ISB 2011 Round 1 Interviews ( for class of 2012)
These are actual interview experiences of goISB clients who appeared for interview in R1
ISB 2011 Interview experience 1: EXPERIENCE : 4 years in Shipping
Here are some questions from my interview
1) Do you know any of guys from merchant navy who have passed from ISB?
2) What did they tell you about ISB?
3) Your recommender has
written alot about your leadership abilities. Please tell us about your
leadership abilities and your style.
4) Tell us a situation in which you have shown your leadership abilities and what did you learn from that experience?
5) You have written you
want to work for marine transportation and logistics in India. Be more
precise and tell me what exactly you want to do?
6) Lots of cross question on my response
7) Why do you want to leave shipping?
8) Do you want to ask any question from us?
That was it. I felt lucky that asked questions on my strength and was able to give good answers.
Now keeping my finger crossed and hoping for the best.
ISB 2011 Interview experience 2: EXPERIENCE : 2 years 3 months in Power Sector,
GMAT : 740
Below is the interview debrief
The interview was scheduled at 11:10 in Taj Palace,
Delhi with panel no. 2. There was a lady (l) and a gentleman (g) in
g - Do you know ABC?
me - No Sir. Never heard her name
g - She was selected into ISB last year from your company.
me - NTPC is a large organization. I haven’t heard about her
l - Where are you posted?
me - At Tanda, near Ayodhya in UP
g - How far is it from Delhi?
me - 500 kms
g - It seems you don’t want to go back to the public sector post MBA
me - Sir actually my goals are related to public
sector. Starting an infrastructure consultancy ...and yes To achieve my
goals, I need to work with an infrastructure consultant like
L&T...and I don’t see any PSU in this area.
g - L&T is not just an infra consultancy, it's an infra giant
g - But why do you want to do MBA? L&T would hire you anyways
me - Sir but I need to gain managerial skill set in
a short period of time to achieve my goals. L&T would hire me now
as an engineer and even if I am able to learn some managerial skills in
L&T, it would be related to a specific sector only, either
financial or marketing. I want to gain a holistic understanding of
business which I can gain only in an MBA
g - What do you want to do exactly in your company?
me - sir my company would provide consultancy to
small infrastructure projects who can’t afford big consultants. E.g. My
friend's father in Sikkim has a 5MW plant, so, he cannot afford to go
to big consultants. That's where I would come and ones my brand is well
established, I would go on to bigger projects
g- Was it a run of the river plant?
me - no sir, it's a thermal plant
g- A thermal plant of just 5MW?
me - yes sir, there are many captive power plants
g - how much investment do you expect for your company?
me - around Rs 2 cr
g- how did you arrived at this figure of 2 cr?
me - Sir, infra and office space would cover around
15-20 lakhs. I want to spend a major part in business development and
marketing. I would distribute approx. Rs 80 lakhs on marketing and
around same amount on business development and manpower
g - Is this just a back of the envelope calculation or do you have exact numbers?
me - sir, it's a back of the envelope calculation, but i believe there's a huge potential in this industry
g- how do you plan to get the investment
me - sir, I would approach a VC or an angel investor
l- What do you think are your advantages and disadvantages in starting this company?
me - I have a work experience in both power sector
and public sector which has given me a technical expertise in this
industry. By acquiring managerial skills and gaining managerial work ex
in a company post MBA, I would have both technical and managerial know
how and can understand the industry quite well.
l - No, but what would be your, market receptivity?
me - I would cater to small infra projects who cant
afford large consultants. I think there's a gap here and i would
pierce in here in the industry.
l - and the roadblocks?
me - I haven’t thought about it yet, when any problem would come, I shall think on it then.
g and l - Your recommenders have written about your
artificial intelligence project, none of us are engineers, so can you
explain it to us?
me - started explaining the project ( I think I
went on too long and they seemed to be bored)...by this, we can save
many trippings in the power plant and save huge financial losses
g and l - can you quantify it ?
me - now as we get very limited time for emergency
handling, only 20-30 % emergencies are handled successfully. With this,
we can handle almost all the emergencies and prevent trippings.
l - What % is saved after applying this model?
me - it's just a proposal and we haven’t applied it
yet, so I can’t give you exact figures, but we can handle almost all
the emergencies, atleast 70-80 % of them.
g- What’s your leadership style?
me - it's not a dictatorship style certainly,
because in a dictatorship style, creativity of team and subordinates is
crumbled. I allow enough room for creativity, but if there's some
demand which can cause a loss to the company, then I restrict them and
also explain them reason for it. So, it's more on a lenient side with
restriction only when there's a loss to the company.
g-do you have any questions for us?
me - sir I had seen Indu centre for infra and real
estate, but couldn’t gather much info about it from ISB website. Can
you please tell me what all activities it organizes and how can I gain
g - Yes, not only the Indu centre but you can benefit from all the centers
ISB 2011 Interview experience 3:
had a Lady and a gentleman. Both were alumnus of the school. Both had a
very cheerful disposition. No grilling. Peaceful interview
L= lady, G=gentleman
Q1) Is your company a Mukesh Ambani or a Anil Ambani group company?
Q2) Explain ur profile in the business strategy group
Answer: Did that well
Q3) How did you save Rs. XXX crore for your company?
Answer: replaced a conventional methodology with an new innovative technology developed in south-asia.
Q4) Give specifics
Answer: (it is a very complicated technique.
related ti power plants and structural engineering. tried my best to
explain her in layman terms)
Q5) Did you achieved all this alone:
Answer: I was the first to spot the opportunity, to
initiate the change. But a change of this magnitude cannot be brought
by one man in isolation. Other group (engineering, contracts) have
Q6) (she seemed to be happy with this answer) are you still associated with the project?
