How to use Vulnerability in a correct way to deeply impact the Interviewer Panel ?

There are 2 mistakes almost everyone does when it comes to sharing their weakness, failure, adversity. These mistakes can even cost them an entire call or an entire year.

So what are these mistakes and what most students do ?

Not being Vulnerable Enough :  This trait is usually observed in Males. That doesn’t mean Females don’t exhibit it. Males usually are afraid to be vulnerable because they are biologically wired in a different way. They are told not to express emotions easily. They are told to toughen up. They are also told not to share their weaker side.

Boys don’t cry.

There is other side to it.

Being too much Vulnerable : Usually, it’s observed in Females. This also has roots in how Women are biologically wired. If someone exhibits this trait, he/she thinks it’s OK to share all the failures/mistakes in the hope to get approval/validation from the other person.

But that doesn’t usually happen during the interview. In fact, if you do it, it will backfire on you.

Today, I am going to share how I used Vulnerability correctly and I am also going to give you few examples to prove my point, so you know how to use it correctly to your advantage without falling into any of those deadly traps.

Watch this video by Brene Brown on Power of Vulnerability to know how to use it correctly.

Take a look at this matrix

Ref : Please Stop writing about how Vulnerable you are

There are 4 Quadrants.

  1. Loser : Low Status and Vulnerable
  2. Delusional Wannabe : Low Status and Not Vulnerable
  3. Accomplished & Aloof : High Status and Not Vulnerable
  4. Accomplished Leader : High Status and Vulnerable.

When you are talking about your weakness, failures, adversities, the panel members are least interested in your mistake. They are testing your maturity and ability to learn from it.

They want to know that can you face your own flaws and discuss them openly, working on improving it without trying to hide behind them or be in denial. If you do it correctly, it shows your leadership quality.


No one really wants to talk about their weaknesses and failures but everyone has failed at some point in their life.

The greatest managers and leaders have all made significant mistakes in business and their lives. The point is not to prove that you don’t fail, or won’t fail. You have to prove that you can bounce back from failure, learn required lessons and know how to face the failure if it occurs again.

Show them how you managed to get over failure, your learnings, what you learned about yourself (your faults/shortcomings as well as your biggest strengths) They want to see that if you can locate your underlying weakness and can you address it.

A failure must be the result of a weakness.

Ethical or Moral failure is a big NO NO

You are not out there to get sympathy. Don’t share anything with Interviewer that you wont share with your trusted advisor.

Share your real weakness, don’t pretend. Don’t care about looking good or bad. If you do it appropriately and Interviewer still judges you, it’s not your problem, it’s their problem.

For God’s sake, don’t state strength disguised as weakness.

I made some of these mistakes and now I can share them freely with you without any hesitation.

First, becoming too much vulnerable with low Status. When you do that, it feels like emotional manipulation. When students try to play victim card, he is seen as someone who manipulates others to get what he wants.

As we know, when we share our failures, vulnerability, adversity, challenges, we get maximum comments, likes and shares.

Remember Me Too, Depression is Real.

Many of these posts are downright negative, gloomy and the author hasn’t made any kind of attempt to come out of it. They are just being complainers.

There are very few who actually face the problem, do the work and come out of it and share their stories. They are considered as High Status & Vulnerable.

Many of other stories are out there just to garner sympathy.

I made this mistake in my SCMHRD Interview, when I was asked about my low graduation score, I blamed it on one of my family member’s critical illness. Instead of taking responsibility of my failure and facing it like a man, I tried to hide behind. I acted like a LOSER.

Results : It was backfired and my interview went into a totally different direction where interviewer thought I am using it to justify my failure. It worked against me. I was rejected. Despite scoring high in written exam, I totally f**ked  up by saying this. I was rejected.

One example of how Vulnerability can help you.

Last year, I was approached by Mr.X who received call from NM. His score was on borderline. He had gap year after 12th. He was trying to cook up a fake reason to justify the gap. When I further inquired, I realized that he had a great story behind it and it was so good, that  it needed to be told.

My job was just to give him courage to get the story out. I told him not to hide anything and share the story. He had all his doubts that why it won’t work. But eventually, he decided to share it. He talked about odds he faced in the gap year, how he overcame that.

If he would have done absolutely nothing to repair the situation, then that probably wouldn’t have been such a great story but that wasn’t the case. But he had done something significant to overcome the odds. That’s why it was such a great story.

When he shared his story, there was silence in the room and interviewer applauded and congratulated him for the same. He converted NMIMS call.

Let’s take my another example. I shared my CAT failure story. Read it here

I did that when I scored 98.5%ile, I didn’t share it when I scored 83.5%ile. I didn’t do it when I scored 91%ile. I waited. It’s sometimes better to just work and improve, instead of being vulnerable. If you don’t. You will be considered as a Loser.

I also shared about my rejects/accepts at different B-schools. I am quite candid about it. I also do share that I am not an MBA. I don’t’ feel inferior or I don’t feel shame about it. It helps me better connect with my audience.

I also did share how I overcame these failures. I only started talking about when I started having some/more wins in my hand. That situation is much better than complaining/blaming. Now, I use it to polarize the audience.

A lot of answers I get from students are not like these. If you haven’t overcome it or haven’t done something significant to mitigate the bad effects. You come across like a loser.

There is another example I particularly remember. How to answer questions without making other person feeling victimized.

There was a student who had face deformities and others used to make fun of his appearance. He was operated several times but instead of becoming negative, he started challenging himself to get out of comfort zone. He started participating in various competitions, public speaking, different events, started taking different courses.

When I read his answer I was so impressed.Not even a tinge of complaining attitude. He shared it when he overcame the issues and emerged successful. He didn’t make me feel victimized.

Then there is another quadrant. Accomplished and Aloof. If you are accomplished and if you feel like you shouldn’t be Vulnerable because why do you even want to share about your failures.

My advice to them “Dude, you should definitely talk about it. Not hold yourself back. It’s the biggest leverage point if you do it correctly without nonsense of complain, playing victim card. It’s a challenge, failure you have overcome.”

