Here's my interview experience. Arrived at the center at 5:00 for a 6:40 interview. Was atleast an hour early. But my interview started around 6:00. So wasn't that early too.
My pre-evaluation essay was on India's Exim Policy. Didn't do a very good job at it I thought. But 50 words is probably like 3-4 sentences. I guess I didn't know enough to write about the EXIM policy. :-(
Time In: 6:00
Time Out: 6:25
Panel 3 - Not sure of the names
Date - Jan 6th
Venue - Bangalore
P1: So you got offers from 5 IIMs in 2004 and didn't go for it. Why?
Talked about my research at the time and the fact that I felt 4-5 years of experience and actually performing a managerial role would help better appreciate an MBA program.
P1: Some more talk about it. The panel liked the fact that I'd consulted a lot of IIM students and alumni but didn't seem fully convinced.
Further clarified and I felt and he was finally convinced about my reasoning.
P1: So you read a lot. What kind of books do you read?
Talked about the range of books I've read. Spoke about some books that made a significant impact on my life.
P1: So what was your biggest achievement at work.
Spoke about a recent success at work in Project Management that made a difference. Not sure if it was the biggest achievement. But surely made a decent impact.
P1: With respect to your peers, how do you rate yourself.
Obviously I am the best ;-) - Got more questions on this. Not sure if I was convincing enough. P1 seemed like an Infy Alumni or had interviewed a Infy guy recently since he knew about some Infy specific terms like CRR, MVP, On the Spot Award, etc
P2: What does your team think of you? Two positives and two -ves.
Spoke about two positives. Could come up with only one -ve. Actually if I knew it was a -ve, I would have corrected it by now, wouldn't I. Also I could have given a lot of -ves of standard managers that I had in mind. But I wasn't sure my team thought that way about me.
Some more questions and cross-questions.
Finally the panel asked me if I had any questions.
I asked about the enterpreneurial support that ISB provides. Got a good response from them
Then asked about research done at ISB. Guess this was where I might have thrown it all away. P1 seemed to think that I'd not done enough research about ISB. :-( I tried to convince him with a response. Don't think I was convincing enough.
Fingers crossed - But not too hopeful looking at the way it ended and some screwups in between. Actually missed out saying so many things that I planned to say. All in all - looks like a disaster.
All the while P1 was talking and P2 was looking at me closely. Guess he was studying body language to see if I was lying anywhere, etc.
A nice experience with a lot of learnings:
-> If you don't like the ISB topic or don't know much about it, atleast try for a new topic. You might just get lucky.
-> Make a list of points that you want to make and ensure you bring it up as relevant. I ended up with the feeling that I had so many things to say that I couldn't.
-> Make a list of open-ended questions (atleast 2-3) and ensure that it is not something that can be answered easily by going to the ISB website or something.