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IIM Bangalore Interview Experience

3 April 2008 40 Comments

One and half months after IIM Indore interview, I was all set to take my favourite IIMB interview. I learnt a lot during these past 1.5 months. I had a much better clarity about what I want to do in life. And ofcourse, Coffee With Sundar has grown from a random crappy blog to a full fledged professional blog. All these helped me tackle my IIMB interview.

GD: We had a case study. We had 10 minutes to read the case, 15 minutes to discuss and 15 minutes to write the summary and a couple of questions in the questionnaire.
The GD was like a fish market, but everyone contributed atleast 2-3 points.

The 2 questions asked were:

1. Who is the most influential person during the 20th century? And why?
My answer: Albert Einstein. He represents the whole range of technical invention which has revolutionized the world. He also opposed Hitler and his tyrannical regime (which was another significant thing over the last century)

2. What are your career dreams and aspirations? How does a PGP in IIMB help you realize it.
My answer: I want to become a professor after 8 – 10 years of industrial experience. PGP in IIMB will help me build a strong business competence. It also gives me variety in terms of subjects (for phd, and hence teaching) and also gives me a number of career options for work.

Well all set for Personal Interview.

I was the 3rd guy to be called for the interview.

The first guy was grilled on electronics for 20 minutes. The second guy had an interview for 15 minutes, where they only discussed about internet, how it can be helpful, what can it offer for rural people etc.

I was waiting for my turn. A prof comes out, shakes hands with me.

Lets call the sir – CP (Cool Prof)
The other panelist can be called – SP (Stress Prof – Yes he tried to stress me a lot)

CP: Welcome Sundar! Please take your seat.
Me: Thank you sir. Good afternoon sir! (to SP)

CP: So Sundar, What does it feel like to be working in one of the worlds leading company?
Me: Sir, Google is a great place to work. It has a open ..

SP stops me there.

SP: You are technically so good. You are working for Google. MBA is an utter waste of time. In the name of communication, they show some random slides. They talk rubbish without even understanding what it means? Dont come here. Just work in Google.
Me: Sir, I dont think so. People in management are very crucial for the success of a product. It is not just engineering that matters. MBA will help me a long way in …

CP stops me here.
CP: So What do you do at Google?
Me: Sir, I am software engineer there. I have been working there for the past 20 odd months. If I look at my past experience, I have worked on two major aspects. One is infrastructure. And the other is products. As a software engineer I have built both.

Google is what it is today because of the great infrastructure it has built. It requires amazing engineering and great engineers to build great infrastructure. Users never get to see these projects.

Coming to products, These are peripheral things which are built on the great infrastructure. These are things which you see as end users. eg: Google Talk, Picassa etc. It requires good engineering no doubt to build this, but it requires great managers to deliver these projects. Infact, a bad manager can even spoil great projects.

After working in both the work, I realized that I love products more than infrastructure and I believe this is where MBA comes in to picture.

SP listens very carefully.

SP: You will become manager if you work at Google?
Me: Sure sir, I fully agree with you. But it will take me 5 years to become one.

SP: What are you talking man. What is 5 years compared to a life time. You will make more money there. You dont get so much money in B schools. All papers are simply bloating the salary.
Me: Sir, 5 years is nothing compared to life time. But a very big thing if i have to go for a phd 10 years down the line. I want to become a professor and I am not very concerned about money sir.

SP: What do you like so much about teaching?
Me: Sir, I am very passionate about teaching. I have thought a number of courses for juniors, taken seminars etc. I love it. I really like the “aha” Moment sir. It gives me tremendous satisfaction when people express that feeling when they learn things.

SP is also convinced! He mocks at me by telling.. we dont get “aha” moments. We get only “oooooooho” moments! Smiles every where.
CP is impressed! πŸ˜€

Me: (With a broad smile) It doesnt happen every day sir! But is well worth it whenever it happens. πŸ™‚

CP: What do you know about teaching? Do you have any idea about it.. Its actually a very boring life?
Me: Sir, I dont think so sir. Teaching is a great profession. I have interacted with a number of teachers, both directly and through my blog before taking this decision. I will get back to the blog in a second. I have made this decision only after talking to a lot of teachers.

Me: Coming to the blog, Sir, I write a blog called Coffee With Sundar :-D. I interview a lot of people from different walks of life over email and share the chat for readers. I have interviewed a number of people. From carnatic music singer, palmist, leading bloggers, students with admits, HR consultant and recently an astronaut! πŸ˜€

SP: An astronaut! who is he?
Me: Sir, his name is Edward Lu. He was working in NASA, he joined google recently. I asked a number of interesting questions.

