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NUS Interview Preparation package
Below are the questions asked during the NUS preliminary interview round. It lasted for exactly 15 minutes
There were two interviews, one preliminary interview over skype and one face-to-face interview. While the preliminary interview was a 10-minute interview the face-to-face interview was around 25 minutes.
Preliminary interview questions:
1. Post-MBA plans
2. Post-MBA countries interested in
3. How will you work as a Pharma marketing manager given that you do not know the local market?
4. A quick discussion about my essay question (Greatest challenge)
Note: The interviewer is more often than not in a hurry and it's imperative you keep your answers really short.
1. Make an elevator pitch
2. Three countries of choice post-MBA with reasons (Asked.if I'd be interested in a double-degree MBA spanning China and South Korea)
3. Companies of your choice post-MBA
4. If you were to invite a business personality (Non-Indian) for coffee, who would it be and why?
5. What are the companies outside India you admire and what facet of the company do you admire?
6. What kind of books do you read? Particularly any business books that piqued your interest? Followed up with some cross-questioning.
7. Have you had culturally diverse team experiences?
8. What value would you add to the class of NUS?
Note - It was a very friendly interview with more discussions, less questions.
FInal Result: Offered Admission
The panel had two alumni: 1. Director of Graduate Studies (2005 batch) 2. A 2015 batch passout working in Mumbai.
The following questions were asked:
1- Tell us your immediate post-MBA designation, the top 3 companies you want to work in, top 3 cities in the world where you would like to work in.
2- fast forward your life, 40 years ahead, whats your designation and where.
3- One thing you are weak in compared to others here.
4- Current happenings in India, outside India and in Asia, outside Asia.
5- How would you contribute to the banking world, being an MBA.
6- Business leader you admire the most in the world, in finance and outside finance.. overall
7. Say you have graduated from NUS, X company is here to recruit you. Sell yourself.
8.Any questions for us.
Lasted 15-20 mins.
1- There are many candidates from India with high Gmat scores and great work profiles. What sets you apart?
2- Name one current event that happened in Asia, and one outside of it
3- Name three companies that have originated in Asia and have a global presence that are not from your industry.
4- What locations and companies would you like to work for and why?
5- Biggest achievement and failure.
GMAT score: 740
Profile: 5 years semiconductor industry plus business venture
Below are few things i remember from my NUS interview todat at Hotel Shangri La in New Delhi
Interview lasted for 20-25 minutes.
GMAT score: 710
Profile: 2 years in Technology, 2 years in Education
Q1. Why did you leave TCS and join TFI?
Ans. Told them about my TCS CSR experience and my interest in the work. Also told them about the benefits of joining TFI such as interacting with diverse set of people, experiencing the bottom of the pyramid etc.
Q2. Any ethical dilemma faced at TFI?
Ans. Told them about something in my classroom.
Q3. Which international figure inspires you? Preferably non-Indian.
Ans. Wendy Kopp - Founder Teach For America. Told about what keeps her going.
Q4. What keeps you going?
Ans. Explained about my ideas.
Q5. Any recent management book you read?
Ans. Told them about the book, explained the content, though I could not recollect the name of the book at that time.
Q6. You have mentioned in your resume about your hobby to travel to unconventional places. Which places did you visit?
Ans. Told them about 4 places I visited and what I learnt.
Q7. Any questions you want us to answer?
Ans. Told about a latest school education program in Singapore and asked if I would find time to see the same.
They replied that in first semester it might be tough because people take time to settle down but later it depends on you.
GMAT score: 630
Profile: Indian/ Female, 5 years PR & Communications
There were two people who conducted the interview- a lady from Adcom and the Prof. Nitin (the academic head) and both were equally involved in posing questions and evaluating. The lady from Ad Com was taking notes while Prof Nitin was judging the communication skills and body language.
The interview was pretty different from expected. There were no questions around Tell us something about yourself, why do you wish to pursue an MBA etc.
I was told by the interviewers that they have no sense of my profile and that all they had seen were my essays. Apparently, it was a blind interview, although towards the end they did ask me about my one of my client projects and what different did i manage for them.
The first question was from my essay that I wrote on offshoring the production base. They asked me questions around:
The next question was posed by Prof Nitin on a professional failure and how did I overcome that/learnings? I was not prepared for this and took a few seconds to answer. In the meanwhile, he asked if there have been no professional failures? Which I handled by saying- thats a rare possibility and then quickly made something up.
They were ready to wrap up my interview in fifteen minutes and asked if i have some questions for them. I managed to pull the conversation by saying please let me know if you have a few questions related to my profile as i would not get a chance to speak with you again.
