ISB interview – How to prepare, expert tips, common questions (2022-2023)

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You aced the GMAT, wrote stellar essays, received great letters of recommendation, and crafted a resume that depicts the impact you have created. Now, it’s time to ace the final and important step that’ll decide the fate of your candidacy. This final step in the ISB admissions process is the interview.

Remember that the ISB admissions process is a holistic process and ISB judges its candidates every step of the way. Even though the interview isn’t the only deciding factor, a good one can definitely help you get in. On the other hand, a superficial conversation can really hurt your chances of getting in.

ISB Interview tips

So, how do you make sure that you leave a good and lasting impression on the ISB interview panel? Let’s find out in this article.

Here is what you will read in this article:

ISB Interview dates 2022

ISB has released the invites for the Round 1 interview. Here are the ISB interview dates for Round 1:

RoundInterview DateInterview City
Round 18 October 2022Mumbai
Round 18 October 2022Hyderabad
Round 19 October 2022Mumbai
Round 19 October 2022Hyderabad
Round 115 October 2022New Delhi
Round 116 October 2022New Delhi
Round 122 October 2022Online – Hyderabad
Round 123 October 2022Online – Hyderabad
Round 129 October 2022Mohali
Round 129 October 2022Bengaluru
Round 130 October 2022Bengaluru
Round 130 October 2022New Delhi
Round 15 November 2022Chennai
Round 15 November 2022Kolkata
Round 16 November 2022Chennai
Round 16 November 2022Kolkata
Round 16 November 2022Hyderabad

What is the ISB interview structure?

Unlike previous years where the ISB interviews were held online in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, in 2022 the ISB will hold physical interviews in multiple cities across India.

Invitations to interviews at ISB are typically sent out four to six days before the scheduled day of the interview. Members of the admissions committee and ISB alumni make up the interview panel. A normal interview will run between 25 and 30 minutes, however, it can go on for as long as 35 to 40 minutes in some situations.

What can you expect on the interview day?

You should arrive at the interview location around an hour before the stated start time on the day of the interview.

The alumni panelists at ISB interviews are expressly instructed not to put candidates under any undue stress, and the interview process is structured in such a way as to prevent that from happening. Many hopefuls will breathe a sigh of relief because they no longer have to worry about being “grilled” during these interviews.

However, alumni panelists are urged to go deeper when evaluating candidates based on factors such as their job history, projects completed, future aspirations, the strength of arguments made in their essays, etc.

How are you evaluated in an ISB interview?

ISB interviews are of 20–30 minute duration and mostly stick to the information in the application. Typically, the interviewers will pick up a couple of things from the application, and discuss those in detail, trying to gauge a few important qualities.

Here are those 5 qualities that ISB looks for in an interview:

  1. Leadership potential
  2. Clarity of thought
  3. Communication
  4. Team orientation
  5. Learning orientation

Your work experience and the way you articulate your thoughts are something that the ISB interview panel will closely look at. Be prepared to answer any questions related to your work experience with conviction and in a logical manner.

Here are a few things to keep in mind while interviewing with the ISB admissions panel:

  • They’ll ask you questions about the situations you cited in your application to analyze the leadership attributes you demonstrated in them. So, be prepared regarding everything in your application and use the STAR format (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to prepare.
  • They’ll assess the clarity of thought in your career objectives and why ISB will help you attain them. It’s basically your essay 2 in the application. If they ask about your plan B in case your short-term aim doesn’t work out, your answer should still fulfill your long-term goal.
  • Communicate clearly. Listen carefully, organize your ideas, and answer briefly. Stop speaking when you’re done to let the panel go on. Use voice modulation to avoid dull speaking.
  • If you’ve managed teams in the past, interviewers may want to hear how you handled disagreements, ensured various viewpoints prevailed, sacrificed personal aspirations for team goals, etc.
  • The year you’ll spend at ISB will be the year of transformation. Transformation requires learning and unlearning. The interviewers want to know when you’ve learned from your failures, made additional effort to learn something new, or adapted your current knowledge to a new scenario and let go of some views.

Who are on the ISB interview panel?

The ISB interview panel consists of two or three alumni. Every alumnus who serves on the panel receives instruction on how to successfully lead the interviews. ISB will make an effort to pair you with an interviewer who has a profile that is comparable to yours, but this may not be the case for everyone.

