Student Exchange Interview

There were 22 vacancies, and 45 were shortlisted (out of less than 70 applicants). We were interviewed by 5 panels, each with 2 professors. We had submitted our resumes, a writeup on why we were applying for the programme, various declarations and our grade sheet. Though it was rumoured that grades played a 50% part in shortlisting, it was not so. Each panel ranked their candidates independently (in which grades played only an implicit part) — so it was the interview that really counted. After ranking, they pooled the rankings across panels (this is probably where grades might come in) and allocated the first available preference by rank. If the universities you opted for are not available, you would not be considered for other universities even if your ranking is high. So it makes sense to fill out all the universities of your choice if you’re keen on going.

One standard question acroess panels was on aspects of Indian culture — particularly in Prof. CM Reddy’s panel. Questions ranged from “What was the Yaksha’s last question to Yudhisthira?” to “What is the essence of Indian spiritual philosophy?” Other standard questions were “What will you do for IIM-B once you come back?” and “How will you serve as the ambassador of IIM-B?”


  1. How did you break your leg?
  2. Do you think businesses have a social function?
  3. What will you do for IIM-B when you come back?
  4. Tell me more about your social contributions. (From my resume.)
  5. What is the central message of Indian philosophy?

Prof. Mahadevan and Prof. Prakhya interviewed me. Both were IITians, and I discovered that Prof. Prakhya was also my school senior. Prof. Mahadevan was genuinely seeking an answer to all his questions. That is, he was really interested in how exchange students could improve IIM-B’s functioning. Prof. Prakhya was pretty sharp, and tried pricking holes in my arguments. Before I left, Prof. Mahadevan commented, “This is nothing to do with the interview, but I just wanted to say that, based on your resume, you have a great future.” Pallavi and I were selected for London Business School.


  1. I had ready-made answers to all their questions, and that helped.
  2. I was passionate about all the answers. I think a feeling of genuineness came through.
  3. As always, the resume counted for a lot.
  1. Ramya says:

    Can I ask you to guide me thru the interview processes in Insead.In addition to this , they also have asked me to sumbit a brief yet all inspiring essay to avail the scholarship that can help me negate atleast 25% of the course fee..Thanks – Ramya

  2. Gopinath says:

    Hi Anand,

    Just to trace back, can you just post as to what answers you gave to these questions.