With the admissions session being currently on for most of the top B Schools of the country here is a list of FAQs answered by Prof. Neeraj Kumar, Chairperson Admissions, FORE School of Management, Delhi.
Selected queries from MBA aspirants have been compiled below.
- “Recently I appeared for the PI of a reputed B School and the panel bashed me up saying ‘You have 2 years of IT experience. Your work ex is worthless. You people only serve clients with cheap labour and don’t do anything productive’. I was at a real loss replying to their questions and lost my confidence. Can you please help me?
Prof. Neeraj Kumar: Don’t get rattled by such questions. These are stress questions, most likely, to test your composure under stress. Try (and I know this is difficult) not to take things personally. You may face such situations again when you must tell yourself mentally that they are just testing my response under stress.
- What does a panel want to know when they ask the question tell me about yourself? Is it achievements, skill set and interests??
Prof. Neeraj Kumar: This is a precursor to further probes…people are either too guarded (which may prompt panel members to probe) or too eloquent about their personal qualities (without supporting evidence…so invites further probe). Essentially, panel members, through such questions try to assess how realistically do you see yourself…a bit of past, a bit of present…and a hint of where you want to be…if you want to highlight personal qualities…be sure you have evidence from your past experience to back it up..
3.A Sir, for a person who left this job due to personal family issues some time back, and is looking to make a comeback to the industry with improved credentials, is this looked upon badly in the PI process?
Prof. Neeraj Kumar: You must have a well thought out reason. This is not a disqualification and please remember….one question does not decide the outcome of the process…you have so many other components going for you. Don’t dwell upon it too much.
3 B. It’s just that i am honest with my reply, but it doesn’t seem to impress the interviewers.
Prof. Neeraj Kumar: It may happen, I am not saying it doesn’t or can’t happen. Remember…we take freshers too so how does it matter? Many a time (I have many examples) where this has impressed the panel…it all depends on how you present it, with honesty. But as I said…within PI there are different parameters that panel tries to evaluate, as far as possible, independent of each other.
- A. I have 5 years of work experience. Will that be a negative point during interview?
Prof. Neeraj Kumar: Not at all! That would be an advantage as you will get marks for experience!!
- B. But sir, in many IIMs no score is given for more than 3 yrs work exp
Prof. Neeraj Kumar: Yes…here too we have a cap…but you are within that cap
Q 5. I have a 3 year gap between XII and graduation during which I co-owned and managed a multi cuisine restaurant in a city. Will the gap be considered as a set back by the panellists?
Prof. Neeraj Kumar: You will definitely be asked question on this. But you could turn this into an advantage…entrepreneurial experience will be valued so prepare your answer beforehand…it would have been a great learning experience…
- 6 A. What type of student does an institute look for i.e. an entrepreneur or somebody looking for a job?
Prof. Neeraj Kumar: We don’t have a preference for either an entrepreneur or a student who seeks placement. However, every year a few students opt out of placement process to try their luck at entrepreneurship. FORE has a large number of entrepreneurs among alumni.
- 6 B. There are three stages i.e. GK test, PI and WAT, there is no psychometric test?
Prof. Neeraj Kumar: There is no psychometric test, at least not this year.
Q 7 . How much time would be given to write the essay? And any specific topic we need to prepare for PGDM IB course from Interview point of view?
Prof. Neeraj Kumar: 150 words in 10 minutes for the General Awareness 10 MCQs in 5 minutes. Interview for PGDM and PGDM-IB will be on the same pattern. Brush up your basic subject in Graduation. There could be questions to test your mental agility but it is difficult to predict a panellists’ mind… so do keep abreast of current happenings too…eg. JNU episode, the reservation stir that is going on, make in India, Swacch Bharat etc.
- 8 Currently I have 2 backlogs result of which will come in next 2 weeks. Will it be major hurdle in converting call during personal interview??
Prof. Neeraj Kumar: No, it should not be as long as you clear all your backlogs and submit your results before October 1st.
- 9 Sir, during interview focus will be on Acads or Current affairs
Prof. Neeraj Kumar: Do you have work experience? If you do not have work experience then expect questions on the subjects at graduation. A few questions to test your mental agility. Current affairs cannot be ruled out though it would have been tested through the General Awareness test.
- 10 (A) Will my work experience of more than 3 years with IT background prove to be negative for me in terms of selection at FORE ?
Prof. Neeraj Kumar: Not at all…it will work to your advantage…but then prepare well for the PI because you are expected to be asked questions on your profile, technology that you’ve been working on and the organisation itself.
- 11 (B) Main dilemma in my mind is that now institutes don’t prefer student with B.tech background in order to maintain diversity. Hence it affects the probability of selection.
Prof. Neeraj Kumar: We do not discriminate on the choice of stream at Graduation level so you stand as good a chance as anyone.
- 12 Please let us know the number of questions the quiz will comprise of ? Also, will the quiz be on same lines as we encountered in exams like XAT/IIFT.
Prof. Neeraj Kumar: There will be 10 MCQs. It will comprise of questions on Indian History/ Geog/ Polity/ Economy/ Culture, General Science, Current Affairs. Difficulty level for these questions could be that of class 10th (other than current affairs).
Link to sample questions is there on our website.
- 13 When will the result of phase-1 WAT-PI will be declared?
Prof. Neeraj Kumar: All results will be declared together…after preparing a consolidated merit list. Since the last PI will happen on 27th March…give it 10-15 days after that.
- 14 Sir, How Can We Prepare Well for WAT ?
Prof. Neeraj Kumar: Read on current topics (last 6 months or so) which have been controversial. Watch the discussions on news channels. The WAT will have to be written in essay form (150 words) so it might be a challenge to fit in all your thoughts. Wherever possible, try to back up your views and opinions with facts or data, language is important and avoid using abbreviations.
- 15 Since general awareness quiz is being multiple choices so will there be negative marking? What Type of WAT questions may come?
Prof. Neeraj Kumar: There may be negative marking. It will be wise not to make wild guesses! Typical WAT topic will pertain to controversial topics e.g. “Is it prudent to spend huge money on Mars Mission when a vast majority of our population is poor?”
- 16 Sir, if we are allowed to not write exams for some courses which we do not wish to, and still able to get the degree (bachelors), because we clear the minimum required credits, will that hamper in selection process?
Prof. Neeraj Kumar: You should have 50% minimum in your graduation. That’s it. Of course, the component of academic achievement takes into account percentage scored in Class 12 and Graduation so to that extent, if you have a lower percentage it will lower your score. But there are many other components where you could score better than others.