If you do that, you will win the hearts of panel.

I had a conversation with someone from XLRI few weeks back, she had 4 years gap for UPSC prep. When she was interviewed for Summers at Management Consulting firm. She was asked this question

So what is the real reason you want to work here ?

She gave her answer.

Don’t lie. We know you want to work here for money. Just say it.

Sir, if I wanted to work for money , why I would have invested 4 years on UPSC jeopardizing my job , not making money. If money was the motivator, I would have taken the job 4 years back.

The interviewer was so impressed, he made her meet everyone in the office and shred her story. Of course, she was selected.

If you have these stories inside you, work hard to find and use these stories on strategic occasions.You won’t make much progress by playing safe all the time.Learn to connect with your panel. You will have a long road ahead.

That’s what I teach , how too use approach of story telling to rise head and shoulders above the competition. How to share your adversities, failures, challenges without jeopardizing your chances of converting the call, instead use them as your highest leverage points.

If you want to learn this approach, check out GD WAT PI Revolution


How to Convert More Calls by Studying Less but Smarter ?

When it comes to GD WAT PI preparation, most students get it totally wrong. They spend majority of their time working on wrong things. They focus on being efficient rather than being effective.

That’s why they don’t achieve their full potential and often fall short and engage in cycle of giving CAT & other entrance exams over and over and settle for inferior college when they definitely would have gotten into better college the same year.

In order to work smarter and reap disproportionate results you need to do exactly opposite of what you have thought to be true.

For that you need to understand this Eisenhower Matrix

Before I explain you how to use this matrix to derive maximum out of your preparation and focus on being effective than being efficient, I would like to tell you a story.

In The 80/20 Manager, Richard Koch tells the story of a Prussian army commander and his unique method for utilizing his officers, according to their intelligence and their work ethic

  1. Officers who are both lazy and stupid – leave them alone, they do no harm
  2. Officers who are both hardworking and stupid – fire them at once, they create trivial work for everyone else. (Many students come into this category)
  3. Officers who are both hardworking and intelligent – useful for administration and executing plans. (These are the students who usually get calls from top colleges, they have good academics, they are very sincere etc etc)
  4. Officers who are both lazy and intelligent – promote them to the highest ranks. They will have the best ideas and will see how to implement them without creating trivial work for everyone else. Great advice for managing your staff. But also great advice for managing your own brains. (Very few students actually belong to this category)

Ref :

If you want to be no 4, you need to act like them. Because it’s counter-intuitive approach, most students would not do it because it flies in the face of whatever they have learned over the last few years. Work hard, pay your dues and all that nonsense.

Now, I am not saying that Hard Work is not important. What I am saying is you are not being a Lazy Sloth by following this instead you are working hard on aspects which help you to be more effective rather than being efficient.

Look at this matrix I=Important U=Urgent NU= Not Urgent NI= Not Important

Where you should spend most of your time ?

Important but Not Urgent

1. Identifying & perfecting hooks because if you don’t have anything interesting to talk about during interview or in your SOP, you are going to get irrelevant questions or Current Affairs questions.You need sufficient hooks to divert your interview to your strength points.

You should not give them chance to talk about Current affairs or some irrelevant questions.

2. Focus on questions like Intro, Why MBA, Gap, Grad Score, left the job.These are the highest leverage questions usually students tend to avoid forever or they work on it but in haphazardly fashion. If you work on answering these questions whenever they are relevant.You are working on the most important thing.

Work on them first before moving on to questions which are not that important…because they can’t make or break your interview.

If you want to identify your hooks,  learn Irresistible Intrigue Formula here

Along with that I talk about several introspection exercises which will help you develop your hooks inside GD WAT PI Revolution.

If you want help with Why MBA, read this blog post

If you want to Learn how to answer these difficult questions including Why Gap, Why Poor Grad Score, Why did you leave the JOB, I teach a new methodology called A.R.M.S. read about it here

Face the fear. Work on it. Take help. Work on fixing your weakest links first which can be exposed during the GD WAT or PI .instead of working on strengthening insignificant links

3. Another method I teach in GD WAT PI Revolution is Scenario planning where you write answer to a question and create branches on which questions you can possibly get by saying this. Then you create questions on sub-questions. You think of hooks you can use to divert them towards your areas of strengths and interests at all the time.

But you can only do it when you work on identifying and perfecting your hooks.

4. Working on your head-trash

This is very important topic which deserves attention.

I know students scoring meager 94%ile and convert IIM calls (Open Category) and students who score 99.8 %ile and struggle to convert any old IIM calls.

I have worked with several students & I have realized that

Your ability to succeed or fail has far more to do with how clear your mind and emotions and beliefs are, than it has to do with your academics, intelligence.

If you don’t believe you deserve success…no matter of what happens…somehow you will find a way to sabotage your success.

How to uncover lies you believe to be true ?

How to know whatever you believe is a LIE or not ?

If you believe that you are fundamentally wrong , then that’s a LIE you have believed.

Statement 1 : I can’t get into IIM-B because I scored 98%ile and I don’t’ have any experience and I don’t have confidence to communicate my true value.

Statement 2 : I can’t get into IIM-B because i don’t think I can succeed there. There will be probably students from top colleges, I won’t really get good placement and I have to settle for mediocre job so It’s good idea to settle for X college.

In first, you can work on improving your confidence, improving your skills.

In second, you somehow believe that you are worthless. That’s the worst feeling in the world. You can’t probably do anything to fix it.

If you feel you lack skills, you can do something about it..when you feel useless, you will sit and do nothing and accept the results.

5. Essay Practice

If you have to write Essay and become good at it, you have to focus on identifying your weak spots. Whether it’s content, whether it’s finishing it in time constraint, whether it’s developing the content etc etc.

That will help you to correct your approach. Instead of writing random essays on random topics, this approach will help you much better.