After this, the gentleman took charge
Q7) Rs XXX cr of savings in a single project is too much. Savings as percentage of the total project cost?
Answer: less than one percent.
Q8) really!! what's the project cost?
Answer: Rs 20,000 Cr India’s largest power project
Q9)lady: so you are into creative writing and poetry writing?
Answer: yes, i write ghazals.
Q10) G: sing a ghazal for us
Answer: I write ghazals. a form of poetry
At this, I thought I might have disappointed the
gentleman. i thought he wanted some entertainment. "ISB ke liye kuch
bhi", I thought.
Though i have a terrible voice, i'll sing for you
sir. (sang two lines of a ghazal that i have written this week itself.
the gentleman complimented me for my voice
Q11) Your other interest seems to be financial markets? (I have cleared 4 modues of NCFM with 93% marks)
Answer: (Shit!! gayi bhains paani me I have no
interest in stock markets) Explained her that I did the course to gain
some knowledge on financial ratios and balance sheet evaluation, as we
have to evaluate the financial health of our vendors before placing
q12) So are you into stock trading?
Answer: no ma'am , I invest only in mutual
funds. I don’t get the time to trade as trading websites are blocked at
(this might give her the impression that i am
trying to avoid questions. But I answered honestly. I am not a stock
Q13) G: why do you want to pursue MBA?
Answer: general Management role in Energy industry
Q14) What do you understand by General management?
Q15) But that's exactly what you are currently doing
(He was right. I am working in business strategy,
business development, contract management. ) explained. Talked about
Q16) So I think you only want the ISB "thappa" (he actually used the word thappa )
Answer: told him that brand factor is very
important, though there is more to a MBA than just the brand. talked
about skills, networks etc.
Q17) Lady: Your title says 'Assistant Manager -
Business Strategy'. But strategy isn’t exactly what you are doing. You
are just into evaluating and developing new businesses.
Answer: talked about process improvement, procurement optimization, contract management.
I think I could have done better on this. Forgot to
mention the two JVs (one manufacturing, and one steel JV) that I worked
upon, also forgot to mention an initiative on our firm's backward
integration strategy )
Q18) Gentleman: your salary has not increased much.
Answer: ( yaar, power sector is not as glamorous as
IT or Finance. but thought against mentioning this) told him the other
reason that when i joined the company, i used to get additional
allowance as i was on a remote location. Had I joined the corporate
office since the beginning, the difference would have been visible.
Q19) Gentleman: Do you really think we should go for nuclear power?
Answer: Gave gyaan
Q20) but why nuclear? Why not coal?
Answer: Vomited everything that I have learnt in past two years
Q21) G & L: you seem to be very passionate about the energy industry
Q22) L : not many energy companies come to ISB. do you have your own contacts.
Answer: ( I think she was checking whether I have
done my homework. ISB & UT-Austin are the mecca for energy sector
Told her that I have already spoken to my Vice
president regarding study leave. (He is also one of my evaluator)
Gave her a list of companies that come to ISB
(energy +construction + power equipment manufacturers+ green energy+
energy advisory firm at ISB)
Q23) G: do you face any problem in multi-tasking? Will you able to do so at ISB?
Answer: (where did this come from? ) told him i
have managed acads and ecs well at NIT. So it shouldn’t be a problem .
Q24) But have you faced any such problems before?
Answer: I did face problems in my initial days at
ABC ( I think my evaluators must have mentioned this. it’s better to
accept your weakness. I accepted and there was no further grilling.)
Q25) any questions from the school?
Answer: Is any one of you an alumnus of the school
L& G: both of us
At this point I realized that I met the lady during
the my trip to ISB. It was a raining heavily. I offered her my umbrella
and she offered us a lift in her car. I told her about our meeting.
She was able to recall.
She answered my questions patiently, took my essays. I left the room.
ISB 2011 Interview experience 4: EXPERIENCE: 4 years – IT, Research, Operations
Please find below the questions and the follow-up
questions asked during the ISB interview: (Panel had VK Menon and 1
1. Reason for company foreclosure?
2. If you were the CEO, what you would have done differently?
3. What was your role in the sellout of your company?
4. With how many companies you met during this process and whom you met?
5. Post ISB goal?
6. What is your plan B in case this goal is not successful?
7. How much money you need to setup your virtual university?
8. Any questions for us? (I asked about ELP)
Last comment: You have pretty interesting profile. Thanks..............
ISB 2011 Interview experience 5: EXPERIENCE: 3 years – IT, GMAT: 730
The interview panel consisted of three people. Two seemed to be professors and third was probably alum.
The questions were
focused around my application only. They started by asking me about the
project I had done recently. After that they asked me about a
white-paper which I had written on rural and urban sectors in
India during my college time. They probed me a bit on this.
What are the problems faced by rural sector and probable
solutions? Asked for a sustainable solution. I talked about Grameen
bank in Bangladesh but could not recall of such a thing in India.
Then about my goals post
MBA. How MBA would help me? Why MBA? About painting which is my hobby
-what kind of paintings? How is painting related to the work I do - for
this I said painting has helped me develop out-of the box
thinking and gave an example. Do I still paint?
Finally, how has my profile changed since last year.
Overall, I remained
confident and showed enthusiasm throughout the interview. But I
feel I could have better explained/answered few questions.
I do not know how well did it go actually - mixed feelings.