This is the real ISB interview experience of a candidate who has 5 years 4 months of work experience as Analytics Consultant and 1 year 4 months of work experience at L&T.
The ISB interview was conducted on January20, 2019. As per the candidate’s information, there were two alumni in the interview panel. In his/her opinion, the interview was mainly focused on the profile and based on your responses.
|20th Jan, 2019 (Skype)
|ZS Associates – Analytics – Solutions Project Lead (Consultant) – 5 years 4 months
L&T ECC – 1 year 4 months
|P1 – Alum
P2 – Alum
|Your Opinion on the approach of the interviewers and their key focus
|The interviewers were warm and it was a friendly discussion. Although it was a Skype interview, I was lucky that the interviewers were both giving me enough body language that I could gauge their reactions to my answers and was able to understand if I needed to elaborate on a point or if I had to pick-up pace. By the end of the interview, I felt like they verified almost everything on my application
|Suggestions and Preparation Tips for Prospective Students
|Prepare and rehearse answers for all the generic questions (Why MBA, Why ISB, How it leads to goals, Why MBA now, etc) Also, body language is a great tool so that you can modify your answer length/structure/accuracy. Last, treat it like a conversation and be prepared to talk about every single detail from your application. You don’t need to have facts around every single achievement but sharing the high-level story is impactful.
Qn: Why ISB? Why not a global B-school since you are in the US?
A: Specified long-term career plan in India and also explained how ISB ties to my short-term and long-term goal
Follow-up Qn: (Not convinced with the answer) asked me why do I want to come back to India?
A: Explained both personal and professional reasons
Follow-up Qn: (Still not convinced) Why can’t you just come back to India and work at your company’s India office? Why do you want to do MBA
A: I explained that I wanted to diversify within consulting and work in other functional areas or industries. I also gave them an example of an industry I may want to work in and before I could conclude, I was interrupted
Follow-up Qn: ISB may not be suited for you since it doesn’t give you industry experience or knowledge.
A: I explained how ISB can provide the basic understanding of various functional areas and industries. I explained how ISB would also give me opportunities to join the consulting firms of my choice and also set me up for success in those roles. They seemed convinced by the answer and the overall conversation.
Qn: Behavioral: What is your weakness?
A: I explained a couple of weaknesses that I faced as I moved from an individual contributor to a team leader. I also mentioned how I have been working on improving on those fronts.
Qn: Behavioral: A challenging situation you faced recently?
A: I explained the situation where I had to step-up and perform due to my lead’s resignation. I explained the challenging circumstances and didn’t do a great job at specifying what I did in the situation. They enquired as a follow-up and I mentioned 2-3 things that I had done to prepare for the role (knowing the audience and doing a dry-run of presentations since I was in a new office/culture and was expected to lead discussions). I also mentioned that my boss was quite happy but I felt I did an average job. I immediately regretted saying it. I should have used a slightly more positive word.
Follow-up Qn: Why do you think you did an average job? What could you have done better?
A: There were few situations where we had delays since the stakeholders could not make decisions in time. I said that by being more confident, I could have driven the discussions in a manner that we arrive at decisions. They seemed content with my answers
Qn: Tell us something about your XX achievement at work (my first job 6 years ago in a construction company)
A: I explained how my senior and I were able to improve the procurement planning at our site. I also said that it was my first few months in the firm and my senior was leading the initiative and I helped him by doing x and y. They seemed very convinced by the answer. Later, I thought that I may have undersold myself but I think that made me come across as genuine.
Qn: Talk about your hobbies that you have listed in the application: football, heavy metal music.
A: I almost repeated what was mentioned in the hobbies section of my application and gave them 1 or 2 additional anecdotes. Later, I realized that I could have probably spent some more time talking about these hobbies and given another anecdote. But, I think, they were content with my response.
Qn: Behavioral: How would you deal with a situation when you are working with your team in India and they don’t do what you have asked them to?
A: I took some time to think and presented my answer. First, I would introspect to see if I failed to communicate the task or the urgency accurately. Second, I would jump on a quick call to understand the reason and talk about the next steps. I also said that, if it was urgent, I would do it myself as I can be hands-on and it will probably be too late for the team in India to work.
Follow-up Qn: Would you do the same thing if it was a junior team member?
A: At this point, I wasn’t sure what this question was trying to test. I thought about it and said, irrespective of them being a senior or junior, I think my steps will make sense.
Follow-up Qn: What if the junior team member in India doesn’t have a valid reason and it is some other reason for which he did not do what was asked?
A: I said that there could be multiple project commitments and situations that I may not have visibility into. But, I definitely trust that individual and if there was some reason for which the task was not performed, I wouldn’t doubt the character of the person. I would spend time discussing how we can approach the problem and the next steps. They seemed content with the answer.
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