6. Practicing/Rehearsing Answers. This is something very important. If you rehearse the answers, record yourself and watch it, see it yourself or show it to your friends who can give you candid feedback, you can experience a lot of improvement in your performance.

Instead of just writing answers and assuming everything will be fine, you are making yourself vulnerable in front of your friends so that you can improve. You will also know which pointers you need to remember whenever you are preparing for Interview instead of just cramming the answers.

7. Researching using Linkedin, talking to current/past students and asking them insightful questions to help you answer questions like Why MBA, Specialization, Why that B-school, and learning about what future holds. This is utmost important because most students live in the world of I think, I feel, I suppose instead of doing the hard work on what’s the reality, what’s realistically possible.

8. How to make sure, you get the results you want by using Six Sources of Influence,

Harness all these 6 factors to make the desired change. I have a whole lesson dedicated on how to use this for your GD WAT PI prep inside GD WAT PI Revolution

Here is how to use this


9. Investing into right resources.

Some students have this habit of saving money, going for classes which attract bottom feeders who thrive on free information and don’t want to pay for any stuff
If you do that, you will waste ton of your time. Instead spend good deal amount of time on finding right people, right resources which will speed up your progress. I include Refresher which covers more than 250 topics which will help you with current affairs so you don’t have to google for 100 articles unless you want to go in depth.

In Interviewer Seduction Formula, I provide sample answers for each question which helps you give a perspective on how others think thus reducing the time required for you to come up with answers.

I have also included SOPs you can model which will help students model the SOPs (not copy them)

I have also included Case Studies of Past students who have gone through different challenges and emerged out successful.

Money buys speed, if you don’t invest in yourself, your progress will be much slower.

If you want to choose right course/coaching class for your needs, read this blog post

Urgent and Important

  1. Submission of SOP/Form. This can become urgent only if you don’t write or fill up your form on time dragging it to a deadline.
  2. Applying to certain college. This is sometimes necessary something urgent but if you know it in advance which colleges you are applying tothen you don’t have to do it at the last moment.
  3. Reading Pagalguy and referring relevant experiences of students from where you had received calls. It can be necessary sometimes however most students tend to waste a lot of their time here.

Urgent but Not Important

Busywork : The work makes you feel busy but it doesn’t give you the results you intend to get. Here are few examples

1. Watching random news. This is never useful strategy if you want to prepare for Current Affairs especially if you are doing it without any purpose, you might spend a lot of time there and still get nothing useful.

2. Emails/Calls : Most of the calls/emails are never important. If you are using Gmail, there are certain filters which will help you sort out important mails from mails which are not at all valuable

Most calls are never urgent, if you ever realize that, you will spend your time in working on right things instead of getting interrupted by these calls.

3. Meetings/Interruptions : Office meetings which tend to take a lot of your time, Interruptions like whatsapp, social media, are hardly important.

Not urgent/Not important

  1. Web browsing
  2. Social media
  3. Pagalguy : Reading SOPs, reading nonsense and wasting time.

Almost all SOPs on pagalguy are waste of time, those who really write great SOPs will never ever post their SOP on pagalguy because they know that everyone is going to copy that so those who post are by definition mediocre ones.

Takeaway :

1. Focus on doing right thing instead of doing things right.

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln

When you are working on right things…Non urgent but important things…You are being Lazy but Intelligent…You are being effective…You will likely to perform much better in GD WAT and PI, even compared to those who are Hard Worker and Intelligent…Despite working less because they are efficient…you are effective…

2. Domino Effect : What one/two/three things I can do today that will topple the domino ?
You do this once you wake up in the Morning. It sets the tone of the day. Instead of checking whatsapp, Facebook, Emails to start your day, start with the activity/activities that will topple one domino after the other.

It can be writing your journal, it can be exercise, it can be a walk, it can be anything which sets the tone of the day.

If you start your day with news, social media, email, you will be completely frazzled even to start any meaningful activity.

It’s called Keystone Habit

This way you will maximize your chances of converting your best calls…You won’t have to work so hard just to get by…instead every area of your life will be improved…you will be in B-school of your dreams…instead of wishing and hoping….

Choose wisely, convert the best.

If you want to kick-start your GD WAT PI Preparation, check GD WAT PI Revolution

Featured Image Courtesy :

Interview is NOT a selection process

Interview is not a qualification’s more of a disqualification process. Read that line again and see if that makes any sense.

Most of students believe that Interview is a selection or qualification process and not a disqualification process.But I strongly believe that Interview is a Disqualification process.

It’s just like Sales & Marketing.

I would like to quote a story I learned from my mentor Perry Marshall

In a noisy club in Las Vegas, a professional gambler pulled a sawed-off shotgun out of his jacket, racked it, and looked around to see who recognized the ratcheting sound and turned their heads.

He said to his protege, “, the people who turned their heads are not marks. Do not play poker with them. Gamble with everybody else.

Source : 80/20 Curve

In Sales and Marketing, Marketing is a process of Racking the Shotgun. You rack the shotgun so that right people would respond to your ads and buy your product/service.

When it comes to selecting a right candidate for a particular B-school “racking the shotgun” happens at every stage.

(Source :

  1. When you apply for CAT, XAT, NMAT, SNAP, IIFT, they rack the shotgun.
  2. When they give calls to candidates based on their score, academics, work experience, they rack the shotgun.
  3. When you submit SOP/Application form, they rack the shotgun again, when they Interview you, they again rack the shotgun
  4. When they declare first shortlist, they once again rack the shotgun.

Imagine what would have happened if they would have called everyone for the Interview.

Imagine if there is no CAT, XAT, IIFT, SNAP, NMAT.
Imagine if they don’t consider your Work experience, Academics.

That would have created a lot of headache for those institutes including  added monetary expenses, wasted time and wastage of lot of other valuable resources.

That’s why they rack shotgun so that they can only deal with few people who they think are more qualified to get into that Institute and save themselves from a lot of hassle of dealing with wrong candidates.

On this occasion, I would like to share my experience with racking the shotgun and how this process has served me and how it can serve you in the long term if you choose to follow it.

