B-school MBA Interview debriefs

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Re: B-school MBA Interview debriefs

Postby varunislost » November 25th, 2013, 4:06 pm

IIM Bangalore for IIMB EPGP Interview Experience


I recently had an interview with IIM Bangalore for EPGP- the 1 year fully residential program (in case you don't know about this, please read about the difference between Executive MBA & MBA for executives first)
The interview happened via Skype early in the morning (although I still bunked office for half a day), but before I get on with the details, my profile (please note that a profile is what you can write on paper, we all are much more than that as individuals- and that shows in the essay & interviews)
Work ex- 6.5 years in Retail
4 yrs International Work ex (all in Middle East- UAE/KSA/Kuwait)
Graduation- National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT)

Contrary to the general feedback on interviews this year, my interview was totally stress free. In fact, at one point of time during the interview I thought that either they have already selected me and this is just a formality or they are just not interested in my profile. But I digress, so here goes.

1. What is your current role? (Answered)
2. How do your measure productivity in your job? (Answered)
3. In your essay you have mentioned about Bangalore being a great location for your target industry/job- Clarify. (HQ's of various companies, easy to network blah blah)
4. Are you ok with making a move from Dubai to Bangalore? (I applied to IIMB- of course!)
5. Your wife works- is she ok to leave her job? (I was like- are you giving me an admission letter now?)
6. Any questions for us? (Asked a couple, but most info is available online or with alums & current students- something I had already gathered)

That's it. Really. The interview left me surprised. No stress. No 'Why MBA?'. No 'Why IIM-B?' And the interview lasted just 15-20 min, insted of the usual 30-40 min. However, I came out of the interview very positive and confident that I had made it.

There are few general tips that everyone should follow-

1. Differentiate (Mother of all cliches)- Find something unique in yourself. Why should the school hire YOU instead of someone with exact same credentials on paper?
2. Clarity (another cliche)- Why do you want to study? Why now? And why a particular school? Now admission consultant can give you this clarity. I feel that contrary to popular belief the reasons can even be shallow (as shallow as just money) but you have to be DAMN convinced about this and be able to convince the ADCOM through your essays & interview. I was very clear about all this and this reflected in my essay. So much so that the ADCOM did not feel the need to ask me all this in the interview.
3. CHILL & have FUN!- MBA is not the be all end all to success in our lives. If you want to grow, you can do that anyhow as long as there is a strong will. And if you want to earn money, then there are several ways if you are enterprising enough. Most importantly have fun throughout the application process. Imagine your essays are giving you one chance in life to write something that is 100% guaranteed to get readership (and a smart one at that). Do you have any idea how many people strive to write books/articles and fail to find any readership?

Result- Admitted (Duh!)

P.S.- I did not apply to any other school as my requirements were very specific, and only IIM B seemed to fulfill that.
Posts: 1
Joined: November 25th, 2013, 2:17 pm

IIM - Lucknow for IPMX programme Interview experience

Postby NRS » January 9th, 2014, 9:32 pm

IIM Lucknow (IIML IPMX) Interview


Work Exp - 13+ (6yrs IT & 6+ yrs NON IT - Industrial Automation)

I was recently interviewed by IIM Lucknow (IIML) for IPMX programme (Noida Campus). The interview letter I had received, mentioned about Written Ability Test (WAT) to be conducted prior to actual interview. They had also requested to carry all original certificates & work exp letters till date.

A small background - Written Ability Test - WAT

As if the entire GMAT & essays & application torture wasn't sufficient, IPMX IIML has one more test before the actual interview which makes the entire process long & stressful.

They give u a topic on which you will have to write 200 words in 20 minutes.

They make all the people sit together in a room and distribute plain paper wherein u will have to write your initials. Once done, one of the panelists looks at the watch & starts to dictate the topic (mine was - Confidence & Ignorance are the only two qualities to be successful in life) & while u note down the topic on the paper provided (it actually consumes answer space a gud 2 lines) the 20 mins countdown begins.

Trust me - never ever experienced that 20 mins was such a short span in my entire life.

