Pardon me? Sir.

The drops of water out of the filter created an echo in the corridor. It was just enough to trouble my already worried self.  With well-ironed suits there are more walking around. One small question is hovering around every innocent soul out there. How will the interview go?

Getting into an IIM has become really important now. It has hurt my ego. It rejected me 4 times. I am really unsure about how it would affect me if I don’t get through this time. Well, that’s easy to guess, atleast after 25 years I have spent with myself it should be easy to guess.

I would have cried in the washroom on day1, wiped my tears on day2, closed myself inside the house on day3 and for another few days I would have looked like a meager school girl who is ditched by her boy friend.

I reached the hotel with my luggage of all the possible things I can think of to impress the judges. The things in the black bag has mattered the most. As I waited in the lobby, an elderly man came forth and asked to leave for the hall on the 5th floor. I took the stairs for some unknown reason. The board outside the room read “written ability test”. And there you go! All of my competitors are right in front of me ready to scribble the pen on the naked white paper. I stepped in and occupied the first bench. First bench has always made me feel good during school. I thought it would inspire me to write better.

All are waiting for the man to speak out and recite the topic. It would have given sometime to ponder. After few formal process of signatures and attendance, the elderly man finally opened his mouth. Everyone, please note down the topic on which you need to write an essay, “if you have to establish a company, what are your plans? How will you take it forward? And what will you do to succeed?” I thought hell ya! I know the answer. I have revised this as an interview question. Thanks to my mentor who asked me a question on similar lines during the mock interviews.

Who cares about the no of words, I put down as much as I can just like I have planned to. That’s a good omen, I thought. A smile has danced my lips for the first time in last 24 hours.

Like always, the last bench guy tried to be super smart. He asked the elderly man in a sophisticated tone, sir, can you please elaborate on the topic with any example? Lol, I thought. That old man muted himself again and didn’t even care to listen.

Soon after the written test, we are asked to walk down to room no 7. That good omen expression on my face died. I felt nostalgic for what happened in the same room 2 years back. The interviewers have kicked me out with a funny smile for my funny answers. I remembered the harsh tone of that thin man in the middle of two. I was the last one to enter the interview room.

Tell me an example of stack?

I yelled out, me!


Yes sir, I am the first person to enter the lobby outside room no 7 and I am the last person to leave.

Ok, that’s a coincidence, its not a stack.

He is really pissed off, I could see it on his face when he said ok leave. I wish I had told bangles, stack of plates and that colorful rings toy kids play.

I checked my number from the list hanging outside the room. I gasped. And again I am the last one to be interviewed.

In exactly 25 minutes, the studious guy with studious avatar has come out of the room. Like flies, we gathered around him, asking about how his interview went, what were the questions, how are the panelists, did you answer all the questions? Popping the chocolate inside his mouth in rajnikanth way, he said, ‘they are good, relax and answer’. All I could make out from his response was that he belongs to Chennai. He pulled his bag lying down beside the chair which he emptied before his interview and flew away.

We went back to our positions waiting for the next guy to step in and step out. This time, he didn’t come out with a chocolate. Neither he spoke about what happened inside. He asked me question from cricket, about jat riots, rohit vemula, about the city I live in, about my work, the company I work in, engineering questions, about my tie and the topics were really random. The ones still waiting in their seats tried to figure out the ladyrinth, what kind of questions versus the type of student? We couldn’t make it out. After all the boys, it was my turn to enter the room. I opened my black bag which has my weapons and rushed in.

Good afternoon sir, I said looking at each panelists.

Please sit down, the thin elderly man towards my right replied.

I sat down staring at the fruit bowl on one side of the table. My belongings occupied the other side of the table. Well it was post lunch time, I really couldn’t wait to go home and gulp some really good food. Like a decent girl, I said thank you but I will have it after my interview.

You didn’t have your lunch did you?

No sir, I came down for the interview soon after the written ability test. Why is everything going around food? Will he ask anything about news in food industry? I started digging into all that I have read few days back.

Oh, ok the interview pressure might not make you feel hungry isn’t it? He sounded very concerned.

Now, uma tell us what should we ask you about so that you will be selected?

Well, I didn’t expect that to come. I can’t be sarcastic nor I can be funny. Who know’s how will the panelist take my answer. All I could say was, as you want to sir.

The voice came from my right, ok tell me what all things your friends told you who left this room.

I spoke to myself, none mentioned any exact question properly. Ofcource I can’t expect from them, it’s a competition.

Well, sir they said the panelists are cool and suggested to stay relaxed and answer. Sir, I have my resume, in case you want to see.

No, I don’t want to see. Lets talk!

I gasped again. That’s my first weapon. I lost before the battle begun.

Tell me about yourself. What do you do. Why MBA?

While I was repeating the same answers I have already practiced. The eyes towards my right were starring at my resume which is left ignored on the table. He pointed it out and said, what is that?

Sir it is my resume, would you like to see?


That file might have felt like rebirth now. I put the colorful file forward and continued to answer the previous question.

Wow. I heard it from the one sitting towards my right. I wondered if I heard what I heard.

He said it again, wow your resume looks fantastic. He asked the other panelist to take a look. His eyes went back to the wooden color huge booklet I have carried into the room. With a lot of expectation, he asked me again, can I see that too?

Of course sir, I have specially made it for you.

The book travelled between the two panelists.  I was quite trying to watch their gestures. I heard good words again. Wow, awesome and wow. I repeated the same inside with a smile that is trying to sprout out

The topic of the interview changed to where I usually travel and my hobbies. I answered them all like a little girl who was offered an ice cream for replying back.

I started thinking out loud. Sir I was sitting right here 2 years back in the same room for the same purpose.

Now it looks like you will accomplish it, he said.

I think we are done with the interview now. Thank you. Grab few chocolates and rush back home, he said in a positive tone.

I took one chocolate, grabbed my belongings and turned back.

Stop, take more chocolates and tell your friends that you are selected.

Pardon me? Sir.

Yes, celebrate today. This time, it is yours. He looked really pleased.

I grabbed few more chocolates with an expressionless face. What did he say? Why did he say that? Does that mean I have done well?

All I could do is wait for the big day for the answer. Thankfully, my weapon worked. I got a convert mail from 10 IIM’s and right now, I am in IIM Ranchi.

What is in the book? Let me leave it to your imagination. But thanks a ton it has given me huge marks to beat the interview.

One thought on “Pardon me? Sir.

  1. First things first hearty congratulations for your achievement. Feeling proud that my friend has achieved her dream of getting into an IIM. And hard to imagine what’s that in the booklet nidhi??

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