B-school MBA Interview debriefs

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Re: B-school MBA Interview debriefs

Postby ankitgarg » May 24th, 2013, 11:03 pm

London Business School LBS MBA interview debrief:

I had applied to LBS for MBA class of 2013 during R1 of the admission process and was interviewed by one of their local alums in New Delhi.

It was scheduled in the coffee house of a large popular 5 star hotel chain back there.

My profile: GMAT 730, work ex of close to 4 years with almost two years of own start up experience. I was a BTech graduate with not so well known university and all work experience in Finance as a FX trader and money manager.

My interviewer was a class of 2008 MBA graduate and he had moved to Delhi right after his graduation. It was not a blind interview as he had read through my profile and essays before coming to the interview.

The interview experience was by far one of the best interviews I ever had. He was really interested in knowing more about my professional career and my motivations to pursue an MBA from LBS.

The questions ranged from standard walk me through your resume to why MBA, why LBS, why now and so on. In between my answers, he commented on how he agrees to some of my points and shared some of the anecdotes from his exp at LBS. He was communicative and receptive.

Towards the later part of the interview, he even gave me tips about living in London and job hunt with my background. All in all, it was a very positive experience.

However, the result came out as a shocker to me. I was dinged by LBS and that was not easy for me to digest. My interview had gone so well and I did have a strong case for MBA.

A couple of weeks after the result, my interviewer called me (I was surprised) and he mentioned how surprised he was to learn that I did not make it. He gave me an inside view of what goes on in the interview process and how he had submitted a very strong recommendation for me.

I believe I never had any major brand names on my profile. I was a non IIT engineer and though I worked with one of the largest private banks in India, the bank was certainly not a MNC so as to say.

For a school, it is perhaps easier to place potential candidates who bring with them a legacy, than to place a guy like me who had an entrepreneurial path and no legacy.

I am sure schools do not discriminate at the onset, but I got knocked out at a tie breaker perhaps. All of these are just my theories looking back on to what had happened. I may or may not be correct.
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Joined: May 24th, 2013, 11:01 pm

B-school MBA Interview debriefs

Postby sidilicious » August 6th, 2013, 1:20 pm

My Stats
GMAT – 700
Work-ex – 7 years
Industry – IT in Banking

HEC Paris MBA Interview

There were 2 interviews, both with Alums.

1st Interview started with me going through a presentation. The presentation topic I had chosen was partially work-related and partially a hobby - Future of Consumer technology. Rest were the usual interview questions

Why HEC? Why not LBS or INSEAD?
Have you applied to other business schools
Tell me about your leadership experiences
Have you ever dealt with a difficult team member?
How will you manage being in a multi-cultural environment?

This lasted about 20 minutes. Then I asked the interviewer a couple of questions, and we then just chatted about the school and the interviewer’s experiences. This lasted about another 30 minutes. In fact it was these last 30 minutes, which gave me the confidence that I had a very good interview.

The 2nd interview was held on a Saturday and was very similar to the first interview. The interview was completed within 30 mins and the interviewer straight away told me that he was going to give me a positive review. We then chatted about his experiences for another hour or so.

Both were really chilled interview. At no point did I feel that it was an interview, instead a casual chat.

Result - Admitted

MBA Interview Tips

- Do your research on every school. Find at least 5 current/ex students from the school, and make sure to speak to president of the various societies.

- Try and build a rapport with the interview. Check out their Linkedin profile beforehand (even facebook :o , and no its not stalking). The interviews are very relaxed, so no need to be too uptight. Use your body language to your advantage.

- For the presentation, pick a topic that you know and can talk about without stopping. Even if it is about Sachin Tendulkar or your favorite drink. It ought to be fun, and should excite you and consequently engage the audience.

Indian School of Business ISB

It was a/v interview over Skype. There were two interviewers. The interviewers went straight to the questions after introducing themselves.