When I started GD WAT PI Revolution, for first 2 years, I always used to get these questions.

  1. Are you an MBA ? (Are you really qualified to help me ?)
  2. Why your course is so expensive ? I think I should go join that X class, they are giving me 90% discount. (I don’t really find your course any valuable than other course in the Market, why should I pay you so much ?)

    I don’t get the first question nowadays and if I get the second question then I tell that person to join the other course but I still find many of them come back and join my course. Strange, isn’t it ? (The process I teach when it comes to answering any question is “Identifying the Question behind the question“)

I really didn’t have good answers to these questions back then. I really tried hard to convince them on why my course is great but all of my persuasive arguments fell on Deaf Ears.

I was asked to make discounts on their terms or else they would go and join other famous and well known class.

Have you ever got this question, why should I select you ?
If you really feel the need to justify it very hard
despite they reading your form, SOP,  it’s early sign that you have lost half the battle right from the start. I am being dead serious here.

When you really don’t have much to talk about you.You have to work really hard to convince the other person why they should select you. If your SOP/Form or Intro gives them the glimpse of the kind of person you are…You don’t really need to justify yourself.

I get a lot many students asking me this question “I really haven’t done much to talk about/write about in form/SOP, what should I do ?

In a few cases, the student is being very modest about his accomplishments but in many cases, the student hasn’t done anything worthwhile to talk about. Not just in Academics, but in all the other areas. It becomes really difficult to help them in that situation.

The only remedy for this is “Actually become better, do something worthwhile to talk about yourself” A good book you can read is

There is no shortcut for this. I had to learn this hard way. If you are looking for any shortcut, there ain’t any.

If who you are is really more valuable than your accomplishments…if you can convey that in the interview then you don’t have to convince them very hard….

If they still don’t get convinced, it’s not your fault or problem. It’s their problem. If they can’t recognize your talent, they don’t value your talent, why would you even want to get into that B-school. I know it’s hard for you to digest this especially when you don’t have much choice.

If they can’t see your value…it’s their loss, not yours. Instead of feeling rejected, think that Thank God, I am rejected. So now I can get into B-school where my talents are valued..It doesn’t matter if it’s IIM or XL or whatever Top B-school….

2 years ago, a girl approached me for help. She had calls from almost all the institutes except IIMs. Let me share her background with you. She was gold medalist during her Engineering but she had taken a break for UPSC preparation for 4 years.

Despite scoring very high percentile, she was wait-listed for NMIMS, Symbiosis.

Similar example. Another girl with very good academics, very high percentile and close to 4 years of experience. She was also rejected in NMIMS, Symbiosis.

Both of them believed it was because of 4 years of Gap or 4 years of Work Experience.

I don’t know have enough information to reach any kind of conclusion here but what I found out is both of them got into college which was right for them.

UPSC girl got into XLRI and 4 year work experienced girl got into IIM-Bangalore.

What happens when you select wrong people ?

I want to share my first hand experience dealing with wrong people (who are not ideal fit for your product/service) who buy your course and what happens afterwards ? But let’s start with quote.

Smart people and stupid people get equal airtime.
And since stupid people tend to shout longer and louder than people who have acquired wisdom and judgment, ignorance generally prevails.
Perry Marshall

3 years back, someone happened to buy my course from a link in facebook group. Let’s call him Mr. R. He had calls from IIMs, FMS etc etc. 3 years back…I didn’t have sophisticated members area, case studies, whatsapp group and everything else I have right now.

It was specifically mentioned that you will get access to the entire material through emails and if someone wanted material immediately, he/she just had to email me

But Mr. R (being very smart) didn’t possibly read this and started creating ruckus in a group.He even warned other people not to buy my course & threatened to file complaint in cyber law and write a bad review in PG and worst of all, he threatened me to sell my course for 100 bucks on Internet. I had a strong thought of refunding this person and in fact I did send him message for the same but he never responded back.

However, I was not sure if that would have helped. Because it was my first year of launching the course, I was terrified of bad review right from the start. I didn’t want to give impression in the group that I had to give refund & my course is bad because usually people act on the perception.

However, I regret not issuing refund to this person because this person really acted like an a**hole and was pain in b**t. If he would have been more civilized while asking for refund , I would have gladly given it to him but instead he chose to abuse me.

In fact, I had to ask one of my students to comment on thread and share his experience to mitigate the bad effects and next year, it happened again…but I became wiser that year.

There was someone had IIM-Bangalore call. Before buying the course, he called me up and asked me if I offered the refund on the course or not. I said YES and I also added that if you are buying a course while keeping refund in mind..then don’t buy it anyways but this person still bought my course

And then he started complaining.

I can’t access members area…it’s very difficult…I can’t find lessons, I can’t log in.

And he had 3 years of work experience in IT, scored close 97-98%ile and he couldn’t navigate successfully through members area. When no one else had any issues, he started having all these issues.

Then when it was time to submit the SOP, he refused to go through any lesson, then sent me SOP for review, when I sent him the corrected version, he refused to make those changes and instead sought help elsewhere…then just few hours before submission, he started calling me, messaging me, emailing me for feedback. I usually don’t like to help people when they are in this kind of situation.

But I still picked up his call and helped him with SOP but then afterwards he started telling me that he didn’t benefit at all from my help because he knew all the things right from the start.

This time, I realized that if I keep entertaining his behavior, he will probably end up being like the same person I encountered last year. I immediately decided to refund him. It felt like someone took major load off my shoulder.

When I spot these kind traits in a student during initial interaction, it’s big NO NO for me. I don’t want these types of students buy my course.

I actively dissuade these people from buying my course.

Another example of how to attract wrong kind of people.

  1. Give them Huge Discount
  2. Give them unrealistic expectations
  3. Don’t tell them what is not covered

There are lot many courses/coaching classes when it comes to preparing for GD WAT PI. Some of them are really really good but many of them are not.

How do you tell the difference ?

