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ISB PGP Interviews

Interview Tips & Questions from Past candidates

How ISB PGP MBA Interview Works

Candidates are generally called for an interview with 4 to 6 days prior notice. Questions asked in the interview can vary from personal experiences, professional achievements, short-term and long-term goals, and industry and general awareness (in rare cases). All interview candidates are evaluated on four parameters – Clarity towards post-MBA goals, career progression, leadership qualities and experiences, and personality/communication skills.

It will pay off if you know ISB’s mission, vision, and values and align your application and answers accordingly. Schools love to hear such answers.

Who will interview you, and how long will the interview last?

Like most Indian B-schools, the ISB PGP interview is taken by a Panel. The Panel usually consists of 2-3 alumni or admission committee members. The interview typically lasts for 25-30 minutes or may extend to 35-40 minutes in some instances.

Will the interviewer have read my application?

The Panel members have access to your complete application. In most instances, they would have read it completely.

How can you prepare for your interview?

Like most MBA Interviews, your interview will mainly revolve around a pretty similar set of MBA interview questions. You can never predict what questions will be asked, but with enough research, you can predict what are the most commonly asked questions in these interviews. We have created a short FAQ list below to get you a jump start, and we also have a free guide linked below to help you prepare for these commonly asked interview questions.

ISB PGP Frequently Asked Interview Questions

Professional experience-related questions

  1. Tell me something about yourself, or Walk me through your resume.
  2. What are your short-term and long-term goals?
  3. Why MBA? or Why now? or Why an MBA at this stage of your career?
  4. Why ISB?
  5. What is your Plan B? in case your primary goal does not happen?

Personal qualities-related questions

  1. What are your key strengths? Can you give some examples, please?
  2. What are your key weaknesses? Can you give some examples, please?
  3. How can you add value to the Class? or Why should we take you?
  4. Any reasons why we should not select you?
  5. Interests and Hobbies related questions – why do you do it, what have you achieved/Leanred?

Frequently Asked Situational & Behavioral Questions

  1. What is your leadership style? Can you give an example of a project you led?
  2. What would you describe are your greatest achievement to date?
  3. Give me an example of a time you failed.
  4. Give me an example of a time you faced a conflict. How did you handle that?
  5. Give me an example of a time when you did not meet a client’s expectations. What happened, and how did you attempt to rectify the situation?

The last one – Do you have any Questions for us?

  1. Can you please tell me how international exchange students and schools are assigned?
  2. How club leadership is selected?
  3. Any other question you may have in regards to the program.

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ISB PGP Interview Questions and Experience – 1

Profile: Graduate from Maharashtra Institute of Technology, Pune and had worked in the IT industry for 2 years before deciding to move into beauty and cosmetics sector to pursue brand management. This also prompted her to pursue higher studies in management. She scored 720 in GMAT, applied to UT Austin McCombs School of Business and was invited for an interview. Her ISB Interview experience is outlined below:

My communication skills where much better here. I spoke the way I generally do. They didn’t really grill me on anything, didn’t agree or disagree to anything just had straight faces. I don’t even know whether they were even interested.

ISB admissions committee started with the fact they are all engineers and don’t understand the business of fashion. So they were like explain fashion business to us. (Strange because I am too an engineer by qualification, I don’t know whether they didn’t know the fact or they chose to ignore it)

I didn’t answer this question that well. I told them I am also an engineer by qualification but into fashion by choice). Again I showed them the presentation, my styling assignment. I explained them how does it work in detail. The cost, the models, the production house and everything. (I felt I should have gone beyond my work and told them about the overall business but somehow at that point I didn’t)

Below are the few ISB interview questions asked me during the ISB admission:

Ques:They asked me do I know how these production houses works?
I told him yes vaguely. (Didn’t elaborate here because honestly I don’t know)

Ques:They asked me what if the models don’t like the outfits.
To which I answered that unfortunately they don’t have a say in it which it a fact.
Ques:One of them asked me that I want to attend a high class Nita Ambani’s wedding, can you make an ensemble for me.

I answered him by telling that I am stylist not a designer. I can suggest him outfits and give him shopping tips. He said ok, and then suggest me an outfit. I suggested him the outfits and colours. He wasn’t happy with the colours, I suggested him more colours and this went on for some time.

