ISB Interview Exp. (Consulting) : Management Consulting / 3 years

This is the real ISB interview experience of a candidate who has 3 years experience in management consulting. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, Delhi and a GMAT score of 710.

ISB Interview Experience - Management Consultant - 3 Years

The ISB interview was conducted on February 12, 2022. As per the candidate’s information, there were two alumni from the product management industry in the interview panel. In his opinion, the interview was mainly focused on hobbies, work experience, leadership qualities, and career goals. 

Interview date12th February 2022
Work profile3 years experience in Management Consulting
Re – Applicant?No
Interviewer’s ProfileP1: Consulting experience pre MBA, currently working in product managementP2: Back end BCG pre MBA, currently working with Urban Company (most probably as product manager)
Your Opinion on the approach of the interviewers and their key focusApproach was to initiate conversation from any area of the application and drill deep with a barrage of questions to check depth.Key focus areas: Hobbies: Was asked questions around hobbies to validate interestsWork: picked the marquee consulting engagement I mentioned in the essay. Asked broad questions, objective, my contribution and impact. Post that checked depth of understanding by asking very pointed questions around assignment and industry specific questionsWhy ISB, and how will ISB help?Leadership style? And instances of leadership outside of work Case interview: Relevant for applicants who mention consulting as career goal. 
Suggestions and Preparation Tips for Prospective StudentsBe thorough with details of your assignments delivered, do not play down the possibility of encountering someone with similar niche industry experience In your application, only mention hobbies that you are actively involved in, do not mention passive areas of interest.

Qn1: you’ve mentioned you like traveling to unexplored destinations, can you tell us what places have you been to?

Ans1: mentioned visiting Andaman, nicobar and Lakshadweep islands in 2012, when these destinations were not as popular. Had the opportunity to interact with the indigenous tribes at an island called baratang, GOI has since banned travel to the island. (2017 onwards)

Followup Qn: do you travel alone 

Ans: no I mostly travel with family since they also like exploring such places

Followup Qn: so you don’t travel alone? What are the benefits of travelling alone?

Ans: mentioned some benefits like self-discovery, learning to deal with crisis alone (in case of one) 

Followup Qn: do you plan to travel alone in the future? 

Ans: mentioned a euro trip that I was planning between post interview and session commencement at ISB.  

Followup Qn: questions around places shortlisted, and two criteria I keep in mind while selecting a destination 

Qn2: Tell us about the World Bank and Indian railways assignment you have mentioned in your essay

Ans2: Proceeded to explain the context and objective of assignment, followed by the framework followed and recommendations made

Followup Qn: what were the top three recommendations that you made?

Ans: answered by giving specific examples of recommendation in areas of rail infrastructure 

Followup Qn: who were you actively involved with (both WB and Indian Railways), do not mention names

Ans: mentioned the teams in both organsiations 

Followup Qn: What are the different kind of railway track gauges, which kind are used abroad, what kind are used in India, what is the difference

Ans: answered based on memory, globally= broad gauge, india= narrow gauage, and mentioned gauge conversion works are being undertaken by railways. Apologised for not remembering the other types

Followup Qn: Which major players operate freight trains in India, followed by discussion around those players

QnN: P1: so you clearly have a strong understanding of your work, you are already in consulting and come across as a smart person, how will ISB help you, and why you want to be here?

AnsN: mentioned learning key transferable skills while working in consulting, but being restricted to infrastructure vertical very early in the career,

Mentioned how the core courses, world class faculty, and a diverse peer group from different industries will help me develop a wider perspective required to solve diff kinds of business problems. 

Also mentioned that one requires leadership skills to progress in in their career and corporate ladder, hence ISB will provide the opportunity to develop  leadership and communication skills required as a business leader.

Followup Qn: so, how will you describe your leadership style? 

Ans: I’m a hands-off leader and value mutual trust and communication over anything else

Followup Qn: is that a leadership style (with an unconvinced look)?

Ans: clarified how I want to create a team of dependable and accountable individuals, where there is clarity and ownership of tasks, and that dependability is equally important as technical ability.

QnN: P1: tell us about an instance where you got to lead a team?

Ans: proceeded to explain my own social initiative for shelter homes that I had been leading for last 5 years.

Followup Qn: you mentioned uncomfortable situations that you encountered in your answer, can you give an example and you solved it as a leader?

Ans: gave example of a situation and how bringing all parties involved for an open discussion led to resolution. 

QnN: P1: ok now lets solve a case. Imagine you are advising Vijay Mallya in his prime, and he has asked you to evaluate the impact of shifting from glass to plastic bottles? Please evaluate the financial implications and feasibility. 

Ans: proceeded to create a structure to answer the case. Explained the broad structure with 3 main streams or pillars. Started explaining each on by one, looking at factors that will drive decision making for each pillar. 

Followup Qn: Multiple follow up questions on the lines of: don’t you think you have not considered a few factors here, ok we got you points tell us another factor you would consider over all those you mentioned, pointed questions on assumptions 

QnN: P2: last question, you mentioned you like reading history. Recommend two books. 

Ans: mentioned two books

Followup Qn: debatable if one book mentioned qualified as history

Ans: I mentioned it was a travel memoir based on exploring history of a place

QnN: P1: any questions for us?

Ans: yes, asked about how they connect with fellow alumni post ISB. 

P1 and P2 gave their personal experiences.

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