Everything You Need to Know About an IIM Interview

Everything You Need to Know About an IIM Interview

IIM or the Indian Institute of Management is a set of 20 institutes spread across the country. Further, these institutes are famous for their MBA and related degree courses. Also, these IIMs have a world rank for their courses. For example, the EPGP MBA program of the IIM Bangalore ranks 1st in the world. So does many courses from IIM Ahmedabad, Calcutta, etc. Thus, a degree from these institutes would be recognized worldwide. But how do you get admission to an IIM? Firstly, you have to qualify CAT with a top percentile that is above 90. Secondly, you apply to the IIM you are interested in. If you fulfill their eligibility criteria, they will call you for the WAT, PI, and GD rounds. These rounds, along with CAT, are scored. Based on the composite score, the candidates with the highest score are selected. Now, this blog is focused on the IIM interview. How to crack the IIM interview? And FAQs related to IIM interview. 

Read more blogs related to IIM on the ForeignAdmits page. Get tips on how to crack IIM interview, the CAT cut-off percentile for various IIMs in 2021, all about the CAT exam, and how to get admission with CAT abroad, What should you do with a low CAT score, and much more. Talk to our mentors and find the career path for you and the best MBA colleges you should apply to. 

IIM interview round can be the toughest to crack. After all, you cannot get admission into a world-class institute so easily. As per some of the candidates, the toughest interview is conducted by the IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Calcutta, and IIM Bangalore. 

Parameters for IIM interview

There are 8 basic parameters that you should keep in mind while answering questions for the interview. They are as follows:


Being confident is the most important factor. If you have scored well in CAT and you have a lot of knowledge, but you cannot answer the questions or maintain eye contact with the judges, your chances are slim. Confidence can take you to heights. Try to practice being confident by closing your eyes and imagining yourself in front of the panel of judges. Also, confidence gets people’s attention and makes you noticeable. 

Communication skills 

You should know how to speak with impact and yet be polite and humble. Throughout the interview, whatever question may be asked, you should answer so that it is easy to understand. You should also show clarity in your answers and keep them to the point. Do not drag the conversation more than required. Also, read people’s faces and talk more about what interests them. Additionally, you should be loud enough to be heard by all but not rude or impolite. Further, do not shout or whisper. Also, put your thoughts into words with clarity. Communication skills are noticed first before anything else. Make sure you have them, and if you don’t, then practice speaking in English with your family and friends every day to get clarity, pronunciation, and accent. 

Also read: CAT cut-off for IIM [2021 update]

Problem-solving skills 

The interviewer can put forth a problem and expect you to find a solution to it. This will not only test your problem-solving ability but also show them how quickly you can respond to problems. What kind of solution you can give also is important. Give a genuine reason to back your solution. 

Analytical thinking

Similarly, your analytical thinking skills are also checked. You should identify the issue or problem immediately. Also, you should be able to apply your knowledge of the subject and General Knowledge to solve real-life problems. You can expect cross-questioning from the panel. Be prepared to think and answer each of the questions properly. It is your chance to show them your thinking skills and abilities. Listen to interviews and prepare yourself for the most common questions asked by the interviewer. Be honest and genuine. If they find you lying or faking anything, you are for sure rejected. Always remember honestly is the best policy.  

Presenting your view 

Many candidates can write well and have a thorough knowledge of the subject, but they fail to speak their thoughts logically. Hence, it is important to present your views in a manner that can be easily understood by all. Do not present scattered thoughts or confused opinions. Think before you speak, organize your thoughts, and answer systematically. Give one genuine solution than many irrelevant ones. 

Subject Knowledge

Having sound knowledge of the subject is most crucial. They can ask you any type and level of question on your subject. Also, they may ask you higher-order thinking skills questions to check your knowledge and give answers on the spot. The interviewers can ask you to write anything related to the subject. In all cases, you must be prepared and thorough in your academics.

Also read: Total seats in IIM [2021 update].

Listening power 

It is not only important to speak but also to listen. If you focus more on speaking and less on listening, remember you are not answering exactly what they say. They may give you situational questions to test your listening skills. If you couldn’t comprehend in one go, you can politely ask them to repeat. But do not give wrong answers. This shows that you have less listening capability. Also, it is important to listen to others to present a strong counter-argument or supportive argument. 