CP: What did you say, Students with admits?
Me: Yes sir. So when I was in final year, I wanted to apply abroad for MS. But I didnt know what the whole process was? Where to start, how to select the interviews, recos etc?
Me: So, I have interviewed students from NIT Trichy about this. I interviewed this guy, who is my junior who has got admit from UIUC. I spoke about how to prepare for GRE, toefl, projects, selecting universities etc. As all this information is collected over informal chat, Coffee With Sundar is a very powerful resource where people can know about various career options etc.

CP: This is really interesting!
Me: Yes sir, some time back I interviewed an entreprenuer. After reading that interview, one of junior is contacted that person and has started a venture with that person. My blog is already making a difference, and I believe it has a long way to go.

CP: Very interesting! Can we also figure in your blog? πŸ™‚
Me: Sure sir, why not.
SP: Dont get into troubles by interviewing ppl in admissions committee.

CP: What else do you do? What are your other interests?
Me: Sir, apart from this, I am an amateur Mridangam player. I was learning under Thanjai V Srinivas master when I was in REC Trichy. He passed away. After that, I have been learning under their shishyas whenever I go to Trichy.

SP: So.. Who is your favourite artist?
Me: Sir, Vocal or instrumental?
SP: vocal.
Me: Sir, I love listening to T M Krishna.
SP: What do you like about his singing?
Me: I dont have sufficient technical knowledge of his music to judge his singing as I have not learnt music.
SP: What do you mean? You are a Mridangist! If you dont know, who else will?
Me: Ofcourse sir. I really likes the way he brings in bhava into all the songs. All songs have to adhere to some mathematical calculations. If you just focus on the song, the beauty of the song is lost.. But T M Krishna is one of the artists who sings from his heart.. Whenever, I listen to him, I really appreciate the song much more.. But I dont know all the technical details like swaras, etc. It is a great to hear..

SP knows carnatic music. He was able to appreciate my answer.

SP: Whats your favourite raga?
Me: Sir, I love Varali sir. I just enjoy listening to it. I dont knw sir, whenever I listen to varali, I have a great feeling, which I cant express in words. They are so many great songs in varali. Kanakanaruchira is there.. There is a very beautiful song called Kaa Vaa Vaa.. All these are great songs sir .. Also one of my friend is a carnatic singer.. He keeps sharing new songs in varali… I love this raga sir..

I was able to confirm that SP knows carnatic. He was nodding his head whenever I mentioned the names of the song.

SP takes over again.
SP: Why do you want to work? Why not Phd directly?
Me: Sir, working is very important sir. Industry is the place where theory meets practise.

SP: I dont think so. Working in Industry is such a waste of time you know.
CP: Talks to SP, I think I will buy his argument of working in the industry.

CP: Ok Sundar! You have a lot of great interests! You are having this nice blog. You are learning mridangam. You seem to write articles for a paper. How do you plan to carry on your interests after you join IIMB?
Me: (This question gave me a lot of confidence :-D) Sir, I have already thought about it. If you look at Coffee With Sundar, it is not just me now sir. I have already built a team..

SP stops me here.

SP: Ok Sundar, tell me this! What is the type of job that you are expecting here?
Me: Sir, I already have a backup option of getting back to Google. I have spoken to my site director about this. So, If I find any new area which I am passionate about, I will go there, else, I always have this IT management role.

SP: I know you will get a job! What exactly are you looking for in terms of job? What would you want your job to be.
Me: Sir, I really want a job which gives me variety. After talking to a lot of seniors and other people in the industry, both directly and through my blog, I found that Consultancy is the best match for me. Consulting jobs are the ones which gives you different varieties for the first 2 – 3 years and then later.. you will get to specialize. This is ideally what I want because, I dont want to miss out on something which I might be my passion just because I took up a job in another stream. This will also give me variety when i go for FPM.. May in IIMB itself. πŸ˜€

CP: Have you thought about MS or MTech?
Me: Yes sir! I already thought about it! Technical education will help you a great deal if you are looking forward to work in the infrastructure aspect of the Software work. It doesnt contribute a lot for Products. This is because, again you will learn a lot about coding and design but Product has a lot more to it. MS will never teach you how to do competitor analysis, market analysis, selling the product etc.. But all these are integeral part of Product development. This is where I think MBA is the right choice.