Ques:Another one asked him forget ISB, MBA and everything right now what is your long term goal.
I said entrepreneurship. I want my private clothing label. They asked me whether I have any ideas. Told them private clothing label focused on tier 1 and tier 2 cities. I come from a small town Agra and I have seen how people struggle for fashionable clothes there. The fashion scene in metros is highly saturated with so many brands and options but there is no focused effort on smaller cities. And people in these cities are fashion-forward and have big pockets too. I also told them the plus size clothes and maternity clothes idea. Plus size clothes I told them I have seen my friends on the healthy side struggling for fashionable clothes and apart from 1-2 brands I see on effort on this area. Readymade Maternity clothes I told them mom and me, Mahindra retail have some options but owing to the conservative thinking of our society, this can be a tough area.

(I had few other ideas too but I somehow forget them)

Ques:One of them told me about this fashion brand vinegar which is started by ISB alumni. He asked whether I have heard about it, I told them no I haven’t.

Ques:They asked to do a market size estimation of my ideas.
I performed decently here. Had vaguely prepared this. They didn’t help me or correct me anywhere. I calculated based on whatever I could think of there.

Ques:They said if you are not a designer, how will you design clothes.
I told them I can always hire designers and I have good fashion aesthetic to know what is good or bad.

Ques:They asked what are your plans post ISB. Do you want to work on these ideas only or you will look for a job too.
I told them that if I can accelerate the process of my dream ventures then nothing like it. If these ideas not materialize then I will look for job options in retail companies like luxocuttica, LVMH, Aditya Birla, jabong, Myntra etc that I know come to ISB campus?
I write for an online fashion website. They said they can’t find my articles there. I showed them my article there and also my blog.

Ques:They said that we get that you are creative, you write but are you looking to learn everything from ISB.
I told them my responsibilities at my current company are more than writing and doing creative things. I am responsible for marketing strategy, customer acquisition strategy facebook page and more. (I am actually responsible for more things, I didn’t tell them everything here)

Ques:They asked what are your marketing strategies.
Answered this question decently. Had already prepared this.
Told them I am struggling with customer acquisition strategy for facebook page because a lack of experience in social media marketing.
Again no response of good or bad anywhere.

Ques:They asked me what if I don’t get through ISB.
I told I will come back next year. I told them I have also applied to HEC and ESSEC Paris because these schools are in line with my career goals just as ISB. In case (did one grammatical error here of god willing) I don’t get through, I will stick with Glamdebox and try and make it a success. I will gather all the required information through seminars, lectures, workshops etc (Don’t know whether I should have said this).

(I have a couple of other offers as well especially one from UAE to join an ecommerce jewellery brand there. I forgot about this and didn’t mention this and also didn’t mention anything about my upcoming YouTube channel. )

Ques:Last was the same. Do you have any questions for us?
I asked about the wadhwani entrepreneurship centre and they answered my question.
They didn’t have a lot of knowledge on the exchange programs ( I asked them about it) ,so they gave me a another contact to answer my queries.

ISB PGP Interview Questions and Experience – 2

Q. Job Responsibilities
A. I am responsible for scale up of a manufacturing process from the lab scale to the commercial scale. This is done on two stages from Lab to the pilot scale and then from pilot to Commercial scale. At the commercial scale I have to demonstrate 3 concurrent successful batches before handing it over to production. The data from these 3 batches are used for filling the drugs so that it can be sold in the market.

Q. Tell us more about what you did at eBIZ?
A. At eBIZ I was responsible for marketing the various computer course packages, which the company provided.

  • Initially I gave one to one presentations to make the sales.
  • Once I had a group of 2-3 I started training my network so that they avoided the mistakes that I made.
  • In my stint I travelled to several cities around the country and have given a presentation to a group as big as 1500.
  • I developed a network of 8200 through my stint.