I just took additional 2 mins – to think about the topic, wrote 1 para each or both the qualities & tried to wrap up with a proof read once in 18 mins max.

So technically one gets only 15 mins to write. Just get thorough with writing skills since not many of us - especially in IT aren’t used to writing.

Next the spell check doesn't happen automatically :) So pls get ur spelings thorugh - no tips here....just remind yourselves as to what worked for u in school - 1st & 2nd standard.

All I want to stress or advice here is that your focus & concentration should be entirely on the topic & not on spelling or counting the words. Just fill that paper provided (that shud suffice for 200 words) since i did not bother to count & neither would the examiners.

However the stress doesn't end there - Thanx to one of my earlier tragedies - had fractured my left leg a month before my interview. I had carried a walker to the interview room. So the panel tried to be more nice to me by asking me to carry with interview immediately in the same room.

The Panel consisted of 3 (2 Male & 1 Female) people.

Interview started with generic question -

Q1) Tell us about yourself & some more questions about work profile (make it a point to touch all your strong and positive points along with achievements so as to not miss them highlighting)

They specifically asked me about Q2) Business analytics role & if I had come across it (well though i heard abt it but didn't know much) i honestly replied saying I donno much about the profile & job requirements for such roles.

Then the female panelist posted another Q3) - can a political leader become a good business leader?

n before I cud put forth my views on why i answered negatively, I was bombarded & cross questioned a lot on this with questions with add on like Q4) why can't with some real names & examples & Q5) the differences between the two & Q6) analogy....

From here it drifted towards Q7) what are 3 best qualities would you see in a leader?

Q8) Why most female leaders from the banking industry can be seen in corporate sector?

And Q9) what are the qualities that make them reach the pinnacle there.

Q10) Is there any difference between a male leader and or a female leader? (My fav..but wasn’t allowed to speak in much here at a length..interruptionsand distractions along with add on qns kept popping in.

ALso in between one of the male panelist was verifying my documents & had to cater to him. The female panelist was also constantly looking at the wall clock in the room every 5 mins which was kind of distraction for me.

The third panelist who was in the centre was just smiling all the time while i tried to keep the eye contact with all the 3 panelists during the interview.

Also I kept myself cool n relaxed for the entire interview duration which worked in my favour (by nature - its very easy for me to lose my patience & cool & whoever knows me vouches for it...so this was big personal achievement for me)

By this time the second panelist had done with my documents & he chipped in with array of questions:

Q11) Education & low grades - before i cud try to make an effort to answer this there was another qn from the female panelist.

Q12) Such a big exp is difficult to land a placement offer - I confidently answered them that unlike other typical IT guys with only IT experience, I had an edge & opportunity to join two different industry & wouldn't restrict myself for some particular role in particular industry due to varied nature of my experience & showed them that this would surely work in my favour.

However once I was out of that room after a total of approx 1 hr ( 30mins + 20 mins) I was totally exhausted with a feeling of that it did not go well & shouldn't be expecting much from this.

Result : Admitted & Accepted

Read my full IIM Lucknow MBA IIML IPMX admissions story.
Posts: 3
Joined: March 29th, 2013, 12:33 am

Re: B-school MBA Interview debriefs

Postby garry123 » January 10th, 2014, 10:52 am

ISB Interview via SKYPE.

Interview experience:
I wore suit to look good and will advice all to do so too.
The interview started with normal questions - tellme something abt you, your progress so far after grad. No guestimate or one word essay. The panel had 2 alumni cum admission directors. Most of the ques were from profile except why mba and what are your immediate goals post isb mba. I m hopeful, but you never know.

1. Look good and wear a suit.
2. Be thoroughly prepared for each and every line you wrote in essays and application essay. You should have an explanation about each line.
3. Only 2 things matter: What you want from XYZ mba school and what you bring here.
4. Be confident about yourself and donot take interview lightly. It may make or break the selection.
5. :D Share your experience with others

Good luck all.
Posts: 1
Joined: January 10th, 2014, 10:45 am

Re: B-school MBA Interview debriefs

Postby Samriti » February 20th, 2014, 1:32 pm

HEC Paris Interview Experience:

It was difficult to please one of the interviewer of HEC Paris. She was infact an alumni working here in India.