SP: But all great projects are built by technologist.. I still think managers have no role to play?
Me: Sir, that is not true sir. You hear only the success stories of great technological products. I know.. For that matter, I have seen so many products in Google itself which has failed. Managers are very very crucial part of the product life cycle.. Many many good products, (if not great ones) dont reach the the place where it deserves only because of improper product management. As I said, you hear only success stories.. Failures dont make headlines..

SP seems convinced. Asks CP to take over.

CP also seeems done!

CP: Thank you sundar! Very nice talking to you! Do you have any questions for us.
Me: Sir, I would like you both to give me interview to my blog after I join IIMB. Sir, lots of ppl want to know about the profs of B schools, their life, their interests etc.. And not all have access to IIMB profs.
CP: Sure.. But everyone has access to us. Our email ids are public πŸ˜€

Me: Thank you sirs!
CP & SP: Thank you Sundar!

Smiles everywhere. I walk out of the hall thanking god!

This culminates my year long preparation. Infact, it has taken more than a year! Its finally over! It was one exhausting 1 year with almost all my weekends occupied with mock cats, mock GDs, mock PIs etc.. Trust me, I loved my last one year! I have a come a long way from a guy who feared quants to the guy who cracked CAT! I had to do a lot of personal analysis for my PI.. I learnt a lot about myself.. My strengths, weakness, my passion, my dreams, my goals.. It was indeed one awesome experience… Now all I can do is to wait for my result!

Irrespective of the way it goes, I have learnt a lot! But I dont want to just say that I have learnt a lot! The result matters a lot to me… If I succeed in getting an IIMB call, I will be over joyed.. I will celebrate for sure.. There will be treats for sure.. I will really celebrate for one week.. It will be a hard earned call.. But if I fail to, I wont say its all in the Game.. I will feel disappointed.. I will cry.. I have put in a lot of effort into it.. I just cant throw it away.. I will certainly feel bad for a week..

This way or that way, one week after result is going to be fun period or a sad period..

A week after that, Life will move on as usual!

On this occasion, I would like to specially thank sandeep, sruthi, ankit, shyam and all the other seniors who helped me a lot in editing my SOP, clarifying my stupid doubts, give me light about consulting careers etc. Thanks once again.

Life will move on!




  • Varun said:

    Wow! Advertisement for CWS in interview. Makes me remind the Anjadhey interview where the interviewee has coffee :).

    you are awesome. Next time you go for other interview (apart from these IIM interviews)let me know, I want to promote my blog too. Will you do for me? πŸ˜€


  • Pawan said:

    Dont worry dude.. you’ll make it..

  • Alagu said:

    Awesome post sundar!

    Hoping to see you soon in IIMB! I like the way you take life. It gives a positive feeling, when you prepare yourself for anything, and then live.

    Nice one.

  • AJ said:

    Fantastic! Looks like it went really well for you! You’ll get it man, wish you the best.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Shruti said:

    All the best πŸ™‚

  • chaitanya msv said:

    Hi Sundar

    My best wishes are with you.

    You will definitely make it.


  • Ranjan said:

    Lovely! You are as good as through!!

  • Adarsh said:

    excellent sundar….u ll make it….all d best…

  • Sundar Rajan G S (author) said:

    Thank you all for your wishes.. I really want to see this come through..

    Varun… next time.. I will talk about your blog.. πŸ˜€

  • [2008] IIM Bangalore GD/PI Experiences - Page 17 - PaGaLGuY.com - The Everything of MBA, CAT 2007, GMAT, XAT, CAT 2008, SNAP, IIM, CAT 2007 Analysis Answer Key said:

    […] PM Hi All.. I had my IIMB interview on April 2nd. Here is the interview experience. IIM Bangalore Interview Experience Regards Sundar Rajan G S Check my blog: […]

  • Megha said:

    Wish u all the Best Sundar πŸ™‚ , thanks for sharing !!!!

  • Satish Kambala said:

    all the best sundar

  • Antony said:

    Hi Sundar,

    Nice to read thro your experience. WE met during thee IIM I interview, don’t know whether you remember.
    You seem to have prepared well…..that was as good as an interview can get….All the best to you….
    Also agree on the results part….it’s going to be good or bad, I’m also waiting eagerly….lets hope for the best…

    P.S. Your blog is pretty good.

  • Sundar Rajan G S (author) said:

    Hi Anthony,

    Thanks for the wishes.. Lets hope for the best! πŸ™‚

  • vishnu said:

    Very informative πŸ™‚
    All the best buddy

  • Nidhi said:

    Hey Sundar,

    Nice thoughts. ..
    Most of the people don’t know what they want to do… and is it right or not what they are doing currently.

