My IIM Lucknow FPM Interview Experience  

Posted by NoeL in , , , ,

I had applied for Finance (My Love!) and Human Resource Management (For the Heck of it… 2 options… so clicked on HR too while applying.). I had both the calls. The finance interview was right after RAT as I mentioned earlier. HR interview was also there on the same day but time was not told to me.
Around 30min after my RAT, I found myself sitting in the Finance Interview. There were 4 people in the interview board... let’s call them R, FR, FL and L… one on my right (R), one on my left (L) and two in the front (RF and LF). The interview went for around 30-40min.

Me: Good Morning, Sirs.
LF: Good Morning, take the seat…
Me: Thank you sir…
LF: So, you have done 10th in 2000 with XX.XX%... 12th in 2002 with XX.XX%... B. Tech from NIT Trichy in 2006 with X.XX CGPA… Joined Mahindra… as GET… so what are u now? Oh ok… Asst. Manager.

I was not asked for my INTRO… they themselves were making it out from my application form
L: How much are you getting from Mahindra? X.XX LPA…Oh you are making so much!! Then why are you interested in doing this course? The IIM professors won’t be making this much!!
Me: Sir, it is not about money! There is something more than that. I want to do something of my own in my life.
R: (Looking at my Transcript) Seems like you had a course on Finance during your B.Tech… So what have you learned in that? Let us know few of the chapters you had in it…
Me: Sir, it was offered as an elective and was a very basic course. It explained various financial terms. I took it out of my interest in Finance. (All this while I was thinking about the name of the chapters in the Finance Management course I had in the 7th Semester).
Me: We learned about Company Balance Sheets, how to read it, something on Stock Markets, valuation of stocks etc… (I really couldn’t remember what was in there… But I knew something or the other to tell in these topics. So I blurted out the above three…)

From here… interview was purely on finance … From here, I will put the questions only. Prof. Google will help you find out the answers for the same.
LF: So, what is P/E ratio?
R: What are undervalued and overvalued stocks?
LF: What do you mean by Market Cap?
LF: Do you invest in Stocks?
LF: What kind of investor are you?
LF: Do you follow Warren Buffet?
LF: What are his investment principles?
L: Why did the market crash?
LF: What is subprime crisis?
R: Wall Street? What is its Indian counterpart?
L: Why is it called subprime? What actually happened?
LR: You havn’t answered the question from L completely. Answer it completely. (This professor was quite all throughout the interview and was not asking any questions but observing me!).
LF: So you have an interest on ForEx Markets. So what do you mean by ForEx market?
LF: What kind of experience you have with the ForEx Markets?
R: So, you like yourself to get billed in USD or in INR? And why?
Me: I told reasons like rupee appreciation and depreciation. If Indian Economy is doing well and Indian Rupee is appreciating, I prefer getting billed in INR and if not in USD. (This was a cooked up, instantaneous answer.)
LF: How do you hedge the risk between different currencies? (I couldn’t answer this!)
R: So, INR appreciates only when the Indian Economy is doing well? How do you know whether the Indian Economy is doing well or not?
LF: So you are telling me that GDP of India is growing at around 9% per annum and that is the reason why INR is appreciating? (I forgot the impact ForEx flow can make on the exchange rates here…)
L: Then why didn’t INR appreciate for the past few years but only now? Do you know that Indian Economy was growing at an average of 7-8% per annum on GDP while US was growing at only at 2-3%...? So isn’t your logic wrong?
Me: I tried telling that US economy is 13times that of Indian economy and so 2-3% growth of US economy means 26-39% when compared to India and etc etc… (Cooked up... couldn’t get away with it. So finally, I accepted my mistake.)
LF: (In between, somewhere I had blurted out the word inflation. So they caught on to it.) So what is inflation? Is it good or bad for Economy? Will it affect the GDP growth rate?
LF: So are u speaking about nominal GDP or notional GDP?
(I said nominal and then he asked me what it is… I didn’t know and so accepted defeat there too…)
Here comes the best part.
LF: Seeing your academic performance, your age and Work Experience, you will be able to crack CAT easily if you try again. Also if I offer you a PGP admission here in IIML will you take it? I am going to offer it now…
L: Did you apply for PGP programs too in IIMs? Or you applied just for FPM?
R: What other calls are you having? Do you have other MBA admits?
Me: (I decided to be as frank as I can…) I have applied for both MBA and FPM in IIMs. But no IIM call. Sir, I have a couple of other MBA admits. Sir regarding the IIML PGP seat, I offered, I will definitely take it up. But then, that is only if you are not giving me the FPM admission this time.
Me: I know I am not good at Finance and Financial terms as I don’t have any kind of background in Finance. My short term goal is to get well versed with the Finance and Financial terms… (I got cut here…)
LF: An MBA in Finance will be enough for that…
Me: Yes sir… I know… So if I am not given the FPM seat, which I felt was out of reach till now and is still feeling, I will be taking up MBA finance somewhere… But then, I am sure, down the line, I have to do my research… I have to take my doctorate… I want to have something of my own… So I was thinking… If this seat is offered to me… why should I wait for few more years to complete my MBA and then work in an MNC…? After all, I am going to end up taking FPM here in IIML or in any of the other IIMs…
LF: Hmm… Ok… So thanks Leo.
R: What is this second preference given here? Are you also interested in HR? You were telling me the whole time that you want to be a finance guy and that is the only thing u want be become… Then what is this?
Me: (Again a frank reply…) Sir, we were given two options while applying. So, thought why to keep the second option blank. This is the ONLY reason why HR is shown as my second preference and I am not at all keen in being an HR guy.
R: You had a course on Operations Management too as elective in your 7th Sem. So you remember any chapters from it?
Me: (I wanted to get out of the place… Too much time already…) No Sir.
R: Ok.. Thanks Leo
LR: All the best.
L: Thanks. Please tell the next candidate to come in after 5min.
Me: Yes sir... Thank you sir…

