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ISB Interview experiences 2012 ( for class entering in 2013)

ISB Interview experience 1

For Class of 2014, Round 1

GMAT score: 740

Profile: 3+ years in innovative materials industry

My One word essay topic- Surrealism

Interview panel consisted of two, one was a ISB alumnus and the other admissions official

Interview started with a line from Mahatma Gandhi that I had quoted in my first Essay. Then it moved to standard interview questions of why an MBA, why from ISB, why now and how I would add value to the class.

Afterwards I was questioned on my one word essay, 3M and my job responsibilities. At the end they gave me an opportunity to ask them questions which I politely passed.

Overall the interview was very relaxed and the panel members seemed genuinely interested to know about me as a candidate.

Final Result: Offered Admission


ISB Interview experience 2

For Class of 2014, Round 1

GMAT score: 720

Profile: MBBS, Heathcare industry

There were 3 people, 2 alums one of which was most probably a doctor.

Interview started before the scheduled time and lasted for 25-30 minutes. Overall experience was good. It didnt feel like an interview. It was like a chat. The doctor said it was a waste of my talent to be sitting there (I did really well in college)

Q1. So what is your current job?

Q2. What is the product that you have developed? Whats in it for the company? Whats in it for the concerned person?

Q3. What work can your company do in this field?

Q4. What are the challenges that the Indian healthcare sector faces/ What can you do?

Q5. What have been your challenges? What have you done to overcome them?

Q. They asked if there is such a shortage of doctors, should they work in the marketing department at pharma companies? I said that due to the mutual respect, doctors listen to doctors better and dont listen to the sales guys. So, doctors in marketing can be more effective . But I made it clear that everyone was free to do what he/she wants. ( in essence, its none of my business)

Q6. Any questions for us? I asked abt the WGCP and the electives for Healthcare, The Max Institute etc

Bottomline: Do your homework well. Be sure of the industry you’re in (you should know the stats and stuff) and what you want to do there.

Final Result: Offered Admission

ISB Interview experience 3

For Class of 2014, Round 1

GMAT score: 720

Profile: 7+ years in IT services , 5 years of international exposure

My interview was on 8th Nov, Delhi, 5:10PM .

Mine was the last slot of the day and the panel was running around 2 hours late. When I entered the room, there was only 1 lady in the panel. She appologized profusely for keeping me waiting. She also explained the the other member (1 guy from adcom) had left as they had misplaced the application of the guy interviewed just before me, and hence the additional delay (panel was running abt 1 hr late until 4PM).

1. When did you go to US and when did you return

2. Tell me about your profile

3. What do you like best about your international exp (I have about 5 yrs of experience in US)

4. If I liked it so much, then why did I come back

Gave my reasons

She said thats rare, since most people in my position would not return … more dicussion.. the conversation lasted pretty long here .. we ended up discussing work hour, exchange rate, bringing up kids in these 2 countries (I have a kid)

5. Difference in work culture in America, Europe, Asia – I had mentioned in my app that I have worked with teams across the globe

6. Explain anayltics (I work in Business Analytics )

7. Example of how Big Data can be used

8. How are you using analytics in your current job profile

9. How have you used analytics in a creative manner – example

10. Questions about my skiing experience (talked abt it in my essay) .. some technicalities of skiing (i did not expect the panel to discuss this, but apparently she knew skiing as well!) .. conversation veered to my sports achievements, extra curriculars …

11. Post mba which company you would like to work for

answered Google – she asked abt maps on iphone (recent iphone 5 maps issue) – talk about Google, Apple

12. Any questions for us –

Umm… I was surprised that it was getting over since we had not talked abt my management, leadership experience at all.

13. I guess she read my mind, as she then she asked how long have I managed teams

14. How do I motivate my team

15. How do I work with the reluctant/unwilling team member

Thats it … shook hands, she apologized again for the delay

The interview lasted about 40mins. Overall a very good experience, no stress, just conversational. The panel was very cordial, and very knowledgeable.

Final Result: Offered Admission

ISB Interview experience 4

For Class of 2014, Round 1

The interview was a 30 minute skype interview. Questions asked were

1. Why MBA

2. What do you plan to do after graduation

3. Why so early in your career?

4. Why do you want to come back to India

5. Tell me about yourself

6. 10 minutes of highly specific questions about my projects

7. Walk us through the difficulty of taking a higher responsibility so early in your career

Final Result: Offered Admission

IIMC PGPEX Interview Questions

Profile: 7 yrs IT services experience, 5 yrs International experience

Here are the interview questions. The interview went on for some 20 minutes.
– Tell us something abt yourself.
– What is Toastmasters? (I mentioned i am a member of Toastmasters club)
– Explain the economic crisis in US.
– Why does not it happen in India.
– Indira Gandhi took loan from IMF, any idea?
– How many districts in Delhi?
– Who is the local member of parliament?
– Why you did not apply for MBA in US?
– There is a higher education bill pending with the parliament, what is that?
– Any questions for Adcom?