Q. Did you ever think of leaving your engineering for pursuing it fulltime?
A. Yes, a couple of times I did think of completing my engineering and pursuing this fulltime. I did keep my engineering on the back burner to pursue it; the same is also reflected in my grades as they dropped during a couple of semesters. For a 19-20 year old it was huge to address a group of 1500 people, travel to so many cities, and have people take his autographs. Hence I found the experience very exciting.
Q. Why did you not pursue it fulltime?
A. I felt that the products marketed by eBIZ lacked significantly in terms of value for money. If you search on the internet you can get some very good tutorials for a variety of computer courses for free. The USP of eBIZ started becoming the money that people earned from the company and not its products. Hence I felt that it was not sustainable.
Q. Why did you leave?
A. I left the work because of the following reasons:

  • Wanted to focus more on my studies.
  • The work was no longer viable from a financial point of view.
  • I had started to see the flaws in the system.

Q. What happened to the entire network under you?
A. The beauty of NM is that no person is irreplaceable as we learn a lot from our superiors. So when I left the network one of the associates below my network stepped into my shoes.
Q. Tell us more about the project that you have mentioned?
A. The project was required as:

  • Currently the solvent is being charge using large drums.
  • This involves moving drums from one place to another manually.
  • The same involves a large amount of manual labour and is unsafe.

The project was aimed at

  • Increasing the safety of charging solvents.
  • Making the operation automated and hence easier.
  • Improve the safety of the operation.

Explained the design of the project

Q. Did you see it implemented?
A. The project was taken up for pilot implementation at Hyd. There are several activities that need to be completed before the amount for the project is sanctioned this entire process takes time. I had left the company and during my tenure the project has not become functional .
Q. Whom would the company give the credit for the project, to you individually or to the team?
A. I was the lead engineer of the project and was responsible for driving the project, but the credit of the project would be given to the entire team and not to me individually.
Q. Could you have got the technology that you proposed patented?
A. The technology was not a novel one and similar systems were being used in other companies but not in India. So it could not have been patented.
Q. If the technology was not that great why do you feel it is such a big achievement?
A. The challenging part of the project was not the design of the project but its implementation. The benefits of the project were in the form of increased safety and efficiency, both of which are not easy to quantify, hence getting a huge budget of INR 1 crore sanctioned was not easy. I got responses like: any major accident related to solvent charging has not happened, why I should invest 1 crore to improving it. To which I replied that it is always better to be pre-emptive and take precautions before an accident.
The project picked up momentum when I was able to impress the then President of Manufacturing Mr. Abhijit Mukherjee with the concept. With his nod I was able to get the project approved from my site and start its pilot implementation at site level.
Q. Your long term goal has no plans for entrepreneurship; you seem to have already done very good at it?
A. I want to begin my career as a consultant. After working for 2-3 years on diverse projects specialize in a particular industry, as know-a-days companies want their consultants to specialize early. After building a strong network among the consulting fraternity and the client companies I want to start up my own boutique consulting firm. In the long run I want to be known as a thought leader in the field of operations and be known to solve some of the most difficult problems in operations.
Q. Tell me more about your hobby cooking.
This is a recent hobby that I have picked up. This also helps me spend more time with my spouse. We cook whatever we like to eat. We prepare a lot of cakes, some pastas, garlic breads etc.
Q. Question to them

  • Will the GCP be offered in this academic year?
  • What percentage of faculty initiated research products that students are involved in are focussed on operations?

ISB PGP Interview Questions and Experience – 3

The ISB interview was scheduled for the afternoon. I reached with about an hour to spare and that’s plenty!
My panel was running behind the schedule, thanks to some board meeting they had to attend. But this gave me a chance to interact with a bunch of other candidates (well-spoken people!)
I was jittery when I arrived but we all quickly got immersed in a chat and by the time they called me in for the interview, I was feeling very at ease.
Given that the interviews are almost unpredictable, one piece of advice that would always work is to interact with the other candidates. Nothing settles you down as well as this does. And who doesn’t want to make new friends?

The interview started with a light moment, thankfully, and from there it was all business. It was a two-member panel, the nicest people I have met in a while. They were very well spoken and paid great attention to everything I had to say, even when it was prolonged.

