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Last updated: 25th March 2004


By the Class of 2004

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GENERAL QUESTIONS ........................................................................................ 4 SECTORS.................................................................................................................. 4 2.1. FINANCE .......................................................................................................... 4 2.1.1. GOLDMAN SACHS................................................................................. 4 2.1.2. HSBC........................................................................................................ 11 2.1.3. Morgan Stanley Advantage Global Services India, Mumbai .......... 14 2.1.4. JP Morgan India ..................................................................................... 17 2.1.5. ICICI Bank .............................................................................................. 18 2.1.6. CITIBANK .............................................................................................. 19 2.1.7. DSP MERRILL LYNCH ....................................................................... 21 2.1.8. BBBBBB................................................................................................... 23 2.2. MARKETING & SALES ............................................................................... 24 2.2.1. HINDUSTAN LEVER LIMITED ......................................................... 24 2.2.2. COLGATE PALMOLIVE..................................................................... 29 2.2.3. ITC ........................................................................................................... 33 2.2.4. COKE....................................................................................................... 34 2.2.5. JOHNSON & JOHNSON MEDICAL .................................................. 34 2.2.6. TATA MOTORS..................................................................................... 35 2.2.7. CASTROL ............................................................................................... 36 2.2.8. BBBBBBBBBBBB .................................................................................. 36 2.3. CONSULTING................................................................................................ 36 2.3.1. BOSTON CONSULTING GROUP ...................................................... 36 2.3.2. HEWITT ASSOICATES ....................................................................... 39 2.3.3. MCKINSEY............................................................................................. 41 2.3.4. BBBBBBBBB .......................................................................................... 46 2.4. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & ITES ................................................ 46 2.4.1. MICROSOFT.......................................................................................... 46 2.4.2. COGNIZANT.......................................................................................... 55 2.4.3. CSC........................................................................................................... 66 2.4.4. GECIS ...................................................................................................... 66 2.4.5. HCL.......................................................................................................... 68 2.4.6. HELIOS & MATHESON ...................................................................... 71 2.4.7. I2 ............................................................................................................... 73 2.4.8. IBM INDIA.............................................................................................. 76 2.4.9. INFOSYS ................................................................................................. 77 2.4.10. ITC INFOTECH ..................................................................................... 80 2.4.11. KANBAY ................................................................................................. 84 2.4.12. SAPIENT ................................................................................................. 89 2.4.13. SATYAM ................................................................................................. 91 2.4.14. TCS........................................................................................................... 93 2.4.15. VCUSTOMER......................................................................................... 98 2.4.16. VERIZON.............................................................................................. 100 2.4.17. VIRTUSA............................................................................................... 101

2.4.18. WIPRO................................................................................................... 101 2.4.19. ACCENTURE ....................................................................................... 109 2.4.20. BBBBB ................................................................................................... 110 2.5. TELECOM ................................................................................................ 110 2.5.1. RELIANCE INFOCOMM................................................................... 110 2.5.2. BBBBB ................................................................................................... 111 2.6. OTHERS.................................................................................................... 111 2.6.1. ASTRA ZENECA ................................................................................. 111 3. QUESTION BANK FOR FINANCE INTERVIEWS ....................................... 112 3.1. bbbbbbb............................................................................................................... 134 4. General3.................................................................................................................. 134 4.1. bbbbbbb............................................................................................................... 134

1. GENERAL QUESTIONS 2. SECTORS 2.1. FINANCE 2.1.1. GOLDMAN SACHS VIRAJ MAHADEVIA (Class of 2004) Tips: DO YOUR RESEARCH company website, annual reports, quarterly conference calls, analyst report. Study Corp. Fin and FRA (mainly), brush up on Econ, CCFS, Capital Raising. Big on Culture READ THE BOOK Culture of Success (LRC has copy) Speak to people current and ex-employees of Goldman (the firm, culture, interview process, growth areas) Practice mock interviews we had one first round at ISB, six 40 minute one on one interviews in London, followed by 3 30 minute 2 on one interviews the same day. (Equal split between personal/fit interviews and technical interviews. One current affairs interview, one entire interview on details of a deal Technical Section question 5). Huge on teamwork LIKE LEADING BY CONSENSUS. Read Wetfeet, Vault Goldman Profiles. Client and firm first priority over personal/wife/girlfriend. 14 principles of Goldman Sachs KNOW THEM ALL. Sell yourself especially your strengths that are applicable to this line of business. Goldman employees not arrogant, soft spoken, treat you as an equal in the interview. Came out of there with more respect for them than when I went in. You will work your @ss off, so dont have any reservations about that. I was told that as an Associate I would be required to come in Saturdays and Sundays. The first 6 months as an Associate will be the most hardworking person in firm. Dont EVER ask them about pay, bonuses etc. They will compensate you well. Have insightful questions for them at the end of the interview. Have ENOUGH of them. You will have many interviews, with interviewers comparing notes later, you dont want to be asking them all the same questions. e.g. 1) Sanofi has made a recent hostile takeover offer for Aventis of France. Goldman is advising Aventis on its defense. Generally, what specific actions/strategies would an advisor recommend to its client in its defense against a hostile offer. (Shows up-to-date with current affairs, you know what kind of stuff GS is working on, and are eager to learn about what is not really prevalent in the Indian banking landscape)

2) Can you tell me about the most exciting transaction you have worked on, and specifically the role of the Associate on that transaction? (Show interest in kind of work, and eagerness to learn about roles/responsibilities of Associate) Personal/Resume Questions: Why do you want to do investment banking? Why Goldman Sachs? Why Goldman vs. Morgan Stanley/Merrill Lynch? Why not consulting? (Since you have a consulting background) What were the similarities and differences between working for Accenture and Citigroup? Four words or phrases that your friends would use to describe you. Tell me a little bit about the most exciting transaction you worked on at Citigroup and specifically your role on that. How did you boss react when you told him you wanted to pursue and MBA at ISB? Why ISB? Why do you want to work in Europe? Two weaknesses. Tell me about an instance when you displayed teamwork. Did you prefer being a leader? Ethical dilemma. Why the University of Michigan for your undergraduate degree? Why did you come back to India? How would you divide up work between yourself and an Analyst (% breakup, roles/responsibilities)? What book have you read recently. (Hint: try to read atleast one non finance/business type book, and one related book Barbarians at the Gate, Liars Poker, Monkey Business etc.) Tell me about instance when you demonstrated initiative. What other offers do you have? (DO NOT TELL THEM you are interviewing for Consulting, Fixed Income, and Asset Management) If we make you an offer, will you accept? (Hint: Sound eager, dont overdo it!) Current affairs: What rate would you use for Rf in CAPM today, vs ten years ago? What impact would John Kerry coming to power have on India and China? Tell me one stock you follow and why its a good buy now. Which are the big sectors going forward in India and why? Technical Questions: Company A has a PE ratio of 20. Company B has a PE ratio of 10. What can account for this difference? How would you raise capital for a utility company vs. a Bank vs. a high tech startup? And why? Drawbacks of CAPM. 5

Walk me through the various valuation methodologies. What is the process followed for selling a company (Hint: shortlising of buyers, valuation, presentations, information memorandum, due diligence, negotiations) How would you value a telecom company in Romania specifically with regard to DCF valuation. (Hint: Cross Border Valuation) What are the profitability and efficiency ratios that one would look at for a company? Say you are a utility company looking to acquire an internet company. What would you use as the WACC?

