REAL ISB INTERVIEW EXPERIENCES

Information Technology / 7 years 4 months

Interview Duration40 minutes
Interviewers’ Profile2 panelists
Final DecisionADMITTED

 

  • Why are you reapplying to ISB?

I was expecting an ice-breaker, and this kind of question first up took me a bit of surprise. After a couple of seconds of pause, I regained my composure, and told them that I am clear on my reasons for getting an MBA and applying to ISB, and feel that with a better GMAT score this time, I would have a better chance of making it.

  • So your score was the only reason you were rejected, in your opinion?

Explained that the score was not the only reason, but it was one of the reasons. Then, I also explained other reasons for why I thought I was a better candidate. Took them through changes in my profile, and explained the courses I have taken and work I have done over the last 2 years (since my last ISB application). They listened to me patiently and nodded.

  • Why did you take a course in French?

I spoke about how I visited France when I was younger, and was fascinated by the culture of the country. In college, I decided to take up a foreign language, and then decided on French. I also spoke about why it was a good choice because French is not just spoken in France, but former French territories in other countries too. I also added that knowing French helped me in my company as I could also handle French clients.

  • Why French, why not Spanish or Chinese, they have a bigger population than French?

I explained that I gave a thought to those as well, but based on requirement, interest, resources available, I chose French. I also added that I am not restricting to one language, and that if in future I will be required to learn other languages I will do so, depending on the time I have.

  • Why are you looking for funding for XYZ (my entrepreneurial initiative) and applying to an MBA program at the same time? Why is it something you can’t do without an MBA?

I told them that I had limitations in terms of business skills, and I had already spent 2 years trying to grow XYZ. While participating in competitions and pitches, I realized that an MBA could help me in taking my idea ahead further for the future. I would be able to convince people better,  and with good corporate experience, would be able to use the funding better also, when we got it.

  • You think just the degree will help you? If you get funding and ISB both, what will you choose?

Told him that I would choose ISB, because with my current business skills I would not be able to do justice to the venture. Told him about a McKinsey study that there are plenty of opportunities in the Indian market, and that one needs to focus on skills, not just one idea, to create impact. I told him the network, contacts and learning that I will get at B school will help me take up any business idea.

  • Job, venture, social, there is too much happening in your application. I want to get more clarity on your thinking. That is why I am asking such questions (said this looking disinterested)

I patiently explained that there were many dimensions to me as an individual and a professional, and took him through my aspirations again, and various parts of my profile, explaining how they fit together. He continued to look disinterested through my answer.

  • You took a course in ML and now in Automation. The two are very different, so why?

Told him that my work required me to learn those skills, and that RPA (Robotic Process Automation) was a part of my work responsibilities. As I needed to do my best for the organization, I took up these courses.

  • The other guy said that I will be too cruel in going to ISB and leaving my employer as they have invested in me. He had a straight face throughout the interview. They had a good cop and bad cop kind of a scenario.

I explained how employees leave different organizations for various reasons, and as long as one had performed with competence and delivered value to the organization, one was within one’s rights to leave. Also explained how I had put in processes at the organization so that my leaving would not disrupt things too much and for too long. This seemed to convince them.

  • Other guy asked that you have mentioned engagement manager at one place and XYZ (my venture) at the other, these too are completely different things.

Told him that I want to first get the right experience and connections. In long term the network and skills will help me to grow my idea in future.

  • Any questions for us?

Asked about the ISB Exchange Programs and how I could communicate with corporate houses at ISB. They gave me answers for both in detail, and concluded the interview with warm handshakes.

Information Technology / 7 years 4 months

Interview Duration30 minutes
Interviewers’ Profile2 panelists
  • How are you doing today?

I couldn’t say ‘so far so good!’, so had a bit of small talk to break the ice. The panelists were in a good mood and were smiling at my responses. Off to a good start!

  • Tell us one reason why you are applying to ISB

I started giving them many reasons, but they stopped me, and asked me to choose one (the top one). I spoke about ISB’s focus on digital. Later, I was also able to sneak in another reason (without them objecting again) on the pro bono consulting program at ISB, and related it to a similar college experience.

  • Follow up question about my college even: How was it meeting so many people for the first time? Did you face any conflict? How did you handle it?

Spoke about how I am a people’s person and that meeting new people was actually a pleasant activity for me. Initially, I said that I didn’t face any conflict, but they refused to accept that. I then thought a bit more and was able to explain a situation when I had a difference of opinion with a classmate, and how I handled it amicably, and how despite the difficulties between us at the time, we are still friends.

  • In all your work experience years, what will you say is your biggest quality?

This was tough, because I had already used the people card in my previous answer. So had to quickly think of something else. Spoke about my strength in learning new things quickly and my ability to work across teams. There were some follow-up questions on each asking for examples, which I handled.

  • They then asked a follow-up question on the training content that I created for the SAP employees on Predictive Analytics.

This was a question I was delighted to get. I went on for around 5 minutes on what all I had done, and how it was difference, and had created value for SAP. They listened attentively, without any questions.

  • Why MBA?

I thought I was done with this part (after the ‘Why ISB’ question earlier), but I realized it was a different question. Spoke about my need for an MBA and why I needed it now. A couple of follow-up questions from them were there, asking why I couldn’t grow without the MBA, and why a MOOC wouldn’t suffice. I was able to explain why a full-time MBA was the only right choice for me, and why without it, I would not be able to get the same growth.

  • Any questions for us?

Asked about clubs on campus and about campus choice (Mohali v/s Hyderabad). They were happy to pitch in with detailed answers. That ended the interview.

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