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ISB interview tips by an ISB alum

For the maximum probability of success in interviews, your preparation needs to be very thorough and holistic. This is a slightly longer post that will cover every aspect of interviews at ISB right from how you should dress to what how you should speak. Let's dive right in:

  • Study about ISB Even though there will be no direct questions on it but it’s always nice to do your research on the school. It’ll be good to keep in mind the history of ISB, various events that happen, the clubs on campus, a few notable alumni. Just research on the official website or ask any alum about these things. Involving these facts organically in your answers will show how interested you are in getting an admit at ISB. This will also help you prepare for the ‘Why ISB’ type of questions.

  • Study your resume in detail Make a resume cheat-sheet covering each point in your resume and write a short description of each especially back-calculating how you got to the numbers you’ve mentioned. Also, write down what could be your main talking point if asked about any particular point in your resume. I remember I had added the ‘social importance’ point for each project in my sheet since I had written in my essays about how I wanted to be in the development sector post-ISB.

  • Be ready with your plans Do some research about the industry or function you want to get into post your MBA. Then go through previous placement reports of ISB and see how many companies come for recruitment that match your preferences. You should also see what sort of courses are offered at ISB and which of those interest you and match your plans. Obviously you don’t have to fix to the plan once you join ISB, a lot of people in India do an MBA because they want to figure out what they want to do in life and that’s completely fine. But at least have a tentative plan in your mind for the sake of the interview. You can be asked questions like ‘How will ISB help you in achieving your dreams?’ and this is where all this research will help.

  • Behavioral questions You can easily find the list of common behavioral questions that are generally asked in interviews on the interest, there will be around 60–70 such common questions. Go through them all and have an answer ready for all of them. This looks like a lot of work but it really helps. You will definitely be asked behavioral questions and it’s difficult to think of things on the spot sometimes. Also don’t just have points ready for answers to questions like ‘What are your strengths?’, have examples ready as well.

  • Current Affairs I would suggest you start reading up on current affairs the moment you get your interview invite. Its good to be aware of what’s happening in the world around. During my interview, a lot of my conversation had revolved around current affairs, and a few government policies that had come out back then.

  • Prepare your story Have a mental map of your story absolutely clear and ready: What I’ve done so far -How it ties together - How it leads me to an MBA and especially ISB - What I’ll bring to the table at ISB - How ISB will help me - What I want to learn and do at ISB - My post ISB goals - My long-term life goals

  • Practise makes perfect Your practice should be divided into three parts: -First practice all your answers with yourself -Ask your friends/family or anyone else you’re comfortable with for a mock interview -Conduct a mock interview with professionals. It's better if it’s an ISB alumni sho has gone through the same process before. You can connect with such alumni here: Preppie | Indian School of Business

  • Dressing Formal corporate attire is a must, even if it is a YLP/EEO interview. Look for suits/dresses in solid colors that exude power like black, navy blue, dark grey. Your shirt should be coordinated with your suit, a white long-sleeved short goes with almost everything. Do not wear perfume that’s too overpowering as interviews usually happen in closed rooms. Make sure you’re properly groomed and are not wearing too much jewelry. For my interview, I wore a black blazer with black trousers and a grey shirt that went along with the blazer.

Remember, as cliched as it must sound- confidence is key. Just relax and prepare well and you will definitely ace the interview.

All the best!


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