    Since you have clearity towards your career…future, you will make it done.

    Good Luck!

  • Parag said:

    Dude u cracked the interview it seems πŸ™‚ … All the best for IIMS :)…. Hope India gets a great manager/teacher in you πŸ˜€

  • Ankit Agarwal said:

    hey sundar,

    Nice interview…I think you have nicely conveyed all the nice things that you have done over the last one year. Good! and Best of Luck for the final results.


  • Payal said:

    NICE πŸ™‚

  • Sundar Rajan G S (author) said:

    Thank you all for the wishes!

  • Bala said:

    Wonderful interview.

  • Prabhu said:

    Dear Sundar,

    I am really impressed with the way you answered the question so down to earth even though they were provoking..Your hard work has paid off..all the best dude..Stay in touch


  • Pradeep said:

    That is the most amazing bschool interview experience I have ever read.
    Absolutely brilliant and down to earth. Quite a temperament you have got!

    PS: Great blog, btw..

  • Sundar Rajan G S (author) said:

    @ Prabhu, Pradeep,

    Thanks a lot!

  • srividya sivaram said:

    hi……… u have proved that u will be an eminent manager soon and conveyed it to ur interviewers by advertising ur product ( BLOG) in a very nice way!!! ALL THE BEST ……….. SUCCESS IS SURE TO FOLLOW UR EFFORTS!!!:)

  • Got into IIMB » Coffee With Sundar said:

    […] If you havent seen my IIMB experience, here it is for you.Β  […]

  • Got into IIMB » NITTians.com said:

    […] If you havent seen my IIMB experience, here it is for you. […]

  • Abhishek said:

    you totally smashed the interview πŸ™‚ no wonder you got in
    And btw i remember aha algos. You should start off a company called aha!, might just work..lol

  • Shruthi jayappa said:

    It was over whelming to read your article, though i had a oppurtunity to work with you in Symphony services, I felt good when i read your precious moment of truth.

    All the best in your future endevour!!


  • joshi said:

    healthy interview and i;m sure its like a blend of succes and hardwork fren,all the best .and hope u reply me……………………..waiting for ur reply …………..????????

  • Vishwas said:

    This has to be one of the best B-School interviews that i ve ever read. By the way , i am guessing you are in your second year at IIMB

  • neha said:

    thanks a lot for sharing your experience…people generally keep such valuable experiences which can assist others confined to themselves….
    reply back…i know its stupid of me to ask….nor m i expecting it.u would be too busy to reply.it could just help me a bit, i needed some advice….

  • Jay said:

    HI Guys..
    want to pursue PGP from IIM ,please share your initial steps that need to be taken for that i’e how to prepare for CAT and GD/PI

  • rakesh said:

    Brilliant Sundar πŸ™‚ Loved reading this πŸ™‚

  • sandeep said:

    hey sundar gr8 attitude man …. keep it up..

  • Ruchi said:

    hi..your answers sounded quite confident..I ve applied for FPM course at IIMI, IIML and IIMK. I ve not been called for an interview yet but i hope to recieve it soon.I want you to help me for preparing for it. After reading your experience I ve started working on my strenghts, weeknesses, dreams and goals. It is definetly going to be a wonderful experience to know myself. Write to me asap. thanks.

  • pragati said:

    hiya sundar your interview was taken in 2008 and now 2012 but still it is helping to so many people thanks dude for sharing this experience with us

  • sumit agarwal said:

    thanx for sharing such a nice experience… all the best!!!!

    Guys, I want ur valuable advice regd. career.. I completed my B.tech in 2010(ECE), got 62%… worked for an advertising company for 6 months n then hcl infosystems for 1 year, i am an average guy…

    I have quit my job for CAT preparation.. prep. r gng ok.. I dun knw, i m very afraid, what if i cannot make it…

    Should i have to wait for another year or keep preparing for CAT-2012??
    Is it possible to prep. for it with job??

    I am good at quant & reasoning… Guys help me out…..

  • rashmi said:

    hey sundar,
    nice interview!!
    can you pls help me with the nuances of google recruitment like the time they take between a written test & their phone interview sessions,what kinda q’s we can expect & the like…
    pls mail me if u can…
    thanks!! πŸ™‚

  • shiridi said:

    bhaiyaa can you send me ur sop for reference and i have one doubt , do they take only experienced candidates into FPM programme.