This is the real ISB interview experience of a candidate who has 4 years 9 months of work experience in Pharma Consulting.
The ISB interview was conducted on February 7, 2016. In his/her opinion, the interview was mainly focused on the application essays, goals and communication skills.
|Interview Date||7th February, 2016|
|Work Profile||Consulting at Beroe Inc. for 4 yrs and 9 mnths|
|Your Opinion on the approach of the interviewers and their key focus||Key focus points include: Clarity on essays, Goals and general communication skills|
Qn: Tell me about yourself.
A: Answered in detail.
Follow-up Qn: So you are interested in filmmaking. When was the last film you made?
A: In the last year of college. Back in 2011.
Follow-up Qn: Why not post that?
A: Frankly I have not had the opportunity to in terms of getting the right company and such. That being said, filmmaking has instilled in me a greater appreciation of the art and even today when I watch a movie I like paying attention to the technical aspects of the movie and how effective the director has been at conveying his message.
Qn: Ok we went through your application and I’m afraid your essays are very incoherent. We could not understand anything you were trying to convey. For eg. In your achievement essay, could you explain why exactly you consider this your greatest achievement?
A: As I have mentioned in my essay, the achievement that I am most proud of is a recent consulting assignment I executed, designing a new operating model for the Indian procurement team of a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical organization…..They expressed their pleasure to Beroe’s CEO, who also congratulated me for surpassing expectations under challenging circumstances.
Follow-up Qn: So how many of you worked on the question?
A: Two. Me and a colleague from the professional services team at Beroe
Follow-up Qn: And what exactly was your contribution in the project?
A: I worked on the tool to measure time spent on sourcing activities. My colleague conducted the benchmarking study to see what the client’s competitors were doing in the same space
Follow-up Qn: Was your colleague reporting to you? Or was he your senior?
A: He is a senior in terms of profile at Beroe. But since he manages a different team, we were both working in our individual capacities.
Follow-up Qn: You said the client sent a mail to the CEO expressing pleasure. But if your project was such a success should they not have done something more for you? Maybe compensated monetarily or something.
A: Actually I was quite happy with the way the project turned out. The very fact that they were willing to replicate the project in China was a metric of the success we had. Moreover, the written congratulatory mail was an added bonus! So I definitely did not expect anything more from them.
Qn: How would you rate your Quantitative skills?
A: I think I have very strong quantitative skills so I would rate myself as a 9/10
Follow-Up Qn: So we have a case that we would like you to solve. Suppose I was coming up with a second airport at Chennai. What factors should I consider to arrive at the parking space to be constructed at the airport? We don’t want you to work with any numbers. Just tell us the factors you want to consider and the methodology you would use to arrive at the final number.
A: OK so I would start by looking at the number of runways in the airport….I would also account for the families that come to send off / receive these passengers in my calculation.
Follow-Up Qn: Ok, do you think there are any factors you might have missed out here?
A: Yes I think there are some factors that I have not accounted for in my calculation…
Qn: Great! So why ISB?
A: I feel ISB is the perfect fit which aligns my career goals to my current strengths. I would like to join a premier supply chain consulting firm post the… Moreover, I have the opportunity to study with some of the brightest minds in the country and would greatly benefit from the expertise of my professors and classmates.
Follow-Up Qn: Well, we appreciate your thinking but we have noticed that very few consulting companies hire non-IITians. So it would be quite difficult for you to achieve your goals at ISB. What will you do if you don’t get a consulting job?
A: I’m aware that there are some things that are in my control and some things that are not….So I would try for those companies during placements.
Follow-Up Qn: But what if you fail to get a consulting job?
A: Then I would probably try for a supply chain or operations role in a large FMCG firm because I believe I can leverage on my existing knowledge on pharmaceutical supply chains to deliver value to such firms.
Follow-Up Qn: How do you say that? To my knowledge, there is nothing similar to both industries.
A: Well, I have managed sourcing of several excipients in the pharma industry that also have end uses in FMCG so I do know that to some extent, at least with regards to sourcing raw materials, the two industries are quite similar.
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