  1. Are they offering huge discount based on your percentile or any weird reason ?
  2. Are they catering to your wild fantasies or giving you unrealistic expectations ? (100% Converts in last 3 years, 1945 selected in IIMs this year)
  3. Do they tell you what they don’t/won’t/can’t cover ?

If you don’t get satisfactory answers to these questions, run from that coaching class/course.

How I disqualify students ?

  1. I don’t offer any discount on any basis even if you have scored 100%ile. When I do offer it rarely, I do it on my own terms, not on student’s terms. I don’t want students who are Price Sensitive who will do anything to get something at the lowest price. I care about Quality, not the Price.
    If someone starts bargaining with me or threatens me to go for another course/class, I gladly tell them to join that course/class. I don’t debate with them or try to convince them.
  2. I tell students what it really takes to convert the B-school call, even if they feel bad, offended and even if they don’t buy my course.
  3. I tell/expect every student who buy my course to read FAQ completely and know what I cover and what I don’t cover.

Another example

2-3 years back,  a lot many students used to send me SOP and Interview questions to review, even those who hadn’t bought my course.I did that for a while without asking them for money. I thought that they would follow my advice. To my dismay, I realized that they were hardly implementing any of my suggestions.

Whenever, I used to follow up with them, they would say something like this “I actually took suggestions from my class teacher or my college senior from that Institute” I always used feel betrayed…Why these students are not following my advice ?

Then I would look at the students who bought my course, percentage of students applying my advice was way too high compared to the other group.

I suddenly realized why it was happening in the first place.

The answer was “They were not paying the price

One might argue that : Information should be free. Why don’t you just share your knowledge for free ?

if information is defined as that which most people don’t know or can’t know, then free information isn’t really information at all, is it?

So next year onward, I started refusing to check any SOP, Interview Answers of students who didn’t buy my course.

Some of these students got very furious, they started blaming me
You are just here for money. You have become a business. You have become money minded. You can’t you just spend 10 minutes on our SOP. How selfish you can become.”

Some even unfriended me and unsubscribed from my email updates….

One might argue : Good riddance.

It might sound rude but I know how true that is….
When you pay for the advice…your chances of implementing it can go through the roof

When I traveled to Las Vegas for Business Conference. I did learn a lot but I also realized that I was not applying many things which I knew then. I realized that I need to apply them in my business.

I started applying them when I traveled to US and saw many others applying it and getting results.

(Me with my Mentor Ryan Levesque)

If you are preparing for GD WAT PI and want to improve your odds of selection, check out GD WAT PI Revolution and remember “Don’t buy for wrong reasons and with wild expectations” Do it for right reason and with reasonable expectations.

Carpe Diem

Adopted from Perry Marshall’s blog posts



Featured Image Courtesy :

How he converted all the calls except one by doing this ?

I had conversations with students of GD WAT PI Revolution who got into IIMs, XLRI, IIFT, TISS, MDI etc etc.

Every one of them had a unique story to share.  Here is the most unique story.

Here is the story of one of them : Suraj Shanbag

He had received calls from IIM-B, L, I, K and 4 IITs. He had 3 years of work experience with no prior Interview experience. He gave CAT for the first time after 3 years of work experience. He had taken a break to focus on CAT preparation.

He was not in touch with his Academics for long time. He knew that if he gets questions on Academics, he would get screwed so he devised a master plan to direct all the questions towards his work experience or Current affairs but particularly towards Work Experience. I will soon explain exactly how he did it.

He used this strategy in all the Interviews except IIM-Lucknow Interview because he was not very sure whether it would work or not.

Result : He converted all the calls except IIM-Lucknow.

What exactly he did ?

He used variation of Irresistible Intrigue Formula, In fact, he practiced using Irresistible Intrigue Formula so much that it became his second nature. He attributed majority of his success to correctly using it. Timing is the essence.

He did 2 weeks of Introspection and invested 25-30 hours in finding important aspects of his life. This is the most important step because a lot many students spend way too much time on current affairs and whatever time they spend on SOP, Interview, they work backwards. They spend absolutely zero time in introspection and instead they directly jump on to writing SOP and Interview questions.

Instead, Suraj did exactly opposite. He wrote down 8-10 very important hooks in his story. Whenever he would notice the interview is going in unwanted direction, he would use the appropriate hook strategically to direct it towards his strength points.

As a result, he hardly got any questions on Academics & Current affairs/GK in his IIM-Indore Interview where most students complain of having totally random interview or interview focused on GK/Current Affairs.

The couple of questions he got from GK/Current Affairs, he diverted them to his strength areas using one of the hooks. All the other Interviewee were asked questions on GK/Current Affairs and Academics and they couldn’t divert it to their strength areas.

In fact, he got this question in Indore Interview.

“Which B-school you would go for Indore or Bangalore ?”

How most students would have answered it.

Either Diplomatic way “I think both of them have their own merits. I would go for Indore/ I would take the decision when all the results are out.

Or Straightforward way ” Of course, I am going for IIM-Bangalore

He didn’t say any of that. He said something which caused 2 of the panel members to strongly convince him why he should go for IIM-Indore instead of IIM-Banglore.

If you say, it was just a fluke, not so fast.

In IIM-Kozhikode interview, he was the last to be interviewed. 3 of the panel members were very tired.

(Source :

One of the old professors was almost sleeping. From his (professor’s) looks, he gauged that the professor possibly belonged to the same territory he belonged to. He took the chance and in his Intro answer, he strategically inserted the words which caused the sleeping professor to wake up.

After that point, the same professor (who was earlier sleeping) started having a discussion with him about general things about the territory both of them belonged to, instead of the other panel members grilling him about Academics.

Another principle he used often was creating or painting vivid pictures in Interviewer’s mind. We often forget what we hear but we don’t usually forget what we see especially when someone creates those detailed vivid pictures in our mind.

(Source :

Remember Drishyam ?
Where the Father narrates the story in such a way that he is successfully able to create a vivid movie in other’s mind that’s why almost everyone remembers what he & his family had done on that particular day.