RAJKUMAR GOPALAN (Class of 2004) 1. What preparations did you make at pre interview stage; this is specific to the job offer you have accepted? Please be as detailed as you can! On resume: I showed my resume to different people and got as many inputs from them as I could. I tried to portray whatever little Ive done in a way that would be appropriate for each respective company. I also talked a lot about my extra curricular activities since both consulting firms and iBanks like candidates with diverse backgrounds and loads of extra curricular activities. Foe e.g. I did a project with Stern Stewart. For consulting companies I talked more about the strategic aspects of the project and for iBanks I talked more about the financial and valuation aspects of the project. Communication skills I taught at Purdue for two years so that was a big help. Working at PwC also helped a bit. Didnt do specific by way of preparation. Mock interview practice Went through quite a few interviews during the placement season since I seemed to be getting shortlisted everywhere and then dinked. That helped a lot. I would definitely recommend going through mock interviews, preferably, with someone who knows something about the interview structure, the types of questions asked and the industry. Collecting information of company / role I had to do a lot of preparation for Goldman Sachs since I didnt know too much about the company or the industry before coming here. The goldman website is a good place to start. I also went through as many books on IBanking that I could find. The vault and wetfeet guides on goldman sachs and on investment banking were also extremely helpful. Theres also a popular book on Goldman Sachs called Goldman Sachs: the culture of success. Its a must read for anyone interviewing with them. Technical / subject / functional preparations I did a lot of preparation on valuation the different methods of valuing companies. Going through a few examples on this also helps. The electives course cases in corporate financial strategy helped quite a bit. Im also 6

told that the course on capital raising strategies in corporations also is very helpful through I didnt take the course. Preparations on the global markets and economics of different regions is also very important. I had a number of questions on the US markets, the Europe markets and the emerging markets including India. The bank of America website publishes a weekly report on the global equity and debt markets, which was very helpful. I also talked to people who were familiar with the stock markets to get an understanding of what had been going on. I also did a lot of preparation on the major M&A deals and IPOs that had occurred in the last couple of years, both in India and abroad. You have to know both the strategic rationale behind the deal and the financial aspects of it. PPTs stage Theyll tell you a bit about the company but you can get better information from the website and the guides on goldman sachs and on investment banking. Any other details Mine was a bit of a special case sinc I didnt have any work experience. So the issues that came up during my interviews may not be pertinent to someone with work ex and knowledge about the industry.

2. Give details of the initial interview process? The initial interview was via teleconference. They had shortlisted 5 of us and each of us was interviewed for about 30 mins by a panel of two people one was Luca Ferrari (Partner/ MD) and the other was an associate from India. This interview was purely personal. They ask you about your background and they go through your resume with reasonable thoroughness and fix on some interesting aspect of it. I had a lot of questions on my tennis career. They mainly check whether you have the necessary communication and presentation skills and whether you are a team player. I would suggest that you stress on your team skills. That is one of the main things that they look for. Other questions were most significant achievement, why iBanking, why GS and the decisions that you had made that led you to ISB. 3. What questions were asked? Please give details. We were flown to London for the final interviews. We went through 9 rounds of interviews overall in London, with either one or two people in each panel. Initially we were scheduled to have 6 rounds of interviews. The order of the interviews and the questions asked could change based on whom you interview with first. Because of my relative lack of workex (6 months at PwC) and my non financial background (Bachelors and masters in engineering) every single interviewer asked me why iBanking and why GS.

The interviews started at 9 am and each went on for abt 30-45 mins. My first interview was with a VP, who was also in charge of recruitment. My second was with another VP in the financial institutions group. My third interview was with a VP (im not sure which group he was in). My fourth was with the COO of GS. This interview was mostly personal. My 5th interview had a panel with two women - both VPs. This one was mostly personal. My final interview was with an associate. This one was mostly on valuation and finance. After these 6 rounds we were told that we were done. However we got a call from them about 2 hrs later asking us to come back for a few more rounds of interviews. The next set of interviews started at 6.30 pm on the same day. My first round was with two VPs in the telecom media and entertainment group. M next round was with two VPs in the financial institutions group and my 3rd round was with a VP in the financial institutions group. These were the questions I was asked in no particular order. 1. what is 18*13? 2. how long would money invested at 5% p.a continuously compounded take to double? 3. if a cube composed of 1000 smaller cubes were fully immersed in paint, how many cubes would have none of their faces painted? 4. how has the Indian equity market been doing? 5. what sectors have been doing well in India? 6. if you could invest in certain sectors, which ones would you invest in and why? 7. which companies would you invest in and why? 8. tell me something about some of the recent m&a deals and IPOs that have occurred in India? 9. what do you think about the forex reserve policy in India? (I had written a paper on forex reserves in emerging economies, which was why I was asked that question) 10. I had done a project with stern stewart on optimal capital structure in various industries in India, so I got a number of questions on capital structure. 11. how have the US equity markets been doing? 12. why do you think the trade deficit is so high in the US? 13. what are the problems with the US economy? 14. which sectors have been doing well in the US markets? 15. similar questions on Europe. 16. what do you think about John Kerrys policies (uS democratic presidential candidate) especially towards India. 17. which is the biggest merger ever? 18. why do M&As take place? 19. Tell me about a merger in the financial services industry? 20. merger in the telecom, pharma, tech, industry. 21. situation where you demonstrated team skills. 22. describe yourself. 23. what are your strengths and weaknesses? 24. what do you think your role would be as an associate? 25. take me thorugh your resume 26. why isb?

27. tell me about your extracurricular activities - sky diving/ racing cars and bikes/ flying planes? 28. life as a national tennis player. 29. why did you quit playing tennis professionally? 30. situation where there was a problem within the group and how you solved it. 31. what would you do if you had prepared a presentation and briefed the partner but there was a mistake in the presentation. The partner cant be informed since hes on the flight and he has to make the presentation as soon as he lands. 32. how would you deal with the analyst. 33. how would you share work with the analyst. 34. how would you value a tech, mfg, utilities, telecom, financial services, company? 35. what are the pros and cons of debt vs equity? 36. if there are 3 companies a utility, a bank and a tech company, which one would go you finance through debt, which one would you finance through equity and which one would you finance through a convertible? 37. if the dividend rate is 5% and the payout ratio is 50% what is the EPS? 38. what are the different methods of valuing companies? 39. which was your fav course? (I said CCFS since I had expected the question and I had prepared a couple of valuation cases from the course) 40. what was it like to teach? How did you handle the students you taught? 41. the COO was a phd in physics and a lawyer from Harvard law school and an MBA from HBS (phew!). we spent most of the interview talking about physics and doing a doctorate. I was interested in pursuing a PhD too, (though I didnt tell him that). I had applied to a few schools for a PhD in Fin so I knew quite a bit about the whole process. He did his undergrad and PhD at Michigan state which was Purdues rival in American football so we talked quite a bit about that. 42. what questions do you have for us? 43. I had lived in France for 4 yrs as a kid and I spoke French. a couple of the people who interviewed us were from France so they asked me quite a bit about my experiences in France. My Dad did his PhD at the Sorbonne. By telling them this I managed to steer the conversation towards safe territory and away from the dreaded valuation and accounting fundas. 44. a couple of the VPs were from Spain and I had holidayed in Spain a couple of years back. So they asked me about that as well. 45. Tell me about yourself. 46. Why did you return to India? 47. How would friends describe you? 48. What have you done outside ISB that demonstrates that you work well in a team environment? 49. What has been your best experience at ISB? 50. What book(s) have you read recently? Tell me about it (them). 51. What are your geographic/industry preferences? 52. what do you feel about your lack of work ex? 53. dont you think the analyst might resent you for coming in as associate without work ex? 54. given two firms with different capital structures determine their ROI?

