This is the real ISB interview experience of a candidate who has 4 years 8 months of work experience in IT domain.
The ISB interview was conducted on November 20, 2016. In his/her opinion, the interview was mainly focused on the application essays.
|20th Nov, 2016
|IT/ 4 yrs 8 mths
|Your Opinion on the approach of the interviewers and their key focus
|Essays! They have a print-out of your essays marked with everything they want to ask. You could be probed on any word you use in your essay. They just want to get to know your level of understanding about your essays and what you do at work.
Qn: (Reading my essay on the word Ecstatic) So what are you Ecstatic about?
A: I told them about a mountaineering expedition I was planning to take in January.
Qn: What are your current roles and responsibilities?
Follow-up Qn: So you lead a team. How would your team members describe you? Tell us something that they don’t like about you.
A: I’m a very friendly and approachable person. I don’t think they dislike anything about me.
Follow-up Qn: We insist you give it a serious thought.
A: I’m very particular about deadlines. Although I’m a very calm person, in certain cases I might lose my cool. I also can’t take a laid-back attitude towards work that they might not like.
Follow-up Qn: Are these people junior to you?
Follow-up Qn: Let’s say you come to ISB. We put you in a group. One person refuses to work on group assignments. What would you do? Would you lose your cool then too?
A: I will try to talk to him. I will ask others to talk to him as well.
Follow-up Qn: Alright. But let’s say he still won’t work on the assignments. How will you deal with that?
A: I will try to make him see what he is not seeing. I will make him understand that it’s a group activity.
Qn: Your recommender has written about a weakness that you have. Guess what it could be?
A: I said I’m not sure what she could have written. <They gave hints> Then I guessed the incident and the said weakness. I also said I worked on it and doesn’t happen anymore.
Qn: In your essay you said you convinced people at work. How do you convince someone?
A: I back my ideas with proof and data.
Qn: So you co-founded a venture?
Follow-up Qn: I can sense passion when you talk about your venture? Why did you discontinue? Why did you not take it up full-time?
Qn: You say your perseverance and passion make you a worth candidate for ISB? Please back this claim with concrete examples.
A: I talked about an initiative I took up and how it did not go well initially. Despite of the difficulties I eventually pulled it off. (I used the term waterfall model while answering)
Qn: What is waterfall? Why is it called so?
Qn: You said there was not enough planning with the initiative. How would you do it now? What plans will you have in place?
Qn: Do you like a structured work environment or unstructured work environment?
A: I have no preference for either of them I am capable of handling both.
Qn: Coming back to the venture, what marketing did you do?
Qn: You have done a course in Business Analysis. How has it helped?
A: Explained a few tools I learned about.
Qn: So where do you see the gap? How will MBA help?
A: I wish to get into role of an IT consultant.
Qn: Do all people in that role have an MBA?
A: No, but I think to be able to do justice to the role I would need an MBA. Since I would not want to give the clients a solution based on a hunch nor would I want to experiment on the job.
Qn: Do you have any particular courses in mind?
Qn: 30 lakhs! 10% rate of interest! Are you sure it is worth it? You can do these courses for free you know.
A: I explained the importance of experiential learning and how MBA is more organized.
Qn: And now to ask you the most obvious question- there are so many IT guys. What differentiates you from them?
A: I said everyone will display uniqueness in one way or the other. All things that I have done together make me a worthy candidate. I will not be able to point to a single thing which will make me unique.
Qn: You have been working with engineers all your life. You know them well. There must be something that you think you have and they don’t.
A: I would say drive. I have been engaged in a lot of activities beyond work. (I cited a few hobbies and initiatives)
Qn: Ok then! Are there any questions for us?
Qn: Have you attended any ISB events?
A: No. But I did take a counselling session over phone and called in a few times to clarify my doubts.
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