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



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