55. a lot of questions on the CAPM based on a case that we discussed. I brought the case up (MW petroleum) since I was comfortable with the CAPM. What risk free rate would you use? What risk premium would you use? How has the market risk premium evolved? What is the market risk premium at the moment? What is the beta of the oil industry? 56. What discount rate would you use (for various firms) and why? 57. what happens to the exchange rates when the interest rates go up? 58. how would you identify companies that are undervalued? I think the fact that I had no clue about investment banking helped since I set about preparing myself in every area. I went through all the books on investment banking that I could find. I talked to different people to get an idea about investment banking and the stock markets. I read reports on the global capital markets. I read up on all the major deals that had occurred. I dont think I made any mistake during the GS interview process. The only issue that came up during my interviews was my lack of work ex, due to which they werent sure whether to take me in as an analyst or as an associate. I hedged my bets and said I was open to both positions. So they asked me to intern with them first to determine whether I would be a 3rd year analyst or an associate. I also think I managed to direct my interviews pretty well. I was comfortable with the CAPM so I tried to direct my interviewer towards questioning me on the CAPM. I was not comfortable with accounting and hence I tried to direct them away from the subject. I also think that its very important to prepare questions to ask of them. It shows that you know something about the industry and the company and that you are interested in both. You should prepare at least 10 questions to ask them since a lot of the times they start of the interview with what questions do you have for me? The longer you can keep them talking the more time you get to sell yourself (and the less time they have to question you)

Any thing else you wish to share with me in terms of secondary data (related reading books titles/author, hard/ soft copy of reading material, website links, question banks from other schools) Recommended reading: Monkey business, den of thieves, barbarians at the gates, Goldman Sachs: the culture of success, Vault and wetfeet guides on investment banking, vault and wetfeet guides on GS, Website: GS website, bank of America website to get their weekly global capital markets report, economic times website to get to know the latest IPOs and m&a deals happening around the world and then do research on each one. Job Role (as per your present understanding): (Job role details include responsibilities, duties and developmental activities, hence please be as detailed as possible, we understand there can be a change in job role details once you join.)


Doing valuations on mergers and acquisitions. Using existing valuation models or coming up with new ones to value companies for mergers and acquisitions or IPOs. Helping in the generation of pitch books a list of companies which might be attractive to different buyers or which may be undervalued. Briefing VP and partner on the deal and helping make the presentations to the clients. Reporting details (who all you report to and who reports to you - job titles only) Reporting to the partner and the Vice president of the project group Im assigned to. I will be assigned to either the telecom, media and entertainment group or the financial institutions group depending on where Im likely to fit better. I may also be assigned to a national group (France) since I know French. Therefore I will be working on projects which involve the above two groups or valuations that need to be done for France based companies or Swiss based companies. The analyst of the group in a particular project will be reporting to me. 2.1.2. HSBC ANURAG RASTOGI (Class of 2004) RESULT : MADE AN OFFER. DURATION : 30 MINUTES.
1) What was your educational background before ISB. How many years of work experience did you have at the time of joining ISB and in which domain? B.Tech. (Textile Technology), IIT Delhi 4 years Infosys Marketing, Project Management and IT Consultancy. 2) What are the roles for which your company (HSBC) recruits? Management Trainee in the following divisions: Personal and Financial Services Corporate and Institutional Banking Investment Banking 3) How should one prepare to interview with your firm - specifically for each role, and your domain in general? Prepare for a usual general interview questions like Why HSBC, Why Banking, Run me through the resume, etc.? Be prepared with one area of interest in Banking Most people here had said corporate banking and something specific in that I had said Dividend Policy. Be extremely thorough with all sorts of possible questions on your Resume I was asked questions on BPO! 4) What was company looking for (please give your opinion for each of these factors)


Leadership skills Domain experience Profile Attitude Aptitude/problem solving skills Enthusiasm/passion Any other factors that may be important Profile, Clarity in thought, Enthusiasm, Problem solving skills, Pleasant Personaliy, etc. 5) Please describe your firms interviewing process? Pre-selection (what important attributes do they look for when shortlisting? Any pointers for resumes/EOI?) Resume. They are looking for something very different People who have achieved results and excelled at something. People who have shown tangible leadership abilities (Whatever that means)! How many rounds of interviews? 1 (For Banking) or 2 (For I-Banking) Are group discussions and presentations part of the interview? YES. It is a very important part of their assessment. The number of interviewers and how long does an average interview last? 1-on-1! 30 minutes each. 6) Could you give us an idea of salaries at different job levels in your firm as well as a comparison of the take home v/s quoted cost-tocompany salary? They lay heavy emphasis on loans. These form nearly one-third of their salary package (CTC). The sad part is that one may or may not avail these loans (house loan of 20 lacks for a bachelor, save me please!). So the actual salary (taxable) works out to be much lower around 6 lacks. But I guess the HSBC brand name is quite well-known the World over! They also have a 2 months training program in UK (Brit Woods) after one-year of job with HSBC, which is like a paid holiday (directly from the HR managers mouth!). Otherwise the work culture of HSBC is VERY good and there are many opportunities to learn. So salary is not a good criterion for judging HSBC per se. 7) Can you please share any other information that can help the placements at ISB this year? The way you present the details in your resume can play a crucial role in getting you a call from HSBC. Luckily and thank heavens that CGPA does NOT play a part in shortlisting for HSBC Thank God for small mercies! The selection procedure for all divisions of HSBC including I-Bank is similar. All shortlisted candidates would have to undergo a psychometric test, which is a variation of Conjoint Analysis for getting to know your work preferences!



The Usual questions: Run me through your resume in 5 minutes? Why Banking? Why HSBC? What area would you like to work in? I said corporate finance. Are you prepared for any one those areas? I said dividend policy. Tell me about your Family? I was surprised that he asked me this question! The Unusual questions: Q1. Tell me how can you increase the quality of a BPO center by 20% everything else remaining same? My Answer: a) Improve attrition rate Thus decreasing the retraining cost for new entrants Thus increasing quality from existing people (due to learning curve effects) b) Improve Infrastructure to decrease the number of dropped calls thus improving quality of service. Possible Refinement: a) Using the Pareto principle of 80-20, we can increase 20% quality by working on subsets of activities which are used in 80% of the BPO processes. Q2. If you were in an I-Bank and were approached by a corporate with a mandate for deciding their dividend policy what would be your approach? My Answer: Study the company Check out whether they are a growth company or a mature company Find out their current D/E Ratio and the target D/E Ratio Find out the desired tax shield benefits Find out the costs of financial distress that they are capable of taking Find out what their past history for paying dividends Structure your dividend payout ratio in accordance with historical data, future growth expectations and the level of D/E they can sustain. Possible Refinement: I am sure that those who have worked with an I-Bank would follow a set procedure for this sort of thing. The interviewer was looking for this procedure. So be prepared for how it is actually done at an I-Bank. I was actually shooting from the hip. Q3. What kind of cross selling can you to do for such a corporation? My Answer: Depending on future growth prospects I could direct them to M&A division for chalking out their inorganic growth strategies. I could direct them to the Corporate Finance group for raising the ST & LT Debt and to managet their D/E ratio. If it is a private company and wants to raise money from the market, I could direct them to the IPO Division. Possible Refinement: He was looking at whether I was aware of the different divisions and the functions of a Bank and I-Bank. I could have added many more points.


2.1.3. Morgan Stanley Advantage Global Services India, Mumbai RAJA JANAKIRAMAN (Class of 2004) The first 4 rounds were primarily fit and resume based questions (a few technical questions were asked in between based on projects, ELP and valuation). The last 2 interviews were in Mumbai. Interview # 1: Balaji Jayaraman (Institutional Securities Mgmt, Mumbai) approx 30 minutes. Interview # 2: Manish Pandit (Equity Analyst, NY) approx 30 minutes (videocon) Interview # 3: Sachin Kewalramani (Equity Analyst, NY) and Joel Wirchin (Global Associates Mgmt) approx 25 minutes (telecon) Interview # 4: Nicholas Farley (MD Firm Management) approx 20 minutes. Interview # 5: Leon Michaelidas (Equity Analyst, London) approx 40 minutes (qs below are fm this interview) 1. Why dont you walk me through your resume ? 2. Why equity research after 4 years in sales and marketing ? 3. What do you know about AGS and the role we are offering ? 4. How comfortable are you with accounting and financial analysis ? 5. Is equity research important ? Why ? 6. Tell me something about fundamental analysis and technical analysis (since I brought this up in the previous question). 7. What is the difference between buy-side and sell-side research ? 8. How do you calculate FCF ? Walk me through each step. What are the problems with DCF ? 9. What is the difference between WACC and APV ? (he also went a bit into CAPM, levering and unlevering betas etc). 10. Tell me something about comparable transactions and multiples analysis ? What are the problems with multiples analysis ? 11. What are the line items involved in calculating NOPAT ? 12. If a firm is expected to have increased earnings in future, what happens to the various ratios ? 13. What vested interest can an investment banker and an equity analyst have ? 14. How would you forecast depriciation for a firm ? 15. How would you forecast capital expenditures for a firm ? 16. How do you calculate ROCE ? What is its significance ? 17. How would you forecast revenues for Hewlett Packard peripherals (since that was related to my work-ex) ? What are the specific factors you would look out for ? 18. Do you know about financing and leasing ? 19. Why would you be ideally suited for a career with AGS in equities research ?


