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According to Apphelp, reading ISB interview experiences of candidates who have gone through the grinder really helps you get a glimpse of what happens inside the interview room. That said, putting yourself in the shoes of candidate whose interview experience is being read and trying to figure out what would be your response is a great way of preparing for your ISB interview. Let us look at few ISB interview experiences.
The panel consisted of 2 alums.
Firstly, a lot of time was spent on understanding how I will make the shift from management consulting to private equity. I explained this. The interviewer even drew a map of my journey and i had to explain how i would make my transition.
After that, why ISB. They were insistent that I could make all these shifts without an mba. I told them about the case studies, learning, networking, etc. But the interviewer told me to tell the answer without using the words entrepreneur, learning, consulting, strategy, etc. I then gave examples of how i would network with a supply chain expert and a team manager and how this would help me going forward.
Then they were like 'yeh sab bahut ho gaya'. Tell us about some softer aspects. I told them i was in a band. They asked me where i have played and asked me the name of the band.
I was in the dramatics society in my undergrad. They asked me to play out a part like i was on stage. I did it. They enjoyed it.
Then there was a question on leadership. I said i havent led a team but gave an example of a time when i took up leadership.
1 question on my essay.
Lastly, questions for them. They insisted I ask another question after they answered my first question. Fortunately, I had 2 questions prepared.
Final result: admitted
There were 3 panelists. One was acting as a neutral observer, second was reacting very amicably to my answers and third was giving very bad expressions and disappointed looks. I felt like the cliche good cop bad cop thing.
By the end all 3 had softened their stance though..
These were the broad questions
Interview lasted for 35-40 minutes.
Final Result: Admitted
My interview was scheduled at 12:15. There were 2 panelists; both quite senior. The first person greeted me and started with an informal chit chat while the second one arrived back from a break.
We started with discussing my decision to pursue electrical engineering. He asked about my fav subject. I said mathematics but couldn't recall the name of the book we studied. He later asked about any other subject I liked but I couldn't answer clearly. The panelist wasn't impressed.
He asked about my key learnings from analytics. I responded with business intelligence and team management. Discussions turned towards my supply chain experience. He asked me to design a supply chain on paper. I took two minutes and listed down the factors to care about. How each would impact cost and speed. We stopped there.
The other panelist seemed impressed with my projects. He asked about how I managed to save a couple of million dollars for a client. I explained.
He asked why I wanted to do an MBA and what my career objective was. He was looking for a 2 min answer. I explained why MBA but couldn't talk about post MBA jobs. I just missed talking about it. They left for lunch afterwards.
In summary I felt a bit of pressure in the first half as the first panelist seemed disappointed. Second half was okay.
However, I am happy to inform you that I've received an admit.
Three people, all young and looked like alumni.
P2: Can u please elaborate on your reality show experience?
Me: It was back when I was in school. There weren’t as many reality shows then as there are today, so it was kind of a big deal for me. I sent a recording of my singing and then was called to hyderabad for shooting. I appeared on three episodes and was one among the top 8.
P1: Why didn’t you participate since then?
Me: Might not have taken part in reality shows, but I have been doing many concerts even as of today.
P1: We see that you are a pianist as well. Whose piano-music do you like?
Me: I like Beethoven’s. They have a sort of depth in them.
P1: Can you please elaborate?
Me: Mentioned a few technicalities and how I prefer those.
P2: So you take interviews right! So what are the red flags for you in a candidate other than the bad technical-skills:
Me:Punctuality is important. If a candidate couldn’t pick the call at a scheduled time, he should atleast drop an email as to why he couldn’t. If he/she doesn’t do that, it shows their disinterest in the role, and I prefer not pursuing them any further.
P2: What else?
Me: Communication and articulation skills are very important in a candidate, no matter how technically strong he is.
P3: What are the technologies you are working on right now?
Me: Answered about the new UI technologies that I was working on.
P2: Do you know about react js.
Me: I heard about it but didn’t work on that.
P2: Where did u come across this?
Me: When our team was evaluating technologies for our new product, we happened to discuss about this one.
P2: You seem to be a full stack developer at your previous job, isn’t it a downgrade to be a UI dev now?
Me: I am a specialist UI developer now, but other layers aren’t a black box for me. I can always explore them if I want to.
P1: Design an application for teaching music.
Me: Music in general or an instrument/singing.
P1: Ok lets consider Piano.
Me: Came up with a design with premium features as live classes over skype.
P2: How do you charge for this?
Me: Came up with a number, and a few questions on that.
P1: Did u move to the 2nd company for a promotion.
Me: Explained how things got stale after an interesting few months and how my manager told me that he would put me in a different product if I am looking for challenging work and how I thot moving from company is no different than starting afresh in the same one.
P2: So were your expectations met in the new one?
Me: To a large extent, but I always felt I got to do a whole lot of things at my first job comparatively.
P3: Tell us about your biggest achievement at workplace
Me: Told them about one and one of them asked me how I arrived at the number 10%. Told them that the business team said the operations were able to process 10% more records. One of them corrected me saying that its ‘10% more efficiency’ and not ‘10% cost saving’ as I mentioned in the essay. (I hope I have nothing to worry about here)
P3: This has no bearing on your application, but why did u use so many hyphenated words in your essays? (rounded 3-4 such words and showed me)
Me: Probably a habit. I never noticed it myself.
P2: So you teach music. How do you motivate kids?
Me: I told then how I show them the play of kids their age and how I tell them ‘Wouldn’t you like to play like that’ and stuff. Felt I could have done much better.
P2: How many students do you have?
Me: I used to teach around 10 people back when I was In college, I also used to help my master with the teaching. Right now, I only teach my cousins over skype, because I travel for about 3 1/2 hour a day to and from work.
Then I was asked if I had any questions. I asked about the ELP and whether Pre-Placement offers come out of the programs. Also asked about the exchange programs. All 3 of them have answered.
I gave my interview earlier today. The panelists were two Adcom members - Mr. Rupesh and another lady (I didn't get her name clearly, also she remained silent throughout the interview).
