ISB Interview Exp. (Technology): Business Analyst – Analytics / 4.5 years

This is the real ISB interview experience of a candidate who has 4 years 5 months of work experience as Business Analyst.

ISB Interview Experience - Business Analyst - 4 years 5 months

The ISB interview was conducted on February 18, 2018. 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 work experience.

Interview Date18th Feb, 2018
Work ProfileAnalytics/ 4.5 years of work experience
Interviewers’ ProfileP1 – Alum
P2 – Alum
Your Opinion on the approach of the interviewers and their key focusInterviewers wanted to understand the depth of my work experience

Qn: You are a re-applicant: what has changed in the last 1 year?
A: Talked about my internal movement within my company, change in profile & how it takes me closer to the problem solving for customers.

Follow-up Qn: Let’s understand this better: could you give me an example?
A: Talked about one of my projects, what all I have done and the entire thought process.

Follow-up Qn: Why did you need customer interaction when you had all the data and the ability to do all the analysis?
A: Talked about why quantitative analysis alone could not present the complete picture and hence needed qualitative data (talked about the business metrics to justify the same)

Follow-up Qn: (Interviewer not satisfied) Explained how he thought that the hypotheses we had could have been proven through data
A: Discussed with specific examples of how we were able to achieve more refined results when we looked beyond the data

Follow-up Qn: So is the problem solved now? Have you been able to achieve the end goal?
A: Yes, (quoted few business metrics to support the decision: used very few technical jargons)

Qn: You have written you can switch contexts easily. Could you give us 2-3 examples?
A: This was related to my switch from Retail to Pharma in Mu Sigma, and thereafter, to Makemytrip. Explained how I was able to make a smooth switch and adapted well to the different businesses.

Follow-up Qn: If you were to switch context to Lending industry post-MBA, how will you do that?
A: Talked about how my understanding about basics of payments through working in MMT and also understanding about the signals in lending (CRISIL score, current loans, earnings) could help me get a head start in this field

Qn: Asked about a pilot project I did at Mu Sigma
A: Talked about what the client wanted to achieve, how we structured the problem, what were the challenges and what we proposed/ handed over to the client.

Follow-up Qn: How did you decide on this model?
A: Talked about the concept of the product adoption curve and how we had used the same in our problem.

Follow-up Qn: How many people were involved in this project? What was your role?
A: 2 people, I was the senior analyst, took care of the client interaction & communication besides the analysis part

Qn: You are a data guy. Why the switch from Mu Sigma (which is a data analytics firm) to MMT which is highly dynamic and is very demanding and where the data models would go obsolete very soon?
A: Although Mu Sigma offered a wonderful opportunity to learn data analytics with a wide selection of projects and a highly dynamic environment, I was not part of the consumption of analytics. Immediately after project completion, we would move onto the next engagement. I moved to MMT to understand the consumption better and be a part of it. At MMT, since the beginning, I have been involved closely with the execution of projects (gave 2 examples of projects done with business teams). Thus, I have been able to better understand the consumption & also incorporate the feedback into my work.

Follow-up Qn: So you do get enough time to execute projects?
A: Yes, I do get

Qn: Your recommender has written that you are proactive in giving feedback. Do you follow this?
A: Yes, I do make sure that I put across my point of view and any feedback that I think is essential.

Follow-up Qn: But doesn’t it turn ugly when talking to seniors? How do you do this?
A: Yes, it is often not the easiest thing to do. However, I engage with my teammates/seniors in the conversation, discuss the pros and cons of any decision we are making and also provide reasons why I agree/ disagree with any argument/ decision made. Engaging with them is the best method to discuss disagreements.

Follow-up Qn: Is it easier to give feedback to juniors?
A: There is less anxiety when discussing with the juniors. However, the effort is similar.

Qn: One last question and then I am done: Describe how do you go about deploying any project?
A: Talked about the recommendation project- the problem statement, what I did, the testing method and how it was rolled out.

Follow-up Qn: So choosing between deploying vs accuracy, what do you choose?
A: Deploying. Described the reasoning behind the same- if it is better than the current live system then it should be deployed. Also, deployment helps collect data about how the new model is performing.

Follow-up Qn: But doesn’t it lead to a loss in long-term?
A: Yes, it may lead to loss where the model is not corrected for the errors on a continuous basis.

Qn: What is stopping you from going to companies like Flipkart in Product Manager roles? Why do you need an MBA?
A: There are 2 reasons why I need an MBA. First, in order to be a successful PM I need to understand the business functions better: how branding, marketing works, how does financial balance sheets work etc. Without understanding each of these it will be very difficult for me to design products that are present in e-commerce (through multiple brands), payment space. The second reason being to develop my leadership and negotiation skills, again a key requirement for being a successful PM.

Although each of these can be achieved on the job, the journey will take a longer time. The purpose of doing an MBA is to accelerate this learning and be closer to my goal of being a PM.

Qn: Apart from data what has changed in last 5 years?
A: First, I have developed an approach to problem solving. This has helped me in my professional life. Second, I have had the opportunity to interact with a lot of brilliant minds both at MMT, Mu Sigma & my professional network. This has shaped my thinking and made me more humble and patient.

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