It was not a stress interview though all questions were pertaining to ER, valuation and financial analysis. In some technical qs, he digged deeper into the topic. Tips and learnings: (i) Be prepared for ANY kind of technical qs mostly on Corp Fin, Valuation and Accounting (the others had quite different questions than what I was asked). (ii) Know your resume in and out (both prior work-ex and any academic / fin-related projects that you may undertake). (iii) Tracking 2 / 3 stocks may not really give one any edge (I did not do it though it may be of help. For some interviewers, it could look like an oversell. However,it would be prudent to be prepared just in case one is asked this question.). Be sure to track a couple of sectors (be thorough with the sector that you came from) and the economy. My e-mail ID: SUNAINA DHANUKA (Class of 2004) Had five rounds of interviews First interview with an alum on campus Video conference with VP in Mumbai Telecon with an analyst and an HR director in New York Interview with General Manager, Advantage Global Services in Mumbai Final interview with an analyst from UK office who was down to Mumbai for training My first round was a mixture of technical and personal questions such as: Why ISB Technical questions on independent study that I was doing (related to capital markets) Why equity research Questions on ELP project that I had done (Interest rate Value-at-risk) Some questions on my previous work experience In case of stock options, how would you determine to what extent the EPS of the company would be diluted? I didnt know this one though I said that you need to determine the number of options expected to be converted into shares. In case the economy is booming, which sector do you think will perform best I think u can answer whatever sector you think but need to give a logic behind that I personally said banking because that was the sector I had researched upon. The way I convinced him was to say that when an economy is booming, all sectors agriculture, industry and services are doing well and whatever is affected by fortunes of those will benefit. So banking seems to be the one which will be most benefited in terms of increase in credit offtake.


At the end of the interview and after further shortlist, I was given feedback that I needed to show more enthusiasm towards this job. They look for people who are enthusiastic about this job and do not expect you to answer all technical questions Second round Largely technical though was expected to be behavioral Are you interested in capital markets Describe yourself in terms of professional and educational background that you have How would you value a stock How do you calculate WACC? what debt equity ratio do you use for WACC What do you think of CAPM as a model? Do you follow any sector since I mentioned banking, further questions were related to that How would you value a banking stock, what ratios would you look at Which banking stock would you recommend to buy and why What are the macro economic factors affecting stock valuation Again some questions on my independent study and ELP AGS is a new organization would you feel comfortable working in a new organization Where do you see yourself in three years time Next telecon with New York office was very general Tell us about yourself Why do you want to do equity research Questions on an industry research project which I was doing for Hanover Square Partners, a private equity firm in New York my take on that was they were happy to know that I was working on industry research on an offshore basis which is similar to their AGS model questions were more on the coordination and communication flow Again trying to determine my comfort level on working in a new setup Tell us about a stressful situation at business and how you handled it Some questions on my work experience Interview with General Manager, AGS Very general interview again asking all the above questions which were asked in New York telecon Final interview Largely technical Tell me about yourself education and work experience What is deferred taxation? Would you take the effect into account while valuing a company What are the ways you value a company/stock How would you determine the health of a company only from cash flow statement How would you find cash flows from profit and loss account what adjustments would you make Whether you would adjust growth capex only or also replacement capex in cash flows


2.1.4. JP Morgan India CHAITANYA JSRK (Class of 2004) Equities Head Other people in the panel Role Process One GD and an interview. Interview Questions. GD topic Will India overtake china by 2020? Interview questions 1) Hows life treating you? 2) Tell me something about yourself. 3) Why dint you go to IIMs? 4) Do you follow markets? 5) How do you value a stock 6) Why equity research and why not Fixed income? 7) What is the difference between contribution margin and profit, what is more important for a company? 8) Did you attend the PPT? 9) What do you know about the role of an equity analyst? 10) What do you want to do after being an analyst for 2 years? What if you dont get promoted to senior analysts position. 11) Do you have a portfolio of your own. Post mortem I guess, the single most factor why I could not make it to this company is because I told them I dont follow the markets. For any guy going for an equity analyst position, this is a blunder which he shud never commit. Second goof up was when they told me that there might be limited opportunities to move ahead in equity research. Again I made a big mistake by telling them that if getting into senior analysts position is a function of vacancies and not a function of individuals talent then I would want to get into fixed income. Never tell them that you will move into some other division. Always say that come wat may I will stick to equity research. Dinesh Gandhi Dsouza (HR) Equity research position


Third and the final blunder was when I told them that I dont have a portfolio of my own. I guess for an active enthusiast who wants to make a career in equities it is a must to have atleast a fake portfolio before the interview. ANISH TELI (Class of 2004) Round one was a GD Topic Will the US become a protectionist economy by 2010 After shortlist there was another interview of about 40 minutes. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Why equity research Why JPM Resume based questions How do u like DCF as a valuation model What are the problems with DCF Do you follow stock markets Which stocks do you like Where do you think will the markets go this year 2.1.5. ICICI Bank MALLIKA SINGH (Class of 2004) ICICI Bank GD Jan 12, 2004 Case discussion on entry strategy for an American MNC into the Indian paints market (in house case) info given on market shares, sales projections etc. ICICI Bank Interview Jan 12, 2004 1. Why ISB? 2. Why not IIMs since more sound financial courses? 3. Why corporate banking the corporate banking role is not what it used to be, very little lending mostly cross selling retail products, so why? 4. Is it love for finance or just curiosity about general banking process? 5. What if you were to sell car loans? thats a pure sales job? 6. Why not go back to Rabobank (previous employer)? 7. Example of one incident displaying leadership? How did you lead your team? 8. What is the one significant achievement? 9. What were you doing in your previous job? (some job related queries) 10. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? 11. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? Cherry Pachisia


1. I want to sell car loans in Karnataka where I have no presence- make the marketing plan 2. Role play- sell me insurance 3. Who are the players in the car loan ind? 4. Why Financial services Rupesh Kumar 1. Some questions from the previous job about the projects shown in the resume. 2. Why finance after 4 years of IT? 3. What finance courses have you done (I said Corp Fin, Fixed Income and Options & Futures)? 4. What is time value of money? 5. How will you price a bond? 6. What is an yield curve? 7. What is par curve? 8. Which is above par curve or yield curve? When? 9. What strategies will you use when you know that short term rates will rise higher than lone term rates? What will you do when long term rates become higher than short term ones? 10. What is an interest rate future? (I did a project on interest rate futures) 11. Problems with Indian debt markets. 12. Do you trade in stocks? Which stocks would you advise me to buy? 13. Where will the markets be in the next 4 months? 14. What is PPP? 15. How will you price an option by replication? 16. What are Asian options? 17. What are range forwards? 2.1.6. CITIBANK SUNDER BALASUBRAMANIAN (Class of 2004) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. What has been your biggest achievement? Why not FMCG? Why banking? Why Citi? Would you prefer Citi over HLL? What motivates you? What are the implications of the latest monetary policy on the retail banking sector (a general bouncer question just to rattle) 8. What are your strengths?