Interview lasted for 21 minutes. Overall, I felt I did a decent job but could have been much better for some questions.
The questions were -
I felt my answers were good for most questions except the role model one. So, I felt it was a mixed bag. There were really no questions about details regarding my projects/work. It was more in the line of trying to test if I have my goals sorted and if I will be a good fit on campus.
Q1 - What do you do at your organisation. Explain your roles and responsibilities (Straight to this question no tell me something about you).
Ans - Spoke for around 2-3 mins. told some challenges that i faced and how i responded.
Q2 - Why MBA ?
Ans - Explained I want to start something of my own and it requires exposure to various business fields etc.
Q3 - How you handled a conflict you faced at work >
Ans - Explained one personal team management experience
Q4 - Personal failure ?
Q5 - What is your backup plan ?
Q6 - If somebody will start working on your idea before you. ?
Q7 - Why did you quit sports ?
There were three people in the panel, one was a senior person and other two were pretty young. Throughout the discussion they were only in listening mode. No grilling and only pertinent questions to the profile and personal choices made during the course of life.
Profile: 8+ yrs Marketing research ( currently working as a Learning Innovation and Strategy Specialist) - Gmat Score: 690
Duration: 30 minutes
Round 1 - Delhi
I was interviewed at ITC Sheraton, 11th Nov (11.00 AM slot), panel 1.
There were 3 in the panel (i did not ask for their intro as they did not volunteer themselves). 2 of them seemed to be from a similar background as they were asking a lot of questions related to work profile. One of them came to call me from the waiting room and i guess the interview started there and then as he started asking me questions on our way to the room. We greeted each other and then started with the questions.
1. Tell us about yourself. One of the panellist I guess knew my senior manager and of course the CLO and since i work closely with/for them were asking a lot of follow ups.
2. Your long term and short term goals- you are already on a path to become a CLO what would an MBA do for you.
3. Tell us about your current projects at work.
One of the panellists seemed very interested in one of my projects(performance appraisal) wanted me to talk about the implementation process and said that he is doing the same in his organization and hence was asking for more info i guess.
4. Why another MBA (i started explaining and then one of them said it is okay we understand since I had an MBA in Biotechnology)
5. Why ISB- what would ISB do for you?
6. Tell us about your family. I mentioned I'm married and I have a toddler. they followed up with the logistics and laughed when i mentioned that I will be joining school as will my kid as he is turning 3.
All in all it was a pleasant experience and they made real efforts to listen and understand even ask a lot of follow up questions just to be sure. It was a very positive experience.
I reached the venue on time but the interviews were running late almost by 2.5 Hours. I informed to the coordinator about my pressing engagements related to my current role & they preponed my interview & gave me immediate slot.
There were three members in the ISB interview panel - All male and ISB alums.
1. Firstly, as usual they asked my intro & background. I explained them about my background & my niche areas in environmental engineering & how I was appointed for development of state of the art Green R&D Centre for HPCL at Bengaluru. Then I took them through my resume & recounted my accomplishments on the way.
2. They looked excited about my journey throughout as a program manager & my technical skills. They asked me what stream I wish to pursue post MBA. I said consulting. They asked if I have had any interaction & any idea as to how a day in the life of a management consultant goes. I explained them that part.
3. They asked about my progression at HPCL & what are my roles responsibilities. I explained them fully taking them through a day @ HPCL.
4. They countered by asking, Why MBA? I explained my reasons & the value addition from ISB. This part took most of the interview time. They agreed yes there is a case as I am climbing the management ladder fast.
5. The most silent interviewer asked me that Oil & Gas sector placements are very rare @ ISB & the kind of lateral placement may not be available immediately. I said yes, but in long term the network of ISB is vast enough to lead to me to the right destination in the long term. They asked how about the cost of the education. I told them about loan & some personal saving.
6. They asked what will you do if you don’t get admitted this time? I told them I will come back next time & get it.
7. They asked what other schools I have applied. I told them I have applied only to ISB.
All in all this was the best interview experience as the feedbacks they gave made me feel as if they were fully sold on my story and I will get the admit comfortably. But the last question they asked was what came true this time & eventually I got the ding from ISB.
Profile: NIT Trichy, Engineering Consulting 28 months
Venue: ISB Hyderabad
The panel were running late (1.5 hrs to be precise) and I was the last person to be interviewed.
Here is a brief about my ISB interview experience:
A warm greeting by 3 alumni and was informed that there is no time for pleasantries and lets get started.
1. Tell us about your work.
2. You have mentioned you lead a team, what is the size of the team, in what capacity are you the lead; mention some challenging circumstance in your tenure as lead
3. Explain the cost saving (mentioned in essays). Explain about the networking platform you founded.
4. You have received best employee award. Brief us about it
5. Explain about the Diversity and Inclusion initiatives and roadmap that you had presented and how are you helping in its implementation
6. So, you seem to have an accelerated career. Why MBA?
7. Do you think you are a good fit for consulting?
8. Why ISB, Why not IIM ABC ( I mentioned that I’m giving CAT)
9. Your work ex seems to be on the lower side. How will your batch benefit from your experiences?
10. One weakness and lot of cross questioning on it.
11. The interview ended with me asking them 3 questions about ISB and functional shifts.
Overall the interview was conversational. They try everything to make you feel relaxed. Be thorough with your essays and validate with examples. Be calm and know yourself well.
Final Result: Offered admission
Panel of 2 Alumni
Very argumentative and stressful. It was more of a discussion on why PGP? went for around 45 minutes.
Final result : Offered admission
Profile: 4 yrs telecom - Gmat Score: 710
Class entering 2016
Round 1 - Delhi
I was interviewed at ITC Sheraton, 20th Nov (2:45 PM slot), panel 5. There were 2 gentlemen and one lady. One gentleman was from 2006 batch and other 2 were from 2011 batch. We greeted each other and then as an icebreaker one guy talked about my interest in fitness and kick boxing and asked if I would beat him up if not selected, had a good laugh over it.
