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IIM Calcutta MBAEx Interviews

Interview Tips & Questions from Past candidates

How IIM Calcutta MBAEx Interview Works

Applications that are complete in all aspects and qualify in terms of the minimum academic and other criteria specified here. Shortlisted candidates will be called for the IIM C MBA Ex interview process as per the dates published here.

A multi-factor model is utilized as the primary method for conducting the candidate selection process for the program. These indicators include a candidate’s academic track record, scores on the GMAT, the quality of their work experience, how well they performed during the interview, and how well they write. Using the multi-factor model, a composite total score will be determined for each candidate. The overall composite score is used to compile a list of merit-based candidates.

The interview committee at IIM Calcutta will judge each candidate based on the quality of their previous work experience, diversity of their backgrounds and experiences, leadership qualities, social sensitivity, and the multifacetedness of their personalities.

Who will interview you, and how long will the interview last?

Like most Indian B-schools, the IIM C MBAEx interview is taken by a Panel. The Panel usually consists of 2-3 professors. The interview typically lasts for 25-30 minutes or may extend to 35-40 minutes in some instances.

Will the interviewer have read my application?

The Panel members have access to your complete application. In most instances, they would have read it completely.

How can you prepare for your interview?

Like most MBA Interviews, your interview will mainly revolve around a pretty similar set of MBA interview questions. You can never predict what questions will be asked, but with enough research, you can predict what are the most commonly asked questions in these interviews. We have created a short FAQ list below to get you a jump start, and we also have a free guide linked below to help you prepare for these commonly asked interview questions.

IIM Calcutta MBAEx Frequently Asked Interview Questions

Professional experience-related questions

  1. Tell me something about yourself, or Walk me through your resume.
  2. What are your short-term and long-term goals?
  3. Why MBA? or Why now? or Why an MBA at this stage of your career?
  4. Why ISB?
  5. What is your Plan B? in case your primary goal does not happen?

Personal qualities-related questions

  1. What are your key strengths? Can you give some examples, please?
  2. What are your key weaknesses? Can you give some examples, please?
  3. How can you add value to the Class? or Why should we take you?
  4. Any reasons why we should not select you?
  5. Interests and Hobbies related questions – why do you do it, what have you achieved/learned?

Frequently Asked Situational & Behavioral Questions

  1. What is your leadership style? Can you give an example of a project you led?
  2. What would you describe are your greatest achievement to date?
  3. Give me an example of a time you failed.
  4. Give me an example of a time you faced a conflict. How did you handle that?
  5. Give me an example of a time when you did not meet a client’s expectations. What happened, and how did you attempt to rectify the situation?

The last one – Do you have any questions for us?

  1. Can you please tell me how international exchange students and schools are assigned?
  2. How club leadership is selected?
  3. Any other questions you may have in regards to the program?

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IIM Calcutta MBAEx Interview Experience – 1

On the first day of the interviews, my time slot was in the morning, and I was the second person to be questioned. My interview was on the campus of the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta in Joka. I arrived at the location in a relatively early time. They pointed out the way to the location of the event, and I made my way onto the picturesque campus. I continued on my way till I reached the location where the interviews were going to take place. I was given instructions, and after following them, I found a place in the waiting area where I could chat easily with the other applicants.

I chatted with other distinguished candidates, and as I talked to people who had incredible amounts of professional experience and a long list of accomplishments, it honestly made me a little nervous.

I was in fifth place in the line to enter the interview room. The panel included two male academics and one male graduate of the institution. From this point forward, I’ll refer to them as A, P1, and P2 respectively. Approximately 25 minutes were allotted for the interview. When my interview started it started with

  1. Do you wish to attend IIM C because of its prestigious reputation?
  2. Why do you want to make a profession out of consulting, and which consulting businesses specifically are you looking to work for?
  3. At the time of the interview, you had eight months of experience working for TCS. Why has India’s software business been more successful than the country’s hardware industry?
  4. What is your job at TCS?
  5. What sorts of actions could the public and the government take to improve the Indian hardware manufacturing industry?
  6. They asked me a simple math question on what the difference is between Average, mean, and median.
  7. Why do you want to do an MBA?
  8. Why MBAEx and IIMC? Why not take the IIMA PGPX or the IIMB EPGP instead?