I had mentioned my goal as a product manager in Consumer goods as my short term goal after MBA. She found it unrealistic on my end coz of my technical background.

I feel I should have done more research on CG sector and given a better picture of my transition. or else could have simply mentioned the goal as a product manager in technical sector itself.

Also she had mentioned about the job scenario in France, where it is difficult to land a job after spending so much money on your MBA so she was somewhat discouraging me to go there. May be that was what she herself had experienced.

Maryland MBA interview:

The adcom guy had asked about what other college i had applied to and I had mentioned it as NUS Singapore.

Guess I should have answered a college which was lower ranked than Maryland.

Also I didnt tell them all the other colleges I had applied to.
Posts: 2
Joined: February 20th, 2014, 1:15 pm

Re: B-school MBA Interview debriefs

Postby noparkin » February 23rd, 2014, 10:33 pm

Profile: Mechanical Engineer with 2.5 years of experience in a marketing related function in an automobile Industry
GMAT Score: 680

Interview Experience:


Overview:I had applied for MS in Marketing at SIMON. The interview was basically a test of my communication and inter-personal skills. The interview was handled by a person from the Adcom.

My Experience: The interview was more like a one on one chat you have with a person over a cup of coffee. The questions were from the CV which I had submitted earlier. Few questions were work related and the rest was on how I would cope up in the US (since I had no overseas experience). The interviewer was very friendly and put me at ease.

Preparation: It was a very casual and relaxed interview. You need not prepare anything in advance except for the three famous questions " Why, Why now and why simon" Have clarity on your goals and why you want to pursue them. I suggest you to skype with someone in the US a few days before the interview to test your connectivity and stuff.

Overall, As far as SIMON goes shed the anxiety. Sit back , relax and imagine that its one of your close friends whom your going to talk with.

Result : Admitted with 30% scholarship


Overview: The admission process at GLIM consists of 3 rounds. In round one you need to write a 200-250 word essay on a topic (mostly current affair). Round 2 is GD and round 3 is PI. There would be no elimination. You would go through all of these 3 rounds irrespective of your performance.

My Experience: In round 1 , 3 topics were given out of which you have to chose one. You will have 20 minutes to write a one page essay. The topics were on FDI, Food bill. Just make sure you organize your thoughts before you pen down the essay. Try to substantiate your points through statistics and examples. The evaluation is on the content and not on volume so make sure you stick to the topic and analyse the pros and cons distinctly. Use simple words and convey your point clearly. You may get questions in your PI based on what you write in your essay.

Round 2 is a GD. You will be given a topic and you will have 5 minutes to think on it. My GD went on well. Though people were in a hurry to
put their points across the entire discussion was balanced and everyone got the opportunity to speak.

Round 3: There were 3 panels with three people in each panel. Two faculty members and one HR guy from the industry. The interview went on well. Questions were mainly from my work-ex. The HR person was friendly and put me at ease. Out of the other two, one kept cross questioning me and the other person was a silent observer and did not ask me any questions. A few questions were straight from the text book (Why mba and why great lakes) but most of the questions were work related. Few questions were situation based and there was also a role play where i had to manage an angry customer.

Preparation: Stay in line with whats happening around you - Politics, Sports, Economics and Industry. This will really help you in round 1 & 2. Try to write a couple of essays on some topic in less than 20 minutes two to three days before the interview. This will boost your confidence during round 1. As far as the GD goes don't try to play Arnab Goswami. Keep your points crisp and take a firm stand. Dont try to be diplomatic and speak for both the sides. Bring clarity into the group, let other people speak, consolidate the points discussed so far before you begin yours and finally try to bring the group to a consensus. For the interview it is enough that you are prepared with the standard questions. The ability to think on your feet is very necessary to make an impression.

Overall, As I said you need to do some homework before the D-day. What happens with a person in the interview room before your turn needn't necessarily happen to you. so go in with any opinions and face the scene as it happens!

