Jahnavi Kundu




CBSE AISSE (2003)                95%

CBSE AISSCE (2005)             91%

NSIT-IT (2005-09)                 73.4% (result of first 6 semesters) 

Target for Placements

Having decided to make a switch from a technical work-profile to one which was more finance-related, in order to gain the necessary work-experience that would help me later in a B-school interview, I planned to apply to all the non-technical companies that visited campus. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I was fortunate enough to be recruited in a year when non-technical companies were still actively hiring.

Some of the companies I was interested in are e-Valueserve, Dunnhumby, Grail Research, The Smart Cube, RA Net, McKinsey Knowledge Centre and the Bain Capability Centre.


My TSC Recruitment Experience

There were 4 rounds and each was an elimination round.

1.       First Round

This round required one to complete a written test/questionnaire. The test had about 25 questions on Business Knowledge/Awareness and could be completed comfortably within the stipulated time. Some of the questions that I can remember off-hand: (all MCQs, so I’m just mentioning the correct answer alongside)

Ø  The functions performed by the World Bank are…

Ø  The Brettonwood Sisters are… (IMF and World Bank)

Ø  India’s GDP last year was… (approximately 1 trillion USD)

Ø  What is depreciation… (a factual definition)

Ø  What is goodwill… (a factual definition)

Ø  Which is the second largest economy in the world? (The 3 largest economies are USA, Japan, Germany. India is ranked 10th in the world)

Ø  What is Freddie Mac (Federal Home-loan Mortgage Corporation, or FHMC, which is  backed by the US Federal Reserve)

Ø  Another simple question asked for a conversion from INR to USD (at current exchange rate, which wasn’t mentioned in the question)

Ø  WalMart’s revenue in the last financial year

Ø  Where is Amazon’s HQ located

Ø  How are shareholders given a part of the profits of the company… (bonus shares and dividends)

Ø  The name of India’s securities board… (SEBI)


2.       Second Round

The second round was the GD round. Each group had about 12 students but the moderators did not let the discussion become “fish-markety”. Everyone was given a chance to speak. This round was meant to check the oral-communication skills of an applicant.


The topics were fairly general. Some that I remember:

Ø  BRT- boon or bane?

Ø  Is the Republic Day Parade an unnecessary expense?

Ø  Should gay marriages/ prostitution be legalized?


3.       Third Round

This one was Precis Writing. An article on the automobile industry in China was given to each student and he/she had to capture the gist of the article in 50-60 words. This round was meant to judge the written communication skills of the student.


4.       Final Round

This was the Interview Round. I was interviewed by a panel of 3, comprising the MD of the company and 2 others from the HR Department. However, it was the MD who asked all the questions.

It would be advisable to prepare answers to some questions beforehand. These questions are mostly HR-related and need to be convincing; even more so because they concern one’s decision to take the CAT, or make a switch to a non-technical line. For instance, if the person sitting across the table isn’t convinced that you will join the company and not choose to do an MBA, they might not recruit you. Some of these questions could be:

Ø  Why XYZ Company? Why an analyst, more specifically?

Ø  Why not an MBA?

Ø  What has engineering taught you that will help you as an Analyst at The Smart Cube?

Ø  Are you preparing for CAT?

Ø  Do you read the newspaper? (It might also be helpful to know the headlines, currency exchange rates, SENSEX value, gold prices, Crude oil prices on the day of the interview. I was asked 2-3 things from this list.)

One could also be asked to analyze a trend. For instance, after  asking me the price of Crude oil, the interviewer asked me to discuss where it might be heading and the impact it would have on oil production by the OPEC countries.

Prepare some guesstimates for non-technical companies. I’ll add some links to the Placement Preparation Section. I was asked to “Estimate the number of customers who visit the Costa Coffee in Dwarka in one day”.

Some other General Awareness Questions:

Ø  The capital of Switzerland

Ø  The capital of Assam

Ø  Who is Paul Krugman (since I mentioned that I read the Hindu)

There could also be questions on Business Analytics. I was asked to name the 2 candidates in the fray for the US Presidential Elections (this interview was in August 2008). Further, I was asked to discuss the impact of Obama’s win on Infosys. (I could assume whatever I wanted about his policies. At that time, I didn’t know about his stand on outsourcing. So I explained how Infosys would be affected in both cases – that is if he were for or against it. Another point I mentioned was the limit on H1B visas.)

There were other Business Analytics questions that were put to the other candidates. Some of them that I heard later in the auditorium:

Ø  How would you invest 1 million USD in a business

Ø  The interviewer gave the name of a company and the candidate had to give as many of its competitors as possible in all verticals. So if the interviewer said ITC, one would have to mention all of ITC’s competitors in product lines where ITC had a market segment. So it could be Stationery (Classmate products), FMCG (Sunfeast Biscuits etc), Apparel (Wills Lifestyle), Tobacco products, hospitality (Maurya Sheraton and others) and so on.



Relevant Material to Study/Read

Most other companies would have had an aptitude test in lieu of the one on General Awareness. To that end, one could practice basic DI and Quant. Questions from the preparation material of any CAT coaching institute.

The newspapers/columns that I follow regularly are:

Ø  The Hindu (particularly the Editorial and op-Ed pages)

Ø  Mint

Ø  Paul Krugman’s column in the Hindu

I’ve now converted my calls for FMS-MBA and XLRI-PM & IR. I shall be joining the former. You can send me any queries you might have at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.









Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology

Azad Hind Fauz Marg, Sector-3, Dwarka, New Delhi - 110078
(An Autonomous Institution of Govt.of NCT of Delhi)

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