Their questioning was only about 10-12 minutes. I spent another 20 minutes asking questions.
Am ok for answering queries tooe-mail id is:

MIHIR MODI (Class of 2004) First Round Interview with Pradeep Mukerjee, National HR Director. Personality and fit interview, with only one technical question on my previous work experience. The questions were: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Why Banking Why not continue with E&Y (my previous employer) What was the most significant achievement at E&Y What was the most significant achievement at ISB Strengths Weaknesses What motivates you

There were probing questions on points coming up from my answers to the above questions. SAPNA PRABHAKARAN (Class of 2004) First round Panel 3- Chandrani Chakraborty Tell me about the work you did? What exactly did your job entail? Tell me about a typical day at work? Rest of the questions emerge from Qn. 3 For. Eg, she asked me about trends in the mutual fund industry from 1999-2001? Some more mutual fund related questions. 5. What kind of customer complaints have you handled? Tell me about a specific example and how you handled the customer? 6. What kind of role are you interested in? 7. Would you be comfortable with a sales/account management kind of position? 8. What other sectors are you looking at? 9. Do you have any questions for me? 10. Ok..thank you!! Basically, chill stuff!! No stress!! No technical questions apart from some work experience related stuff, which you might anyway know. Lasted about 12-15 minutes. Please go atleast half hour early for the interview.all panels are running way ahead!! 20 1. 2. 3. 4.

ANISH TELI (Class of 2004) First Round Taken by HR Head for Corporate 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Why banking What motivates you asked more than once What has been your most significant achievements at work and ISB How would you measure your success at ISB Why ISB Strengths/ Weaknesses What your career goals Some questions on resume 2.1.7. DSP MERRILL LYNCH Santhosh Bandreddi Job Offer from: DSP Merrill Lynch Fund Managers Job designation: Associate Job Role (as per your present understanding): (Job role details include responsibilities, duties and developmental activities, hence please be as detailed as possible, we understand there can be a change in job role details once you join.) The role identified for me would involve investing in derivate products in equities and FI (mostly equity derivatives given the state of FI derivative market in India). DSP has close to 15 funds that invest in equities and FI products. They want to use derivatives going forward to hedge their exposures in these schemes. This will be focused solely on hedging as MFs are not allowed to speculate in derivatives by SEBI. My job in particular might involve modeling and hopefully some investment decisions, if things go well. That is pretty much what I know about my future! Reporting details (who all you report to and who reports to you - job titles only) Reporting to Mr.Nagaraj Chief Investments Officer No one under meI am the last node in the chain.


Part Two This would solicit details of your pre-interview stage. This is specific to the company whose offer you have accepted 4. What preparations did you make at pre interview stage; this is specific to the job offer you have accepted? Please be as detailed as you can! On resume brushing up on projects I have done; making sure past mistakes are not repeated; and identifying primary focus areas where I can sell myself better; in fact I modified the order of my projects in my resume a little bit to put the equities project I have done at the very top. Communication skills Mock interview practice 1-2 mock interviews; I had done enough already for prior interviews Collecting information of company / role researched company website; read DSPs market outlook report; and found out what types of funds they have. Technical / subject / functional preparations read quite a bit on Portfolio Management (from a book in lib dont remember the authors name); reviewed O&F fundaas and IA fundaas.. PPTs stage Any other details

5. Give details of the initial interview process? Group discussions Case study Analysis , presentations etc Assessment centre Management games etc Panel / one on one interview First round was primarily a personal interview with their CEO and the HR head. Interview centered around my resume, my background and other personal questions. Telecon interviews Final round was a telecom with most of the technical team (about 5 of them) which was primarily technical and about projects I did. Video conferencing etc Any other details ( names of your interview panel , designations if you can ) CEO Alok Vajpayee HR head Ms. Vijayalakshmi 3. What questions were asked? Please give details. Starting / warm up questions


1. Run me through your resume 2. Who all have you interviewed with? Why didnt Deutsche take you? Technical / Functional questions 1. Tell me about the equities project what have you done/what have you learnt/ why did you do this project 2. Not much technical in this round.. Rapid fire/ unrelated questions (if any) People skills / Soft skills questions 1. Roles and responsibilities in i2.. 2. why finance? 3. How come you are not 1st in the batch? Closing / concluding questions 1. Career goals 2. why should we take you? 3. Any significant learning you have picked up at this stage or and any mistake you made in asking / answering questions , that you feel you could have done better , if so what are the details ? Part Three This section deals with the final stages of your interview. 1. What details were asked at this stage how was it different from the initial stages? Details of the process telephonic interview Starting questions discussion about one of my projects Technical / functional How do you price a swap? What is the most exotic option you know? What is a barrier option? What is an Asian option? Role/ job specifics Compensation related issues Questions / clarifications you sought Any remarks ( details of interview panel, designation etc ) 2. Your learnings out of the interview process , give details Biggest learning there is no substitute to preparation.YOU NEED TO PREPARE!! Advice for fin aspirants: - Do a lot of fin projects (including ELP) apart from the curriculum starting from the day you decide on fin - Dont wait for the O&F course, start reading Hull - Prepare well for personal questions in interviews (the technical questions they ask in an interview are rarely tough.but the personals are!!) 2.1.8. BBBBBB



Kedar Lele, Class of 2004 Interview process: Three step selection process. Short-listing based on resumes and EOIs, followed by Interviews first elimination round, second selection round. First round of interview typically has a two member panel with one line manager and one HR representative. Usually lasts around 25 to 30 minutes. Both would have gone through your profile in detail and broadly know what areas to explore during the interview. Questions would range from core marketing concepts to your past experience and from personal to case based. The second round has a three to four member panel. Director(s) of the company, HR Head and Business Head(s). A complete report of the first round interview is sent to this panel and hence it is terribly important to maintain consistency in your answers. Sharp, intelligent questions are asked to probe further into your knowledge of business as well as to gauge your interest in a career in sales and marketing. Questions asked: (Round 1 & 2 combined) Take us through your professional experience. Why would you want to work at HLL? (After having spent more than 5 years in marketing already) What did you do in your previous job as Brand Manager of Tell us more about Monsters business. Why did you come to ISB? Take us through your summer project. What is the concept of brand identity? How is it different from brand image? (Here we got into a discussion on how Aakers definition of brand equity differs from Kapferors concept of brand identity etc.) Who owns the brand? The company or the consumers? How do you find that out? What is your passion? Which is your favorite ad campaign? Analyze as a marketer and not as a consumer. Which marketing courses have you taken during the year? You get some of the best professors from across the world; can you tell us what has been your greatest learning in their classes? What are some of the challenges faced by FMCG sector? 24

Kulmeet Bawa for a lateral position (Level 2 B) Round 1 corporate Head HR and a Regional Manager Sales (70 mins) Detailed rundown on the resume Why marketing why sales specifically and not operations or Logistics which may be more of your forte Why this switch after 12 years in your career and why are you looking at a FMCG for a role so different from what you have undergone in your last life or past career Select any product you prefer and tell us how you would market it make out the marketing plan for the same A global scenario was painted between Levers and P&G with two battles being fought between giants on two fronts ie the local Indian context and the International arena (detergent war). Questions related to how I would react were posed in case HLL is continuously losing market share in the country and in case the competitor is continuously cutting price since it is receiving global funding from P&G worldwide would I suggest a Price War if not why what would be the repercussions of both sides, etc. Round 2 Three Directors of HLL + Head HR (Mumbai Head Office 30 mins) (3 out of six students were made the offer including myself)

Explain how you would improve the Sales of your region how would you motivate and monitor your sales force how would you coordinate issues in the supply chain are you aware of the distribution channel for HLL Why do you think you could be a success in an organisation like ours even though you have no related Marketing experience at all why dont we offer you a very senior position in logistics or HR which you could readily get absorbed into