My take:- I was able to do the best I can… And the best part is, I was never tensed… not even a bit… I could also show them what I am… It was like… I am like this… I know this much… You take me if you want… If not, I will look elsewhere… this is not my final frontier… I was happy and had a feeling of comfort within myself. The only worry now was whether to attend the HR interview or not…

Do let me know your comments...


This entry was posted on Sunday, May 4, 2008 at Sunday, May 04, 2008 and is filed under , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


Could you please share ur CAT percentile with us???


May 6, 2008 at 9:07 AM



May 6, 2008 at 9:52 AM

so after the fpm interview were u able to get through it or not....also plzzzzzzz tell me in detail about RAT...what are its eligibility criterias

July 29, 2008 at 10:17 AM

I had gotten through!! But didnt join due to personal reasons! What specific detail are u looking for in RAT?

July 29, 2008 at 3:20 PM

i just want to know who can take RAT and wat are its eligibility criterias.also how can one get its form and all?

August 17, 2008 at 11:26 PM


For me, at IIML, it was a case study as explained here.

There is nothing you should really prepare for RAT! It is very simple and they will be trying to judge your research aptitude via this!

August 18, 2008 at 12:04 AM

Hi Noel. I have applied to FPM of IIM Indore and IIM Bangalore in Strategic Mgmt. On the websites, it has been mentioned that the pattern of RAT would be somewhat similar to CAT. Is it so? If not then please give some idea on the lines I should prepare for getting through either of the above mentioned inst.

March 8, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Hi Sonal, I am not sure if there are any changes in IIMB and IIMI. I had a case study as explained above. Why dont you try contacting some of the current FPM students? You can get their details from the college websites.

All the best for your FPM interviews


March 8, 2010 at 1:33 PM

hi..sudhir here, i have done mba in marketing n finance. i want to do fpm from iims. wht is the procedure to apply for rat. Is it necessary to write cat first?

May 15, 2010 at 7:35 PM

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I study at European Business School, Oestrich-Winkel. The opinions expressed here are my own, and neither European Business School, Oestrich-Winkel nor any other party necessarily agrees with them.