IIM Bangalore Background

How was my IIM Bangalore interview experience?

An admission to a top IIM needs a strong interview performance! Here's my IIM Bangalore interview experience which got me the admission.

Overview

Getting started

One of the life-changing moments in any MBA aspirants journey is the interview. And it’s the last step to the coveted admission!

I’m Ruchi Aggarwal, the founder of Mentoresult – I’ve helped over 2000 students crack admissions to top B-Schools, but I’m sharing a different story today. Not as a mentor, but as a student – The story of my own IIM Bangalore interview!

IIM Bangalore is one of the premier management institutions of the country, and I had a special connection to IIMB – My sister was an IIMB alum, so I really wanted to make her proud!

Through this experience, I hope you’ll learn more about the questions from an IIMB interview, my prep strategies, and what the results page looks like 🙂

My IIMB interview profile

Here’s a snapshot of my profile going into the interview:

CAT score: 99.99 %ile

10th Score: 96.71% (ICSE – All India Rank 9)

12th Score: 89% (Maharashtra State Board – Gold Medallist)

Undergrad Score: 6.88/7 (B.Com from Mumbai University – Perfect 7 in final year)

Chartered Accountancy: All India Rank 8 in Foundation

My Extracurriculars:

  • National Parliamentary Debate Winner at IIT Bombay’s Mood Indigo
  • Times of India ‘Young Editor’ Winner
  • Guitar + Piano player

Positions of Responsibility:-

  • Chief Editor at Young Endeavor, the official college magazine
  • President of the Debating and Literary Club at College
  • Basketball Captain

Interview Day

Date: Feb 19

Venue: The Orchid Hotel, Mumbai

IIM B had the longest form of all the top schools. The toughest part was the Statement of Purpose, which was a 500-word write-up on all our achievements and our MBA goals. IIM B also asked for 2-3 references in their form, which could be either a professional reference or an academic one (like professors or teachers).

My Interview

Interview Experience: My panel consisted of 3 male interviews – I later realised they were 2 professors and one alumnus. I was the third candidate on my panel, and the first two people who came from the interview were a little flustered by the interviews, so I was expecting the worst.

PART 1: Academic Explorations

Interviewer 1: What is a rank in CPT?

Me: (I explained that CPT is the first level of CA, and I had an all-India rank in that)

Interviewer 2: What about IPCC? That’s inter right? How was your performance? What is an exemption? Will you not have to give that subject again? How does it work?

Me: (I gave a short explanation on what exemptions are – Simply another name for a distinction score in CA)

Int: Why did you not take commerce in 9th and 10th?

Me: (I mentioned that I liked science as well, and the commerce subjects offered then were repetition of 11th and 12th syllabus)

Int: Why did you score so much better in the last two semesters and not in the first four in graduation? (I was secretly very happy about this question and was expecting it – I wanted a chance to clarify certain things)

Me: (I mentioned that in Mumbai University, the first 4 semesters are graded as per the college and the final two are graded as per the university. My college had a different grading curve, and I was still a high performer by those standards)

PART 2: Editor-In-Chief

Int: What is this Times of India young editor competition? What did you do? (They were asking about a competition I had won where I was an editor for a day)

Me: (I explained the competition and what the rounds were – I was well-prepared for this as well)

Int: You were Editor-In-Chief of your college magazine as well? What was your job there?

Me: (My essays submitted during applications had a lot of details around this, so I knew they would ask me more questions here. I shared details around the 50th anniversary edition of the magazine where I led a large team for the publication.)

Int: Did you work with your college principal for the magazine?

Me: (I answered that many faculty were involved in the magazine, especially the principal, and I was the lead liaison with admin)

Int: Should a publication check with their owner before publishing a story?

(This question was designed to trap me. As I had already indicated in my previous answer, the college magazine did have significant oversight from the principal, who would be the quasi-owner in my situation. So there was no way I could take the ethical high road and claim that there should be no involvement from the owner in journalistic output. At the same time, if I said that journalists could only publish what their owners vetted, I would claim that corporate interests could break down the media process. I also had to back up my answer using my own experiences – A perfect catch-22 situation. I could see from the subtle smile on the interviewers’ faces that they knew my dilemma)

Me: (I thought of an experience I could frame to answer this question) During my time as the Editor, there was a popular song parody that went viral that was created by the students to highlight the college obsession with rules. The song “Why this Kolaveri, Kolaveri Di” was edited to “Why aren’t you wearing your college ID?”, along with a hilarious re-write of the entire song.

Now, this was a bit rebellious, and some of the lyrics were making fun of the institute rules (and our principal was a notorious stickler for rules) – But the magazine decided to immortalise the song as a special feature for everyone to enjoy! To get it approved from the faculty, we framed it as an opportunity for them to show how ‘hip’ they were, while also re-emphasizing the institute rules. The only compromise we made with the principal was a slight re-write of some ‘colourful’ language in the original version.