IIM Calcutta MBAEx Interview Experience – 2

My interview started after lunch. I had seen approximately 7-10 candidates go before me. My interview started with:

  • Take us through your resume
  • Raised concerns regarding my immediate versus long terms goals
  • Asked a question from my resume about a project I had mentioned?
  • Requested specific instances of both your strengths and faults, as well as the actions you are taking to address them
  • Questions concerning academic performance (in my case, an applicant with more than ten years of experience was questioned to justify the bad marks he received in college!)
  • Questions pertaining to current events, the state of the economy, and the state of various industries
  • After that, we discussed some standard economic concepts. Questions concerning matters that are already well-known to the general public
  • Why pursue a PGPEX rather than a Master’s degree in a different field of study?
  • A few inquiries concerning my interests in my spare time
  • What sector of the economy do you intend to concentrate on after PGPEX? Are you going to continue in the same function, or are you going to make a switch? Do you intend to participate in the group work that we will be doing in this class?

IIM Calcutta MBAEx Interview Experience – 3

I think my interview experience for IIM C MBAEx program can be broken up into two sections.

The first one is: The question that is easiest to answer is “Walk me through your resume.” Other common questions include “Why an MBAEx? Why IIM C? Why Now?” What are some of your short, medium, and long-term objectives? …

The second part with the second panelist was rather strange and, from my perspective, a good deal more challenging.

What is 99 plus two?

What is the name of the international airport that is located in the most immediate proximity to your city?

In this moment, how many wheels are there altogether?

After that, an example from real life.

I believe the purpose of this section of the interview is to assess your capacity for adaptability and innovation in the face of unfamiliar challenges and intense time constraints. And when we were done, he asked me to fill him in on all I know about the IIM C MBAEx program, including three four clubs I would like to join and what elective I think I want to attend etc.

To summarize, I wouldn’t exactly call it a walk in the park by any stretch of the imagination. In point of fact, I would argue that this is one of the most difficult interviews that I have ever observed.

It is strongly suggested that you get ready for it! I hope that everyone has success!

IIM Calcutta MBAEx Interview Experience – 4

It was taken by 2 professors on zoom.

Some questions I was asked:

Tell me about yourself and your hobbies.
If you could change one thing from the past, what would it be?
Some questions about my current job
How was the transition from India to Estonia (I was deputed here on my job for a few months?
If you were to abandon everything and launch a business, what would it be and what would the investment and business plan entail?
How will your buddy describe you?
What would a person who dislikes you say?

That’s it. Fairly quick and rapid fire types. Glad to report that I was admitted. 🙂

IIM Calcutta MBAEx Interview Experience – 5

Brief Profile Summary: Bachelor of Commerce degree and a CPA. Academics are satisfactory but by no means exceptional. GMAT – 670. Total Work Experience 7.5 years in a government job.

After being forced to wait for two hours in a room designated as a waiting area for a zoom session, I was finally presented with a screen that showed me two professors seated in their homes and ready to question me.

P1: After working for the government for seven years, what made you decide to go into MBAEX?
P1: Where did you find this information that I mentioned in my why MBAEx answer? Me: Wikipedia.
P2: So, according to you, Wikipedia is the best source of information there is.
I: Made a convincing argument here about how information from the Wiki should also be corroborated by other sources, and I presented an example.
P1: Can you tell me how many people report to you?
P1: So you are acting as an auditor in addition to providing advisory services. Do you not believe that this presents a conflict of interest?
P1: Are you aware of the dispute that is taking place in the business world?
I told yes I am aware of what is happening with ILFS and PWC.
P1: Alright, tell me if you are an advisor and want to advise the Chief Minister of Punjab about how to control or perhaps eliminate the spread of fake news. How would you go about doing that?
I asked them for some time to think about my answer. I gave them three points. No cross-questioning.
P2: Alright, so tell me, what piece of advice would you provide to someone who is living in a rural area and reading fabricated news stories but is convinced that what he is reading is accurate?
P1 and P2 questioned one another to see if they had any further questions they wanted to ask.
Do you have any questions for us or any other comments? (P2)

The interview has ended. Admit received after Round 2.