1- Then there was no introduce yourself question and the senior guy straight away asked me to explain the numbers (cost savings , man-hours saving etc) from my first essay—explained them.
2- Then the lady threw a random question at me asking about the methods by which I can reduce operational costs for a hotel – wasn’t expecting something like this, gave some points like how I can reduce manpower and still can get work done, fleet management system, energy saving devices, tie ups with tourist firms etc etc… but somehow I felt they were not satisfied.
3- Then they took the same question to Airtel vs Vodafone and asked some methods for airtel to reduce costs—told them quite many points on that—seemed satisfied as no cross questions were asked on that.
4- After that I had good no of questions about my onsite experience, current job responsibilities, how I manage so many things daily etc.
5- Then the lady asked me to explain briefly about my views on modi govt. which I did . Then was asked about digital India movement and how I can contribute to it—explained it.
6- Then they asked what I will do differently at isb in that 1 year.
7- What is that one thing I always want to achieve and have seen hardships in doing so?
8- Why did I switch from big firm like Ericsson to my current company?
9- What are my 2-3-5 years goals?
10- What if I do not get into consulting?
So my interview lasted for around 30-35 mins.
Class entering 2017
Profile: Engineering from IIT, Indian Male with 7+ years of Intellectual Property Experience
My ISB interview experience was no different from others. After the initial round of introductions, the interviewers jumped straight into the questions:
1. What is your work profile and what are your roles and responsibilities in the current organization?
2. What are your short and long terms goals?
3. What would be your strategy if you are not admitted into this program?
4. Why do you want to move from IP industry to strategy Consulting post your MBA? What is the reason behind this move?
5. What do you think is involved in strategy consulting? Why do companies fail in maintain advantage over their competitors in spite of hiring consulting firms like BCG and Bain which have expertise in strategy consulting?
6. What are your views on the state of technology in the next five years? Which technology area do you see booming and If I were an investor, what tech area would you recommend me for?
Interview Duration - 45 minutes, panel was running 1 hr late. The wait outside the interview rooms is always grueling and unpleasant. Finally, when I entered the room, S1 began by saying that 1hr delay is acceptable and he is trying his best to accelerate the process.
The interview was mostly technical as one of the interviewers (denoting him here as S1 and the other as S2) was working in finance and he got into too much detail about my current profile (finance), my goals and my CFA certifications.
S1. How will you end up in Asset Mgmt, when your current profile is Credit Structuring?
A. He mis-read my current profile mentioned on my resume. He read Strategy as Structuring. I corrected him and explained him about my plans to move to Asset Mgmt.
S1. Elaborate more on your profile. What companies have you worked on? Name some. What nos did you look at in the balance sheet?
A. Told him that I m not a financial analyst, I work on quant strategies using a model. Named few companies I had worked on. S1 kept asking me to name more companies and I kept on answering.
S1. What's the formula for Black-Scholes?
A. Told him that it's very diff. to remember the formula but can tell him all the assumptions. He was not satisfied and kept pushing me for formulA.
S1. What is Interest Coverage ratio? Formula and its meaning.
A. Told him both.
S1. Which sector does Boeing belong to?
A. Told him but he was expecting a diff. answer and I was persistent with mine.
S1. Why are you coming to ISB when you have already learnt so much finance in your CFA?
A. Told him abt the networking and brand stuff.
S1. What did you work on in the Start-up ( I had worked for 3 months in a start-up after college)? Grilled me on my contribution to the start-up and the role of the founders and what exactly was the start-up all about.
A. S1 was more involved in grilling me. I guess, he was not looking for answers as he seemed to have already made up his mind about everything. My best bet was to just answer him in a polite way and remain calm even if he talked no-sense.
S1. What are your hobbies? How do you get time to play and where do you go to play these sports.
A. Simple answer. Told him about everything.
Now, here are some of the behavioral questions which S2 (the other interviewer) asked.
1. Tell me about yourself.
2. Have you lead a team and how did you motivate it?
3. How have you handled stress in the past? At ISB, you will need to be awake for 18 hrs on a consistent basis. How will you manage it?
4. 3 qualities that differentiate you.
GMAT score: 690
Profile: Re-applicant - 5 years in IT (2 year Mobile devices, 1 year Medical research, 2 years Automotive)
25 mins skype interview, Panel 2 people - one was a ISB alumnus and the other admissions official
1. Did you request last year's feedback? What was it?
2. What has changed in your profile since last year?
3. Why did you work in Medical field?
4. Why do you want to do mba and not continue working?
5. What is your role at your current organization?
6. Couple on question on Automotive field, OBD functioning?
7. How can you explain/sell technology to a layman?
8. Desktop -> Laptop -> Tablets -> Smartphones (Will smartphone market eventually be the winner?)
9. What, according to you, would be the next-gen technology?
10. How would you add diversity to ISB class?
Final Result: Offered Admission
My ISB interview experience was good. It lasted for about 25 minutes. Not too much grilling questions were asked. I was asked about the following in my ISB interview not necessarily in this order:-
1. Tell me about your company. What does your company do?
2. What do you do at your company?
3. How does a typical day look like at office? Take me through one typical day at your office.
4. How do you allocate work among your team members?
5. Questions regarding client management- differences in dealing with foreign and domestic clients.
6. Why Management Consulting?
7. Can't you get into Management consulting without an MBA?
8. What do you do apart from work during weekends?
9. Case study - Regarding suggesting suitable software for better management of finances of a small interior design company run by the wife of one of the interviewers.
10. Did you apply anywhere else?
11. Why not IIM?
12. Any questions for us?
Thats it. It got over even before I realized it. Thanks.
GMAT score: 700
Profile: 7+ years in aerospace engineering
My interview was on 26th Jan, Hyd Campus, scheduled for 3PM.
I reached just in time (2pm). There were applicants sitting all around, in groups. As I reported at the counter I was told to wait. The group I sat with was completely numb. After a couple of minutes the person at the counter called me and handed over a sheet for the 100-word essay topic. The word for me was 'Happy'. A simple one, I wrote my perspective of 'happiness' and what I feel happy about. Thereafter I was asked to wait downstairs.