1. (As expected) Take us through your profile: I was preparing to deliver my 30 second pitch, but it somehow turned into a longer response (close to 5 minutes)
Guys so keep a longer introduction ready, just in case!
2. A long discussion ensued here about some of my career decisions. They wanted to know the reasoning behind choices I have made. They seemed to nod in agreement even when I wasn’t completely convinced with my responses (not complaining!)
3. My current work is in Business Intelligence and I am relatively new to this field, and they wanted to know if this was a deliberate shift, at this point in my career (I have around 6 years of IT and social experience)
4. The exact nature of my current work (very exact here)
5. Post MBA career goals: This area took up the most part of the discussion. We have debated many possibilities about my goals (the industry, function etc.)
It pays to have a clear understanding of what you want to do post your MBA.
There’s no escaping this discussion! No Sir!!
6. Dream Company: Be prepared to answer why that company and what your role is going to be.
7. What if your plans don’t work out: I just responded saying that I have great confidence that I could find employment in the sector I am focusing on (and some stuff about how the PGP will help me in assuring that)
8. Why not join the startup movement which gives you the necessary client exposure, knowledge and experience
9. What would you do if your focus area tanks in the future (Deep learning etc. obviating the need for analytics): I don’t quite remember what happened to this question
10. What if not an MBA
11. Why not opt for a Master’s degree in Statistics or some Analytics related subject
12. ISB loves diversity in its class and how would you contribute or add value and diversity to this year’s class?
13. They asked about one of my initiatives at work and what was my part in it.
14. I spoke about my long-term goals (10 -15 years) and said that they are still a little crazy (meaning still vague) and I used that to justify why I wouldn’t opt for a master in stats etc. and why I need a holistic view of business management.
15. If we were to give you 5 Crore rupees and ask you do as you wish, what would you do? I said I am more patient now and I would wait until I gain the needed experience in my domain before rushing into spend my capital. (I felt wussy, but they nodded somehow)
16. Oh, the one word essay was on ‘Fallacy’. (I taught GMAT verbal for some time, so this was an easy one for me)

The interview lasted for about 40 minutes (+ or – 5)

For the most part, I was totally honest with my experiences, my feelings, my fears and my ambitions. I don’t know if it was the wisest thing to do. Guess I will find out!

ISB PGP Interview Questions and Experience – 4

I reached the venue on time but the interviews were running late almost by 2.5 Hours. I informed to the coordinator about my pressing engagements related to my current role & they preponed my interview & gave me immediate slot.

There were three members in the ISB interview panel –  All male and ISB alums.
1. Firstly, as usual they asked my intro & background. I explained them about my background & my niche areas in environmental engineering & how I was appointed for development of state of the art Green R&D Centre for HPCL at Bengaluru. Then I took them through my resume & recounted my accomplishments on the way.
2. They looked excited about my journey throughout as a program manager & my technical skills. They asked me what stream I wish to pursue post MBA. I said consulting. They asked if I have had any interaction & any idea as to how a day in the life of a management consultant goes. I explained them that part.
3. They asked about my progression at HPCL & what are my roles responsibilities. I explained them fully taking them through a day @ HPCL.
4. They countered by asking, Why MBA? I explained my reasons & the value addition from ISB. This part took most of the interview time. They agreed yes there is a case as I am climbing the management ladder fast.
5. The most silent interviewer asked me that Oil & Gas sector placements are very rare @ ISB & the kind of lateral placement may not be available immediately.  I said yes, but in long term the network of ISB is vast enough to lead to me to the right destination in the long term. They asked how about the cost of the education. I told them about loan & some personal saving.
6. They asked what will you do if you don’t get admitted this time? I told them I will come back next time & get it.
7. They asked what other schools I have applied. I told them I have applied only to ISB.

All in all this was the best interview experience as the feedbacks they gave made me feel as if they were fully sold on my story and I will get the admit comfortably. But the last question they asked was what came true this time & eventually I got the ding from ISB.

ISB PGP Interview Questions and Experience – 5

Profile: NIT Trichy, Engineering Consulting 28 months
GMAT: 730.
Venue: ISB Hyderabad

The panel were running late (1.5 hrs to be precise) and I was the last person to be interviewed.
Here is a brief about my ISB interview experience:

A warm greeting by 3 alumni  and was informed that there is no time for pleasantries and lets get started.