- Why MBA? Why ISB?
- Why do you intend to get into consulting?
- Why come back to India after doing your bachelors abroad?
- Do you want to return to the UK?
- Explain you role in your bank. (Didn’t explain this too well, so they asked me to repeat my explanation. A few follow up questions on this)
- What are your leadership experiences
- What do you do outside work? Your extra curricular activities?
- What Golf events have you organized?
- Which Golf course did you organize this event at (I guess this question was asked to check if I know anything of golf. Still, I do not get the point of this question. Does the interviewer know all the golf courses in London? )

Then I asked the interviewer a couple of questions, and the interview ended straightaway. The whole thing lasted about 35 mins.

It was a fairly tough interview, and the interviewers were poker faced all this while. Of my interviews, this was the least fun. Felt as if I was being questioned for a criminal offence. But I guess, the interviewer does not care about making it fun. They want to get to know you.

Result - Waitlisted (Rejected Later)

- The interview was quite tough, so prepare your answers well for probing questions. I personally find face to face interviews much easier. Also I found this extremely formal.

- Practice, practice, practice
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Joined: August 6th, 2013, 1:08 pm

Re: B-school MBA Interview debriefs

Postby vranjan » October 13th, 2013, 4:58 pm

I was shortlisted for interviews at INSEAD and IMD, the only two schools I applied to. Both of them were quite a different in terms of approach.

INSEAD MBA intevriew exeperience

two interviews with alumnus living in the same country. My first interview was with a person in quite senior position in a private bank.

He had asked separately for my essays on top of the mandatory info brief that INSEAD asked to provide him. The interview was very casual and it was more about him understanding my motivation for MBA and why specifically INSEAD.

The second INSEAD interview one was also in the similar pattern and the interviewer was very focussed on why I want to do an MBA and why would I like to go to INSEAD.

Both of them were like friendly and open conversations rather than stress interviews, that I heard about. Also the theory of good cop and bad cop did not apply as both of them were super nice to me.

IMD MBA interview experience

This is as different it gets for an MBA admissions interview. I was part of a group of 6 candidates who were getting interviewed that particular day. My day started with my personal interview.

It was again a very open and friendly conversation but the emphasis was always to bring out an example where I demonstrated that quality. 1-2 examples sometime were not enough and I had to think about more on the spot.

After that there was an impromptu presentation where I was given a topic and had to prepare a presentation of about 5 mins. I had to present it in front of the group plus couple of evaluators.

When everyone presented on the same topic then we had to work as a group to come up with another presentation as a group.

After the lunch we came together as a group to discuss a case, which was given to us 10 days before the interview. It was a very interesting discussion and the IMD professor who was moderating did a very good job.

She made sure that everyone had a chance to speak. It lasted a couple of hours and then later we were divided into 2 groups and had to prepare a presentation to sum up the case.

It was a very intense and long interview day. Very different from the INSEAD interviews. I guess that is what makes IMD unique.

That was my experience this past summer.

Good luck to everyone who is applying to B-schools!!!
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Joined: December 17th, 2012, 4:09 pm

Re: B-school MBA Interview debriefs

Postby anand » October 21st, 2013, 4:29 pm

My ISB Interview

I am an IT consultant with 5 years of experience. Had a 710 on GMAT.
Here is a brief of my ISB Interview

(1) No funny questions in my interview. A faculty, couple alums.
(2) It was mostly about what I had written in the essays.
(3) In depth discussion on two incidences I had described in the first essay. Those are entirely of personal sorts.
(4) Another 15 mins of discussion on something I have mentioned as an extra curricular interest, which is very uncommon.
(5) Got a bit grilled on having changed 3 jobs in 5 years and the reasons for the same, and what if *the same pattern continues in future. But was able to counter really sensibly yet honestly.
(6) Why ISB, are you applying anywhere else
(7) No why MBA, why now, leadership/conflict/challenge/blah blah examples. I had already justified these questions in the essays.
(8) I asked them about the uncharacteristically low participation by international candidates for a premium B School. Seemed like a valid question and a fruitful discussion to have with the panel, and the interview concluded with that. Overall satisfactory experience.