The people waiting there were mostly slated for 3pm interview slots and there was a delay in calls ranging from 15 to 30 min. In there we struck a casual discussion about smartphones that flowed into Apple vs Samsung, etc. At about 3.20pm I was called in by an alumnus, part of my panel.
In the room there were 3 interviewers, of whom 2 were alumni and one from 'admissions'. They tried to make me comfortable by asking how the waiting experience was, how were the others waiting along with me, what discussions ensued among us, etc.
Thereafter, let me put the discussion in 1st person:
Q1: You have written most of your experiences related to working in teams. What kind of a team person are you in a discussion: do you lead a discussion, listen mostly, etc?
Q2: Let us do a role-play. Let us assume that your study group/team of 4 at ISB scores very high in projects but you are being neglected by the rest of the 3 team-mates. Assume that (pointing to Alum 1) he is working on an assignment in the study room and you meet him. Please go ahead and start your discussion.
Q3. How do you motivate your people as a team leader?
Q4. Talk about your experience with a difficult team member, what you did, etc.
Q5. Talk about one of your strengths.
Q6. You want to go into consulting after MBA. Let us assume that you are a consultant. We need to decide the number of parking slots required for a new airport at XYZ city. I (Alum 1) am from the Airport Authority and you are meeting me to understand the requirement. At the end you need to propose the number of parking slots required. You may take a couple of minutes to think and then start the conversation.
Q7. Contribution to IIT Aquatics Team, etc. (extra-currics)
The entire interview was in a very relaxed, light-hearted environment. It lasted about 40 min. I came out quite happy and relaxed about the experience.
Final Result: Offered Admission
Interview panel - 2 members: 1 Alum( Male) and 1 Lady from Centre of Leadership.
Interview duration: 12-15 minutes
After the formal introduction and settling down, I was asked the following questions
Q1: You have 8 yrs of experience and currently working as Assistant Director in a Big 4 and leading a huge team and seem to be doing well. So Why MBA?
Q2: Why ISB ? ISB Vs other 1 yrs programs in India
Q3: You have experience in handling cross border teams. What were the people related challenges that you faced?
Q4: You have changed 3 jobs in last 5 years, any particular reason?
On Extra curricular: I mentioned that I like to test drives new cars.
Q5: How is the new BMW 3 Series compared to Old one and vs Audi A4.
Q6. You seemed to have run in several 10K and half marathons. Why do you run and take part in these marathons?
Q7: What are your expectations from placements? Can you go back to your old company/sabbatical? What if ABC hires you at 18-19 Lacs , will you be interested in moving to consulting. I mentioned I want to move into Ibanking- M&A or PE post MBA
Asked me if I have any question: Asked them one and left.
Overall a very friendly interview, no stress or cross questioning ... felt very comfortable.
My interview panel comprised of one person from admission committee, and other two were ISB alumni. Interview started with question - tell us something about yourself. There were few light questions around my hobby (traveling) like places visited in last 2-3 years, next trips planned, etc. Next there were couple of standard questions like - why MBA, why ISB and how would you contribute to the class of ISB, to which I responded very confidently. To test my strengths they gave me a scenario requiring leadership and negotiation skills. Didn't find that very difficult to answer.
After that they spent next 15-20 minutes in grilling me about my careers ambitions (IT Entrepreneurship). They asked in depth questions related to market size of my venture (asked me to explain calculation on paper), target industry, funding, competition, etc. I had good clarity about my venture and had prepared well, therefore could defend quite confidently. There was a specific question (which I guess was a trick question) about a similar but better product already available in the market. I provided a counter argument, which I thought convinced them. There were no more questions related to my career plans.
Towards the end there were a couple of questions about my views about a hot technology from my existing industry and about its future. It was more like a discussion. I had very clear view about it, therefore had no difficulty and felt quite confident.
My interview lasted for little over 30 minutes.
1. You got two
opportunities to present yourself.
You would have got feedback last year.What
has changed this year?
(applied in 2009-10, was not shortlisted for interview, feedback was to work on essays and overall presentation)
-how i wrote essays that were to the point..etc
-analyzed my growth areas like lack of leadership experience last year.
-talked about my new company and the work culture and training methodology which has added value for me
2. Why do you
want to do MBA? You can acquire the
business skills by reading concepts
in books or going through articles
- talked about how the experience created by faculty+books+visting dignitaries is different
than reading a book.
- mentioned how research in collaboration with partner schools by faculty means
the concepts taught in class are cutting edge.
- talked about how i have IT and soft skills and need business skills
3. Are you aware
of the mode of study at ISB? We do
not teach in class, we discuss a case
studies. We can't give you business
- not expecting ISB to give me skills, its the ISB experience that will help me acquire skills..
4. Tell us a
- talked about laziness that given a chance i sleep till 11 on weekends
5. You won't
get weekends to sleep at ISB
- mentioned that i have been in projects where sat has been working + have been
working long hours on current projects
6. Tell me about
the real you. The app tells me about
your work exp.
Tell us something about you that we not see in app.What drives you in life?
(googly actually, thought that they were asking what i was doing in free time
the ISB alum corrected me midway and rephrased the question.)
- talked about how my parent started from very humble beginnings to give us a lot more :
a better education & opportunities and how i feel driven to similarly give more to my children
7. Tell us a
challenging situation that you faced
while working in a team.
(leading a team currently in IT company)
- how giving vacations to 2 ppl created problem in the team
- dealing differently with team members because some team member will be very self-driven while some have to be prodded to get work done.
8. How will
fund your study at ISB?
(did not apply for scholarship)
- talked about savings with me and father + working spouse + working elder brother etc
questions for us?
- asked about ELP, how students communicated if company is not in hyd
- asked if WGCP will happen this year?
GMAT: 730 (5)
Workex: 3 years at the time of joining, if
Time: 9.40 AM
Pre interview Essay topic: "Youngistaan"
The Panel consisted of:
P1: This person looked from Adcom. Was only taking notes
P2: This lady was an alumnus
P3: This guy was also an alumnus, and surprisingly his name was also "X"
(I was called in
along with the P1, shook hands, was
surprised when P3 said that his name
was also "X")
P2: So you are from Comany Y? You must know Market Research? Have you heard the term "Ethonography"?