IIM Calcutta MBAEx Interview Experience – 6

IIM Calcutta Offcampus with Adcom, Interview date: November 27, 2020
Decision: Admitted

“The interview appeared to be conducted by two professors, P1 (Young) and P2 (Experienced), and it began promptly at 2:30 PM. A chat message from the coordinator reading “Average time to be allocated per candidate is 15-20 mins” caught my eye in the waiting area.
1.Why an MBA now? (Told them about my takeaways now that I’ve had 10 years of job experience versus four years previously. Some cross-examination, explaining how the programme will assist close gaps using GAP analysis)

2.Why this programme, you ask? Why not ISB? (I elaborated on the topics discussed with several PGPX and ISB alumni who are also in my undergrad class about peer learning at IIMs.)

3. Regarding job changes and whether they had coherent or arbitrary causes? (explained the reasoning behind every change in employment and how this MBA fits into the whole picture)

4. Asked me to estimate the MBA’s return on investment

5. Being cross-examined on the jobs I want after getting my MBA and whether such firms will be on campus

6. Concerning the infrastructure sector’s current slump.

7. Continued with general economics, Are rural economies to blame for the current slowdown? (It is explained using some statistics from NSO data showing declining rural spending.) How might the labour in agriculture be transferred to other industries to support growth?

8. Any other queries for us?

Personal remarks: The interview at IIM Calcutta was quite friendly. I was able to share my thoughts and story with the panel. If you work in a technical position, you should review a few concepts. Secondly, it is always preferable to connect the questions to your personal goals, experiences, and employment. I genuinely believe that it worked in my favour that I was able to do that for this interview. Stories are more likely to be recalled than formulaic answers.

IIM Calcutta MBAEx Interview Experience – 7

On Campus On September 3, 2022, an interview was conducted.
Final Conclusion: Admitted

“Interview Location – IIM-C Campus”

Duration: 20-25 minutes

Both faculties (learned afterward, no introduction), P1-Young lady, P2-Senior gentleman

I introduced myself to both panelists and asked if I might remove my mask; they both nodded in agreement.

Begin by telling us about yourself, why you want an MBA, and your immediate and long-term aspirations. You were also asked what you expected from this training.

Inquired about the issues faced by the industry in which I work and the efforts taken to resolve them; I probed deeper into the responses I provided.

When asked if I read the newspaper, I responded yes. I was asked about the most important current events.

“Asked if there were any questions.”

Personal Remarks: The interview at IIM Calcutta was quite casual. Panelists were able to hear my thoughts and story. If you work in a technical job, you should review some topics. Second, it is always preferable to connect the questions to your personal life projects, experiences, and work. I was able to do that for this interview, and I believe it helped me. People remember stories more than typical responses.”

IIM Calcutta MBAEx Interview Experience – 8

Off Campus with Adcom Interviewed on: November 27th, 2020 Admitted

“The interview appeared to be conducted by two professors, P1 (Young) and P2 (Experienced), and began on time at 2:30 PM.” I could see a chat post from the coordinator in the waiting area that said, “Average time to be allocated per candidate is 15-20 minutes.”

Q1: Tell us about your professional background.

A: Discussed my economics degree, career experience, employment roles, and current position as an Economist at the EIU.

Questions 2-6 are profile-cased. What exactly is Omitted Variable Bias?

Q3: What does it mean if you have a high R2 but insignificant t-values for independent variables?

Q4: How does one create an econometric model? What is the procedure you follow?

Q5: The Indian economy is in a depression, while stock markets are on the rise. As an economist, what do you have to say?

Q6: Have you read the book Poor Economics? Are you in agreement or disagreement with the theory?

Q7: Do you believe in political corruption and moral compromises? How did you find working for the state government?

Ans: I was able to confidently answer the questions since I had thoroughly studied my résumé, revised basic and advanced economics principles, and thought through some examples of projects for talking points.

Q8-9: Typical Questions: Why MBA? What are your post-MBA ambitions and goals? Do you know of any businesses that hire for such positions?

Remarks: The overall tone of the interview was very conversational, all three panellists were very nice, and many smiles were exchanged. The interview lasted about 30 minutes.