IIM A PGPX Interview experience/ questions

Location – IIMA PGPX campus.

Time – 3PM. Interview panel – No. 3

Interviewers – 2 one smiling (let’s say A) and another not smiling (let’s say B)

1. A – so when did you arrive? (ice-breaker)

Answer – Yesterday in Ahmedabad city. Today at 1:50 out here.

2. A – Gave me a topic. Asked to think and speak – Space Tourism.

Answer- Frankly could not remember much except Richard Branson, Virgin Atlantic is saying he will invest. Good to have research on how to do it cheap.

3. B – not smiling. Wants me to speak about what I do – Presales.

Answer –some stuff .. Also made mistake – did not practice this answer well.

4. B – asks about ERP business today (I do presales for ERP).

B – So is ERP dead today?

Answer – No! More and more businesses are moving to it.

5. A – asks about why MBA

Answer – told him some well practiced stuff.

6. A – define strategic leadership, if you were to go back to your company what role will you play? How will MBA help?

Answer – Again, some practiced stuff.

7. A – Asks about strengths as an IT guy – 4 or 5.

Answer – God! I did make this one up on the spot.. Bet he understood!! Luckily did not BS much. Even “Prof Smiling A” did not seem too impressed though.

8. A – Why is Europe in such a bad shape today?

Answer – funds arrived in the Euro Zone. Ireland is good study in failure. Everyone thought they had access to it. So funds were mismanaged and misappropriated. spoke too much as well L

9. A – Max team you have lead? Currently?

Answer – Some facts and figures.

10. A – What else can you tell me about yourself?

Answer – Interested in Tae Kwon Do. Etc.. etc..

B – So you still do Tae Kwon Do?

Answer – Yes.

11. A – Any question for us?

Answer – A practiced question … Nothing tremendous.

12. A – anything else you want to ask us?

Answer – There was a student that we were talking to outside. He answered most other things I had to ask. Thanks!

XLRI GMP Interview Experience/ Questions

Profile : 5.5 years IT ( 2 years onsite), GMAT: 660

My interview was scheduled at 10:30 but I reached the venue around 09:45. I went up the stairs the interview room. I could have opened the interview room door(glass one), but I realized that there is interview going on. I went to waiting room and there was nobody there. After 10 min a gentleman came and asked if I would like to start my interview. We entered the interview room.

There were three gentlemen and one asked for my certificate folder and he said that he will check them. So all the documents must be properly placed which was not the case with me. 🙁

First question: Why GMP?

Ans: I tried to elaborate a bit by discussing my experience but the person interrupted me and asked if I am answering his question…. I don’t know whether he wanted to distract me or he wanted me to be precise. I told him that I coming to that.

Question: Have you heard about the word genocide? What does that mean?

Ans: Told him

Question: Any genocide in last 10 years?

Ans: Don’t know sir

Question: Any genocide

Ans: I told about Germans killing Jews. I got confused with dates and said it was in 1960 but pulled it back by saying it was during World War 2.

Question: through my essays… synonym of affable and rapport

Ans: Could’t give a proper synonym… but tried to explain it

Question: how many subsets can you make with n objects?

Ans: After thinking I said 2^n

Question: How

Ans: Tried to explain using nc1 + nC2 +….. +nCn = 2^n but person said he is looking for something else

Then there was some discussion about Swiss culture.

Then I think I answered one question well: You have written you strike or initiate a good conversation with most of people you meet. But don’t you think good conversation currently going was initiated by us… we made you comfortable…

Ans: you are correct sir… really comfortable here… but I think for a good conversation good reaction is as important as good initiation… and I think I reacted well to your effort and was not in shell.

Last question: if I assign one attribute neutrality to Swiss give me two more

Ans: Swiss people are money specific they want full value of each penny spent… the interviewer interrupted me and asked me to leave.

I am not sure if they were too happy with my answer and they thought they were not to the point.

UNC Kenan Flagler interview experience/ questions

Total Time: 40 minutes

Interviewer: Amitav Virmani

A: Amitav

A: Tell me about yourself

ME: I talked about my education, my work at Cadence & STMicroelectronics. Then I talked about my personal interests, and about my initiative PlanetWayRound.

A: Why MBA?