1. Tell us about your work.
2. You have mentioned you lead a team, what is the size of the team, in what capacity are you the lead; mention some challenging circumstance in your tenure as lead
3. Explain the cost saving (mentioned in essays). Explain about the networking platform you founded.
4. You have received best employee award. Brief us about it
5. Explain about the Diversity and Inclusion initiatives and roadmap that you had presented and how are you helping in its implementation
6. So, you seem to have an accelerated career. Why MBA?
7. Do you think you are a good fit for consulting?
8. Why ISB, Why not IIM ABC ( I mentioned that I’m giving CAT)
9. Your work ex seems to be on the lower side. How will your batch benefit from your experiences?
10. One weakness and lot of cross questioning on it.
11. The interview ended with me asking them 3 questions about ISB and functional shifts.

Overall the interview was conversational. They try everything to make you feel relaxed. Be thorough with your essays and validate with examples. Be calm and know yourself well.

Final Result: Offered admission

ISB PGP Interview Questions and Experience – 6

It started with a one word essay, word being nightmare.

Then they asked me what kind of nightmares do you have. I said mostly the ones where I have failed to achieve my goals. They asked me what was the last nightmare you had. I said a couple weeks ago, I had a nightmare in which I didn’t get an interview call. It was scary, they laughed it off.

Then the real interview began, they asked me, you had interviewed previously for YLP, what has changed since the last time. I said I have got more clarity on why i need this MBA from ISB, I have matured as a professional and acquired new skills in the last three years. I have also got a better GMAT score this time and most importantly I am a lot more confident.

Then they asked me why ISB, i told them, ISB has the right mix of repute, faculty, infrastructure and alum network to help a budding entrepreneur. Also, talked about how ISB can get me the kind of exposure and job i want. They asked me what’s the kind of job you want after MBA, i told them business technology industry me product development /manager role. They then asked me what kind of companies would you be targeting, name some… i said hacker earth, instamojo, inmobi etc. They then asked in detail about inmobi, i told them the basic bio of the company, the acquisitions and funding etc.

Next they asked me why would a company hire you as a product manager. i talked about the core abilities of any successful product manager… leadership, creativity, market analytics, technical knowledge, then i said i have all of these skills.

Then they asked me about music, and about my performances at various places. They asked if you’re so good, why not try a career in music instead, i said am passionate about music, but recently I have been more passionate about technology, also I consider it as a hobby.

Then I think they tried to stress me out, by saying that my essays are so much brighter than me, i told them, yeah, i am proud of my content writing abilities and if I could match my spoken skills to my writing ability I would be the happiest person ever.

They tried another stress question, asking me the 3rd line of the second para of my second essay, to their surprise I recalled the exact line.

They moved to the application again, asking about my long-term goal of entrepreneurship and if I had a business model, i detailed my plans did a little market and revenue computation, and they were satisfied. They asked me for questions for them, i asked about clubs in ISB and how the election process happens. They replied in detail. End of interview.

ISB PGP Interview Questions and Experience – 7

Every Indian applies to ISB after taking GMAT, I too applied in the same in R2.

some of my friends and batch-mates were already studying at ISB and they were appreciative of the ISB’s curriculum, career services, clubs etc.

I got an Interview call on 30th Jan, 2016 and it was an Off-campus Interview in Delhi. There were 2 alumni (supposedly from the same background as mine since they asked me few technical questions on my experience).

The questions were:

  1. Are you a Trained Dancer? Why don’t you pursue that?

I was not but since I mentioned that I teach in a dance studio, they probably presumed that.

  1. What’s the name of the dance studio you work at?
  2. They scanned my application hard-copy and were prepared to grill me on some results achieved. How did you achieve those results?
  3. How and why did you shift into this different domain? I don’t think technical people can do that?
  4. How would you achieve the Post-MBA goal you have written? What would you do at ISB?
  5. Why did you shift back to technical work? I think they were really skeptical of my work experience.
  6. Why ISB? Why MBA now?
  7. Questions for us?

I asked 2 questions. They responded perfectly clearing my concerns.

Overall it was a nice experience though I was sure they were not fully convinced of my work profile.