Accepted as a result”

IIM Calcutta MBAEx Interview Experience – 9

OffCampus with Adcom conducted on September 9, 2022. Final judgement: Admitted

P2 asked me to present my government ID (Aadhar) at the beginning of the interview.

P2 asked, “So, do you work at XYZ?” – Yes In which position did you work in xyz? – I merely mentioned the location names; I made no further mentions.
Presently working where? – I named the location.
I provided him with accurate information when he asked which colleges I had applied to, whether I had received calls, and whether the other interviews had taken place.
Do you believe that xyz (PSU Oil & Gas Company), where you work, should be divested?- No. I have observed xyz to be a flexible and forward-thinking corporation notwithstanding govt control.
What do you think about divestiture generally? – While some of the less strategic enterprises may be divested, those of strategic importance shouldn’t.
What do you think of HMT then? Yes, sir, tractors are strategically important, but there are a lot of private participants on the market. (I had no idea that HMT produced tractors!)
But didn’t it all begin with HMT, I hear you say? Only Escorts may have been there when they destroyed (or sold, or did something similar to) HMT before the others entered. – When he said “escorts,” I nodded in agreement.
(again, seeking my opinion on the topic of disinvestment) – I would continue to advise you, sir, to avoid investing in companies that are strategically important to the country’s security, such as xyz, which is for energy security…
Okay, so you’re talking about national security (interrupting me) — I nodded in agreement.

So you graduated ten years ago, or, as I corrected him, eleven years ago (something about adjusting to the home and classroom setting), and I get it, sir. For the past year, I’ve been putting this together, first getting ready for the GMAT and then for the applications. Although it was challenging at first, once I “got into the groove” (or something similar), I felt at ease. My family is aware of this and is behind me.

You should be aware that the MBAEx course involves a somewhat in-depth understanding of mathematics; can you handle it? Sure, sir. I was a little rusty when I first started studying for the GMAT, but with some practise, I was able to get into the swing of things.
Which of distinction and integration, in your opinion, is more true? We can see which one. – Integration, since we are combining the minute elements to obtain a larger picture.
Thus, differentiation cannot exist. – Both are actual, but although we can observe the outcome of integration, we must conjure up the components of differentiation.
What, then would be a tree’s derivative? – (I was shocked, but I think I managed to keep my emotions in check.) Well, sir, trees are built of cells, so those are the fundamental components. In order to observe the differentiation into cells, we would have to go back in time.

(after a bit of rambling) inquires about the growth rate of trees. (At this point, I was just going with the flow.) Yes, sir, the growth rate is differential, but we cannot perceive the growth rate as such.

But how is the speed determined when you can see how fast a car is moving? – Although I am not familiar with the precise technique, it would involve counting the motor’s rotations. transmission (I know, illogical response)

Yes, so you can see how fast the automobile is moving. Isn’t that a distinction? (continues to describe the speed calculation in more detail) – Yes, that is differentiation, but can we actually see the speed?
Do you not believe it to be typical? Time divided by distance? I don’t recall everything that happened. He finally stopped when I pointed out that it wasn’t average because the delta-t was infinitesimally small and the speed was instantaneous.

P1 takes charge.
You listed a lot of accomplishments in your application, but why do you still want to pursue an MBA? I want to have a comprehensive understanding of professional, business, and managerial skills that will help me to handle more responsibility. Management, professional, and business skills I’d say you’ve already demonstrated those abilities; what more do you hope to gain from an MBA? I tried numerous responses before settling on the first one, “I’m not satisfied,” which caused my downhill spiral. I should have adhered to this line, but she didn’t seem to be persuaded and insisted that I disclose the real reason. I have had a relatively narrow perspective of operations only and wish to have a holistic approach to widen the scope of my work.

I was in the middle of responding when a staff worker came in to provide refreshments to the panelists. I had the chance to gather my thoughts at this point, but I had already fallen down the rabbit hole.
I made an effort to reason since I rapidly knew that my academic aptitude would not be sufficient to lead me through my professional career.
Yes, you are getting to the point now; you want to pursue an MBA. (Interrupting in a slightly patronising manner.) – I carried on unaffected; I had long intended to get an MBA but was unable to do so due to a number of family obligations. I waited till I was qualified despite being aware of the firm sponsorship that was offered.

