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IIM A Interview Experience

with 8 comments

Date 6 March

Cat percentile 99.97

We were 8 students in our panel and there were 4 such panels.


We were given 10 mins to write an essay in the area provided in the interview form. We were forewarned to stop rightaway when we are asked to stop. Essay topic was how other games were not eclipsed by Cricket and something like that.

Wrote a decent essay.. examples from olympic winners not getting padma awards etc..

All in all a good 10 mins to start with.


I was last in the panel and the panelists told us that they will take 15 mins each.

They took a break just after the 7th guy left and it started to scare me.. 🙂

P1: Old prof to my left

P2: Old prof to my right. ( Mr Rajendra Patel) http://iimahd.ernet.in/faculty/facultydetails.php?id=214&farea=refarea&section=area

M: me

P2 called me in.

Pleasantries and was asked to sit.

P2: Please show me this certificate and explain what it is.

I stood up went close to P2 and showed the Gold medal certi and explained it was given to me for getting the highest marks in CBSE Board amongst all thirteen schools run by Bokaro Steel.

P1: Good, Very Good!

P2: Ok XXX , you have done electrical engg from IIT Kanpur.

M: Yes Sir!

P2: There were a few electrical enggs before you, what did they tell you?

M: Sir, they told me you were asking probability questions?

P2: Probability? What probability?

M: Sir, they were telling you gave questions about probability etc

P2: Ok.

P2: How would you explain to a layman why he pays for electricity? Electrons come to his home and then he returns it back, he doesn’t keep any why should he pay for it?

M: Sir, although he is not keeping any electrons, but energy is required to maintain this flow of electrons and the power company thus needs to be compensated.

P2: Speak in layman’s terms

M: Sir, it is like the current won’t flow unless there is potential difference.

P2: Speak in layman’s terms.

M: Sir, we can think it as water flowing, water flows on a slope similarly .

P2: Ok

P2: Ok tell me how will you explain integration to a layman. And dont tell me area under the curve ok.

M: Sir, it is basically a better form of summation when the function is discrete you can use sum, but when it is continuous it can’t be summed, so we break into parts.

P2: Now you are using discrete continuous, I have told you four times speak in layman’s terms.

M: Sir, take a Asymmetric figure, now if we need to find the area of this figure, summation would not help us, but we would need integration to do it.

P2: DO you know transmission losses form the major part of power losses?

M: Yes sir

P2: What is done to prevent these losses?

M: Electricity is transmitted a very high voltage 11 KV or 22 KV or even higher. This is done to reduce i^2r losses.

P2: Any other?

M: We can use better equipment, better transformers

P2: Is the purpose of transformer to cut power losses?

M: no sir, thats not it primary purpose but in course of transmission we need a lot of transformers and if we have efficient ones, we can reduce losses.

P2: WHat is the primary purpose of a transformer?

M: Either to step up or step down voltage depending on the need.

P1 Takes over

P1: Ok XXX, You have done electrical engg from IIT Kanpur, Can you make electricity flow without a wire

M: Sir it won’t be practical but it can be done.

P1: How?

M: Sir, if we apply voltages at sharp points, the air around the points will breakdown into ions and then start conducting. Sound and corona discharge will accompany this phenomena and this will be very inefficient way of transmitting electricity.

P1: How far?

M: very small distances around 1 mm.

P1: Ok, this sound and light thing doesn’t look practical. ANy other way?

M: Sir, basically what I did there was made air an conductor and replaced wire by air. If we have to remove wire, we can use any other conductor ( smile). May be water.

P1: Yes ( smiles)

P1: Ok do you know function of a function, can you differentiate it?( passes me a paper) We use a lot of calculus in Management.

M: Sir, it is basically defined when the independent variable is not a basic. For example y=f(x) and x=g(z) then y=f(g(z))

P1: Now differentiate it?

M: y’=f'(g(z)g'(z)

P1: What is that prime business ? (smiles) write simply

M: dy/dz=d(f(g(z)))/d(g(z))xd(g(z))/dz

P1: why is this a product and not a sum? Can you prove it?

M: yes sir.. I prove it using basic definition of derivative and the chain rule fo limits. he takes the paper and verifies it.

P1: Can you give an example?

M: yes, y=cos(sinx).

P1: Now differentiate it

M: y’=-sin(sinx) cos x

P1: Good.

P1: XXX, Can you tell me the difference between electrical force and gravitational force?

M: Electrical force can be attrcative or repulsive but gravitational force is attractive only.

P1: Ok, Do you know the nucleus, there are only protons, are they like charges?

M: yes sir.

P1: Then why don’t they come out and break the nucleus?

M: Sir, there are three forces inside the nucleus. Electrical force, gravitational force and nuclear force. The gravitational force is very small and hence neglected. But to counter the repulsive electrical force there is a nuclear force which keeps the protons inside the nucleus.

P2 takes over

P2: Ok, Where are you from?

M: Bokaro Steel City

P2:Hmmm, have you heard of the city Mclean? Can you tell me the country it is in?

M: No sir! ( I did not take a guess )

P2: Brussels?

M: Belgium?

P2: DO you know why most indian rivers originate from north and then flow into east or west?

M: Sir, the melting ice of himalayas act as the source of rivers, hence they originate from there. The rivers then flow southwards due to the slope and they move eastwards or westwards due to the terrain they face in their course.

P2: Ok can you tell me the names of all major cities on the banks of river ganga from west to east?

M: Haridwar.

P2: Before Haridwar?

M: Rishikesh.

P2: Ok Continue

M: Rishikesh, Haridwar, kanpur, allahabad, banaras, patna, sultanganj, Kolkata.

P2 looks at P1

P2: Take a toffee

I pick an alpenlibe from the bowl

and say thank you to both of them

P1: All the best.

I am out now..

There was no one left who could tell me the time but it was approx 20-25 mins.


Written by Implex

March 17, 2009 at 5:50 am

8 Responses

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  1. Awesome Experience dude!!
    Best of luck


    March 17, 2009 at 7:15 am

  2. too gud… mast hai yaar…
    all the best…


    March 19, 2009 at 7:22 am

  3. dude u rock ,really….such a funda of maths i hv never seen dude..i think u will surely convert around 3 4 calls . its not arihant ,its because of u

    sandeep karn

    March 20, 2009 at 10:50 am

  4. it seems to me that you are wasting your time giving these interviews. i think you are made for something big. something huge in mathematics field


    April 3, 2009 at 9:57 am

  5. Hehe!
    Thanks for the compliment Vipul
    I wish to earn my bread!


    April 3, 2009 at 7:49 pm

  6. Superb yaar. Amazing i guess you are already converted this one.


    January 20, 2010 at 7:32 am

  7. Wonderful post and informative content for CAT aspirants. Interview experience definitely add value to those preparing for them put down my thoughts around same topic and written an article around them to help the junta as a whole. Find them at http://www.expressions-kt.in/2014/08/bracing-to-bell-cat-heres-some-help.html


    September 5, 2014 at 4:43 pm

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