Additional Tips

At both levels of the interview, they were looking for out of the box marketing approaches and ideas confidence leadership skills and proof of the ability to lead and manage large teams especially since I was trying for a very senior position (initially RSM). They wanted me to convince them that I could use my past years of experience in doing a better job for them than any of their typical managers who had risen from the management trainee channel could do One thing I did all along was to be totally myself as also put on a slight air of overconfidence to show them how I could be a huge success for HLL especially towards leading the vast sales force and function under high pressure situations


however I had made it clear that I would expect a few months of training on the job so as to be able to make the transition SHILPI WADHI Job Offer from: Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL) Job designation: Business Development Manager (North), Hindustan Lever Network Business Job Role (as per your present understanding): HLN is the largest new venture of HLL and was launched only last year. It is already the second largest player in the Multi level Marketing space in India. As BDM, I would be responsible for the sales of 30-35 top consultants. Reporting details (who all you report to and who reports to you - job titles only) I would be reporting to the Regional Business Manager (North) I would inturn be supported by a team of Sales Officers Part Two This would solicit details of your pre-interview stage. This is specific to the company whose offer you have accepted 6. What preparations did you make at pre interview stage; this is specific to the job offer you have accepted? Please be as detailed as you can! On resume Prepared the resume well in advance (by CAS deadline) as per the ISB format and had it reviewed by a few people including my batchmates, Padmaja (CAS office at that time), Prof Nripjit Chawla (Prof. from the industry), Gautam Reddy ( had come to do a workshop on interview preparation for us I just intend to point out that show your resume to a few but diverse people. Communication skills Nothing really besides attending an interview workshop (am not convinced if that was of much help though) Mock interview practice Dint do any. But would definitely advise you guys to do a couple Collecting information of company / role Used the website/ Marketing club folder/ Industry Reports/ Files that other Marketing enthusiasts had prepared. Unfortunately did a last minute job and would sincerely advise you all to start early Technical / subject / functional preparations


Went through marketing fundas-case studies etc PPTs stage The best way to know what a company is looking for that year. The fact that HLL would take lateral hires was introduced to our batch in the PPT. I asked some questions to understand this better. I think it helped as I met two of the HLL people in successive rounds of interview and they remembered my interest at the PPT. Any other details Our senior at HLL- Kanishka was a great source of information. He wrote to us regularly regarding his work and I spoke to him about the issues at HLL befor e my final interview

7. Give details of the initial interview process? Shortlist based on EOI to be filled on HLL website followed by two rounds of interview 1st-at ISB Panel- Priya Gopalakrishanan (HR) & Amrit Thoma ( HLN- Sales & Marketing) 8. What questions were asked? Please give details. Mine was the last interview at around 12;30 am in the night and hence lasted for about 25min Youve waited for long. What would you like to talk about? Further elaborate on how you would add value to HLL Lakme beauty salons work on a franchise modelhow do you increase sales in such a business model? Would you like to work only in the services business? How do you increase sales in a distribution channel? Would you like to go back to Hotels? Why? Do you have anything to ask us? Any significant learning you have picked up at this stage or and any mistake you made in asking / answering questions , that you feel you could have done better , if so what are the details ? The first question was a brilliant opportunity to make an opening. Never underestimate your luck of finding one. I had spread myself too thin by reading about all businesses of HLL but none indepth-must prepare atleast one in which you are really interested in detail.


Part Three This section deals with the final stages of your interview. 2nd & final interview at Mumbai at HLL head officePanel- 1) Dalip Sehgal, Executive Director, New Ventures & Marketing Services 2) Dhaval Buch Business Head New Ventures, Detergents 3) Prem Kamath HR Head Questions The panel had a detailed report on my first interview Take us through your resume You talked about Lakme Beauty Salons in your last interview.elaborate What is the target market for Lakme salons? Do a segmentation for Lakme salons How is Lakme positioned? What is the one thing you regret in your previous worklife? Why dont you want to go back to hotels? Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? Do you see yourself in the services business? What do you prefer? (asked to me atleast 3-4 times in different ways) Any questions for us?

MADHU GADDAM Sales & Marketing Take us thru ur work ex. Why marketing? What is the diff in marketing at HLL and say, any consulting firm? Case -How to increase sales of a paper cup company that you have inherited? How comfortable would you be if placed alongside people with no experience in a training program? 6) Do you think you are very structured in thinking? 7) How comfortable are you if you do not have data to base your decisions on? 8) Do you consider yourself creative? 9) Tell us one thing that you came up with and can be called a creative solution. 10) Any questions? 1) 2) 3) 4) 5)



Commercial Role Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? How do you plan to achieve this? Why should HLL recruit you? Which area in finance should I question you? Have you reviewed the balance sheet of HLL? Which are the five parameters that you would see in the balance sheet of HLL to gauge its performance? 7) What is IRR? What are its shortcomings? 8) What are sunk costs? 9) Tell us 3 scenarios in which you would use marginal costing principles? 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6)

2.2.2. COLGATE PALMOLIVE SUNDER BALASUBRAMANIAN Round One: The 16 of us were broken into 2 groups of 8 each. Each member was given a small case study which he had to analyze for 10 minutes, and then present the case and his solutions to the rest of the group. Then the entire group had to reach a consensus on the final recommendation within 10 minutes. This process was done by each member. Almost all cases were HR/Labor relations / OB related. Round Two: This is a round of individual case analysis. Each of us was given a case which had a page write-up, followed by 3 pages of nos. The nos pertained to the following: sales figures for 3 years, product wise market share for 3 years across 4 states, sales promotions budgets (with individual break ups of sales incentives, visibility etc) for 3 years, trade margins for different product categories, distribution coverage across 4 states (with individual nos for different channels), contribution per channel and other such confusing nos. The objective was to work on the following: a) b) c) d) figure out which product category had the best growth potential identify gaps in the distribution coverage an action plan for promotion and distribution impact on budget (basically a sensitivity analysis)


To be quite frank, none of the models we have learnt (LTVC, EVC) could be applied. At least not by me. It was just a case of pure number crunching, getting growth figures all over the place and looking for trends. We got 45 minutes to solve the case and 10 minutes to present it to the panel. Round Three: This was another team game in groups of 8. The game was as follows: a person has to reach from point A to point B. There are different paths he can take, each path with a different set of difficulties. After choosing a certain path, the teams were given tasks to do to move from one point to another. The first task took us about 20 minutes of the 40 minutes game! We got about way , when the time got over. Apparently, only one team in the history of the game has managed to complete it.

The Interview My interview started at 2.30 amso junta was sleepy and the interview lasted only 10-15 minutes! Questions were as follows: Tell us something about your self After 4 years work ex, will you be ready to do sales training? Why Colgate? Specific questions about ELP: describe what you did, how did the client benefit etc. Specific questions related to the process and validity of the research we conducted was tested. Questions were also asked on the insights we were able to pick up and present to client. Specific questions from the CV about achievements mentioned. What was the most physically challenging job you were involved in? What do you like and what dont you like about working with numbers? Tell us something about your family background. Do you have any questions for us?

Interview Questions: Colgate Final round 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Tell us something about yourself Why sales? (about 5 times in the interview in different forms) Why colgate? What are your expectations from the company you plan to join? Why fmcg? Your favourite ad and why?


7. If hutch is your favourite ad, tell us who should get the credit for it ad agency or the company? 8. Im a layman. Explain the concept of brand equity. 9. You said you handled a brand repositioning project at work before. But you were just a senior account executive How did u get such a big responsibility? Explain the process of brand repositioning that you had worked on. 10. You had worked on the condom market before who are the players in the market what are the challenges that the market is facing how would you address the challenges how are the different brands positioned what is the difference between marketing condoms in rural vs. urban areas between marketing it in India vs. outside. 11. What is your understanding of the toothpaste market who are the key players? 12. Since I mentioned small players like ajanta and anchor: Are you aware of the platform that these small players are positioning on, and what advantages they have? 13. What are the challenges that you feel that the oral care industry is facing? 14. How would you address these issues? 15. Which is your favourite toothpaste? Why? 16. Why dont you want to go back to advertising? 17. What has ISB taught you about marketing that you didnt know before? 18. Do you have any questions for us? Rajat Seth My interview took place at 1:45 A.M after around 9 hours of activities. The question pattern was as follows: Tell us something about your family You have mentioned that you are a member of Net Impact, what is this club, what does it do? As a marketer, how will you raise the social conscience of India? What are the consumer segments? What are the benefits? And what is your strategy? Why FMCG/Colgate? ELP was asked about in depth What is the portable skill set that I can bring from IT? I had mentioned diverse interests and a large friends circle and an active social life on my resume, the question was Is it better for a brand to mean everything to everyone or something to someone? huh !!!...yeah thats what I thought too..basically I rephrased the question to my liking and answered it. Do you have any questions for us? Cherry Pachisia Tell us about ur family? Being a girl how comfortable are they with you traveling Experience of handling people previously 31

Why Marketing Position Pepsodent Position Colgate Position ISB Grilled on ELP What is different between Media and FMCG Draw an analogy between Colgate and a famous person Do u think u can survive our training? Do you have any questions?