If I may share my perspective for the interview preparation, it would be this:
Be genuine, honest, confident. Be open and frank to talk in details when required. Have high self esteem.
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Joined: October 21st, 2013, 4:23 pm

Re: B-school MBA Interview debriefs

Postby Anonymous1 » November 4th, 2013, 2:37 pm

I have 12 years experience in Oil and Gas Industry and a GMAT score of 690.Here is a brief of the interviews I have given recently.

IIM, Bangalore IIMB EPGP Interview

1. The interview started in Hindi.

2. Began with the problems with Oil Retail business in India. There were comments that the Indian Companies are not taking adequate measures to curb the malpractices.

Diesel price de-regulation will lead to more poverty etc. Lots of pressure and I was in defensive mode for a long time. After some time I retaliated, but it did not end there. Not being nervous helped.

3. Wanted to know about the news paper headline (Rahul Gandhi Ordnance comments). I said I had been travelling so hadn't read the papers.

4. Why MBA and how IIMB can help.

5. Placement with my profile was difficult - I told them why I was not worried about the placements (My own network, future requirements etc).

6. Asked to describe the Oil refining process which I did to the dis-satisfaction of one of the interview panel members.

IIM, Ahmedabad IIMA PGPX Interview

1. Extempore - Lay offs are good for the career. No questions asked.

2. Profile - long discussion, Significant achievements, How I have contributed to anything substantial, Legal and ethical problems.

3. Asked a lot of figures - Turn Over, Profits, under recoveries etc.

4. Nothing on why MBA/IIM

5. 2 minutes spent on hobbies

The good part of this interview was that I was able to pitch in my strong points in between. I was able to convey what I wanted to.

ISB, Hyderabad

1. No discussion on the spot essay

2. Profile - Pointed questions on my roles and responsibilities. Again a lot of discussion on Diesel prices de-regulation in India and its impact.

3. Discussion on my most significant achievement.

4. They conveyed that I am a placement risk - I gave them reasons why I was not worried about my placement prospects. In turn I asked them if this risk would hamper my admission chances. They were quick to deny it, but my point was made.

5. If no MBA then what - I said MBA will definitely happen this year.
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Joined: November 4th, 2013, 2:14 pm

Re: B-school MBA Interview debriefs

Postby nimalan » November 6th, 2013, 3:56 pm

This was my first time applying to B schools. I had applied to a mix of schools in India, UK and US. While I'm awaiting the results of some, here are the debriefs for those where the results are out.

My profile
Work ex: 8 years in Telecom Product Development in a leading MNC
Int'nl ex: 1 year
Post MBA goal: Product Management in technology
GMAT: 760

IIMB EPGP IIM Bangalore MBA interview

This was my first ever B school interview and as a result I was nervous. It was so apparent in my demeanor that almost everybody including the other candidates as well as the current students commented on it and urged me to relax. Once the interview started I gradually began to ease into it.

Panel: 2 Professors and 1 Placement consultant

Here is how it went

1. I was asked to describe my profile. Instead of regurgitating my professional history (which I had already provided in my SOP) I had an elevator pitch prepared and I rattled this off for about 45 secs.

They were surprised by the brevity, but did not make any comment on it

2. I was asked a clarification on one of the leadership attributes I had mentioned in the SOP and was asked to provide some elaborate examples pertaining to it.

They started to grill me a little on this and I realized they had misunderstood my intent behind mentioning this attribute.

I tried to make a clarification and get them back on track, but at this point it became a stress interview wherein they started interrupting me even before I could complete one sentence.

3. I was asked if an MBA is really needed for my Product Management goal. They asked me for examples of Product Managers from my current company and whether they had MBAs. I was able to handle this question reasonably well.

4. I was asked why I chose IIMB since my goal is Product Management and EPGP is a General Management programme. I gave a convincing reply to this.

5. I was asked about my international experience and the various places I had been to. I was also asked about the differences in management styles between my company's India office and the US one.

6. I was asked about what kind of companies I wanted to work post MBA. When I gave my answer they said that this is a too narrow domain and EPGP may not be able to place me in such companies.