Me: (Blank.. Smiled) No, I don't.
at P1 and P3) Okay forget it. Jumping
from your department from IIT to marketing
must have been a huge jump. Why did
you leave your department?
Me: (I was prepared) Blah blah.. blah.. Got interested in marketing so joined my firm.
P2: (Again looked at P3) P3 don't we get interested in so many things, doesn't it mean we make it our career. (P3 was very serious he never smiled. P1 after saying this looked at me and smiled.)
Me: I (Smiling) am also interested in marketing because blah..blah. All throughout my life I have loved watching movies, advertisements, tv etc....
What is your favourite add on television
which has been aired off late?
(I was taken by surprise. I hadn't prepared this question. Should have but hadn't. My bad. Kept quite for few seconds, felt like loosing my composure. But regained and spoke.)
Me: It's an add, that was aired some time back. "The pug add of Vodafone".
P3: Do you
know who made it?
Me: Sorry, I don't.
P3: You want to go into media marketing, don't you think you should start knowing about media marketing? P1 and P2 nodded in agreement.
Me: I agree, I should know more about media marketing domain.
X why do you want an MBA, you should
go directly into advertising or media,
Me: I have set certain goals for myself. At my firm I have learnt few skills like blah blah..., however I need a lot many skills such as ....blah blah....which only an MBA can provide.
P3: Not convinced. But these skills are already mentioned as your strengths. You don't need an MBA for this.
Me: (I knew this gentleman was not in a mood of agreeing. So I looked at P2 ). Mam, won't you agree that these skills still require grooming which only an MBA can provide. (She smiled, as I looked hard at her for approval)
tell me something which you done in
last two years at my firm which you
are really proud of?
Me: actually there are a couple of things. There was a new incentive compensation plan design project which had come to our company and I was put on it. It was for an "EYE CARE MAJOR" and its sales force was de-motivated and they were falling short of the national forecast. We did this that.. achieved this.. blah blah.
P3: No no, stop.. help me understand I didn't understand anything you said. What exactly did you do? What was the problem?
(I was a little nervous here. Did I choose the right example? How should I explain it to him. I put my hands on the table hoping they would help me in explaining.)
Me: I explained things in detail and told him two simple things.
P3: So your ideas was just to lower the threshold?
Me: No sir, we also made the plan portfolio oriented. So now only if one person achieves a basic minimum in the other 2 products say 2 and 3 that he will get a higher payout in the present product or else not.
P3: This is all that you did? This is pretty common sense.
Me: Wasn't common to them.
P3: You said it was an eye care major?
Me: Yes it is. Should I give you the name? (He said no). They have anywhere 140 to 150 reps.
(P3 looked completely dissatisfied. To make up I looked up at P2.)
Me: Mam, it was a new project. We were doing something of this sort for the first time. I really related to this project because I learnt a lot on this.
few media companies come to ISB campus.
What if you don't get selected in
Me: I'll go for FMCG Marketing.
P2: Only 6-7 FMCG Marketing companies come to campus and they take the top of the brass. What if even that doesn't happen?
Me: You want to know my second back up plan... hmm... okey, I have marketing analytics experience, will go back in marketing analytics.
P2: So you
think they'll take you at the pay
check you would want to?
Me: Yes.. I believe so.. they will.
(This is the only time P1 Spoke)
P1: So you were so much into media marketing and now you want to go back to marketing analytics.
Me: Sir it is just something I'll do while meanwhile I'll keep trying for Media Marketing.
(He didn't speak again)
P2: So tell us some instance at your workplace where you exhibited some sign of leadership.
Me: Organised party.. dance,music and even composed a song on my firm's life.
P3: So you composed a song. What was it?
Me: I have my guitar outside, should I bring it.
P3: No that's okey.
Me: so should I sing it without guitar?
P2: Yeah yeah, go ahead.
Me: (hummed the song.. one paragraph)...
P2: So do you have any questions for us?
Me: Blah Blah.. Blah...
She shook hands...so
I got up and just
confirmed the name of the word "Ethonography"
and smiled and left.
Lets see what happens.
Profile: IT Engineer – 4 years
I was the last candidate to be interviewed for the day. My interview started at sharp 6:30 (as was communicated to me in my interview call) and lasted for only about 20 minutes. I was led into the interview room from the waiting hall by one of the interview panelists, who I discovered later was an alumnus of the school. There are 3 men in the interview panel. (2 are alums, in the middle seat is a grim looking Professor)
As soon as I entered, they all stood up to shake hands with me and promptly greeted me as “Welcome Madam editor”. (I had mentioned in my first essay that Written Communication was my strength and that I was the editor of my college magazine).
1. Alum: What was the last article you wrote?
Ans: I wrote an article on “Ways of Learning”
2. Same Alum: Tell us more about the article.
Ans: I mentioned the types of learners and what professions are suited to each kind of learner etc.
3. Different Alum: Started pointing out the weaknesses of my article and what more could I have included.
Ans: I was very cool and either agreed or disagreed with his points exactly the way I honestly felt about each point.
4. Prof: What do you think is the way of teaching at ISB? Are you in sync as a learner with that kind of teaching?
Ans: I knew in detail about this. I mentioned Case studies, negotiation classes, leadership classes, presentations etc.
5. (The interviewer is quite surprised by the depth of my knowledge). We don’t put all that on our website. How do you know so much?
Ans: My Boyfriend is from ISB. I have been to ISB earlier and attended one of the classes.
6. Professor: I don’t want to ask his name.
Ans: I don’t mind telling though. It will only add to my interview. He is a good performer
7. Alum(changing the topic): Tell us about your international stint. What was different in UK?
Ans: (Yes! I am prepared with this one). Social Responsibility, respect blah blah
8. You have to choose a boss and a team mate from an Englishman and an Indian. Who would you want as what?
Ans: English man as the boss- more organized.