Final Round1. What interests you the most in marketing? 2. Which is your fav advertisement and why? 3. which is the worst ad you have ever seen? 4. Which in your opinion is colgates best ad? 5. which is colgates worst ad and why? 6. How do u segment the toothpowder market? 7. What are different type of promotions? 8. Questions on ur previous job- general Ankur Sabharwal Interview questions (in addition to the above) - Why do you want to work with Colgate? - Why sales and mktg? - What are your long term career plans? - How many fin courses have you taken? (I mentioned I was majoring in mktg and fin) - How many mktg courses have you taken? - Name the mktg courses? - How would you price a product? - How do you derive a utility curve? (he meant price utility curve) - What are the main steps in conducting a feasibility study? (Id mentioned in my resume that I did a feasibility study for APFIRST as part of my ELP) - What is the most critical aspect of managing a relationship? The interview lasted 20 mins. Basically they quizzed me on my resume and asked a couple of technical marketing questions. For some strange reason, the HR lady kept reminding me after every 5 mins how grueling the ground sales job can getstuff like at times you will be posted in remote areas of the country you havent even heard of; sometimes there will be no internet and telephone; it will get very lonely and there will be no family support, etc.and I had to almost console her each time.


2.2.3. ITC KEDAR LELE Interview process: Three step selection process. Short-listing based on resumes and EOIs, followed by Interviews first elimination round and second, final selection round. First round of interview had a two member panel head of marketing and divisional head HR. My interview lasted for around 45 minutes, simply because they knew I had an offer from HLL and wanted to have a good understanding of my inclination to join ITC it they were to make an offer. As always, questions ranged from core marketing concepts to my past experience and from personal to case based. The second round was conducted in Calcutta. On the panel I had the CEO of tobacco business Mr. Kurush Grant and another VP (I think HR) from the corporate office. Again a complete report of the first round interview was sent to this panel and they quizzed me beyond what was already written in that report. Sharp and probing questions were asked to know about my knowledge of business as well as to gauge my genuine interest in FMCG sales and marketing. Questions asked: (Round 1 & 2 combined) Take us through your life your family, your education, career everything(then I spoke to about 10 minutes!) Why would you leave HLL to work at ITC? Why did you come to ISB? What do you read? What are your interest areas (sports, reading etc.) and what has been your latest learning? Do you watch films? What was the last film that you saw? How was it? What did you like dislike about it? FMCG marketing is a though business. Prove to us that you have the mental strength to last in this business. You have asked for a lateral position at ITC. Out of these positions (the CEO drew the organization chart in front of me on a sheet of paper), where do you think you will fit and why? You have talked about being humble but I believe that behind this veil of humility you are an arrogant person. How would you react to that? What are your short term goals? We would want you to be completely flexible about the location of work (it could be Jaipur, Lucknow, Nagpur anywheremostly state capitals though). If your wife has also been working how would you manage your family? Would your wife be willing to give up her career for you? What is your opinion about this?


All the panels inquired if I had any questions for them and typically I had at least two for each one of them, which they happily replied to. 2.2.4. COKE HARPREET SINGH Coke (ULM) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Tell me about yourself (starting from engineering) Have you read eco time for today. Do you remember any news item from today ?? On extra curricular activities ( details about activities mentioned, why do you do these activities for example in my case LOreal challenge) After doing MBA from ISB, what specific changes would you make if u were to go back to your old job (no bullshit, Only specific changes) How do you manage logistics in LPG plant ( my previous job) How do you rate the ad campaign of coke (Thanda matlab coca cola campaign), why ?? how would you forecast requirement of new bottles What is common in LPG bottling and coke bottling (Ans : problem of empties) how can u beat rivals ( Apart from legal methods like better distribution, advertising etc, u can also capture their empty bottles and kill their distribution) 2.2.5. JOHNSON & JOHNSON MEDICAL Amit Raheja Interview rounds: 2 both were resume based and general fit questions. The second interview was with the Head of J&J Medical, Mr. Rajesh Dalal Preparation: Nothing really. They never asked any technical questions. I think they primarily looked for sales and marketing skills, which I guess they figured through the resume and interview. But they grilled on resume and work-ex, specially the sales experience bit (in both interviews). I think they were mainly looking to see whether you would make a good fit with their culture more than anything else. The attributes I believe they looked for in all candidates were Confidence Communication skills Sales & marketing experience Personal questions were mainly based on sales and marketing experience and to understand the psychological make-up of the candidate. No technical questions except about how I set up a distribution network in the past, and how I managed to break through new dealers and distributors. Also questions like now that youve done your MBA, how would you approach what youve done differently


Tips: Very important to show first-hand sales experience in your resume and be ready to be grilled on that Also, theyre looking for confident and flexible people who can SELL!!!

2.2.6. TATA MOTORS KEDAR LELE Interview process: Three step selection process. Short-listing based on resumes and EOIs, followed by Interviews first selection round and second, a fit interview with the top boss of the specific department. First round of interview had a three member panel with Head of commercial vehicle division, Head of HR and Divisional Manager HR. The interview lasted for about 30 minutes. All of them had a copy of my resume and EOI and had a few questions marked on the same. Questions ranged from core marketing concepts to my past experience and from personal to case based. The second round interview was organized at Bombay house, Mumbai. I was to meet Mr. RaviKant Exec Director, Commercial vehicle division. Divisional Manager of HR was also present during this very informal meeting. Mr. Ravikant asked me very generic questions and made me think about how big and different is commercial automobile business as compared to everything else that I have in the past. Questions asked: (Round 1 & 2 combined) Take us through your professional experience. Why would you want to work at Tata Motors (After having spent more than 5 years in marketing already) What did you do in your previous job as Brand Manager of Why did you come to ISB? Which other companies did you apply to and tell us if you already have any offer (I had HLL and I told them so!) Why would you ever apply to a FMCG and also to an automobile company? Which marketing courses have you taken during the year? We would want you to work in the commercial vehicle division. (They described possible three projects and asked for my preference) How would you react to that? What are some of the challenges and tasks associated with that if you were to launch a four wheeler pitched against the three-wheel commercial autos. Describe how you would plan for the entire country-wide launch.


2.2.7. CASTROL Cherry Pachisia Castrol 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. What is interesting in castrols marketing? Surviving with truckers and rural India? Is it difficult to work in India? Is sales more imp or marketing? General gyaan on sales. Best advertisement? Brand yourself Which advertisement do you best relate to- which best describes you?

2.2.8. BBBBBBBBBBBB 2.3. CONSULTING 2.3.1. BOSTON CONSULTING GROUP ANSHUMAN BIYANI (Class of 2004) , 23rd January, 2004 Two rounds. Each round had two interviews Resume-based short-list. (16 out of 160 applications were short-listed) Round 1: Two interviews (4 candidates were short-listed for the next round) Round 2: Two interviews (1 candidate was called for a final interview with the India chief): Final Interview: Fit interview (Offer was made after this interview) The round 2 and 3 interviews were a mix of case and personal interviews. Typically, a few personal questions were asked followed by a case-analysis. This was again followed by a few personal questions. The most important feature of the interviews is the caseanalysis. If you can demonstrate structured thinking, you are in. I didnt find it useful to remember the usual frameworks like 4Ps etc. A typical template to follow is: 1. Can I take a few minutes to jot down my thoughts. 2. Start saying, that I would look at x areas to analyse the issue at hand. 3. The areas are:.


