IIMA PGPX Interview Preparation
The IIMA PGPX is one of the most competitive one-year MBA programs around the world. Only 85 students finally make it to the prestigious PGPX, and each one of them is a highly accomplished professionals. IIMA typically interviews about three times as many applicants as they plan to accept, so about 300 applicants in all will be interviewed (the number is a little higher than three times the class size to account for people who are given an offer but who do not finally accept it).
IIMA PGPX Interview Preparation Tips and Advice
The IIMA PGPX Interview is quite rigorous. IIMA itself says that the interview is a key tool used to not just validate what applicants say in their application and their essays, but also to determine leadership potential, key strengths, and overall fit with the program. With a selection ratio of 1:3, the interview process is guaranteed to be rigorous, probing, and selective. Here are some tips to go about preparing for IIMA PGPX interviews:
1. Most international programs or even Indian ones like ISB may not ask you too many questions beyond a cursory one on academics and the subjects you took in college, but IIMA PGPX interviews are full of such questions. Does this mean you need to dust up your old colleges textbooks (which, in the case of most PGPX applicants, may not have been used for almost a decade now)? Not really, but it does mean that you expect questions that go beyond the customary ‘what is your daily work like?’
2. Your strengths and weaknesses should be adequately thought of. Be prepared to be challenged on various aspects of your profile. Also be prepared for cross-questioning. This does not mean that they will try to put you under pressure, but just that they will try to test you through cross-questioning. Will all be done in a friendly but evaluative environment.
3. Career goals may be probed at depth. Be sure about what you say. Not having clear career goals is never going to be an excuse.
4. For candidates with scores lower than 700, you can expect some questions on your GMAT score too. Remember that saying that you did not have time to retake the GMAT to increase your score further is not an acceptable explanation.
5. Some questions around current affairs and the Indian economy could also be asked. Basic preparation along these is advised as well.
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IIMA PGPX Interview Experiences of successful applicants are detailed below
IIMA PGPX Interview Experience 1
I reached the venue just on time, and was ushered in to the interview. First thing to note – always be at your interview venue ahead of time, not just on time. I was nervous when I began the interview, but the 2-member panel was very friendly and warm. They began by asking me to relax and take a sip of water. A discussion on the traffic issue in my city followed. Since I am a Civil Engineer, I was asked on some solutions to the issue. Some cross-questioning later, they moved to my profile. I had taken a business elective in college, and had barely passed, so they asked me about that. Later asked me how I took the decision to apply to an MBA – did I do this because I was motivated or for a higher salary only? From there moved on to IIMA and the PGPX. Asked me some questions on my family, and why I did not join the family business. Asked if I would join in the future after I graduate. Went on for a total of about 20 minutes and ended with me asking them some questions. Was good overall, and I had a good feeling coming out of it. This was confirmed a few weeks later when I got an admit.
IIMA PGPX Interview Experience 2
The interview panel had 2 professors from IIMA as part of it. They had already gone through my profile and my essays when they began. The interview started with a discussion of the second essay, on the leadership experience I had put in. Prof 1 wanted to know more details while Prof 2 was skeptical about some of the things I had done. Explained to them what I did and why. Prof 2 still not convinced. He asked me a few questions on my career goals, why MBA etc, all of which I had practiced. Then he asked me why I had not applied to a US school. I replied with an answer on costs and wanting to work in India, so he asked me if I had applied to ISB. I said yes, so he asked me which I would choose between ISB and IIMA and why. I was mid way through this when Prof 1 asked me about my favourite subjects. Some discussion on teachers at IIMA and ISB (they did not criticise or favour either school at any stage). A few more questions on career goals and what I will contribute, and I was done. Strangely they did not ask if I had any questions at the end. Received the admit some days later and took it.
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