Result: Admitted


Overview: The admission process consists of a psychometric test and 2 rounds of Group Interviews. The 1st group interview would be about your profile and the second about your values and opinion.

My Experience: The entire process kicks off with document verification and biometric identification. Make sure you have all your documents in place.After that you will be asked to write a psychometric test followed by a one page essay on a random topic. The psychometric test will have 3 groups consisting of 10 questions in each group. questions would be like - Do you tell lies (frequently, not at all, sometimes)...And finally you will have to give justification to one question from every group. After this you will have to write a one page essay. Topics like honesty, self confidence...

The main part is the group interview where you would go into the interview room as a group. The group is chosen by the Adcom depending on the specialization you have opted for. A typical group would consist of 7-8 people with 2 IM, 2 Marketing, 2 Operations and 2 Finance. The panel would consist of 3 people, A Prof, An alumnus and A person from the industry. For profile based call the questions would be from their work ex and their other achievements. For score based call the questions would be mainly from their achievements and other projects at school/college. Since you would be choosing your specialization the entire story of how your workex/character sycs with the specialization must be well spun. You will be given 2-3 minutes to give an intro about yourself and the series of questions which follows would be from either that or any specific point which you have mentioned in your application.

Round 1 is an elimination round where in only 3-4 people make it to the next round.The second round is more about your values.This round is to see your line of thinking during specific situations.

Preparation: Take care while filing your profile sheet. The interview will test your domain knowledge and communication skills. Do not answer out of chance. It is a group interview , not a group discussion. Answer only when you are asked to do so.

Overall, Not much of preparation is needed. Be clear on your roles and responsibilities and why you want to take up the specified specialization. Remember that you will get only 10-15 minutes to make your point. So be clear and crisp in whatever you say.
Posts: 1
Joined: February 23rd, 2014, 10:21 pm

Re: B-school MBA Interview debriefs

Postby pankils@gmail.com » April 1st, 2014, 10:54 am

Berkeley Haas Part Time MBA Interview with Ad Com

Haas EWMBA Interview Report

I reached Haas Student Services Center at 12:05PM on 12/13/13. After completing verification I waited for my interviewer. This is blind interview (Resume only) She came to receive me at 12:31PM.

We discussed about weather outside. I mentioned weather is nice but I prefer colder weather. I mentioned by stay in east coast. I would be open to living in colder place if it helps me. Every place and work has something interesting to offer.

She mentioned that interview was for 30 mins so she keep a watch on time to make sure I get to ask her any questions at the end.

Q1 - Walk her through my resume.

ME - I started with my undergraduate and mentioned about joining Wipro program as it would give me chance to pursue graduate studies from BITS Pilani.

Q2 -She asked me if my grad was part time.

ME - Yes

Q3 - So you have experience of managing work and experience.

ME - Yes and I find it very challenging and interesting.

I continued with resume question and touched my passion for running..

"Finally on a personal side I love to run. I have completed 5k and 10k races and am training for my first half. I am planning for Hellyar half marathon in San Jose around March 16.
I plan to do another half around thanksgiving and then start training for full marathon. Eventually want to qualify for Boston marathon"

Q4 - Oh thats tough one. Whats your pace.
ME - I recently did Catalina 10K which is hilly race. I realized I was not prepared..I took 16:44/mile.

Q5 - Ohh you are long way from Boston marathon
ME - I agree. My friend took 3 yrs roughly 2300 miles to qualify so it will not be easy. But I want to try. I will readjust my goals if needed but I want to try. Just training for it is an accomplishment. Lets see.

Q6 - Are you in individual contributor role?

ME - Yes I do work with other teams at Apple but from Estuate I am the only one. At IBM I led a team of 10 people.

Q7 - What are your goals

ME - I have technical role and I want to move into product marketing role. I enjoyed staying in product area, I would like to continue with product marketing. In the long term I want to take up role of CIO and may be some day start my own company.

Q8 - How would your managers describe you?

ME - Well I am flexible. I joined with no skills in product development but was able to pick up quickly
I am proactive. When I started at Apple, I realized that lot of processes need to be automated. A colleague was to join Apple in week or two so I decided to make him comfortable in automation technique. By the time he joined both of us were comfortable so we saved 2 weeks of allotted time on other critical tasks.