Post this there were a few questions around my profile- Why I chose the profession I am pursuing, what excites me in it, the work that i did for one of my clients, the adcom lady also asked me a question on what keeps me going apart from work.
Towards the end there was also a question on how my experience has been on working with international clients and what I learnt from them.
The lastÂ bit of the conversation was my question to NUS.
The interview lasted for 30 minutes and overall was quite comfortable and more of a conversation than questions and cross questions
GMAT score: 730
Profile: Indian/ Male, 4 years Software Engineer
I had my interview at Taj, Mumbai ( 28 Nov 2010). I was called and taken to secluded corner of the Hotel Lobby for the interview. There were Mr. Nitin and Mr. Ang waiting for me.
I shook hands and sat down on a chair in front of Mr. Nitin.
N: We don’t have your essays or profile with us so we will have a blind interview.
Me: I said it is fine with me and if you want I have my CV with me.
A: It is fine.
A: What do you think about CSR. What is its purpose?
N: If there is no branding involved in CSR does it still worth for a company.
N: Which company does have the best CSR policy excluding oil and gas companies and your own company?
N: Do you yourself believe in CSR and will have it in your company if you have one someday.
A: Which company you admire the most?
N: Why X?
N: But X is making losses for some time now and has lost its edge.
Me: I sticked to my answer and gave my opinion.
N: I and Ms. Ang both are share holders in X and we want that your opinion works in future too.
End of discussion.
A; What do you think about apple.
Me: Talked in lengths on this as I am a big fan.
N: What do you think is their branding strategy?
Me: Shared my opinion.
A: What will you do if you have to set up a brand.
Me: Gave them an approach?
N: What do you think about Steve Jobs.
Me: Again talked in lengths.
N: Who else do you admire in Business world.
Me: I told them about my CEO and how my company has improved under his leadership.
Had a discussion about my company and its growth.
End of discussion.
Then we started discussing SONY somehow. Dont remember how. I told them that I am currently working on new models of SONY camera and we discussed some of the amazing features of the new camera.
In this discussion I tried to brief them a little bit about my work and responsibilities as well.
They were taking notes all the times.
At the end they asked me to ask them something if I want to.
I asked them about their Alumni connections and again had a discussions for about 5 mins.
Then they asked me to leave
The Interview was on Skype, with two senior members of the admission committee. I think I was able to crack this one because I never made up answers, I stuck to what I truly believed and exhibited a lot of confidence. After the usual pleasantries the questions kicked off.
1. Tell us about yourself?
Started off by telling them about my strengths and then went onto relate these strengths with my educational, professional and social experiences. Also spoke about my achievements and my career trajectory.
2. What exactly do you do, what are your roles and responsibilities?
I work with a financial research firm, in a quite niche segment. I think this is why this question was particularly important in my case - gave them a quick overview of what the company does, and then went on to describe that where do I fit in in the larger scheme of things.
3. What are your career goals?
Spoke about what do I want to do in the short and long run, I also made sure that I connect the dots - what I have been doing ---> what I will do ----->and subtly touched on how an MBA from NUS would help.
4. Why do you need an MBA to achieve these goals? Looks like that you can achieve your goals without an MBA?
This one was a googly, but I answered from my heart and I think this is what saved me. I acknowledged the fact that I might be able to achieve the goals without an MBA, but also mentioned that to really propel my career and to continue the kind of exponential growth I have been getting an MBA makes sense now. I also mentioned about my weaknesses and how the NUS MBA would help me overcome those weaknesses.
5. Why Singapore?
Spoke about Asia's financial hub, Singapore. Connected my goals with Singapore, and also mentioned that to get to NUS getting into Singapore was imperative: D
5. Tell us about a leader that inspires you?
I asked for a couple of moments to think and by the time I was about to start and talk about an Indian business leader. I was told that they would prefer if it were a non-Indian leader. I told them that I had already thought of an Indian leader and if they would want me to think of someone else...they asked me to continue and I briefly spoke about an Indian conglomerate tycoon and how and why he inspired me (relating his life instances with what I really value). After completing I also asked them whether they would like to hear about a non-Indian leader..to which they nodded. I spoke about an American entrepreneur for the next minute or so.
6. Imagine 20 years down the line you are invited at the commencement speech of NUS, how do you see yourself being introduced?
A tough one again, asked for a couple of minutes to think. And then told them about the future of the financial analytic industry and how I see myself as a revolutionary in the industry in the years to come. Weaved everything together and told them about how I would like myself to be introduced.
7. Any questions?
Asked them a couple of questions I had in mind.
The whole thing lasted for about 30 minutes. I was fairly satisfied with the interview at the end.