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How to Approach Your ISB Interview Prep - 2024 Intake

ISB interviews for the April 2024 intake are around the corner, expected to start from 30th Sep'23 onwards.


ISB usually follows a rolling interview process. This means that the school continues inviting candidates for interviews over time - usually 5 days before the interview date.


However, last year, ISB changed its approach a little bit. During Round 1, ISB announced a list of candidates who were invited for interviews in advance. However, they did not indicate the date, time or location of the interview while making this announcement. Candidates then received the details of their interview schedule 5 days before the actual interview.


While we don't know which approach will ISB take for the 2024 intake, given that we know the interview timelines and how ISB informs candidates, we can still provide some solid suggestions on how to prepare for the interviews.


If you haven't yet applied to ISB and are planning to apply in later rounds, check out our detailed breakdown of the 2024 ISB application here. You can also explore our dedicated ISB Application Package.


If you are seeking help to prepare for ISB interviews, please explore our services. We have multiple packages available for one, two, or three mock interviews, as suits your requirements. All our mock interviews are taken by highly experienced ISB alumni, who have helped multiple candidates secure admits to the ISB PGP.


For the 2023 intake, 23 candidates worked with us on ISB application, of whom 19 received interview invites, and 16 received admit/waitlist decisions from ISB.

men and women silhouettes in corporate suits for interview with high rises in background

Indian School of Business (ISB) is one of the best Business schools in India, consistently ranking among the Top MBA programs worldwide. The PGP program at ISB brings together a cohort of ~900 candidates each year, with an average work experience of 4-5 years. In FT Rankings 2023, ISB is ranked at 39, much ahead of Indian peers such as IIM Ahmedabad (51), Bangalore (52) and Calcutta (76).


In this post, we break down how the ISB interview process works, how you should prepare for it, and tips and strategies to optimize your preparation.


We will cover 3 major areas in this article:

 

Interview Process of ISB


There are a few things to keep in mind while you wait for your interview invite from ISB.

  1. Despite the little information about the invitation process that ISB is going to follow this year, we know that interviews are going to start from 30th September onwards. That leaves us with little time.

  2. Whether ISB goes back to their older process of informing candidates 5 days prior to interview, or continues last year's process of inviting everyone in advance, we suggest starting to work on your interview prep, so you are not greeted with unexpected situations.

  3. ISB does not share the details of the alumni who will take the interview. However, they do try and match candidate profiles with alumni profiles as much as possible.

  4. Interviews are taken by ISB alumni primarily. There can be a single alum taking your interview, or a panel of 2-4 alumni.

  5. For the 2024 intake, interviews can be either in-person or online.

Now let's dive deeper into the process, step by step.


ISB will inform you of your interview invitation and schedule at the beginning of the week. If the interview is in-person, you will need to be present at your scheduled location for the interview. There are usually 2-3 alumni taking the interview, though there can always be exceptions.


Interviews are usually 30 minutes long. An important thing to note is that ISB interviewers are trained well before they take interviews - their key agenda being - make the candidate as comfortable as possible throughout the interview. Also, ISB alumni have your entire application, except your GMAT/GRE scores and LORs.


A longer or shorter interview DOES NOT indicate anything regarding your chances. ISB interviewers are trained to not divulge any information about your performance through their actions.

The primary purpose of the interview is to gauge how well you would fit within the ISB classroom. Since the interviewers are all alumni, they also often try to evaluate candidates on the basis of - would they have liked to have you as a classmate?


Key Aspects for ISB Interview Prep


ISB focuses tremendously on specific aspects of the candidates, particularly their readiness for the MBA program, clarity on what they want to do, and how ISB fits within their plans. As such, it's extremely important for candidates to present themselves as unambiguously as possible in front of the interview panel.


This means that they need to extreme clarity on each aspect of their application.

  • What they have done throughout their career?

  • What are their goals?

  • How their experiences have shaped their goals?

  • How do they envision achieving their goals?

  • Why is an MBA necessary for them?

  • How would ISB play a role in helping them achieve their goals?

  • How would they contribute to the ISB community?

Further, it is imperative for candidates to know their applications inside-out. Everything you have written in your applications, from your academic and professional achievements to your awards, extra-curricular activites, hobbies, and essays - is up for questioning.


You should be able to defend, and explain, any numbers you might have highlighted in your application. Be extremely clear on what you have done, how you did those things, why you took certain decisions and what you learnt from those experiences.


Important: We suggest candidates to start their interview prep in advance as ISB only provides a 5-day notice.

ISB interviews are often heavily focused on your career progression. This allows the interview panel to really understand the depth and maturity of your professional experiences, while also establishing your clarity of thought.


This year, however, we also expect the interview to equally be focused on how well your goals and values align with ISB, how you will contribute to the ISB community, and how will ISB be instrumental in achieving your goals.


Needless to say, the clearer you are on your answers, the better it is for you.


Commonly Asked Questions


Below is a list of some commonly asked interview questions that you should be prepared for. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, since interviews are highly personalized in nature, and would heavily depend on your experiences and the data that you have provided in your applications.

  • Walk me through your resume.

  • Tell me something not in your resume.

  • What is your most proud achievement?

  • What are your short-term goals? How will MBA help achieve your goals?

  • Why can’t you achieve your goals through normal career progress?

  • Why MBA now?

  • What are your long-term goals?

  • How do your goals align with your career so far?

  • What are your biggest strengths, give an example to illustrate?

  • Share an experience where you worked with your communities.

  • Share an experience where you were challenged the most. What did you learn?

  • What is your biggest weakness? How are you working on improving it?

  • Share an experience where you failed? What did you learn?

  • Share a situation where you faced adversity. How did you handle it, and what did you learn?

  • Share a situation where you worked in a team. How did you handle it, and what did you learn?

  • Why do you want to attend ISB? What makes you most excited about ISB?

  • What will you do at ISB?

  • Why should we take you?

  • Tell us about your hobbies. What do you do in your free time?

  • Why did you pick up these extra-curricular activities? How have they enriched you?

 

How Can We Help?


At Management Masters, we have helped 45+ candidates secure ISB admits over the last 4 years. For ISB's 2023 intake, 19 of our 23 candidates received an interview invite. Of these 19 candidates, 16 were offered admit or waitlist decisions post their interview.


For interview preparation, we have a specialized team of ISB alumni who have helped multiple candidates with mock interviews, and are acutely aware of ISB's requirements. Among them, they have taken 150+ ISB mock interviews, and have previously served on the official ISB interview panels as well.


We offer multiple interview packages ranging from one to three mock interviews, depending on the candidate's requirements. You can check out our interview packages here.


Ideally, we suggest starting with your interview prep early on, since ISB does not provide enough time period between the notification and the actual interview. So if someone starts their interview prep only after receiving the invite, it's usually too late already.


Please reach out to us at contact@managementmasters.in in case you have any questions.

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