Indian as a teammate – smarter. I like to work in a challenging environment. (I am impressed with myself. That’s a smart answer)
9. Alum: You have mentioned that you are managing 2 projects in your job. What will happen if we select you? Who will take care of those?
Ans: My Boss already knows that I am appearing for ISB. He is prepared. Moreover, as a good leader I have groomed my second in command very well. And then of course I will have 2 solid months after the result for knowledge Transfer
10. Prof: Why don’t you join IIMA?
Ans: (I am prepared with this… I know what you want to hear… IIMA sucks!) I give some well practiced bullshit.
11. Professor: Aha! I know why you want to come. From your boyfren you know about the kind of parties we have!
12. Alum: Would you like to go back to your organization after MBA?
Ans: (Honest reply) Yes. It has given me the following opportunities… blah blah.
13. Professor (wants to trap me). All the applicants from company Y (main competitor of my employer) say they don’t want to go… all the applicants from your company say they want to go back. Why?
Ans: (Another smart ass answer) Sir, if they all are saying it then it must be true!
14. Do you have any questions for us?
Ans: (Of course, I am prepared with this) Do you think that IIMA Exec course is a competition for ISB?
A discussion follows abt this.
15. Professor: Tell me your boyfren’s name.
Ans: Sir, ABC. (No reaction from the Prof)…. Sir, do you know him?
16. I have the humble task of placing the students at ISB… what do you think, I wont know him? Anyway, nice meeting you.
Shake hands. Leave.
Profile: IT Engineer 3 years
Interview Panel: 2 alums and 1 professor
Location: Hotel Taj, Bangalore
Time: 20 min approx
1) Why do you want to join ISB?
2) Do you have any other offers from other b-schools?
3) Posed me a question on the answer that I had written for the ethics related question
4) What will you do post ISB
5) How do you differentiate yourself from other IT students?
6) Name 3 attributes of your personality
7) What are the factors that impact the financials of an IT company?
8) What are the sectors that are attractive for stock investment (since i had listed stock market investment as a hobby?)
9) Name 3 stocks that are a good buy
10) Do you have any questions for us?
I reached about 1 hr before the scheduled time but would advise other people to be there 30 mins before the given time. Idle time makes you more nervous. I was handed over the essay about 30 mins prior to the interview. The abstract essay that I had to write was a good time pass and helped reduce the anxiety. Finally, I was called in and there were 3 interviewers in the panel – one was from the ADCOM and the other two seemed to be ISB alums. The atmosphere eased when they started interacting. It was more of an interaction than a formal interview and I felt very comfortable. The only thing you need to do is give it a good start. Just be calm and confident and that'll take you through. Sequence of questions asked to me : 1. Tell me in brief what your company does and what is your role at work. 2. What do you see as your strengths while you have been working. 3. Cite an example for the strengths you are talking about 4. Tell us something about your venture, why didn't it do well? 5. You have 3.5 years of IT experience and some experience of entrepreneurship, why do you still want to do an MBA. 6. What is you dream co. post ISB? 7. Case study : You are the head of marketing of a group which has to market an Airplane with automated pilot system. What will be your strategy? The interview lasted around 25 mins.
”Just 15 mins before my scheduled time of interview I was given an essay of 100 words to write about word "FAÇADE". I don't think that carry any significant marks as every candidate was given the same word and there was no body to check how the applicant is responding to question. After 15 mins I entered the interview room…there were two people inside…one a lady from admission committee and another one, a Sikh gentleman (ISB alumni)….lady asked first question to me why you left your previous company….i responded to that…..after that alumni guy asked me why you want to do MBA….and I again responded to that…..noticable things was that they were not asking any thing from my essays and not cross questioning me…what ever I was responding they were just licensing …..I was told they grill people on essays ….but nothing like that happened that day …not specifically to me but same is the scenario with other applicants also….everyone was coming out smiling ….so its very difficult to say what are they looking for this time….my third question was related to my strengths and weaknesses……again no cross questioning or examples were asked …..most of the questions were from alumni ..lady just asked two questions……after that there were few more questions regarding consulting domain as I ad told them that my interests were in that domain. The interview ended in exact 30 min. I feel this time GMAT score is going to play a major role in decisions as interviews are pretty much cool for most of the guys…."
Q1 Why you left Flextronics as your first job?
Q2 What is design engineering?
Q3 Why you want to do MBA?
Q4 Why consultancy?
Q5 Biggest challenge in professional Life?
Q6 Strengths and Weaknesses?
Q7 You want to ask something from us?
ISB was conducting interviews in 4 panels. There were three people in my panel, one was faculty, another was alumni, and third was a marketing person( might be alumni).
Following were the questions asked for the interview:
1. First question was, Tell us something which you have not written in the essays. (All three were having three copies of my full application.)
2. Based on my reply of telecom domain and rural background, second question was, Create a strategy plan for increasing the penetration of a telecom company xyz in rural areas. I was told to make my own assumption about company and target areas and I was given enough time with pen and paper to work on point wise plan.
3. I noted down 4-5 strategy points with example based on my telecom knowledge and there were cross questioning by panel on them.
4. Tell us about your family background in detail.
5. Questions on marriage plan.
6. How will you fund your MBA ( if selected).?
7. What is your current job profile?
8. Please go through your resume. starting from graduation , till current company.
9. Why did you change your first job, and what did you learn in your previous company?
10. I had worked 2 years abroad, there were few questions on the duration, my profile, and what did I learn personally and professionally while abroad.
11. Questions on my current company, job profile, why did i change to current company.
12. I was asked for an example of leadership skills in a situation, where a person is very stubborn and reluctant to work under the leadership of a girl. What will I do?