ME: I talked about technology knowledge and finance skill set. Want to use them together in an M&A/Corporate Finance role. But how, MBA will fit in there.

A: Where do you see yourself 5 & 10 years from now?

ME: 5 years – Director of M&A in a technology major. 10 years – CFO of a company.

A: Tell me a situation where you faced issues with teaming, but you were still successful.

ME: I talked about my experience at Cadence Design Systems, where I had to lead a team of 3 where all 3 were senior to me. I had to respect their seniority, gain from there experience and at the same time communicate via the management channel, so as not to offend anybody.

A: Tell me about any challenge that you faced and solved it and you were awarded for the same.

ME: I talked about the challenge I faced at STM. I solved a bug in the device that was about to go in production and I saved around $60K for the company and was awarded “Best All Rounder of APG”

A: How will you add value to the class?

ME: 1. I talked about my unique skill-set which is a combination of technology knowledge and financial skill-set. 2. I talked about my diverse interests and the interpersonal skills that I have gained from them. 3. I talked about my leadership qualities gained from professional work, planet way round and India bull riders.

A: I talked about which bikes I have.

ME: I told him about my 3 bikes.

A: He asked me about India Bull Riders

ME: I told him about the activities, the weekend rides, the long rides. He was amazed to know the places I have covered on my bike.

A: Any questions for me?

ME: I asked about the journey from the General Manager post at the office of the CEO at Ranbaxy to the Country Head of Ark, an NGO.

A: He told about his motivation behind that.

ME: Then I talked about my NGO work in detail. He was impressed by my ideas and the events I organized in the past to generate money for charity.

A: Any other questions.

ME: I asked him how the career advancement team will help me transition from technology to finance.

Great Lakes GD & Interview experience/ Questions

The GD topic of the group before mine was ‘Technology and Corruption’ and my group’s GD topic was ‘Media Activism: Whether it is affecting the social-fabric of our society’.

Interviewer-1: What is negative working-capital and whether it is good for a company? (I come from a commerce background, maybe hence the question).

Me: I made a guess. And told him that its been years since I graduated and in my current job-profile, I have had very little exposure in accounting, hence I may be wrong in my answer

Interviewer-1: Again asked me three more accounting concepts

Me: Smiled and told him that I don’t know, but will make a wild guess.

Interviewer: Agreed and asked to make guesses.

Me: Made guesses (bad ones)

Interviewer-1: You graduated from a prestigious college and yet you don’t know the concepts.

Me: Smiled (totally demotivated)

Interviewer-2: Tell me about your job-profile

Me: Answered about the work I did.

Interviewer-1: How often do I travel abroad?

Me: Told him that I had traveled internationally on work thrice in 2010, and appx twice in each of the years before.

Interviewer-1: Tell me about your company?

Me: Gave a gist about my company’s activities

Interviewer-1: Whats the turn-over of your company?

Me: Answered the statistics and told him that the YoY growth of the company has been more than 200% hence I have had a lot of learning experience in understanding the problems a growing organization encounters.

Interviewer-1: Asked me to elaborate that.

Me: Elaborated on branding, counterfeiting, production problems, labor problems, production problems etc etc.

Interviewer-1: Whats the employee strength – including workers at factory and office-staff.

Me: 200

Interviewer-1: Tell me about your group of companies.(the company that I work for is a part of a larger company with several business interests)

Me: Gave him a gist about each of the businesses.

Interviewer-1: Whats the turnover of the entire group

Me: Answered the statistics

Interviewer-1: Asked me two accounting terms ‘Capital Surplus’ and ‘Revenue Surplus’?

Me: Made a guess about ‘revenue surplus’ (which was ofcourse wrong) and told him I don’t know ‘capital surplus’.

Interviewer -1: Explained me ‘Capital surplus’ with an example.

Interviewer -2: You have written that you have worked for an NGO, what is the kind of work you have done?

Me: Told her about my experiences with the NGO

Interviewer -1: Tell me the name of the movie in which the hero asked his factory workers to work overtime and did not pay them overtime charges. Yet the workers readily worked for the hero.

Me: Hum hai rahi pyaar ke with Aamir Khan in the lead role…J

Interviewer -1: Why Greak Lakes?

Me: Answered

Interviewer -1: Somehow you do not come across me as a serious MBA applicant. Why do you think we should take you?

Me: Told him that I am dedicated towards pursing my further studies. In the past, I have managed work and 1 year weekend classes together.

Interviewer -1: Any plans of getting married ?

Me: No. Not for the next 3-4 years until I am settled professionally.

Interviewer -1: In what field I would want do my specialization?