Why do you want to get an MBA? she repeated, barely paying attention to my response. – Then came the really challenging part, when I tried to convey my desire to be able to make more informed decisions.”So you still don’t make decisions based on facts?”… Yes, I do, but there are occasions when I am pressed for time and must rely only on my intuition. How do you make decisions, then? I weigh the pros and drawbacks. (I was becoming defensive, and she could sense my sense of victory.) So an MBA instructs you to weigh the advantages and disadvantages. (Looks at P1) I mentioned being able to make judgments in stressful situations, and she persisted in asking me how I handled it. I said that sometimes I had to follow my instincts. Do you feel under pressure in this situation? I suppose so.

(At some point during our talk, she inquired as to whether I wanted to pursue an MBA because everyone does, and I replied that I didn’t.)

I was unsure of how to react. Forget that you are in an interview and disregard what your contacts, both internal and external, have told you; instead, be honest with us about why you want to pursue an MBA. I begged for permission to take a drink of water so I could collect my thoughts once more, but I soon recognised it was a futile effort.

I would say that I like challenges and that I have seen my batchmates complete this course, so I am confident that I can complete it as well. (With an air of resignation, yet that of being completely honest and frank) So, since you want an honest answer, although I have already been giving honest answers but since you seem to differ, I would say that I like challenges.
She looked at P2 to indicate she was done while radiating a sense of victory.
The same response I had provided to P2 was given when she inquired as to which schools I had applied to and received calls from.
P2 then glanced over my application one last time, pausing at my extracurricular activities, and asked, “So you have interests in quizzing, photography, and travel blogging – Yes, I do.”

Where have you been? I travelled to Paris on my first solo trip (I was glad to receive a question that seemed safe). I’ve also travelled to Bangladesh, New Zealand, Belgium, Switzerland, and Norway.

And where have you gone in India? I have been to many different places of India thanks to my numerous postings. I have mostly covered Gujarat and Maharashtra. Also visited were Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh. (I was unable to continue)
P1: So, you attended xyz University? If so, which academic year? – Mine was part of the 2011 batch, too? – No, it was from 2007 to 2011 (I was shocked by this because I felt my earlier response was clear enough).
I was thanked and asked to leave after she gave P1 a big smile and they both nodded.
(I was unable to ask them questions) Overall, the interview was extremely conversational and lasted around 50 minutes.

IIM Calcutta MBAEx Interview Experience – 10

On Campus On: November 11, 2017

Final judgement: Admitted

“My interview was scheduled for November 11th, 2017, at the India Habitat Centre. I arrived early at the location so I could speak with other candidates. I discovered a lot of bright people with top-notch profiles. There were a sizable number of candidates from PSUs.

A coordinator invited me to enter the room. As I stepped into the room, I saw a chair and moved in that direction. The panelists were seated on one side, and I said “Good Morning” to each of them. They also said hello and urged me to take a seat. These are the queries that they posed.
How did you get there?
The next query was, “Why Uber?” once it was known that I had arrived via Uber cab. Ola, why not?
From the standpoint of the customer, compare Uber with Ola.
What would be your plan of attack if you were employed as a consultant by a third app-based taxi firm that was just starting up in India?
According to your plan, when can you anticipate breaking even?
Two years, I said. Then they claimed that Ola and Uber couldn’t accomplish that in even five years, and you hope to in just two. I stated it was possible with the right preparation and execution.
Why are you not a fan of Capgemini?
I responded, “No, I like working for Capgemini.”
So why are you attending this interview?
Then, I clarified that even after finishing my course, I would be open to returning to my current work if given a chance.

then a few common queries, as listed below.
Why an MBA?
IIM C: Why?
Describe your vulnerability for us.
Describe a situation where you came up with a creative solution.
What are your immediate and long-term objectives?

A few pointers: 

1) Be 100% clear about why you want an MBA. There are several ways this question might be posed, so be prepared to answer it.
2) Thoroughly understand your resume. Have justifications for any change in employment.
3. Be Sincere. Professors are brilliant, and they can tell if you fabricate stuff.

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