought to reconcile to the types of knowledge systems. Used example of ‘this is a flower’ and ‘this is a red flower’ and how I distinguished between the two.

M2: (Seemed okay/not too satisfied and changed the course of debate).

M2: What do you think of the present government?

  • Spoke of the difference between a strong government that can take a decision and compared it to coalition government problems.
  • Told about good decisions taken in various fields.
  • Started off by quoting International Relations (since was well-read on it)
  • Explained how we built on neighbourhood first policy from Gujral doctrine. Projects like SAARC satellite. Good relations with the Maldives and it’s strategic significance. Good relations with Bhutan and how it helped in Dokalam crisis.

M2: (Intervened) Why China is blocking India’s bid for blacklisting Azhar Masood?

Me: Started off with the Belt and Road initiative and sovereignty issues faced by India with CPEC corridor and India’s rightful opposition to BRI (as it passes through Gilgit Baltistan Region). Spoke of other issues between India and China like Dalai Lama, Border disputes, Stapled visa in Arunachal Pradesh.

M2: (Seemed satisfied).

M2: What do you think about article 35A. Should it be abolished?

Me: Spoke of consultative approach needed to be taken by bringing all stakeholders onboard.

M2: Asked who all are the stakeholders?

Me: Spoke of Kashmiri political parties, Kashmiri people, Government of India, Indian political parties, social workers and groups working on ground level etc.

M2: Kashmiri political parties will ask to not abolish article 35A, then?

Me: Linked it to the overall debate of development. Highlighted the issues of Kashmir.

M2: (Gave a long argument regarding how developmental policies are not working) and asked how I am saying that development will work, because so far it has not.

Me: I tried to answer thinking his argument was over (however he was not finished. He said his argument was not over. I said sorry and he continued). I told him about other issues faced by Kashmir like difficult terrain, snowfall, issues of flood etc.

M2: Pointed out that difficult terrain is there in Europe also, then why does Kashmir have a problem?

  • Highlighted that after world war 2 Europe has largely been peaceful and it’s a single market now. However, in Kashmir there are lots of stakeholders involved like Pak in Gilgit Baltistan (PoK) in the northwest, China in Aksai Chin (on the eastern side), spoke of allegations related to military excesses.
  • On a concluding note, pointed out that the development schemes like Nai Roshani to train 1 lakh Kashmiri youth, a scheme by army to take children to school and lastly adopting a three-pronged strategy as suggested by Atal Bihari Vajpayee of Insaniyat, Jhamuriyat and Kashmiriyat to be adopted in future approaches.

M2: (Looked alright to me. It was difficult to fathom as to how he received my answers. Asked lots of questions and cross-questions on a variety of topics).

M3: You have a very good experience of 3.5 years. Why are you not opting for the TISS Executive HRM course?

Me: Went blank for a second. Apologised and said I didn’t know.

M3: (He got to know that already) then he explained about TISS Executive HRM Course.

Me: Thanked him for adding to my knowledge.

P.S. (Could have handled it in a better way).

(Comes in the third gentleman)

M3: (Gave a long case study mimicking the same situation I was in). You are a boss and you have assigned employees with requisite talent and skillset to a new client. The project is about to begin, and he comes and tells you that he wants to quit for the job to prepare for civil services. What would you do?

  • Told him about the idea of business continuity planning in big organizations to take care of such exigencies. 
  • I also told him about the concept of a notice period, and the time that I would require to find a replacement for him.

M3: Forget about the notice period, what else would you do?

Me: Said that would try and find someone with a similar skillset within the organisation to take up his position by reshuffling resources. If not, I will venture in the market and hire a new person with the required skillset.

M3: (Quite astonished) You will hire from the outside market?

Me: Reiterated the answer that first I will look within the organisation, else outside.

Also spoke of how the project handover is done. Gave my own example, and about how we inducted the new person in my place. How we handed over the charge, how all the systems and resources needed were arranged and communicated to.

M3: So hiring from outside is one of the choices?

Me: Yes, one of the choices.

M3: Will you respect the wish of the employees?

Me: Yes, I will.

Overall, my TISS Interview Experience 2019 was great and I was on cloud nine after converting TISS HRM Course for the Mumbai Campus.

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