(This was the incident I narrated to answer their question. I also added that there is always oversight and pressure in the real world, but good journalists know how to get the truth out there. They found the incident hilarious especially some excerpts from the entire song, and I somehow dodged the bullet, while also adding some colour to my life as the editor!)

PART 3: Balancing the Balance Sheet!

(Suddenly, one of the interviewers took control of the interview and interjected, showing me a small mini balance sheet he had drawn on a piece of paper)

Int 3: (Showing the paper) Read this balance sheet and share your inference about the company

Me: (I saw he has indicated Fixed and Current Assets, and some Long-term and Short Term Liabilities, so I explained how that would impact liquidity, and that the company was healthy)

Int 3: What are the potential sources of capital? Assume this is a car mechanic

Me: (Mentioned own funds, loans etc)

Int 3: Suppose the mechanic takes an on-call loan from his friend for 9 lakhs and applies 1 lakh of his own money, does he still have business risk? What are it’s ramifications?

Me: (started to explain that the impact on the balance sheet) The liabilities side will still have 10L, but the risk will change as the interest % charged by his friend. Of course, he might try to reduce the loan amount eventually by…

Interviewer 3 (cutting me off): So what are you saying? Only the rich need to have access to money? So does that mean that a poor man cannot go to a doctor also, and a rich man should get himself checked for arrhythmia and cardiac myxomas because he has money?

Me: (Flummoxed by the completely off-topic comment) Well, that is the prerogative of the rich man, but in our case of the mechanic –

Interviewer 3: No, no, you are going round and round.

Even the other interviewers were confused about the strange line of questioning about heart health and doctors in the discussion about a mechanic’s balance sheet. Eventually, we got back on track.

(When I think back, I think it might have been a test of my presence of mind by the interviewers – or they might be checking if I would have been respectful in the face of an aggressive and off-topic remark. In that moment, I was quite confused by the strange question)

Interviewer 1: So can you tell us more about liquidity and bankrupty problems, What difference is there and what case will be applicable?

Me: (I spoke about some financial ratios and answered the question)

Almost 20 mins had passed.

They looked at their watch, at each other, and then thanked me for my time. I said thank you and smiled and left the room.

My Reflections

Every interview will have a googly question that has no right answer – And the interviewer knows it. Those questions are to test your ability to think on your feet and be convincing in your answer, even if you’re not convinced yourself.

In this interview, it was the question of journalistic integrity. In my customised interview prep sessions, I always say this – You can predict 90% of interview questions through a clever strategy, and for the rest, you have to trust yourself!

I’ve shared my entire MBA Interview prep strategy here.

Results!

While I was waiting for the results, IIMB was the first result – So I was very tense when I opened the website. Here’s what I saw:

I had secured the admission! It was a very exciting day for me and my family – Especially since it was my sister’s alma mater!

Eventually, I converted the interview calls from all 3 schools – You can also read my IIM A and IIM C interview experiences here & here.

Though eventually, I ended up going to IIMA for my MBA (which was a very difficult decision for me!), I enjoyed my IIM B interview experience.

But that’s not all – I did end up living the IIM Bangalore student life – But only for a few days! I was a part of the IIMA contingent for Sangharsh, the inter-IIM sports meet, and visited IIMB in my second year!

Me (Second from left) with my basketball teammates at IIM Bangalore

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed the little trip to memory lane!

If you’re preparing for your MBA journey, then don’t be afraid. The interview is a hurdle that you can cross easily.

You can setup a personalised 1:1 interview prep session with me here.

If you’re starting your MBA journey and want to map out your entire journey, then find me here.

Leave your questions in the comments, and join the mailing list for more MBA stories from me.

Share this post

LinkedIn
Twitter
Facebook
WhatsApp
Email

About the Author

Ruchi Aggarwal

Ruchi is the founder of Mentoresult. She was a management consultant at McKinsey & Co, has an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad and has scored a 99.99%ile in CAT and a 770 in GMAT.

Through Mentoresult, she mentored over 2000 candidates in reaching their career goals. Her success stories can be found across top jobs (McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Google, Amazon), top global MBA admissions (Harvard, Wharton, Booth, Columbia, Yale) and top Indian MBA (IIM A, IIM B, IIM C, ISB).  

She’s a prolific writer, with over 10 million views and 50,000+ followers on LinkedIn. You can find her on a 1:1 session here.

Read it first.
Never miss an update.

Subscribe to the Mentoresult blog for exclusive career-boosting content directly in your inbox.

Grab your FREE MBA Kickstarter Guide!

Get a head start in your MBA goals with our FREE MBA Kickstarter Guide now!