ISB PGP Interview Questions and Experience – 8

For Class entering in 2018
Profile: 8+ yrs Marketing research ( currently working as a Learning Innovation and Strategy Specialist) – Gmat Score: 690
Duration: 30 minutes
Round 1 – Delhi
I was interviewed at ITC Sheraton, 11th Nov (11.00 AM slot), panel 1.
There were 3 in the panel (i did not ask for their intro as they did not volunteer themselves). 2 of them seemed to be from a similar background as they were asking a lot of questions related to work profile. One of them came to call me from the waiting room and i guess the interview started there and then as he started asking me questions on our way to the room. We greeted each other and then started with the questions.
1. Tell us about yourself. One of the panellist I guess knew my senior manager and of course the CLO and since i work closely with/for them were asking a lot of follow ups.
2. Your long term and short term goals- you are already on a path to become a CLO what would an MBA do for you.
3. Tell us about your current projects at work.
One of the panellists seemed very interested in one of my projects(performance appraisal) wanted me to talk about the implementation process and said that he is doing the same in his organization and hence was asking for more info i guess.
4. Why another MBA (i started explaining and then one of them said it is okay we understand since I had an MBA in Biotechnology)
5. Why ISB- what would ISB do for you?
6. Tell us about your family. I mentioned I’m married and I have a toddler. they followed up with the logistics and laughed when i mentioned that I will be joining school as will my kid as he is turning 3.
All in all it was a pleasant experience and they made real efforts to listen and understand even ask a lot of follow up questions just to be sure. It was a very positive experience.

ISB PGP Interview Questions and Experience – 9

They started with the incident that I talked about in my first essay (Professional achievement) – like why it happened, how it happened, how did i tackle etc. and asked me a lot of question on that.

They had completely gone through the application (every word of it)

After this, they actual started the interview and followed it up with the usual questions –

Why did you choose your post MBA career to take up the role of “x”?

How will ISB help you perform better in the role of “x”?

Why not stay back in the current organization?

Why specifically ISB and how will you contribute?

Why not part time MBA?

Since I am from IT and with 8+ yrs. of experience, they questioned me on my post MBA aspirations a lot and questioned me on what if I did not get a job that I was looking for post ISB?

ISB PGP Interview Questions and Experience – 10

Interview: 28th Feb, Mohali Campus

Interview was scheduled at 10:20. Reached the venue at 8:30 am. There were only another candidate who was scheduled for a 9:40 interview.

At 9, we were given our one word essay. Mine was “significant”.

Wrote something instinctively. The first person was called at around 10:25. Could heard the admissions coordinator that work load for 2 days was being pushed squeezed in a day. (there were around 20 candidates and only one panel). The interviewers seemed a bit miffed with the scheduling. So, I expected a short interview. The first one got over in 10-15 minutes. The first person coming out mentioned that they were asking generic questions. I had to wait another 15-20 minutes before I was called. Two professors (later found out that both were assistant / deputy deans), middle aged and it was a conference room (with a whole view of what’s happening outside). I greeted both and was asked to sit down.

P1: We have gone through your profile? You can give your introduction in two minutes? Mentioned family background, academic background, professional background

P2: What is this fellowship you were awarded? Talked in brief

P1: You have this offer to join US based startup, why not join it? Told that I lack operational skills – and do not find myself competent of setting up a business in a foreign country. Probably, after a PGP, I might consider.

P2: Why not Public Policy? Told them that I have an offer from LSE & Columbia for their two year MPAs. But at that time, I wanted to research on Gross Happiness Index for India, UK is already measuring it. However, I felt that it is too far fledged idea for India as we have other priorities, got exposure in corporate side and I feel the real development can only happen by creating jobs.

P1: Where do you see yourself ten years from now? I mentioned heading a vertical in a company. Then linked to roles in my present industry and what I want to do.

P1: You have an impressive profile, have political background, why not join Politics. You understand macro scenario well? Why not join AAP? I said I would have contested elections but AAP did not contest Haryana elections after their Lok Sabha debacle. (P1 nodded in agreement and mentioned certain reasons) But a lot of cross questioning followed.

P1: Is the transition to corporate side because you were disillusioned and felt lost in the value chain? I mentioned my contributions and highlighted that these were no small things. Every day I was influencing policy and legislation. Gave specific examples.

P2: How was your experience working with an MP? Did you enjoy it? I started with how there is misconceived notion that MPs do not work, and people only judge them by what they see in Lok Sabha. There is a lot of work – committee work and other issues. I counted all the committees – home, defense, civil aviation, children, food security, etc.,- that he was a member of and how hard we all worked towards everything. (P1 mentioned that he knows a few leaders, and they do work 14-16 hours everyday).

