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 :

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