I said it doesnt matter since I have a good network built up both in India and US and I would rely on this network rather than EPGP's placement process.

7. Finally they asked me if I had any questions and I said no. They were briefly surprised but again did not mention anything.

Result: Admitted

Oxford MBA interview questions

This was my first international b-school interview and it was held through Skype.

Panel: A financial sector consultant

When it began the interviewer told me she had gone through my complete application including profile and essays, so this was not a blind interview. Here are the list of questions

1. A description of my professional history upto the point where I decided that I needed an MBA.

2. Some more clarifications as to why I decided that this was the exact moment I decided to go in for an MBA and not earlier.

3. She mentioned that Oxford had students from all over the world so what are the absolutely unique attributes that I would bring to the class. I mentioned 2 along with examples and she asked me if that was all. I quickly scrambled to include another one

4. An instance where I did not agree with my supervisor and how I handled that scenario. How did this affect my relationship with him.

5. An instance where I had to take a difficult decision and how I convinced others to get on board.

6. My international experience and my list of dream companies

7. Any questions for her.

Result: Denied

IIMA PGPX IIM Ahmedabad Interview Questions

At this point I was totally inured to the whole b-school interview process and consequently I was in a completely relaxed state of mind.

Panel: 2 Professors

This interview was completely different from all others and did not feel like a b-school interview at all. It was almost like a couple of strangers meeting at a train station or an airport lounge and shooting the breeze. And I must say it was certainly an experience of a lifetime for me.

1. It started off with an extempore topic. Is Yoga a fad. I spoke on it a couple of minutes and was cross questioned for sometime. I handled it ok

2. I was asked to describe my profile from the time I passed out of school till the moment I was sitting there. During the course of my response my interviewer kept asking questions which resulted in the discussion veering off tangentially. Sometimes it went so far off that we struggled to get back to the root.

3. I was asked a specific question about my company ever since it was acquired a year back. What was the impact to me and to the India office.

4. At this point the other interviewer had gone through my certificates and he commented on my impressive academics while at school but a not so impressive performance during my Undergrad. I explained this well.

5. A question about the differences between the telecom industry in US and India

6. Questions related to one of my essays about leadership.

7. Questions about my ECs and hobbies

8. Finally they decided that was all and abruptly concluded the interview. They did not even ask if I had any questions (not that I had any)

Result: Admitted
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Joined: November 6th, 2013, 2:50 pm

Re: B-school MBA Interview debriefs

Postby rajat_arora1986 » November 7th, 2013, 4:21 pm

Manchester Business School Full time MBA Program

My Profile :

GMAT - 670
3.5 years of experience in IT and 1.5 years of entrepreneurial experience in the field of real estate development. Good acads and average extra curricular and social activities.

Manchester MBA Interview Questions:

It was over the skype but due to technical glitches soon got converted into phone call. The MBS MBA admission director took the interview. Most of the questions were from the CV and the Essays. She knew exactly what I have written and at various instances quoted me from my text.

Some of the questions I remember:

1.) Why did I join my first company.?

2.) Did I progress in my first job at a much better pace than my peers.?

3.) Why do people love working with you, why they don't love etc..

4.) 3 skills i picked up at my job

5.) Then there were questions regarding my transition from IT to real estate and followed by my entrepreneurial experience and key takeaways from there.

6.) Why MBS.?

7.) Involvement in social activities (In my case an NGO i run).

Throughout the interview, she asked and then listened. She did not for once cross questioned me. It was an extremely comfortable yet professional interview which went on for around 50 minutes.

The impressive part was that she knew my profile inside out and on various occasions asked questions from the essays where I least expected her to.

Final Result : Success

Advice :

Prepare the answers for the usual questions and know your CV and essays well.

Every profile has some gaps and red flags so be prepared to answer those. MCB MAP service could help you in that.

During the interview, be relaxed and don't hesitate to show your sense of humor if you get the opportunity ( I made her chuckle twice in the interview ;) ).