13. Narrate a situation, when you lost your temper on your collegue. Elaborate more on that.
14. Where do i see myself in 5 years?
15. Any Questions for ISB panel.
There were one lady and one gentleman, both were middle aged, I forgot their names but most probably they seemed like faculty problems
I will refer to the lady as L and the other gentleman as G
L > So
much traffic in Delhi, sorry you had
to wait for interview
Me > No problem, I just got enough time to practice (everybody laughing)
L > What do you think of the traffic in Delhi
Me > I started talking about that everybody have their own vehicle and soon NANO will be on the road and blah blah.. (They both nodded)
L > You have talked a lot about leadership in your essays and rural india, tell us something about that
Me > I told them few things, But she was not impressed at all, so i told her the challenges involved
L >Nodded and said ok fine.
L> What do you do in leisure time?
Me > I told her that i play outdoor sports and go to gym + sometimes i go to school named carterpuri to teach students
G > What do you think is problem with rural India
Me> I talked about education, illiteracy and people not aware of the world and limited resources
G > How this problem can be solved?
Me> I told them my idea (with which he was not impressed)
G > Why you want to do management degree, how you think it will help you
Me> I told them for my next role it is important and for progressing
G > What specific skills you think you will gain from mba?
Me > Messed this answer up (felt really bad)
L> What if we don't select you and what would you do in your field?
Me > Answered that i will keep on working in same industry (they were not very happy with the answer)
On the whole I felt they were not interested in my profile and it was somehow pre decided that they are not going to select me.
The gentleman kept on looking at the walls and things that were placed in the room, which annoyed me a little
So if you see the whole interview was not stress or anything but just a discussion but i felt that they have some pre-decided criteria so thats why I am not waiting for the results :)
Essay: "Chalta hai" Attitude
1. So you don't
have chalta hai attitude?
2. So you are shifting your career from life sciences to finance, then finance to life science? What are you up to? Or you are complimenting life sciences with Finance?
3. You cleared CFA in first attempt?
4. Do you know which all companies are there in life sciences consulting? What will be unique about your company? Do you feel there is no scope or companies are not there at all? But companies start with small areas and then expand?
5. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
6. Give us bird's eye view of Pharma industry?
7. What is the potential of Indian Pharma industry?
8. What if I have a deal from a big player - should I sign it? Do you know the deal value of recent Shanta Biotech deal?
9. How does western and Indian Pharma environment compare?
10. Why is it necessary for government to do something in this field? Don't you think only Industries are enough?
11. What do you think are the weaknesses of Indian Pharma?
12. What is insurance status in India? Premium paid by government in US?
13. Do you know about any initiatives taken by Indian government?
14. 2 questions for interviewer. For one of the questions interviewer replied how this question is related to your candidacy?
My interview was held at Hyatt in Delhi. ISB had booked rooms and the interviews were held there. There were two waiting rooms for the candidates. Unfortunately these rooms were away from the interview rooms and so the people who had finished their interview were leaving immediately after they finished giving no opportunity to sense the mood of the interview in general.
My interview panel had three people. One of them was a current student and the other two were faculty / adcom. Following are the questions that I can recall:
1. Student: As
you are a reapplicant, what has changed
in your profile since the last time
that you applied?
2. Faculty 1: As you have said hat you have received opportunity t lead projects what as per you is the main different in an operational and a managerial role.
3. Faculty 2: Who as per you makes the safest cars? Ans : Volvo
4. Faculty 2: But Volvo cars are priced too high. Comment on that?
5. Faculty 1: What is you dream car?
6. Faculty 2: You mentioned that you have worked on Sustainability drive in your company. Outline your role in these projects
7. Faculty 1: You are vouching too much for Nano. Why are you not working for the Tata's then?
8. Faculty 2: If you were to change one thing in you industry and it is not supposed to be related to Safety or the Environment, What would it be and why?
9. Faculty 2: Questions for us? My question was related to the class size at ISB and this was answered by the student.
As you can see from the questions, my interview was related to my field of work and interest. This made me comfortable with my interview panel and the interview turned out to be more of a discussion. It lasted for 25-30 mins if I remember correctly. It was better that the last time when I gave interview at ISB when Mr. VK Menon was on my panel. That made me very nervous and conscious.
I was interviewed by a panel of 2 people. One was Mr Kannan (Adcom member) and an alumnus. Below were the questions I was asked.
My interview was pretty cool n simple... I was majorly asked about my social venture XXXXX, which is basically a NGO dedicated to provide primary education to the underprivileged children. Major questions were as follows:
1. So what made you come up with such a thing.
2. How did you initiate and implement your plan.
3. What were the major roadblocks/challenges in that? How did you overcome?
4. What are the challenges today
5. What is your vision for future/ do you want to continue with it..and dedicate yourself completely to such a venture.
1. From reco: about my weakness: difficulty in delegating work, what have I done to improve it.
2. Questions for them
They forgot to take my essay draft.. so before leaving I submitted it myself.. I think they enjoyed reading it.. :)
Here are a few questions asked in my ISB interview.
Results speak: More than 300 admits to ISB in last 6 years.