Decision-making ability 

Another criterion on which you will be judged is the decision making ability. The interviewer may ask you to decide, and if you do not have this skill, you may end up confused and fumble on your words. Therefore, you should learn to quickly decide between two options and keep your explanation ready on why or why not you choose a certain thing. 

For example, you may be asked what will you do next if you didn’t get a seat in IIM? Why are you planning to pursue MBA? Why you choose the particular IIM? etc. 

What should you study for an IIM interview?

First and foremost, you should have a thorough knowledge of your subject. The most expected questions can be predicted on your subject. Many times you will feel that you know a lot about your subject. But in reality, you won’t remember most of the stuff. You have to answer specifically and to the point. There is no harm in going back and revising your notes. Also, it wouldn’t take much time, and alongside it will build confidence in you. 

Secondly, you should have knowledge of current affairs and politics. For this, you need to read the newspaper daily, preferably the Hindu and the Business Standard. You can expect any sort of questions on trending news and political affairs. You may also be asked what your stand or point of view on certain matters is. 

Thirdly, know your resume well. It may seem easy, but you should be well versed with what you have written in the CV. Suppose you mentioned writing as your hobby, then they may ask you about what do you write? How often you write? What are your favorite genres? Which is your best work? Etc. 

You will be questioned about anything related to your hobbies, work experience, study, etc. Additionally, they may also ask you why you choose to study a certain course? Why you studied in that particular college? Etc. 

Also read: What is IIM ABC. Is it the only way to success?

Lastly, prepare the general questions about yourself. Make sure what you answer matches with what you have written in your resume. For example, tell me about yourself? Your strengths and weaknesses, and how you have planned to overcome them? Your biggest failures and achievements and what you learned from them? What is something about you that is not mentioned in the CV? Your long-term and short-term goals. 

These MBA questions are also important and the most expected ones. The basic question you may be asked is why did you choose to study MBA? What are you planning to do in the future with an MBA? Why this particular IIM? How will MBA in IIM help you in your career? You may also have multiple calls, and hence, which IIM you want to choose is also the most expected question. Research the IIM you will choose and get some facts and history about it. This will show that you are interested in the IIM and MBA. 

Also read: Study abroad with CAT.

Tips to crack the IIM interview 

  • Prepare for the interview in advance to get more confidence. Join WhatsApp and Facebook groups. Watch interview videos and read the answers to the common interview questions. 
  • For the most expected questions, read and write down the best possible answer and mug it up. You should be able to answer those questions even in your sleep. 
  • Give mock interviews to gain confidence. Also, you will be able to correct a lot of mistakes. Hence, take as many mock interviews as possible. 
  • Identify your life achievements, failures, hobbies, etc., and prepare the answers related to them. It is better to be prepared in advance than to stress in the interview and stumble upon your words. 
  • Never say things like “I like to read,” instead, back your answers with pieces of evidence like I have read many books such as Angels and Demons and would love to read more. If you are a writer, then present your writing evidence like “I have my own blog with the name so and so, and I write daily or weekly on it.” 
  • Most importantly, do not get nervous. Stay calm as much as possible. Also, remember that the interviewer is here only to know more about you. Talk more and worry less about selection or rejection. 

Sample IIM interview questions 

Q1. Why MBA? 

First, start with 3 to 4 sentences on why you want to pursue MBA. Give reasons like networking opportunities, management perspective, opportunity to create a business, internship, time management, mentors, career services, leadership development, etc. Once you are done explaining that, move on to why you choose IIM for MBA. State the reasons like world-class education, the top-ranking school in the country, best curriculum, emphasis on leadership, exposure to the industry, great placement opportunities, high ROI, globally recognized degree, etc. Also, make sure to give a convincing reply. 

Q2. Why should we select you for the particular program?

This can be a little tricky to answer, and you have to be careful. Give a list of reasons and make it very convincing. You can state your skills, talents, achievements, abilities and then mention your goals and how you planned to achieve them with an MBA. Additionally, make the answer unique and about you. Be confident and say everything with a smile. 

Q3. What are your weaknesses? 

Q4. What are your hobbies? (If you mention singing, then the follow-up question would be to sing something for them)

Q5. Tell me something about yourself. (Prepare an answer for this in advance)

Q6. Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

Q7. If you get a call from two IIMs which one will you select and why? 

In conclusion, these are few things that we have penned down to help you warm-up for the interview. Hope you find this blog helpful. Keep reading more about CAT, IIM, MBA, etc., on our blog