And be passionate about your profile as if you own it and are proud of it. If you are going to doubt yourself, the interviewer will soon catch that.

Best of luck!
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Joined: September 5th, 2013, 7:33 pm

Re: B-school MBA Interview debriefs

Postby richa » November 10th, 2013, 8:05 am

ISB Interview Debrief

Stats: GMAT score: 740, WE: ~6 years experience in consulting based in the US.

My interview experience:

- First few questions were on my most recent work experience. My latest assignment was with Operations of Home Mortgage division of a large bank. So the first few questions were around industry trends and cost of a typical foreclosure etc.

- Next few questions were about my essays. I was asked to walk through one of the examples I had cited, in detail. What was the situation, what exactly did I do, What was the outcome etc.

- Then I was asked to explain what the word 'trust' meant to me. I think this was in lieu of the short impromptu essay question that in-person interview candidates are required to answer.

- Next question, What is unique about my profile that will enable me to contribute to ISB community? Why should I be selected?

- What are my long term and short term goals? What factors have I considered to pursue them?

- Since I am based in USA, next question was around why I wanted to move to India and Why ISB?

I asked the interviewers about GCP at ISB and the follow up question they asked me was which company would I like to work with as a part of GCP, if admitted.
Posts: 2
Joined: November 10th, 2013, 7:54 am

Re: B-school MBA Interview debriefs

Postby ujjwalvarma » November 16th, 2013, 11:33 am

Tepper MBA Interview Questions:

It was a telephonic interview. The interviewer made me feel completely at ease.

Questions asked :

1. Walk me through your profile

2. How have you grown personally with each position held in your firm.

3. Tell me about a challenge you faced while leading a team.

4. Tell me about a challenge you faced that involved a client.

5. What did you learn from your interactions with clients.

6. Why do you want to do an MBA now?

7. There are many MBA programs. Why did you choose Tepper?

8. Consulting is a very difficult industry to break into. What will you do if you don't make it?

MBA Interview Tips :

1. Be prepared with some scenarios where you overcame challenges.

2. Be sure to know why you are doing an MBA.
Posts: 1
Joined: November 16th, 2013, 11:19 am

ISB Interview debrief

Postby hifunda » November 22nd, 2013, 2:58 pm

1. Name of the school: ISB

2. My stats (GMAT-650, Work-ex: Family Business/Entrepreneur in Real Estate, almost 5 yrs)

3. Interview questions: Mine was actually delayed and so very straightforward questions such as - Asked to expand upon some interesting things I had written in essays, my job roles and responsibilities, little cross questioning but just to clarify my story, no grilling, why MBA, my goals, not many leadership/teamwork/dilemma/failure questions, due to lack of time..

4. My overall impressions about the interview: easy, just answered all their questions in detail, they seemed genuinely interested in what I had to say even though we were running out of time so I didn't ramble, though I wasn't asked more typical questions like why ISB, your achievements, case questions/puzzles, nothing. Very smooth, it was more of a profile based interview more than anything else.

5. Final result (admitted)

6. My Tips and advice for other applicants: Know your application (incl. essays ) COLD. They usually ask only based on what u have written, so be ready to justify anything if it is not clear to them. Have clear cut answers prepared for the usual 10 questions: why MBA, why now, why ISB, goals, connect past to future, show some personality and don't just rattle off answers. Even if they try to grill you, they are only trying to figure out how u behave under pressure, as this will communicate how u will present yourself to recruiters later on. For any cases, just clarify the data given to you, make good assumptions by explaining to them and arrive at a conclusion after analyzing step by step what you would do in that situation. Your answer doesn't have to be correct or they may disagree with you, but stick to what you said without arguing. Above all, be honest and cheerful throughout. Have a strong handshake, break the ice with them at the beginning, and don't forget your manners! Show your most confident self.

All in all, the first 30 seconds will decide your interview fate, so put your best foot forward, because interviewing is definitely a skill that can be improved/mastered.

Hope this helps!
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Joined: June 10th, 2012, 7:52 pm


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