He did the exact same thing. But to actually execute this flawlessly in Interview, he did a lot of practice with Hooks.

There is a lot more to it and a lot more such stories I have included  in detail inside GD WAT PI Revolution.

(Featured Image Courtesy :

How to handle questions on Poor Academics, Career Gap or Left the JOB ?

Don’t know how to handle these questions well

Are you using BS tactics to answer these questions ?

I know you might be using it because I used to do it all the time and I see students do it all the time.

When I first learned the approach to answer these questions, it took me a lot of time and introspection but eventually I did it. I didn’t have to fear those questions again.

If you choose to use it , you will never have to worry about these questions ever again.

These approaches are called
1. Pre-framing (works in certain cases)
2. Re-framing (A.R.M.S.) Works in almost all the cases

A.R.M.S. is an acronym. I learned it from Ramit Sethi.

A = Agree (or Acknowledge)
R = Re-frame
M = Make the Case
S = Shut Up & Listen

Want to know how I used this approach in my NM and IIMs interview ?
Watch the video below.

I also talk about various types of re-frames which you can do.

At the end of the video, I talk about a case study of a student who scored more than 99.5%ile (received calls from IIM-A, B and C) I help her to justify the career gap.

You can learn this approach very well from this video, in case if you want me to help you re-framing your own answers (It can be tricky sometimes and if you also want to learn from 3 more such different cases) check out GD WAT PI Revolution Comprehensive

Featured Image Courtesy : Linkedin

How to read Interviewer’s Mind ?

Some threads on Pagalguy are Worst.Please don’t laugh.

I was reading few of them couple of years back.

A girl said “I was not offered a toffee, I guess I won’t be getting into IIM-A for sure.”
And it followed by no of comments from other call-getters.
I think, if you were offered a toffee, that’s sign of your Interview went well” someone said.
My interview didn’t go that well but at the end, panel offered me Coffee” One said.
IIM Interviews are never predictable. You never know what will happen.” Other person yelled.

Did you see what’s going on here ?

Most of these people are equating getting offered a toffee/tea/coffee has something to do with their Interview Performance.

Everyone discussed about Triviality. Nobody actually talked about what one could have done to actually improve their performance in next interview or the same interview.

Instead they started discussing about Toffee and Coffee.

But have you really given a serious thought about what interviewer really wants to hear/know ?

In fact, nobody bothered to do that. They found peace in whining, bitching, complaining and discussing minutia.

The problem is very common. When I had bad experiences in the past, I always blamed it on my Interviewer (it can be true in some cases but not all)
But I didn’t really take time to identify what they want to hear/know.
My focus was solely on me. Why I am the best.
I call it I I I syndrome.

Usually, when students prepare for the Interview/SOP they always use words like I think, I feel, I want.

Why it’s detrimental ?
Because nobody gives a damn about what you think and what you feel.
Everyone is selfish. If you don’t appeal to their self-interests, they could care less about what you think/feel.

If you just focus on YOU, you will not be remembered.

Focus on other person. Focus on what they want to hear. Focus on what other person is thinking. If you can use this empathy mapping, you will literally read your interviewer’s mind.

I developed a simple approach to answer any question using Empathy Mapping.

Here is what it’s not. This is not a gimmick or technique or some kind of loophole or hack or trick.

That’s why most of those who will read it won’t bother to apply it. Because then they have to work hard for it.

But for those who want to reap disproportionate rewards, this approach is very useful. Only thing is you have to implement this approach.

Here is Empathy Mapping model (See Diagram) There are total 6 parts in the diagram. (It’s widely used in getting Market Insights, I use this all the time)

1. What does he see?
a. What types of candidates are exposed to him daily?
b. What he sees in their SOPs/Application forms? Vague things, Stilted Language

2. What does he hear?
a. What other candidates say?—prepared answers, trite responses,
unclear goals, rambling, too vague
b. What really influences him and how? Specific examples, stories
& other interesting things, confidence, communication skills

3. What does he really think and feel?
a. Bored out of his skull
b. What is important to him? Placements, internships, quality of
students, selecting right candidate
c. What are his expectations? Clarity of goals, research about
d. What are his emotions?

4. What does he say and do?
a. Surface level questions i.e. what’s your biggest weakness?
b. Question behind question (Question he is really asking)—what
he is not saying but wants to know
c. Why does he act irritated/pissed off at times?—tired/bored
because of the long & arduous process, students with vague answers

a. What if I select wrong candidate?
b. Wasting valuable time—in reviewing nonsense SOPs, listening
to pathetic responses

a. Chance to interview right candidate which is a good fit
b. Get entertained while having pleasant conversation with the
right candidate

If you use this approach in each and every interview you face and SOP you write you will see tremendous difference in the way communicate, the way you answer different questions.

And most importantly, instead of worrying about trivial things like “Toffee/Coffee” or “Whether I should wear a tie ?” You will worry about most important thing which is “Getting into Interviewer’s head and communicating what they want to hear”

(This girl is worrying more about wearing matching clothes, strange. Isn’t it ?)

If you want to learn 3 step formula to answer any Interview Question, learn it here

If you want to convert the Top B-schools without worrying about triviality, check out GD WAT PI Revolution

What you can learn about cracking GD/WAT/PI by watching Dangal ?

Dangal is a movie based on real life story. It’s a story of a father, a daughter and a tough battle which had been fought by a daughter to eventually realize father’s unfulfilled dream.

There are quite a few remarkable moments in the movie which are very important.

There are lessons to be learnt.


Geeta, the daughter of Mahavir wins the National Championship, while she was trained by her father. He prepares herself for the battle. He gives her the confidence to rise above the fear at every phase.

However, as soon as she wins the National championship, she is moved to a Sports facility where a new coach has been assigned to her whose teaching style is more or less based on new tactics rather than based on core strategies (the approach of her father)

But Geeta is so engrossed with this new style, she is not in the position to realize its shortcomings. This is further bolstered by the fact that she defeats her father using the same tactics she has learned from the coach which makes her believe that they are indeed superior.