P2: What is short-term goal? Mentioned what I had written in my essays. Want to get into an operational role in the energy sector itself. Talked about coal auctions, power sector scenario. Gave a good sense of both these sectors

P2: What is the difference between this govt. and the previous govt. Mention three. 1) How the corruption index seemed to have gone down. Or at least the perceived corruption level has gone down (P1 agreed and said at least at the top level) 2) Talked about the previous govt.’s obsession with right-welfare based approach (RTE, NREGA, Food security), whereas this Govt. identifies areas and targets them in a mission mode (Make in India, etc) 3) Bureaucracy (P2 pre-empts – it does not work?) is empowered. PM directly deals with them and wants them to directly reach out to him. (P1 agreed again).

P2: Keeping aside your previous experiences, how would you rate this Government? I mentioned I am biased. P2 smiled and said try to be neutral. I said, that I have been observing the Governments working and there are two parameters: Social and Economic. On the social front, the Government is not doing pretty well and there are cuts in the budgets of various social sector schemes and on the economic front- the Govt is trying, but its hands are tied. Banking system is full of NPAs, so they are not able to lend generously. Moreover, the industry is full of debt, and most of the companies are trying to get rid of debt. So there is not much investment happening. It is a vicious cycle and something major needs to be done (no counter question)

P2: Tell me again, what do you want to do? Was very specific again. re-iterated again. Explained the scope and opportunities in power sector and coal sector again from a different perspective. Explained the skills I lacked.

P2: Will you take a sabbatical? I said yes.

P1: Ok. Great. This is it. Any questions? Asked about the cases at ISB being more US focused. Both of them explained in detail the reasons.

Both stood up, shook my hands and wished me good.

It went on for 35-40minutes. Came out and left immediately. I was largely satisfied. No direct questioning on why ISB, why MBA, etc. Nothing from current work experience directly. But at every given opportunity I tried to bring the interview to my future goals. I missed mentioning a lot of achievements, credentials but they were more focused if I have clarity in my mind. Fingers crossed.

ISB PGP Interview Questions and Experience – 11

Profile: Engineering from IIT, Indian Male with 7+ years of Intellectual Property Experience

My ISB interview experience was no different from others. After the initial round of introductions, the interviewers jumped straight into the questions:
1. What is your work profile and what are your roles and responsibilities in the current organization?
2. What are your short and long terms goals?
3. What would be your strategy if you are not admitted into this program?
4. Why do you want to move from IP industry to strategy Consulting post your MBA? What is the reason behind this move?
5. What do you think is involved in strategy consulting? Why do companies fail in maintain advantage over their competitors in spite of hiring consulting firms like BCG and Bain which have expertise in strategy consulting?
6. What are your views on the state of technology in the next five years? Which technology area do you see booming and If I were an investor, what tech area would you recommend me for?

ISB PGP Interview Questions and Experience – 12

It’s time for me to give my two-cent’s back to the community. I just finished with my interview today.

I was taken to the room by senior alum Ashish from 2005 batch. As soon as i entered the room i was greeted by adcom member. We exchanged greetings and i was asked to take my seat.

1) Initial question was that i have over 7 years’ experience with the company. Can i comment more on that.

The way question was framed i stumbled for first line and then picked on from there and completed the answer. midway through the answer halted by adcom. He asked sorry for the interruption.

2) Then i was asked why product management.

3) What kind of companies for product management.

4) Why cannot you become a product manager now.

They didn’t look very convinced initially. Though i kept blabbering on my convictions and found a blank face.

5) what are your three biggest strengths which help you at work

6) what is your biggest failure at work.

I initially said on a feedback at work and then i was asked to listen to the question properly. I blabbered on one of my failure at work. they didn’t look much convinced. or rather i found a blank face.

7) You have mentioned you want to be entrepreneur. can you mention why.

five minutes’ speech on my idea.

adcom – you have done a good homework, have you talked to investors. no because of certain reasons.

adcom – fair enough

adcom -any questions for us?

1) question open ended – got good answer.

2) question – adcom i am not aware of it. write mail to the club.

I was left with a feeling “why didn’t i get a better question to ask”

Me – that’s it. Thank you and greetings exchanged.