Me: Marketing

Interviewer -1: Thank-you.

Oxford Said 2011 interview questions/ experience

Profile: 4 years Operations & Consulting

GMAT: 750

The interview was a pretty conversational one and following are the questions which were asked which I can remember:
  1. What are you doing currently?
  2. How has you consulting experience been?
  3. How did you handle stress while performing so many tasks?
  4. Why MBA?
  5. Why Oxford?
  6. One instance where your communication helped to solve problem?
  7. One instance where you lead a dysfunctional team?
  8. What did you take away regarding people from your cross cultural exposure?
  9. Biggest failure and learning you derived from it?
  10. Anything else you would want me to ask you?
  11. Any questions?

Nanyang (NTU) Interview Experience

Total Time: 30 minutes

Interviewer: Prof. Vishvanathan

V: Prof. Vishvanathan

V: You essays are contradictory. You have 5 years of experience in designing components for automotive products. You have also done you CFA L-1 and FRM L-1. You mentioned that you want to work in Finance. What kind of finance industry you want to work in?

ME: I want to move into a Corporate Finance, M&A role in a technology major.

V: At one place you say that, but at the other you have written, you want to work in Banking & Finance sector. So which one you want to go into?

ME: I again said I want to move into Corporate Finance role in a technology major.

Then I said, now let me step back a little and tell you why do I believe I can do that. I talked about my technical experience, that I have worked in the industry and seen it from both perspectives i.e. I have worked in the EDA tool company as well as a semiconductor design company. Now I know how market requirements transform into design requirements, and how design requirements transform into requirements for EDA tools. Also, its not that I just want to go into finance, I have worked hard for it. I talked about NSE, CFA and FRM.

Now I have skill set which is an amalgamation of knowledge of technology industry and fundamentals of finance. But there are still two things lacking, 1) hands on exposure on the financial industry and 2) knowledge on how to effectively use both my skills together in a corporate finance role. That’s where MBA from ISB comes in picture.

V: I still don’t understand why you want to move into Finance? Don’t you like design?

ME: I like design, but I have reached a level where I want to move up the career ladder and have larger set of responsibilities.

V: But can’t you do that in a technology role? You understand the customer, requirements and design really well. Why can’t you go into technology management and through that role go into senior management role? You right have knowledge on how to convert the customer requirements in design. But moving into a senior management role, you need to have a more holistic view of technology and that might me more important that the finance part. Even for M&A, some account can crunch the numbers for you, but you need to understand the overall strategy. You need to spend more time in technology domain rather than finance. What is your say on this?

ME: Its never about the glamour or money that the finance domain has. Also if I say that I wanted to move into finance, I will be lying to you. I started with NSE certifications, then I got interested and enrolled in CFA and then FRM program. After doing all this, I understood that corporate finance is the role where I can apply my technology knowledge with finance concepts. Its not that I want to throw away my technology experience and the engineering degree.

To answer your question on how I will be better than a guy who will just do number crunching, I will take an example of telecom industry. I talked about the number of handsets sold, expected growth. Then I talked about Micromax, its history, the profits, the future. Now if I am working in telecom major like Samsung and I have to acquire a company in India, I will be a better judge of which one to acquire, than a guy who will just do the number crunching.

V: You are saying what I am saying. Why go into number crunching at all. Its just a factor to help make right decisions. But the decisions are made by the technology force. If you want to go into a bank or VC and invest in those companies, then I can understand, but if you want to be in the technology space, why go into finance?

ME: I have an interest in finance, and by doing the CFA & FRM, I know I have the potential also. At the same time I want to use the technology knowledge as well. So that is the reason I want to go in this field.

V: What I can say is that you will get through any reputed MBA program, if not Nanyang MBA. But you need to think about your career plan as such. People who do M&A, and strategy are at very senior levels. But if you are in a firm who help them do the M&A, then you can be a junior person. Finding a perfect niche for you might be very difficult. You might be better off staying in technology for some more time. Build up on finance knowledge, and when you move into a general management role, you can use both. That will be a more realistic plan for you. Rather than competing with people from Finance background, you should leverage your skills. This is the small piece of advice I wanted to give you.

V: Since, work in the automotive product group of your company, you must be aware about all the recent problems that Toyota had, right?

ME: Sorry, I am not aware of that.

V: You have any questions about Singapore, NTU or Nanyang MBA?

ME: I asked about the internship. How one goes about it?

ME: I asked about how the career services team will help me in the transition from technology to finance?

V: Let me ask the same question to you. You know you have to join Nanyang MBA within next 6 months. What additional steps will you take to successfully transition to finance role?

