The woods are lovely dark and deep…

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Prashant Gutch (PGP 2011-13) on his preparation for the IIMB interviews.

Woods are lovely and deep

The woods are lovely dark and deep

But I have promises to keep

And miles to go before I sleep

And miles to go before I sleep

These 4 lines are the closest to how I can sum up my experience post CAT. I took CAT in 2011 and was one of those lucky ones who scored well. I scored 99.99 percentile and stood 9th in India but I knew it very well that a seat at one of the 3 prestigious IIMs was by no means a surety. I doubled my efforts and undertook the preparation in a very planned and structured manner. My habit of reading newspapers regularly to keep in touch with the latest happenings helped me a lot as I could prepare well for the GD topics. A week post the CAT I also becomes clear about the shortlists and invitations from the B-schools which helped in preparing specifically for a certain call based on past experiences. I was aware of the importance of questions related to my personality as these help in building the conversation during an interview and also to some extent help in defining the interview experience. Hence, I put in considerable amount of time in preparing questions such as why MBA and what after MBA etc. which are almost definitely present in all the forms. A common mistake that candidates tend to do is not taking these forms seriously enough which should be avoided. The forms are very important as they help the candidate highlight his/her achievements and impart strength to ones candidature. A lot of institutes quiz the candidates about their academics so revising certain concepts is essential. Once this was done, the last 20 days were a whirlwind of GD and interview practice sessions which helped me learn the nuances of what to expect and how to react. It is very essential to take up mock GDs and interviews with fellow candidates in order to gauge the common mistakes people do on the D-day. A couple of days before the big day I made sure I took enough rest and relaxed just to be in the right frame of mind.

A proper schedule of reading and preparation followed by substantial number of mock GD and interviews is according to me the right way to go about preparation post CAT.

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