IIM Calcutta W.A.T-P.I. Experience of Sanjana Rout
10th: 97.83% (I.C.S.E.)
12th: 94.8% (C.B.S.E)
Graduation: 9.1 C.G.P.A. (B.A. in Economics, Political Science and Sociology)
Work experience: 0
CAT: 99.75 (98.97/98.91/99.33)
Calls: IIM C, I.I.M A, I.I.M B, I.I.M L, F.M.S, X.L.R.I, SPJIMR, IIM K, MDI, I.I.F.T, I.I.M I, CAP, I.I.M Shillong, N.M.I.M.S, S.I.B.M
IIM Calcutta W.A.T-P.I. Experience:
My W.A.T.- P.I. for IIM Calcutta was scheduled on March 4th at Hotel Monarch Luxur, Bangalore, in the afternoon slot. The procedure consisted of-
1) Document verification
2) Writing Ability Test (W.A.T.)
3) Personal Interview (P.I.).
For W.A.T, there was a paragraph that talked about how youngsters these days are becoming more centered on technology and no longer value real-life relationships, and we were required to give our opinion about it and how to tackle the issue.
I was pretty comfortable with the W.A.T. topic so I could write it pretty well (However, the W.A.T. was scrapped later on as some P.I. had to be conducted online due to COVID-19, and it did not affect my final selection). I structured my essay into three paragraphs, covering both sides of the situation, how technology can both bring people together as well as take them apart. We were provided 25 minutes to think and write, which was enough to write a decent essay.
Following this, for the P.I., I was one of the last few candidates in my panel and had to wait till my turn. My interview started off in a rather unexpected manner. There were three male panelists (P 1, P 2, P 3), and one of them (P 1) called me in. As I entered the room, I saw that there was a server there waiting to take their order for juices. Looking at me enter, P 1 asked me which juice should they order. I was a little surprised and told him politely that it’s up to him. However, he and the other panelists started insisting that I should order, so I ended up saying, “watermelon juice.” After this episode, I was asked to take a seat. By this point, I had realized that my interviewers were quite friendly, so I was able to relax a bit. My interview went on for a very short time, less than 10 minutes, I’d say.
P 1: So tell us something about yourself
Me: I spoke about my childhood and family… got to the part where I said I shifted from Science to Arts for my under-graduation and was interrupted—
P 1: You must have been opposed by your family?
Me: Yes sir, initially I was, but eventually they agreed because I was genuinely interested in Arts
P 1: Why were you inclined towards Arts?
Me: Explained how I was interested in Economics and felt a triple major would be interesting and I wanted to keep my options open
P 2: So you’re a triple major in Economics, Political Science, and Sociology. Which is your favorite?
P 2: How do you know P 1 is an Economics professor? You have been praising economics ever since you walked in.
Me (surprised): I had no idea, sir. I genuinely like Economics.
P 1: So, what do you have to say about the current economic scenario?
Me: Explained how the GDP growth rate has slowed down and there’s a slump in consumption and so on
P 1 (handed me a paper and pen): You said the GDP growth rate has declined. Can you draw a graph of GDP with respect to time?
Me: (Drew the graph)
P 3: Can you explain why you drew the graph like that?
Me: Explained how even though the overall GDP is still increasing, it is growing at a slower rate so for every additional unit of time the amount of increase in GDP will be lower than before, hence it will be an exponential curve
P 2: If you could be any item in a kitchen, what would you like to be?
(I was a little surprised by this question so didn’t say anything right away)
Meanwhile, P 1: I’d be a knife, so I could hurt anyone who goes against me
P 2: I know you’d be a knife I don’t have to ask you
(All 3 of them laughed)
P 2: Take your time and answer carefully
I was unable to think of much on the spot, and this was a question I had not anticipated at all. Finally, I saw a glass of water on their table and replied
Me: I’d like to be glass, sir.
P 2 (smiling): And why is that?
Me: A glass provides water to people in need, and as I like helping people, I believe it will suit me well. (I probably could’ve come up with a better answer, but my brain had stopped working)
P 2: So you will be a steel-glass or a glass-glass?
Me: Any glass, sir. They all serve the same purpose.
P 2: If you’re a glass made of glass then you can just break into sharp pieces and hurt people like P1 here
(All of us laughed)
P 1 was going through my profile sheet all this while, saw that I had interned at N.I.T.I. Aayog and asked-
P 1: So, what did you learn at N.I.T.I. Aayog? Apart from bureaucracy? (Everyone laughed)
P 2: Who is your role model?
Me: J.K. Rowling, explained why.
P 2: Do you watch movies? Have you watched Little Women?
Me: Not yet sir.
P 1: Okay, we’re done. Thank you.
It was an abrupt ending, and I was very surprised. Looking at my face, P2 said.
P 2: Didn’t expect the interview to end so soon? Why do you think it ended so soon?
Me: I don’t know sir, perhaps you’re all tired because it’s towards the end of the day.
P 2: No, that’s not it. Think and tell me, when do interviews end soon?
Me: I’m not sure, sir.
P 2: Interviews end soon when we have nothing more to ask.
Me: Noted, sir, thank you.
I was just leaving when P 2 called me back and asked.
P 2: What are your back-ups? Which other calls do you have?
P 1: She has all the calls
Me: Yes sir
P 2: Okay, all the best
I was turning to leave again when the server came in with four glasses of watermelon juice. The interviewers insisted I should take a glass too, so I exited the room with a glass of juice, quite perplexed about the whole affair. This was very different from all the other interviews I had faced because it was short and did not include many typical questions like “Why MBA?” and the fact that the interviewers were continuously laughing and making jokes just made me feel more unsure about it. However, I suppose it went well since I converted IIM calcutta call in the end.
Final verdict : converted IIM calcutta