How To Justify Gap Years In IIM Interview? Should You Lie About Gap Years?

How to justify gap years in IIM Interview
How to justify gap years in IIM Interview

How To Justify 1 to 2 Years Gap In MBA Interview?

Getting admission to the most prestigious Indian Institute of Management(IIM) is a dream for many MBA aspirants. During the admission process, candidates are often asked to explain any gaps in their academic or professional life. One such gap that is commonly asked about is a 1 to 2-year gap. In this article, we will discuss how to justify a 1 to 2-year gap in an IIM Interview, and we will clarify whether you should lie about your gap or not. Let’s get started.

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How To Justify Gap Year In MBA(IIM) Interview?

There can be numerous reasons that the candidate had to take gap years. Some of the reasons are preparing for CAT or other MBA exams such as XAT, preparing for UPSC, being busy with their personal work or family issues, etc. However, many of the aspirants will take a gap year solely for CAT preparation which is not a decent reason to explain during the IIM interviews. Let us look at how to justify your gap years.

Health Issue

If a candidate has faced any severe health issues that require extended treatment, it is recommended to be honest and straightforward regarding your issue. Explain your problem and the treatment that you have received, and highlight how you have recovered from the illness and are ready to continue your studies or career.

Pursuing A Skill-based Course Or Certification

Pursuing a skill-based course or certification is one of the best and most valid reasons for your gap years. Many students take up courses such as coding, graphic designing, digital marketing, etc., to enhance their skills and increase their employability. One must need to explain how the course has helped you gain valuable skills and how you plan to use them in your future career.


Starting a new business venture or working on your startup idea can also account for your gap years. Mention your idea and explain detailed the challenges you faced and highlight how you overcame those challenges. You can also mention the skills that you acquired during this process. Highlight how this experience has made you a more well-rounded candidate and how you can apply your entrepreneurial skills to your future career.

Preparing For Competitive Exams

If you have been preparing for competitive exams such as UPSC, GATE, etc., and could not clear them for some reason, that period will also be accounted as your gap years. If you have taken a gap year to focus on your exam preparation, it is advised to explain the amount of hard work and dedication you put into your preparation. Mention the preparation strategy you followed and the skills you acquired during the process.

Finally, candidates must have to remember that having gap years is not uncommon, and there are several valid reasons for it. It is essential to be honest, and straightforward while explaining the reason for the gap and highlighting the skills and experience you gained during the gap.

Most Common Gap Year Interview Questions During IIM Admissions

Have a look at the below some of the most common questions that are asked of the aspirants during the IIM Interviews.

  1. Why did you decide to take a gap year?
  2. How you utilized your gap year?
  3. What skills did you gain during your gap year?
  4. What has your gap year/s taught you, and what would you do differently now?

Should You Lie About Your Gap Years?

A big NO is an answer to this question. One should not lie about gap years during IIM Interviews or even any other interviews. Lying can have severe consequences and can negatively impact your chances of getting admission to IIM. Look at the following reasons why you should not lie about your gap years:

  • It’s unethical and damages your reputation
  • It may be easily detected
  • It may backfire
  • It may also affect your future

Candidates are advised to watch this excellent video on IIM Interview preparation by Sayali Ma’am (IIMA Alumna).

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