Interviews for entry into the Post Graduate Program (PGP) at the Indian School of Business (ISB) are extremely competitive. The following are five helpful hints that will contribute to your success.
Develop the stamina to answer multiple questions with patience
ISB admissions are extremely competitive. You can expect to be asked anywhere from 10 to 15 questions, each of which will be on a different subject, during the course of your interview. If you want to give yourself the best possible chance of succeeding, you should practice with someone who can give you feedback on how well you are doing and prepare in advance for each question that will be asked. You will gain a better understanding of what works and what does not work during an interview as a result of doing this, which will allow you to improve your performance in the interview.
Remember that being prepared to answer the questions is the single most important thing you need to keep in mind at all times. You can expect to be questioned by the admissions committee about your previous work experience, as well as your personal strengths and weaknesses, as well as the reasons you chose to apply to ISB and why you believe you would be a good fit there. You are not permitted to merely respond with anything; rather, your response must be rational, well-thought-out, and convincing.
Research the culture of the school and determine how it fits in with your long-term objectives.
The next thing you need to do is familiarize yourself with ISB and its traditions so that you will feel comfortable answering questions regarding them during the interview. You should be familiar with its history, location, and the types of classes it offers, in addition to any other information that is relevant to this procedure, such as experiential learning programs at ISB. This will give you an advantage over other applicants who have not prepared adequately for their ISB admission interviews by doing their assigned reading and research.
After graduating from an MBA program, it is essential to have a clear vision of your professional and personal goals, including the kind of organization or field in which you would like to work. The interviewers will ask questions about these topics while they are interacting with applicants, so applicants should come prepared with answers that reflect their personalities and interests while highlighting both their strengths and weaknesses.
During an interview, the Admissions Director at ISB stated that candidates need to have a very clear understanding of why they want to join ISB as well as what value they can add to the culture of the school. Rather than explaining why they want to attend ISB or what they hope to gain from it, many applicants simply state that they want to learn from the best faculty or improve their leadership skills. Others simply state that they want to learn from the best faculty. As a consequence of this, they come across as unclear and unsure of themselves during interviews.
Rather than focusing solely on finding answers, develop your perspective.
While ISB interviews are conversational, they are not always based on simple questions; you should get yourself ready to answer challenging questions about yourself and your work experience. These questions could include why you want to get an MBA after working in the industry for such a long time; why you want to get an MBA at ISB and not a foreign B-school; what leadership qualities you have; how much time you spend reading newspapers/magazines/books/blogs, etc.; what kind of leadership qualities are important in today’s business environment, and so on. Another question could be what kind of leadership qualities are important in today’s business environment.
Develop the ability to think quickly on your feet
ISB interviewers will sometimes test you not just on knowledge but on thinking. Don’t be surprised if you are given a guesttimate or a mini case to work through, with interjections at timely intervals by the interviewers!
ISB applicants are occasionally presented with a case study and asked to provide their feedback on the matter. The cases are typically challenging due to the numerous parties involved and the complexity of the issues. For instance, one candidate was asked a question about how to deal with an employee who had been accused of sexual harassment by a coworker. Various other situational parameters were given. The interviewer was interested in observing how the applicant’s mind processed the information presented to it and how the applicant’s logic led him to a conclusion regarding the appropriate course of action to take against this individual.
While this was a human centric case, not all cases are like that. You could be asked to unravel a finance related puzzle, or solve an operations problem if that relates to the domain you belong to. Be ready to apply what you know to the problem at hand, and above all, be calm as you work through the problem. Often, the solution is not as important as the process you take.
Make sure you have a list of questions ready to ask the people interviewing you.
You should also come prepared with a list of questions to ask during the interview. This shows that you have done your research and that you have a particular interest in ISB (rather than just any good B school). Here are some examples: How does the elective course plan adapt from one school year to the next? On what sorts of projects do students typically collaborate? What different kinds of ELP projects are available to choose from? How do ISB students interface with research centers?
Remember to ask smart questions about the program, but avoid ones that have obvious answers already available on the ISB website.