Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Chicago GSB interview Experience.

After all the wait, i had to wait for almost 12 hrs in Bangalore before the interview actually began. The interview started at 8PM yesterday night @ a coffee shop :)

As expected, the interview started with him explaining about his recent schedule and how things got out of his hands and stuff like that. And then we went on to discuss about my work at my company and about my college. This clearly was the ice-breaker session. I ordered a coffee and he ordered apple juice and we then moved on to the CORE.

It began with the standard question - "Why MBA?" A long explanation later, this was out of the way. The interviewer did not stop me in the middle of this explanation, but made notes at several instances. Quite unexpectedly, the next question was "What are the schools you are applying to?". I gave him my list and also explained why i had applied (or plan to apply) to these schools. Next came "What are your post MBA plans?" and my mouth started working in hyper space once again. I had a lot to say here. The interviewer waited till i finished and then shot the next question, "Why the shift from Tech to Finance?", as my career plans were centered around this discipline. Some more justification to be done and work for the mouth once more. He was taking notes at numerous instances while i was answering all these questions.

We were a good 30 minutes into the interview by now and i felt we had covered all the "justification" questions. As expected, next came out "Why Chicago?". I had lots and lots to say here and i told myself i was in the home stretch. Sipped the coffee and began talking again. The interviewer gave me the nod of acceptance (or so i think) on almost all the points i made here. After nearly 10 minutes of non stop speaking, i was done. Immediately came, "What if you have to choose between Chicago and some other school?" I had prepared for this and hence this was a simple question to answer. "So, how are you planning to fund your MBA?", was the next question. I did not expect this question, but since the answer was straight forward, i did not have any issues explaining it to him. I even managed to explain him the amount of research and investigation i had done on this.

Next came out a set of "behavioral" questions. "As a team leader, what is the biggest challenge you face?", "In managing a team, what do you consider to be your weakness?", "How have your life and your profession prepared you for an MBA?", "What do you consider to be your biggest mistake ever?" I think that's all of this type of questions. I think i did okay in answering these questions.

We then realized that we had been speaking for the past 90 minutes :) He then set the stage open for me to ask questions to him. I had a small list of questions and i asked them to him. He explained about the need to go to an MBA to acquire complete business perspective and not to be too keen to concentrate on one particular domain. I explained that i had given so much air space to Finance and Entrepreneurship because they were the primary take aways for me. Acquiring well rounded business acumen is, in my opinion, in the minds of almost all the applicants - i told him :) He also pointed out that i had rambled a bit during the interview and i should strive to be more to-the-point in my conversations. I accepted that (coz i knew i had rambled a bit) and said i would definitely work on it. But i believe it was because i was very excited and also a case of too-much-to-say-and-too-little-time. He then said it could perhaps be a case of difference in perspectives and it really did not matter as much coz this was something which Bschool wud set straight in a week or a month :) He ended it saying i had very strong foundations and he believed that i had all the pre-requisites to be a good Bschool student :)

One the whole, i think i did okay. A very formal interview. It was definitely not a bad interview, but not the kick ass interview i hoping to have.

All i can do is wait for Dec 20!!!

PS: While i was on the GSB interview trip, my Stanford interview has been labeled as "Complete - under review". Someone in Palo Alto is reading my story and i hope he/she likes it :)

31 comments:

asiangal said...

Sounds like it was a good interview and you were able to anticipate all the questions well. Best of luck! =)

Anonymous said...

looks pretty good to me. i am sure good news will come on the 20th.

azeem ahmad said...

WOW !!! It seems like the Complete interview went on really well. ALL The very best man !!!

Iday said...

@asiangal:
I was caught off-guard with the question on funding, but in hindsight - it was perhaps the best question to be caught off-guard ;)
Thanks for ur wishes :)

@forrest gump:
hopefully that's what is gonna happen :) Let's see.

@azeem:
thanks man :) Nothing is sure till 20th though.

JohnyCage said...

did you actually tell him your preferences?
and
then how did your answer:
"What if you have to choose between Chicago and some other school?" question?

scipio said...

Go Iday!!!

ScareCrow said...

Looks like u did well...all the best for the results :)

Iday said...

@jc:
preference on what?

I had prepared on how to tackle the "chicago Vs other school" question. It is a standard question in chicago interviews. It is about how u differentiate chicago gsb from the other schools and say why u wud want to go to gsb specifically rather than other equally well known schools. For big names, u will have to be honest :) u wud appear stupid if u try to justify saying u will go to Chicago even if u have an admit from, say, Stanford. You can add to it saying there are a few factors (proximity to east coast, strong finance faculty, flexible curriculum etc) which wud make u consider Chicago GSB as an option even if u have an admit from these big name schools ;)

@scipio:
thanks man. We'll know better on Dec 20 :)

@scarecrow:
Thanks :)

rungee582 said...

Nice job! I tend to ramble too... there's just so much to say! :) Definitely good that you got positive feedback at the end.

Iday said...

@rungee582:
Thanks :)
I think almost all interviewers end the interview on a positive note. I do that when i interview people :D
Only time will tell!

kart said...

Looks like you did very well. All the best.
Hope u got the bus to magestic on time yesterday.

StressTensor said...

Congrats! All the best for the 20th.

Iday said...

@kart:
no man. i waited till 11 and then took an auto to the station. Thanks for the ride :)

@stresstensor:
thanks :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the interview was good. I think good news will come on Dec 20. Good luck w/ Stanford.

Iday said...

@-tvu:
thanks man :)

Anonymous said...

kewl...All the Best for the final result

JohnyCage said...

It seems that you have edited your article.
nevermind.
forget it.

Iday said...

@mbastarter:
thanks :)

@jc:
i did edit it when i was posting it on the ClearAdmit Wiki. But i dont remember changing anything important :)

As u said - forget it :D

inblue said...

looks good. Now 19 more days to go ! All the best !

Anny said...

Keeping fingers crossed :) Am sure that you would get your calling !

Iday said...

@inblue:
yeah - glad that i am not alone in this countdown :)

@anny:
i feel i dont have enuf fingers now!!!
The wait for Dec 20!

MBA babe said...

Wow! Sounds like it went great!! congratulations - Dec 20 is not too far away :)

Iday said...

@mba babe:
thanks :)

No No. Dec 20 seems soooooo distant :(

Anonymous said...

wow! going by the way interviews have gone, looks like there's going to be a very large desi crowd at Chicago! Cheers!

Iday said...

@ganjaturtle:
hopefully man :)
will be more fun coz i know these ppl :D

Anonymous said...

congrats and best of luck for the results!

Iday said...

@uniqpath:
thanks :)

White Forest said...

wonderful interview for sure...

Congrats buddy!

White Forest said...

well yes...thats why i said congrats :P

Iday said...

@white forest:
oh! Thanks a lot :)

Hilibilly said...

Thanks for the detailed list of questions, iday. Very helpful. Would've loved to hear your answers too, especially on the 'why chicago' question.

And yeah, congratulations!