ME: I talked about CFA L-2, industry projects, connecting with alumni, gaining from peer group.

V: What exactly is corporate finance for you?

ME: I talked about the roles in Corporate Finance.

V: What is the part of strategy, because you also mentioned strategy?

ME: Revenue generation, business model and holistically planning the areas of development for company.

V: You have done designing of chips. How will you use that experience in a corporate finance role?

ME: My experience has taught me what goes in an overall product development flow, not only in semiconductor industry.

V: I am just trying to help you articulate what your strategy for converting into a finance person. So how can you leverage your experience in such a role? You don’t need to answer this question right now. This is something that you need to think yourself. What is that you bring to the table for a corporate finance or strategy role?

V: I talked to a person who joined a brokerage firm right after B.Tech. He said he moved there because the brokerage firm was going more tech-savy. Finance has lot of technology going in. So you have to leverage the technology to go in Finance role.

NUS Singapore Interview Experience/ Questions

GMAT: 630

Profile: Indian/ Female, 5 years PR & Communications

There were two people who conducted the interview- a lady from Adcom and the Prof. Nitin (the academic head) and both were equally involved in posing questions and evaluating. The lady from Ad Com was taking notes while Prof Nitin was judging the communication skills and body language.

The interview was pretty different from expected. There were no questions around Tell us something about yourself, why do you wish to pursue an MBA etc.

I was told by the interviewers that they have no sense of my profile and that all they had seen were my essays. Apparently, it was a blind interview, although towards the end they did ask me about my one of my client projects and what different did i manage for them.

The first question was from my essay that I wrote on offshoring the production base. They asked me questions around:

  • If you had to choose a destination which one would it be and why? I answered India
  • Why not China? What will be the comparative advantage if it was China and disadvantage too?

The next question was posed by Prof Nitin on a professional failure and how did I overcome that/learnings? I was not prepared for this and took a few seconds to answer. In the meanwhile, he asked if there have been no professional failures? Which I handled by saying- thats a rare possibility and then quickly made something up.

They were ready to wrap up my interview in fifteen minutes and asked if i have some questions for them. I managed to pull the conversation by saying please let me know if you have a few questions related to my profile as i would not get a chance to speak with you again.

Post this there were a few questions around my profile- Why I chose the profession I am pursuing, what excites me in it, the work that i did for one of my clients, the adcom lady also asked me a question on what keeps me going apart from work.

Towards the end there was also a question on how my experience has been on working with international clients and what I learnt from them.

The last bit of the conversation was my question to NUS.

The interview lasted for 30 minutes and overall was quite comfortable and more of a conversation than questions and cross questions.

NUS Interview Experience/ Questions 2011

GMAT: 730

Profile: Indian/ Male, 4 years Software Engineer
I had my interview at Taj, Mumbai ( 28 Nov 2010) . I was called and taken to secluded corner of the Hotel Lobby for the interview. There were Mr. Nitin and Mr. Ang waiting for me.

I shook hands and sat down on a chair in front of Mr. Nitin.

N: We don’t have your essays or profile with us so we will have a blind interview.
Me: I said it is fine with me and if you want I have my CV with me.
A: It is fine.
A: What do you think about CSR. What is its purpose?
Me: Replied:
N: If there is no branding involved in CSR does it still worth for a company.
Me: Replied.
N: Which company does have the best CSR policy excluding oil and gas companies and your own company?
Me: Replied.
N: Do you yourself believe in CSR and will have it in your company if you have one someday.
Me: Replied.

A: Which company you admire the most?
Me: X
N: Why X?
Me: Replied.
N: But X is making losses for some time now and has lost its edge.
Me: I sticked to my answer and gave my opinion.
N: I and Ms. Ang both are share holders in X and we want that your opinion works in future too.

End of discussion.

A; What do you think about apple.
Me: Talked in lengths on this as I am a big fan.
N: What do you think is their branding strategy?
Me: Shared my opinion.
A: What will you do if you have to set up a brand.
Me: Gave them an approach?
N: What do you think about Steve Jobs.
Me: Again talked in lengths.
N: Who else do you admire in Business world.
Me: I told them about my CEO and how my company has improved under his leadership.

Had a discussion about my company and its growth.

End of discussion.

Then we started discussing SONY somehow. Dont remember how. I told them that I am currently working on new models of SONY camera and we discussed some of the amazing features of the new camera.

In this discussion I tried to brief them a little bit about my work and responsibilities as well.

They were taking notes all the times.

At the end they asked me to ask them something if I want to.

I asked them about their Alumni connections and again had a discussions for about 5 mins.

Then they asked me to leave.


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