Q9 - What do you need to improve ?
ME - Business knowledge. I have technical background and I need to learn about business. I do proposals and customer demos. My CEO is open to me to taking ownership in sales proposals.

Q10 - You have already answered core principles essay which I will read it later. What other principle do you exemplify

ME - Well I have answered Student always in my essay. It is second nature to me. Everyday I need to learn something new other wise I feel the day is wasted. Other principle that I would relate to is.. Beyond Yourself. I am always open to help others sometimes at my own expense. Everyday some body asks for help and I am ready for it. I had to sometimes reschedule my plans to help out. My manager has asked me to give a demo on short notice and I and to reschedule my plan. So I would say beyond yourself principle.

Q11 - Are you planning to stay with Estuate or look for a job.

ME - My experience with Estuate has been really good. They have been appreciate what I do. I got my bonus yesterday and it feels good. I would have to decide about it when the time comes. If I get an opportunity with Estuate I would continue.

AdCom - Do you have any questions for me.

Q12 - I would like to know about how students are finding post mba jobs. Is it through career services or alumni?
Well it all depends on each case. But we keep on improving career services to handle recruiting of part time students. They have to quit their jobs for us to help them
ME - Oh they have to quit their jobs?
AdCom - Yes we do not want to cause bad experience between parties involved.
ME - Oh ok. I understand. Are their any changes planned for career services in future?
Well, there might be but am not aware of it. We are getting a new career director.

Q13 - You are open to Exec MBA. Do you have any questions about it.

Well not really as a colleague of mine at Apple who is at doing is exec mba at Booth had applied at Haas. I have been with him since Day 1. He travels every other week and I have seen how exhaustive and interesting it is. It’s different then part time. I am right now concentrating on part time as it gives me more flexibility.

Q14 - We are done here. Let me walk you out. It was nice meeting you.
ME - Same here. I had attended Pricing class in Canada college but I have never been here so it was good. Thanks.

Overall it was very relaxed and comfortable interview.
Posts: 2
Joined: February 20th, 2013, 5:57 am

Re: B-school MBA Interview debriefs

Postby pankils@gmail.com » April 1st, 2014, 10:56 am

UCLA / Anderson FEMBA Admissions Interview Questions:

Round 2 / Alumni / Phone

I was unable to attend Super Saturday as I was out of country and had explained about it in additional essay. 2008 Alum contacted me via email and schedule a phone interview.

My Anderson interview was very conversational and interviewer told me that interview will be 30 mins long and she will keep track of time to make sure I can ask her questions at the end. She asked me below questions.

  1. Walk me through your resume.
  2. What are your short- and long-term goals?
  3. Why do you want to do MBA now?
  4. Why are you keen on Anderson?
  5. How do you work in teams? What is your leadership style?
  6. Tell me about a time you had a conflict with someone at work.
  7. What is your greatest accomplishment?
  8. What are your weaknesses?
  9. Any questions for me?

Questions that I asked her:
  1. Did she reach out to the alumni network ? Under which circumstances ? How was it ?
  2. What she likes most in his experience at Anderson.
  3. Has she tried Hybrid (Flex) option?
  4. Was she able to attend clubs?

Overall it was good and relaxed interview.
Posts: 2
Joined: February 20th, 2013, 5:57 am

Re: B-school MBA Interview debriefs

Postby NiharRanjanPrasad » July 8th, 2014, 11:10 am

Interview at INSEAD 2014

Both the interviews were very conversational and there is no stress. Older alumni take the interview.