Most commonly asked questions on the ISB interview

  • How do you see you will contribute to our classroom?
  • What are some of the challenges you generally face at work?
  • What is your biggest/best achievement in your career?
  • Can you quantify the impact you have created at your current job?
  • Why MBA?
  • What if MBA does not happen this year?
  • Why do you think ISB is the best choice for you?
  • Describe the most inspirational moment for you in life. Any regrets?
  • Describe a challenging work situation where there may have been a learning curve and how did you navigate through it.
  • How do you define a team? What are the issues you faced and how did you resolve them?
  • Do you have any specific questions for the interview panel?

How to prepare for the ISB interview?

You have worked so hard on all the components of your ISB application that acing the ISB interview is really important. Since the stakes are high, you must prepare well. ISB interviews need extensive and careful preparation. Take help from admissions experts if required, but give it your best because it is critical to be well-versed in your profile and to have a strategy for answering each sort of question.

So, what sorts of questions are we talking about? You can divide the types of questions into 3 categories based on your

  1. Work experience
  2. Career Goals
  3. Application

Let’s discuss each of these in detail.

ISB interview questions based on your work experience

It goes without saying that ISB interview panelists will focus heavily on your work experience. They will try to gauge the validity of your claims and seek more information on the skills learned, your achievements, responsibilities, decisions, and most importantly your leadership experience.

Therefore, it is very important that you should keep a story bank. Reflect on your professional experience and think of all the scenarios that address each of the information that the panelist may ask. This is a better strategy than trying to prepare the most commonly asked questions in an ISB interview. This will prepare you for any surprise questions.

A few interview questions in this category could be:

  • What did you learn or how did you get better at your last job that helps you in your current job?
  • Why did you leave your old organization and join the current one? 
  • Where do you think your old organization is going now that there are new verticals?

ISB interview questions based on your career goals

ISB like any business school wants to know how it fits in the path to your career goals. Therefore, it’s important that you project clarity in your goals and aspirations.

A few interview questions in this category could be:

  • Why do you want an MBA if you’ve already done all of this? Why not keep working where you are for a few more years? What is your goal for the near future?
  • What do you hope to get out of ISB and what do you hope to give ISB?
  • What would ISB help you do?

ISB interview questions based on your application

Questions are based on what is written on the application and in the essay. The interviewer can ask about recent accomplishments and the problems that came up along the way. 

It’s likely that the interviewer will look into the examples you gave in your essays or on the application form to learn more about them.

In the end, you should remember that a successful ISB interview is a mix of preparation, deep and verified knowledge of your profile, a clear view of your future goals, and an informed mindset.

ISB Interview tips for 2023 admissions

Here are 5 tips that will help you prepare for the ISB interview:

Prepare your story/stories

The ISB interview is dynamic in nature and you could suddenly be stumped by an unexpected question. Therefore, think about your experiences and pick stories that highlight skills or behaviors that the interview panel would be looking for. Be aware of your grey areas and work on preparing proper responses for them.

Prepare a pitch

There is a high probability that your interview might start with your introduction. Prepare a one-minute concise pitch to introduce yourself. This will help you take control of the conversation to some extent because one of the panelists would ask you to elaborate on one of the points you mention here.

Do your research on ISB

Interviewers do not ask straightforward questions, but doing your homework provides you an advantage. It is beneficial to be aware of the ISB’s history, clubs, activities, and prominent alumni and important people. Using the knowledge naturally in your responses will demonstrate your eagerness to get into ISB.

Do mock interviews and get expert advice

Practicing before your ISB interview with a consulting firm like Admit expert will significantly improve your confidence and communication on the day of the interview. Candidates should ideally prepare with experts who can assist them craft distinctive responses and organize their views.

Dress for the occasion

This year the ISB interviews will be in person. Therefore, dress well. Formal clothes with a clean appearance enhance your charm and confidence.

FAQs

How long is the ISB interview?

The interviews usually run between 25 and 30 minutes. Some interviews may last as little as 15 minutes, while others may go up to 50 minutes.

Will the ISB interview consist of academic or subject-related questions?

ISB interviews are noted for delving deeply into a candidate’s profile, functional areas, and long-term ambitions. It is unusual for interviewers to put your academic knowledge to the test.

What identification documents do I need to bring to the interview?

Candidates must have their passports with them at all times for identification. There is no need to bring any further documentation.

How many cities will host ISB interviews in 2022?

ISB interviews will be held in 7 Indian cities in 2022. These cities are Mumbai, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Mohali, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Kolkata.

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