4. Lets look at the first area.probe deeper. Ask questions and keep sharing any insights that you might get. Jot down key findings. 5. Repeat step 4 for all the x areas that you had listed at the beginning. Remember to keep sharing insights with the interviewer at every stage. Dont wait till you have asked all the questions you had in mind. BCG interviews are very friendly and the interviewers are really discussing the case with you and are willing to give you tips / hints as long as you give the right signals, which are----structure thinking, sharing of insights. It doesnt matter even if you dont arrive at a solution or come up with an incorrect solution. What matters is a continuous flow of thoughts and ability to think and present in a structured fashion. The best preparation for a case interview is to actually practice the art of structured thinking throughout the academic year by applying it to cases that you discuss in class. Practice cases are freely available in a variety of consulting guides (LBS, Kellogg, Michigan, Vault, Wetfeet) we have access to. Really theres nothing special or difficult about any of these cases. At the cost of being repetitive, what matters is the ability to think in a structured fashion and clarity of thought process. Interview 1 (Round 1) How did you make the switch from manufacturing to private equity? You seem to have participated in negotiations? Tell me more. How do you find the MBA useful? Why leave HSBC Private Equity to do an MBA? Why not go back to private equity? Why consulting?

Case 1: Question: My grand-father owns a turbine which generates electricity by harnessing the energy in the waterfall. Initially it was used for his own farm. Gradually he began selling it to the electricity grid and was making steady profits. Now the grand-father is no longer interested in the turbine and would rather sell it. How should he go about finding buyers for his unit and at what price should he sell it. Solution: Various information on prices, costs, competition etc will be gradually revealed based on the questions you ask. The key challenge in this case was to discover that it was a regulated industry in which the government guarantees that the selling price is at the cost of the cheapest least efficient producer needed to cater to the demand. Some of the players are inefficient and are unable to operate their plant. However, if one of the efficient producers closes plant, there is room for a less efficient producer to start producing, albeit at a higher cost, thereby increasing the selling price of electricity to the


consumers. Hence the most efficient player and the market leader will gain most by the price increase as he already has a higher share of the market. The turbkine is valuable to such a player as he can increase profits by just shutting down his plant. Interview 2 ( Round 1) Case 2: A US primary aluminum producer is contemplating entering the secondary aluminum sector. Should it enter the secondary aluminum business? If yes, how? Should it acquire a plant or should it set up a green-field plant The key here was to realize that many players have burnt fingers here. Secondary aluminum is dominated by a few players. The raw-material is scrap/recycled aluminum. 95% of the aluminum recycled and is already controlled by these players. Unlikely to find an acquisition at a very attractive price. So entering the secondary aluminum market does not make sense. Interview 1 (Round 2) Case 3: A semiconductors players wants to find how to increase its market-share in Asia? You are hired as a consultant. How will you go about doing it? This was a very open-ended case. The key insight in this case was to work on segmentation of the semi-conductors market in various ways. Finally you realize that segmentation across customers is the solution. These customer are players like Sony, Philips. Our semiconductor players R&D has to work with Sony across the globe to set up an effective manufacturing process. However there are issues as to how will this organization incentivise its unit in one country, say US, to work on behalf of unit in another country, say China. Tranfer-pricing issues. Organizing the company around customers rather than organizing the company around regions, seems to be a solution. Interview 2 ( Round 2) Case 4: You are the CEO of BCG India. You have to present to BCGs board of directors. Give us a plan to increase the growth rate of our business in India? This was again an open-ended question. He didnt have any data to offer, The assumption is that you are someone who regularly reads the newspapers and are aware of what are the challenges and opportunities facing various businesses in India.


Final Interview: This was a fit interview: Why Consulting? Why not private equity? Whats more interesting to you? Making friends/networking or working on projects to come up with solutions? What questions do you have for us?

2.3.2. HEWITT ASSOICATES Lakshmi Muralidharan Hewitt Associates Job Role: Consultant (off-campus job offer) Interview Process: There were 3 rounds of interviews 2 telephonic and 1 partly telephonic and partly face-to-face Telephonic rounds (two): 1 Personal-based, 1 slightly more technical 1. Resume related questions work experience, example of any achievement/success, example of any failure, strengths & development areas, why ISB, why HR consulting, why Hewitt, which area of work would I be interested in, why this area, about hobbies 2. Technical Compensation & Benefits (C&B) related mini-case, more technical questions on various aspects of C&B in companies, pick any industry and detail out 3 current big issues/areas of concern & challenges Partly telephonic and partly face-to-face (one) there were four people interviewing in this round; two with me in the room, two on the telephone (from Gurgaon) Repeat of a lot of questions asked earlier in the personal-based questions round, but slightly more in-depth ISB-related questions why ISB, key takeaways, about my independent study How will I be able to contribute to the proposed role at Hewitt, why the interest in HR consulting Salary expectations

1. 2. 3. 4.

Tips for going through an interview process:


Having been in HR, it felt strange to be sitting on the other side of the table getting interviewed. Luckily, this year on campus, HR people were quite sought after, so I had my share of job postings/requirements. I have listed down a few tips/thoughts from my past experience and the recent one on campus on how to face an interview: Resumes and interviews are highly correlated, so I will start there. Your resume is a guide for the interviewers, a sort of prompt in which direction to start/direct the interview over the course of half hour, so spend time on thinking through what you want to put down. Remember the interviewer doesnt know you at all, so what you write, is what they know. Seems obvious, but it can be forgotten in the tedious process of resume creation! Dont write anything in your resume that you dont know enough about. A lot of people I have seen/interviewed put down things that they think is interesting sounding in their resumes, but during the interview they realize that they dont know it deeply enough to be able to explain/support it substantially, leaving a poor impression in the minds of the interviewers Some standard/usual questions: Tell them about yourself, strengths/development areas (rather than calling it weaknesses), key achievements, why ISB, what did you take away from ISB, possibly some courserelated questions (in case the interviewer is another MBA! Especially, in the case of jobs in Marketing & Finance, they tend to ask conceptual questions relating to these areas, learnt from the course). You should do some broad reading to understand how your particular function impacts the industry/company that you are interviewing for. Eg. For Dell International Services (BPO) interview, I read some magazines and journals on people/HR issues facing BPOs Appear confident, not diffident or arrogant. Try to help the interviewer see how you and your skills, experience, etc., can help their company. If you can help them see this connection, you are making it more viable and more obvious to them as to why they should hire you. Think of the interview as an interesting conversation, rather than as something to get nervous about. Remember you know more about yourself than they do, so dont worry! The much dreaded compensation question should be tackled in a realistic manner. If asked what your salary expectations are, put forth a reasonable and realistic offer. This requires you to know and research a bit about what is the range they would even consider (CAS might be able to help you with that or you can check with any friends you might have in these companies) and what is your worth currently, (taking into account your previous experience and then the ISB premium) Most of these seem like obvious tips/suggestions, but the reality is that at the time of interviews, even the most obvious things stop being too obvious! The air will be thick with tension, but thats when you need to keep your cool and use your level-headedness to see you through. All the best!


p.s. In case you need any help, or you just want to talk to someone, you can get in touch with me at or 2.3.3. MCKINSEY Karthik Jayaraman Structure of selection process: - Resume to be filled in McKinseys format, in their website - Preliminary shortlist of 25 people, predominantly based on GPA - Informal pre-interview dinner at ITC on previous day, arranged by McKinsey (NOT part of selection process) - 2 rounds of interviewing - First round had 2 interviews of 45 minutes duration each - One by a partner, one by an Engagement manager - Second shortlist of 9 people was announced after the first round of interviewing - Second round of interviews has 2/3/4 interviews depending on candidates Interviewers and their speciality areas: 1) Mr. Sankar Krishnan Partner in charge of recruitment at McKinsey Pharma 2) Mr. Ramesh Srinivasan Partner Pharma 3) Mr. Noshir Kaka Partner Operations Engineering, Automotive, Banking 4) