This is the real ISB interview experience of a candidate who has 4 years of work experience in Technology.
The ISB interview was conducted on October 21, 2018. In his/her opinion, the interview was mainly focused on the application.
|21st October, 2018
|Technology, DE Shaw, 4+ years of experience
|Your Opinion on the approach of the interviewers and their key focus
|The interviewers were trying to validate each and every line that I had written in the application. They were interrupting frequently without listening to my entire answer. I found the interviewers to be slightly on the aggressive side.
Qn: How did you generate 25% increase in the revenue? What will you do to generate such an increase for my company (interviewer had a Pharma consultancy firm)?
A: Sir, instead of referring to any particular industry, I can tell you what I did in my firm. I utilized the existing network of doctors on my platform and asked them to refer their patients to take a lab test on my platform. The doctors provided the customers with a promo code. The promo code also helped me keep track of those customers.
I also improved the search quality of the system so that anyone who searches for a lab test on Google will get our website in the top results. Moreover, I also improved the internal search platform. For e.g., if anyone searches for diabetes in the website, he/she will be able to get the test details on our platform
Follow-up Qn: Did you do this all alone or was there a team?
A: I did this all alone with one business coordinator who joined at a later stage
Follow-up Qn: What was the commission of the doctor?
A: If the lab test was for less than 1K, his commission was 5%. Else his commission was 10%
Follow-up Qn: What was the search infrastructure that you used?
Follow-up Qn: Were you appreciated by the team for this?
A: Our team was very small (around 6 members). I was not monetarily rewarded but the CEO appreciated my effort. There was no hurrah as such.
Qn: Have you met any product manager?
A: I have worked directly with several project managers in my career. In fact, in Snapdeal, I worked with RIshiraj who was an ISB Alum himself.
Qn: Why ISB?
A: ISB already has a lot of connections in the technology industry and a strong alumni base in this sector. For e.g. Alok Goel (ex Freecharge/ ex Redus) and Ankur Warikoo (NearBuy CEO).
ISB is also a research-oriented institute. I mentioned the examples of the projects that SRINITE (centre of excellence) got from Microsoft, Telangana Govt etc.
Follow-up Qn: You can anyways approach the alumni?
A: Association with ISB would bring familiarity and a common connection. It would help me connect, interact and stay in touch much better with them. Being part of the ISB Alum brings exclusivity factor that otherwise won’t be there.
Follow-up Qn: Have you read their career path?
Qn: Who is the Product Manager?
A: Product manager is a mini CEO kind of role of a product. (Was interrupted and asked to avoid giving clichéd answers). I then explained that the product manager is someone who wears multiple hats and studies customer behaviour to design requirements, manage the product lifecycle, coordinate with cross-functional teams etc.
Qn: What are your short-term goals?
A: My short-term goal is to join a B2C company working on solutions for the Indian market. For e.g.
- Google has team The Next Billion under which it has launched several products such as Google Pay, Navlekha etc.
- Similarly, Uber has a team titled India Growth Team working for the Indian market. I wish to work on such initiatives.
Qn: What is the difference between throughput and scale?
A: Throughput is the time it takes to service and completes an individual request.
The scale is how many concurrent requests the system can handle.
Follow-up Qn: You talked about the scale in your essay, What was TPS of your system in Snapdeal?
Follow-up Qn: What was TPS in Lybrate?
Qn: Where have you travelled?
A: I have travelled to Singapore, Dubai, Germany and several places in India.
Follow-up Qn: What did you learn in Singapore?
A: They have been very particular in maintaining Singapore as a model city and have solved several modern city problems. For e.g
- They have a quota system in allocating cars so as to limit the number of cars in city to 1 million
- They have a proper garbage disposal system. (Explained that in detail)
Follow-up Qn: Can you turn Hyderabad to Singapore?
A: I tried hard to answer this question. They asked me to think like a product manager. We had a long discussion on this. Ultimately they told that they don’t want to trouble more on this and moved on.
Qn: You have mentioned the word “platform” a lot of times. What is the meaning of the word platform?
A: A platform is an interface to connect business service providers with their customers.
Follow-up Qn: Can a platform be only online?
Qn: Take this sticky note. How much space can you occupy with $3Bn?
A: Is this sticky note a 1 dollar bill. (Interviewer was impressed by that). I then wrote down my calculations. (He was not impressed by my estimation of the dimensions of room stating that being an engineer I should be able to estimate the size of the room). In the end I said that the money would be sufficient to fill the entire room.
Qn: Did you learn anything in 2 months that can be useful for you as Product Manager?
A: I worked with an NGO teaching kids. I understood the challenges that they face in learning something that comes very easy to me. For e.g., I had a tough time teaching them multiplication.
This taught me Customer Empathy. While designing a product it is important how a customer perceives a product and it is important to build a generic product. Things that are intuitive to me might not be so straightforward to the customer
Qn: Any questions?
A: I had attended the ISB Hyderabad Info-session. I interacted with alumni and faculty, and most of my concerns were addressed there itself.
Follow-up Qn: So you don’t have any questions for us?
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