In the process, she forgets the principles which won her the National Championship and she starts chasing new fancy tactics.

But this proves to be a total disaster for Geeta in every international match she encounters after that. Worst of all, she doesn’t even get chance to use many of those tactics anyways.

That doesn’t leave her any choice but to mend back her ways and go back to what her father taught her in the first place.

A lot of times, when you score high percentile, get calls from all colleges you are hoping to get calls from, when your scores are way above cut offs, when few of your initial interviews go well, at some point you start becoming complacent, you start forgetting/avoiding things which got you success.

Somehow, you start moving away from the game which brought you good results. You try to unnecessarily innovate, you try to make simple things complicated.

You start to think “Wait, how can it be so simple ?”

When you start deviating from it, success starts eluding you. Till the time you realize this, you already have started getting rejects, your confidence is shot down, your performance suddenly goes down

Then you have no choice left but stick to the Principles which brought you success earlier and reclaim your lost glory before it’s too late.


Every big thing that you see, experience, touch has been envisioned in someone else’s mind long before the actual creation.

When you first try to do something new, the first sign of growth is anxiety & fear.

When you are traversing on the road you haven’t traversed before which has possibility to change the course of your life, when the fear is breathing down your neck, you feel that unfamiliar buzz, when you have anxious feeling in your stomach, know that you are on the right path.

It’s very uneasy feeling…it occupies your is uncomfortable to go through it…but anxiety,fear are emotions of growth.

If you immerse yourself in the moment, soon fear starts dissipating.

The fear/anxiety which Geeta felt when she was first told by her father she had to practice for wrestling , the fear she felt when she was told she had to fight her first Dangal and fear she felt when she had to choose male opponent (not a female one), the fear she felt when she played for Commonwealth games when she couldn’t see her father.

In every case, fear was there but it was different fear every single’s like upgraded fear…next level of fear.

But to reach that next level, you have to conquer the fear/anxiety of the previous level.

Unless, you conquer that it’s difficult to win.

Before going to face the Interview (especially IIM, XL or any top B-school) it’s imperative that you will have fear/anxiety.

There will be myriad of thoughts occupying your mind

Whether I will be able to perform, whether my performance will live up to the mark, whether I would be able to answer all the questions, what if they ask me questions I haven’t prepared for, what if I don’t get selected (I don’t want to give these exams one more time, this is the 3rd time I am giving it) all these things occupy your mind.

But unless you conquer those fears, how you will be able to face the Interviewer panel ? Don’t you think the panelists are perceptive enough to get a hint ?

As interesting as you might think, after working with a lot of students preparing for the Interview, I realized that whenever an aspirant is very fearful of encountering part of him/her which makes him/her vulnerable, which makes him/her feel shameful, they encounter the same questions, they have been trying very hard to avoid.

Sad but True.

It feels like Interviewers read their minds…when I was fearful of my low grad score, career gap,leaving the job, I used to get these questions every time , when I finally decided to work on them and created strategy to properly handle them, I started worrying less about them.

Next time, when I got the same question, I was able to handle it pretty well and appease the interviewers unstated concerns and I didn’t get many investigative questions further that.

I think when you have this unwarranted fear, the other party tends to notice it..because subconsciously you are projecting it on to them

Just like the girls who have internal BS detectors which usually tell them the intention the guy have in his mind.


Choosing right mentor can help you in shortening your learning curve and get to your goals much faster than expected.

But it’s not just about his knowledge and skills, the mentor has to let go off softness/niceness.

You have to let others fight their own battles so that they can develop their character, you can’t fight for them. You are just facilitator.

You should be willing to be not as much likable at least initially but that’s part of the game. You can’t avoid it. They will hate you for it. They will despise you, they will curse you…but you know that is part of the process, they just can’t see it yet.

When Mahavir has to choose between being a father or a mentor. It’s a tough decision but he chooses to be a mentor first and father second. This “tough love” is much needed.

In my personal experience, when I get chance to review SOP, Interview answers, sometimes/many times, I get this resistance from the students, they don’t like what I have to say, they are in denial mode. Sometimes, when I give feedback, I never hear back from many of them.

But I know that I am not here to be liked.

I remember the biggest growth phases in my life happened when I let go of the denial and decided to listen to the advice which was uncomfortable.

It wasn’t easy, but it was long time before the truth slowly dawned on me.

Because the “Feel Good” advice doesn’t help anyone, the only things it can achieve is to give other person false sense that everything is alright but it stifles their growth in the long run.


Geeta was first wrestler from India to win Gold medal in commonwealth games in 2010 and then have a look at how many gold medals India won after that.

We consciously and subconsciously create our own barriers. Some are real, however many are self imposed.

What’s self imposed barrier ?
I am not from IIT/NIT/BITs , how can I convert any B-school call ?
I am not fluent in English, unless you are fluent, you can’t crack the Interview
I am not just good enough to get into (insert B-school name)

A lot of times, it has something to do with “Deservedness“. I don’t deserve this, I don’t deserve that….I am not good enough.

Slowly, it starts becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Then everything seems so difficult, you get sucked into the quagmire of your self imposed beliefs, getting out of it requires re-arranging some furniture in your head.

Many a times, the challenge for me is to convince them that they have what it takes to crack Interview…many of their pre-conceived notions are just figment of their imagination or a conditioned beliefs

But nobody easily admits that interview is also a mental game.

So once you break those self imposed barriers, unshackle the chains holding you back, you step in your A-Game.

If you remember, Roger Banister who broke the record of running 100 m in 10 sec the first time when everyone else thought it was impossible and the year following that, many more broke the same record.

You have the opportunity to set that first record..create example for others and if that’s not possible for you..take inspiration from someone to set another example.