Take away – The whole interview lasted for only fifteen minutes. I found blank faces most of the time. Have no idea on my chances?

ISB PGP Interview Questions and Experience – 13

I posted my debrief in some other forum as well but because GMATCLUB is the forum that helped me come this far… I owe my debrief and success (in case I get selected) to it…so here it goes (a little modified version of the debrief after I could recollect some more questions) ?

Interview location- Hyderabad, slot – 21st Feb, 2.45PM. Panel – 5, 3people not sure if they are alums, they didn’t tell, I didn’t ask. Don’t remember their names, let’s say P1, P2, P3.

P1- Are you from Hyderabad?

Are you the only child?

What is the employee strength of your company? (also asked approx. count working from each of the two offices in India)

How many countries does your company operate from?

What are those countries? (Told the major 4…I said I can’t recollect the others)

Tell me the top 2 most important achievements of your Toastmasters club during your term as VPPR

P2- Everybody says this Toastmasters is so fancy but tell me what are its negatives, critically evaluate the program

P1- Tell me about what you wrote in your first essay, you told that it is your biggest achievement. Told him. Asked for more and more explanation.

P3- (Picked from what I said only) Asked me something business terminology related, I know the answers but I couldn’t recollect, which I know is very bad.

P1- Little more grilling about essay-1

P3 asked me something in the middle while I was explaining but I am not sure if I got carried away or whether P1 cut me with another question making me get carried away.

P3- Again coming back to your Toastmasters thing….. ( I got so carried away answering this question that I don’t remember what his question exactly was but I hope he asked about my learnings in Toastmasters?) Told him an incident and challenge I faced and what I learnt from it.

All- Any questions for us? – No thanks.

P3 was so good at catching people off guard ?

No other regular questions at all. Interviews have an advantage of surprise element. They take us by surprise no matter how much we prepare. So, as long as you are aware of what’s written in the application, it’s better to stay calm and pray that you will be surprised in a pleasant way.

My feeling just after exiting the room was a positive one but as I retrospect I don’t have a clue about what they decided about me. I am only scared whether I got carried away too much while answering (a severe problem I knew I had even before going to the interview room). However, I performed or whatever the result might be, I will remain proud that I have been extremely confident and didn’t feel nervous at all even after going through a lot of turmoil till yesterday.

I feel compelled to appreciate the interview panel for making the entire experience so stress free and beautiful. A clichéd but important suggestion to people who are yet to attend their interviews is, just stay relaxed and try not to get bogged down. It is going to be a stress free and nice experience. All the best!


ISB PGP Interview Questions and Experience – 14

So, had my interview on the 21st, very different from b school interviews from abroad.

The panelists have already read your apps, so I got a bit of grilling on my essays. It was as if they didn’t believe that A) that these things actually happened and B) that I actually did them

the conversation then generally went towards the business and industry in general before they asked some hypothetical questions such as
1) what are the top 5 things I’d do if I were CEO of my current org 2) What would I do I in my immediate role post ISB (have to say I fumbled a bit on this before coming up with a slightly underwhelming answer)

Throughout the interview I kept providing examples and instances (sometimes they would prompt for an example, other times id volunteer the information) , usually met with blank faces and the occasional laugh.

Overall I don’t think I could judge how the interview went or read their reactions. Hopefully it’s all good.

ISB PGP Interview Questions and Experience – 15

Had my interview yesterday.

Location: Delhi, 4:15pm, Panel 8

Panel: 2 alums (both co2011) + 1 ISB ELP committee director

One word essay was on ‘Reward’. Interview was brief (20-25 mins max). No grilling or cross questioning. Panel found my profile interesting. Questions were as follows:

1) Why do you want to leave your business (even though its a profitable venture with annual sales of Rs.1.5 crore) and Why come to ISB?

2) How did you get into this business?

3) Take us through your professional journey so far

4) Take your own business as a case study. What will you do to improve the margins? What are the problems involved?

5) How did you get into quizzing (had mentioned it as my hobby)?

6) Do you know what consulting companies look for while hiring candidates? (had mentioned consulting as post-MBA goal)

7) How do you think your entrepreneurship experience will help you in your consulting career?

No guesstimations questions at all. No questions on my EY experience.

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