Areas to focus on:

1. Your field of work -know it inside out with current situations, future, national/ international scenario etc.
2. Know what you have done and how does it figure in the big picture
3.Know your strengths/ weaknesses - normally experienced interviewers don't ask that explicitly; but, it helps
4.Know what is important for the school (@ INSEAD - international exposure, openness, career focus and goals)
5.Tell me something about yourself... absolutely must.. keep it simple
6.Brush-up on the feelings of your best experiences of failure and successes - 2 each at least so that you can help them understand your thought process and not facts alone

Interview at HEC

Conversational - younger alumni

Areas to focus on:

1. Confidence.. very important here
2.Presentation - keep it short and interesting - I reviewed a book -"Thinking Fast and Slow"
3. Questions ..strengths/ weaknesses/ experiences/ why mba?/why HEC?/one-two experiences
4.Show that you are an achiever and HEC gives you an opening to Europe

Basically, from my experiences, I have learnt that it is important to have a story and connect that with the school. Rest all... you are what you are.. :)
Posts: 1
Joined: July 8th, 2014, 9:23 am

Re: B-school MBA Interview debriefs

Postby nick » September 4th, 2014, 9:53 am

Alberta school of Business

The interview was pretty casual and cool. The interview was over skype. The questions were:
1.Tell me about yourself
2.Why MBA
4.Why I should hire you
5.Why Alberta
6.Leadership example

Schulich school of Business

The interview happened around 10.30 pm in the night and it was telephonic. It hardly lasted for 15-20 minutes.

1.Tell me about yourself
2.Why MBA
4.Why Schulich
5.Which Schulich(India/Toronto) and why?


The interview was over skype and lasted for around 10 minutes. The questions were shooted on me one after the other without letting me complete the previous answer.

1.Tell me about yourself(Was not allowed to complete and the next question was shooted)
2.You had already done some pre-sales work, so why do you want to do an MBA now?
3.Why SP Jain
4.2 questions from my resume and the profile sheet that they ask you to fill before the interview.
5.I was asked whether I would take sabbatical or quit the organization and was asked some ethical questions hovering around the same. For eg. Would you join back your organization or would opt for offer received from placements.
Posts: 1
Joined: November 13th, 2013, 12:33 am

Re: B-school MBA Interview debriefs

Postby rajeshramana » November 3rd, 2014, 2:20 pm

1. Name of the school: INSEAD

2. My Background:
GMAT- 730
Work-ex - 6.5 years. 3.5 years in management consulting (USA). 3 years running a healthtech company in India.
Education - B.E. + M.S. (Electrical Engineering, both reputed schools)

3. Interview General Comments:
INSEAD schedules two interviews, both with alumni in your city of residence (if available). One is more senior to evaluate long-term potential and the second is closer to your age to evaluate your fit into the university culture.

Both interviewers also try to evaluate your global exposure to a great extent.

4. Interview Experience:
My first interview was with an entrepreneur (senior guy) and second with a financial consultant (also senior, because initially assigned junior interviewer cancelled).

Interview 1 (2.5 hours): General chat about my background from a really early age, which lasted about one hour. The next hour we discussed the alumni's business (he runs a 100 person company). No directed questions from his end at all, except "Tell me about yourself? ". Post this we went with the flow. Last 30 minutes I had some questions for him - mainly guidance on how to best utilize my time at INSEAD. Post the interview he literally told me that he's recommend me.

Interview 2 (1.5 hours): We had very dissimilar backgrounds and didn't hit it off well. For about 45 minutes he asked about my schooling, undergrad and graduate school experiences. My grades, performance, internships, projects, scholarships etc. Post this I had to literally direct him to focus on my work-ex, and he reluctantly obliged. Then I drove the interview for another 30 mins with him mainly listening.
Lastly he asked if I had questions for him, and this lasted about 10 mins. Rather than answering my questions he seemed to be belittling them. Overall, I left quite skeptical about my success.

Spoke with him later after my results came out and he seemed very positive about my performance! So if you feel you haven't done well, don't lose hope, I suspect it may be planned that way.

5. Final Result: Accepted

6. Tips & Suggestions:
Just know your essays very well. Sometimes your goals change since you've written the essays, make sure you stick to what you've written. Business schools don't hold you to stick to your word once you're in.

If you have substantial global experience, prepare your stories around that well. They'll definitely ask for it.

If you feel you haven't done too well, don't worry. Very likely you could be wrong.
Posts: 1
Joined: November 3rd, 2014, 1:51 pm


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