Last year, I get a call from someone just 10-12 days before SP-Jain Interview, he received SP-Jain call with no work experience and just 86%ile…

In most cases, if someone receives such interview call, he has already lost the battle it in his mind. That’s the the baggage you are carrying which tells you that it’s a lost cause…

But because his mind was not muddled with that baggage and he never thought it was impossible, he did it convert the call…

Anuj Agarwal SP-Jain converted at 86%ile

Again, I am not saying it’s possible for everyone but at least you can make full use of the opportunity presented in front of you.


Geeta starts preparation at very early age before she starts competing into National Level Championship…it didn’t happen in few months or in few years.

Mastery takes time, patience is the key.

Your patience is tested at various times. it is uncomfortable period, but if you choose to embrace it, follow the process, you are going to get there, sooner or later….

Well, there are short cuts to success but don’t try to find short cuts to short cut.

You have to invest in yourself, your skills…which will finally pay off in the end…but you don’t know when.

Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”John Lenon

As much as true I think it’s, you will find a way to make things happen.


When you face the failure, it’s very tough time, irrespective of what everyone else tells you…it’s freaking tough…no amount of motivation, inspiration can make it less palpable…it can numb you for a while or can give you temporary hope/relief but eventually you have to deal with it.

When Geeta starts facing defeats in her international matches….it was a moment of shame, embarrassment, disgrace for her… but this is part of the process, sometimes quite essential.

But don’t throw in towel. It’s darkest before the dawn.

There were times, when I had faced major failures (not just CAT & Interview), when that happens, your so called “Close Friends/Relatives/Well Wishers” suddenly vanish. They are just not there. You have to face it alone.

I remember the times, when I used to come home and burst into tears and ask this question to myself several times…

Why it’s happening to me ? What’s wrong with me ? Why things always have to go wrong ?

Sometimes just thinking of those failure make me sick to my stomach…I remember those moments.

During your struggle phase, you have 2 options
Either Quit (and blame everyone, just like those who blame institutes and classes every time for their failure)

Or Hang in there, continue to work on your skills, knowledge, seek out answers…face the uncomfortable, get out of denial.

If you wish to take your GD WAT PI preparation to the next level, check out GD WAT PI Revolution

How to direct your Interview towards your Strength Points ?

A student from GD WAT PI Revolution Course shared his MDI experience.

Background : He is a Kashmiri Pandit.

1 M, 1F (24 min interview)

F: Tell me something about yourself
Me: Told about myself(with a focus on Kashmir, Srinagar) (wanted my interview to be dragged there )

M: So you are from Kashmir? What is the colour of Kashmir’s flag? Can you draw the flag?
Me: Drawn and explained every component of flag.

M: Who is the deputy CM of J&K?

F: First woman CM of J&K?
Told: Mehbooba

M: First PM of Kashmir?
Me: Told

F: What happened on January 19, 1990?
Me – Explained everything. Took 6 minutes . Made them understand how 400000 people fled away one night. How posters were stuck outside houses, How women were raped and tortured.

M: First CM of Kashmir?
Me: Told

M: Winter and Summer Capital?

M: Where did you live in Kashmir?

M: Your views on Hurriyat, Local population , Pakistan and Union of India?
Me- Told

M: Do you wish to join J&K politics?
Me- Said No not interested. But I am involved with several NGOs who work for betterment of Kashmiri Pandits.

M: What are your strengths?

F-Do you think Pakistan is responsible?

F- What is Article 370?

F- Which part of the constitution does 370 belong to?

F- Did Pt. Nehru do wrong by dragging it to the UNSC?

M- You must have suffered. Your family must have. How difficult was it for your family to survive post that horror?

Warning : This approach may not work in all the Interviews but what’s the harm in trying it out and see what happens. If it works in your favour, that’s great. If it doesn’t, that’s fine too.

It’s usually advisable not to discuss the politics during the Interview because all the time you spend on this you are not talking anything about why you are special, different and therefore valuable to the school.

So your goal should be to get in, not to convince anyone of anything. The only relevant topic is you. The Interviewer won’t care what your precious position is, and they won’t be entertaining you long enough to figure it out either way

(There are few exceptions to this rule, this is one of them because he is closely connected with this and Interviewer really wants to know about this)

Along with there were other few students from GD WAT PI Revolution, including Aastha( IIM-Lucknow) , Suraj (IIM-Bangalore) and many more who used this strategy to their advantage. I have included their detailed case studies inside the course.

All of them used principles of Irresistible Intrigue Formula to their advantage. Learn Irresistible Intrigue Formula here

Arranged Marriage or Love Marriage ?

How do you know when someone had love marriage or arranged marriage ?

It’s simple.

When marriage update pops up on your facebook wall, click on “See Relationship“, what do you see ?

Did they just become friends 3-6 months before marriage. Probably an arranged marriage.

If that is not the case, look for their engagement date, see if they became friends just 3-6 months before engagement. Probably an arranged marriage.

This works wonderfully well in most of the cases if not all.

Let’s play a fun game. Want to find if any of your friends did Arranged or Love Marriage ?

Use this link

And replace it with the names of prospective partners

And see the magic like this

Oh wow, they are friends for long time..more than 2 years, probably love marriage.

Less than a year, probably an Arranged Marriage.

However, I don’t think love marriages are more successful or otherwise but that’s not the point.

There is striking similarity, when I reliably know how someone’s interview is going to be. It is not 100% accurate. It gives you pretty good idea.

How ?

By glancing at their SOPs or reading their Interview Answers.

YES. This is much more reliable test than Arranged or Love marriage test.

Just reading few answers or few statements in their SOP, I can get pretty good idea. This has nothing to do with percentile as most students believe.

Yes, if you have better percentile, the chances of you writing bad SOP or Interview answers reduce to some extent but not that much as you might think.

So how to improve your odds of converting the calls ? By improving your SOP and Interview Answers.

Read these blog posts to improve your Interview Answers/SOP
3 Step Formula to answer any Interview Question

3 Step Formula to write killer SOP

If you want to learn the art of story-telling to engage the panel, learn Irresistible Intrigue Formula

If you want more help, I have created a comprehensive solution, it covers everything you can imagine, it’s called GD/WAT/PI Revolution Comprehensive