Mohit Bansal - ISB 2020 Admit
Srivats Gopalan - ISB 2020 Admit
Sidharth Jain - ISB 2020 Admit
Pramod Krishna - ISB 2020 Admit
Krupesh Ved - ISB 2020 Admit
Varad Patankar - ISB 2020 Admit
Umesh Balwani - ISB 2020 Admit
Pranav Gethewale - ISB 2020 Admit
Pradyumna Vajjah - ISB 2020 Admit
Avinash Kumar - ISB 2020 Admit
Shankar Mohan - ISB 2020 Admit
Rajiv Ranjan - ISB 2020 Admit
Ashish Malla - ISB 2020 Admit
Axay Ratan - ISB 2019 Admit
Vaibhav Yaduvanshi - ISB 2019 Admit
Anshul Agarwal - ISB Early Entry 2019 Admit
Avinash Chowdhary - ISB 2019 Admit
Neha More - ISB 2019 Admit
Abhinav Gupta - ISB 2019 Admit
Swarup Khargaonkar - ISB 2019 Admit
Sahila Agarwal - ISB 2019 Admit
Aditya Pagare ISB 2018 Admit
Anurag Gupta ISB 2018 Admit
Nidhi Sharma ISB 2018 Admit
Nikhita Jain ISB 2018 Admit
Nishant Parashar ISB 2018 Admit
Aditya Prakash ISB 2018 Admit
Saurabh Mishra ISB 2018 Admit
Prateek Singhvi ISB 2018 Admit
Vaibhav Gogia ISB 2018 Admit
Nitin Goyal ISB 2018 Admit
Ishita Goel ISB 2018 Admit
Ajeet Yadav ISB 2018 Admit
Arjun Bardhan ISB 2018 Admit
Kamni Saxena ISB 2018 Admit
Sameer Vepa ISB 2018 Admit
Amit Jain ISB 2018 Admit
Sriyanka Senapati ISB 2018 Admit
Nishant Verma ISB 2018 Admit
Sukriti Reddy ISB 2018 Admit
Tejas Athvankar ISB 2018 Admit
Rashmi Aggarwal ISB 2018 Admit
Sunakshi Aggarwal ISB 2018 Admit
Rachit Sharma ISB 2018 Admit
Pratiyush Srivastava ISB 2018 Admit
Anupriya Kumar ISB 2018 Admit
Vivek Chirania ISB 2018 Admit
Smriti Semwal ISB 2018 Admit
Vaibhav Verma ISB 2017 Admit
Ishan Mittal ISB 2017 Admit
Ipsita Satpathy ISB 2017 Admit
Anusha Rajagopalan ISB 2017 Admit
Yoganand ISB 2017 Admit
Bhaskar Sanyal ISB 2017 Admit
Harshal Vyas ISB 2017 Admit
Srikant Krishnan ISB 2017 Admit
Saptarshi Barman ISB 2017 Admit
Gundeep Singh ISB 2017 Admit
Mugdha Petiwale ISB 2017 Admit
Deepankar Miglani ISB 2017 Admit
Arpit Garg ISB 2017 Admit
Mohit Singh ISB 2017 Admit
Harshal Vyas ISB 2017 Admit
Sankalp Srivastava ISB 2017 Admit
Arushi Mahajan ISB 2017 Admit
Nikhil Jain ISB 2017 Admit
Sidharth Kataria ISB 2017 Admit
Jyotsana ISB 2017 Admit
Raja Sharma ISB 2017 Admit
Ankur Bansal ISB 2017 Admit
Smriti Salhotra ISB 2016 Admit
Jackson Kailath ISB 2016 Admit
Adesh Midha IISB 2016 Admit
Vaibhav Ahuja ISB 2016 Admit
Janhvi Doshi ISB 2016 Admit
Murali Krishna ISB 2016 Admit
Preeti Chauhan ISB 2016 Admit
Chitrakeeth ISB 2016 Admit
Abhinav Gaiha ISB 2016 Admit
Augustya ISB 2016 Admit
Ammu Rajendran ISB 2016 Admit
Anshul Krishna ISB 2016 Admit
Ankita Sinha ISB 2016 Admit
Tushar Shanker ISB 2016 Admit
Ankit Agarwal ISB 2016 Admit
Anisha Saraf ISB 2016 Admit
Vineet Aggarwal ISB 2016 Admit
Siddharth Garg ISB 2016 Admit
Namrata Sinha ISB 2016 Admit
Deepesh Chandok ISB 2016 Admit
Monisha Vardhan ISB 2016 Admit
Rakesh Kantharajappa ISB 2016 Admit
Nikesh Murjani ISB 2016 Admit
Prakhar Dixit ISB 2016 Admit
Swati Negi ISB 2016 Admit
Akshay Datta ISB 2016 Admit
Harsh Paliwal ISB 2015 Admit
Manas Jain ISB 2015 Admit
Priyanka Pande ISB 2015 Admit
Rahul Karnani ISB 2015 Admit
Shalabh Kumar ISB 2015 Admit
Jyoti Chandan Kumar ISB 2015 Admit
Vivek Upadhayay ISB 2015 Admit
Abhinav Kansil ISB 2015 Admit
Akash Jain ISB 2015 Admit
Ayon Ray ISB 2015 Admit
Nikhil Jain ISB 2015 Admit
Debajyoti Endow ISB 2015 Admit
Kamayani ISB 2014 Admit
Kushal Vidyarthi ISB 2014 Admit
Harshal Chawla ISB 2014 Admit
Ashutosh Walia ISB 2014 Admit
Kunal Sharma ISB 2014 Admit
Sheetal Virmani ISB 2014 Admit
Jasdeep Brar ISB 2013 Admit
Abhishek Banerjee ISB 2013 Admit
Aparna Kohli ISB 2013 Admit
Avijit Chakraborty ISB 2013 Admit
Vineet Jain ISB 2013 Admit
Kanishka Patwal ISB 2013 Admit
Ankur Bansal ISB 2013 Admit
Kaustubh Tripathi ISB 2013 Admit
Amandeep Singh ISB 2012 Admit
Apoorv Vishnoi ISB 2012 Admit
Chintan Shah ISB 2012 Admit
Narendra Singh ISB 2016 Admit
Navjot Chhabra ISB 2012 Admit
Rishabh Sinha ISB 2012 Admit
Shifa Soomar ISB 2012 Admit
Vinay Raju ISB 2012 Admit
Ekta Babbar ISB 2011 Admit
Himanshu Jain ISB 2011 Admit
Aditi Sharma ISB 2011 Admit
Gejoy Kuriakose ISB 2011 Admit
Himanshu Joshi ISB 2011 Admit
Magesh Karthik ISB 2011 Admit
Parveen Sahu ISB 2011 Admit
Sahil Nanda ISB 2011 Admit
Sonali Gupta ISB 2011 Admit
Sumeet Walia ISB 2011 Admit
Others admits to ISB: Rohit Mathur, Piyush Bhandari, Ravi Mittal, Rishi Talwar, Naman Madaan, Sandy Diwan, Harmanjeet Singh, Jaipreet Bindra, Chaitanya Indukuri , Srikanth T and many others...
ISB Interview Preparation package
* Interview package contains Sample questions, tips, 2 mock interviews and detailed feedback.