ISB Interview Tips

Essay Analysis Interview Tips Interview Expereince

ISB Interview tips and preparation

"All that you need to know about the ISB interview. Learn through mock interviews conducted by ex-members of the ISB admission committee."

Who are the interviewers in the ISB interview panel?
Typically, the interview panel comprises of 2-3 interviewers with at least 1 person from the admissions committee. The other panelist(s) could be alumni or existing students of ISB. Professors, typically, are not a part of the ISB interview panel, which is in tandem with interview panel of top global b-schools.


Qualities that ISB looks for in applicants:

  • Leadership qualities
  • Team skills
  • Communication skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Clarity of thought

Below are some likely ISB interview questions under each category:

  • Analytical skills: A case based question is asked when the applicant aspires to become an analyst/ consultant post ISB or has mentioned about his analytical abilities. Some examples are as follows:
    • Number of television sets that will be sold in the current year?
    • Number of customers that an up-scale sports company, that organizes parachuting, will be able to attract in India?
    • Number of paan shops in India?

Candidates should be prepared with the following information:

  • Approximate population of India.
  • Approximate ratio of rural and urban population.
  • Approximate population of major cities such as Bombay, Delhi, and Bangalore.
  • Ratio of different income groups in India.
  • Ratio of different age groups and gender groups in India.

Even if you have not mentioned analytics as one of your strengths, you may be asked questions such as:

  • What was the most challenging project you worked on? Why?
  • What do you think is the future of outsourcing? Etc.
  • Leadership skills: If you have five or more years of experience at the time of applying to ISB then be prepared to answer some leadership based questions.
    • What challenges you faced while heading project XYZ?
    • How do you promote an idea if the management is against it?
    • Any change you brought in your team/ organization? How did it affect your team/ organization?
    • If you have managed events, functions in your college/ office, how differently did you do it compared to previous managers?
    • How do you think your subordinates describe you?

  • Team skills:
    • How did you contribute to project XYZ as a team member?
    • How have you positively contributed to your team's success during your work experience?
    • What do you think is the key to team co-ordination?
    • How do your colleagues describe you?
  • Communication skills: All candidates are judged for their communication skills. For effective communication a candidate should take care of the following important points:
    • Be confident and cheerful.
    • Do not focus on any one interviewer but look at everyone while talking.
    • Answers should be crisp and to the point.
    • Be as honest as possible.

ISB Interview Tips/ Preparation Ideas

Following ISB interview tips will help you to crack the ISB Interview:

  • Learn about the institute thoroughly - "Why ISB?" Know about:
    • History, main strengths, established by, prominent alumni, etc.
    • Which clubs you would like to join
  • Be ready and thorough with your area of undergrad specialization (for applicants with less than 2 years of experience) or industry trends and imperatives (for experienced professionals)
  • Be thorough with the hobbies and interest part of your resume, e.g. for cricket enthusiasts a common question is: What makes the cricket ball reverse swing? Or other sports related questions such as: Why there are holes on the golf ball, etc.
  • Regularly read a few prominent Magazines and/or Journals and develop your own perspective about current affairs and other issues of national/ international relevance
  • Add humor to your talk, learn a clean joke (but only if you are good at it!)
  • Do not bluff, be honest (no ambiguity about this)
  • Avoid slangs (guys, folks, etc.)
  • Listen to the question completely before answering it
  • Your responses should not last more than 1-2 minutes per question. Remember the attention span of an average listener is 30 - 60 seconds. Once in a while, take brief pauses (1 - 2 seconds) to let the panelists ask any questions that might have popped up based upon what you have said
  • Be ready with a couple good questions to be asked at the end (V. IMP!). The first one should preferably be an open ended one
  • It is advised that you form a group of 5-10 serious and sincere people and discuss regularly
  • Engage in a perspective building discussion on a regular basis
  • Use facts (statistics) and illustrations (examples, preferably from your experience), where you can
  • Be assertive (polite, firm, and objective) but not aggressive
  • There is no substitute to practice (record, mock interviews) for preparation of interview
  • Speak and think like an MBA (at least try to - it is all in the mind!). Use the right phrases during a discussion
  • Have an in-depth knowledge about two industries other than your original industry

Important Interview Taking Guidelines and Some Key ISB Interview Questions

  • To a large extent, your responses decide the direction of the interview (V. IMP!)
  • Tell me something about yourself/ Tell me something that is not in your resume
  • How do you differentiate yourself from a typical IT/ (or any other) candidate?
    • Write about it so that you are comfortable speaking it for 4-5 minutes - then condense to make an impact
    • What value would you add to the MBA class (inside class and outside)?
  • How will an MBA from ISB help you? - This is the single most critical question that needs absolute clarity. (V. IMP!) You will be probed on this numerous times during the 30 minutes
  • Career Roadmap - short to medium to long term horizon?
  • Why this particular field - Marketing/Operation/Finance...
  • Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Failure at Work/College
  • Success at Work/College
  • A team working situation - leading the team...
  • Extra-Curricular
    • Hobbies
    • Social Service
  • What special aspects of your education or training have prepared you for this education?
  • Your greatest achievements to date? Creative thing?

What NEXT?
Get the comprehensive guidance on how to ace the ISB interview questions from ISB alumni members, who have been on both sides of the table and who know what it takes to scale the summit


Services
We offer three services to help candidates prepare for one of the most important components of their MBA application, the interview.

MBA Comprehensive Interview Preparation

  • Discussing candidate's background, profile, career plans and interests and getting the list of schools (limited to two) to which the candidate wants the interview preparation service.
  • Discussing with the candidate, the most suitable answers to the likely questions to be asked in the interview of a particular school, given the candidate's profile and career plans.
  • Two Mock Interviews after the candidate is well prepared with the answers to the suggested questions.
  • Detailed feedback on the interviews performance and suggested answers.
  • All discussions will be done either by emails or over the phone. Mock interviews will be over Phone or Skype/ G-Talk/ Yahoo Talk.
  • Personal sessions possible if the candidate is in Delhi/ Bangalore/ Paris/ Boston/ London.

MBA Standard Interview Preparation

  • Discussing candidate's background, profile, career plans and interests and getting the list of schools (limited to one) to which the candidate wants the interview preparation service.
  • Discussing with the candidate, the most suitable answers to the likely questions to be asked in the interview of a particular school, given the candidate's profile and career plans.
  • One Mock Interview after the candidate is well prepared with the answers to the suggested questions.
  • Detailed feedback on the interview performance and suggested answers.
  • All discussions will be done either by emails or over the phone. Mock interviews will be over Phone or Skype/ G-Talk/ Yahoo Talk.
  • Personal sessions possible if the candidate is in Delhi/ Bangalore/ Paris/ Boston/ London.

Mock Interview

  • One 45 minutes long mock interview with the candidate for a B-School of his/her choice. Candidate would send us in advance, his/her resume and some notes on his/her background and career plans via mail.
  • The interview would contain questions most likely to be asked in the MBA interview for the mentioned school, given the candidate's profile and career interests.
  • Detailed feedback on the interview performance and suggested answers.
  • Mock interviews will be over Phone or Skype/ G-Talk/ Yahoo Talk.
  • Personal sessions possible if the candidate is in Bangalore/ Paris/ Boston/ London.
     
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