IIMs feature among some of the best Grad schools all over the world,  and almost every CAT aspirant who writes the admission test, wants to go to an IIM to pursue his MBA. However, given the great number of students and the limited vacant seats mean – that there are thousands vying for a single position in an IIM.

How do you differentiate between those hundred of applicants who have scored more or less the same, and have pretty much the same credentials from schools, colleges (toppers et al) – you subject them to something unexpected. You stump them with improbable questions and see how they respond to the extreme pressure in that moment.

In a Quora thread , a few applicants wrote down their faux-pas during the final round of selection in the most prestigious B-Schools all over India. We decided to compile a few of them:

1. The National Anthem Situation (IIM Lucknow)

Panelist 1 : Do you know who wrote the Indian National Anthem?Me : Yes Sir, Rabindranath TagorePanelist 1 : Ok, sing it now.Me : [Stood up] Jana Gana Mana……….Panelist 2 : Stop, otherwise we have to stand up too.

– Manoj Jaiswal

2. The Coins v/s Note Debate (IIM Bangalore)

Q: How do you decide whether to mint a 100 Rupee coin in India?A: Compare Pros & Cons of Coins vs NoteQ: Explain.A: Coins are durable, but bulky to carry. So a trade-off needs to be made based upon demand of particular denomination of money and handling of that denomination. Also Notes are used to hide black money, larger coins will make it difficult to have black money.

Q: What else?A: If value of currency drops coins may become expensive than its denomination then people will start melting it to sell the metal of itQ: So how much metal you should put in a coin?A: Just enough that after taking into all other costs into account the cost of coin is around 60-70% of the denomination to allow future inflation.Q: what other options you have?A: Printing on plastic which is more durable than paper notes, Singapore uses it.

– Hitesh Agrawal

3. The Fountainhead, what? (IIM Kozhikode)

Panelist : Do you like to read novels? Candidate : No, sir. Panelist : Tell me who wrote The Fountainhead. Candidate : I don’t know, sir. Panelist : Make a guess. Candidate : Maybe Jeffrey Archer. Panelist : Name another novel by Jeffrey Archer. Candidate : I think ‘Not a penny more, Not a penny less’ is one of his novels. Panelist : Is it ‘Not a penny more, Not a penny less’ or ‘Not a penny less, Not a penny more’ ? Candidate : I think it might be ‘ Not a penny less, Not a penny more’. Panelist : No, it’s ‘Not a penny more, Not a penny less’.

– Akshay Kumar Nikhil

4. Dumb-charades khel ke dikhao? (IIM Calcutta)

This happened during my IIM Calcutta interview 4 years back. I had written somewhere in the form that I love Dumb Charades.

So one of the professors actually decided to have some fun. He came to me and whispered ‘Incredible India’ in my ears and asked me to act it out. And the other professor was supposed to guess. We were done in under 10 seconds. 

– Vamsi Krishna GR


5. How much tax should I pay? (IIM Ranchi)

Panelist : Since you have applied in the field of Taxation, you must be knowing how much IT I should pay for this year. Me : Definitely Sir, Can i know how much you are getting paid per year? Panelist : Absolutely No. If i give answer to that question, even a dog can answer my question.

– Surya Narayana Manoj

6. Dance India Dance (IIM Calcutta)

I learnt Bharatanatyam Dance. So, in my IIM Calcutta interview, I was asked to show something related to it. I actually danced in IIM interview! 

– Garima Bharti

7. The case of the borrowed laptop (IIM Ahmedabad)

One of my friend had an interview for IIM Ahmedabad in 2011.During interview one of the panelist asked him to sell his own laptop to him at a very high price than the laptop’s market price. The market price told was Rs 70,000.My friend got very confused.

But then he took a piece of paper and wrote his phone number and gave it to the panelist.And then took his laptop in his hand and ran away from the room. After hours the panelist got tensed and then called him. 

My friend answered his phone and said “Sir sorry for the inconvenience caused. But if you want your laptop back please pay Rs 1,00,000.”He was selected.

– Tushar Sah

8. Recruiting for ISIS (IIM Lucknow)

This happened with my friend during IIM Lucknow interview this year. Panelist : Can you tell us the recruitment and HR structure of ISIS ? Friend : *blank*

– Ayush Agarwal

9. The red-faced novelist (IIM Lucknow)

P1 : “So you’ve written a novel.”Me : Yes sir. It’s about the Lokpal Bill… (cue my monologue on the novel and it’s backdrop).Meanwhile, P2 is doing something on his phone. Suddenly, he looks up and brandishes his phone in my face. “Look, it’s for Rs 100 on Amazon.”

Me: *Facepalm*

– Pooja Wanpal

10. Telugu or Tamil? (IIM Bangalore)

Prof 1 starts looking over my certificates and college marksheets. Prof 1 : So you won a gold medal. What language is this certificate in? (My certificate from Venkateswara college) Me : I don’t know. It’s some language from South India. Prof 2 : Use your brain. What state is your college’s foundation, Venkateswara Temple in? Me : In Andhra Pradesh, near the border with Tamil Nadu Prof 2 : Ok, so what language is spoken in Andhra Pradesh? Me : (With full confidence) TamilProf 1: Oh really? Then what language is spoken in Tamil Nadu?

Me : (Again with full confidence) Telugu, sir Prof 2 : Think about. What language is spoken in TAMIL-Nadu? Me : I just told you- Telugu Both Profs erupted into thunderous laughter. They correct my mistake and lecture me on the 4 south Indian states – as I sit there, totally red faced.

Read more about this incident, here .

Rakesh Pandey

Brace yourself, aspirants!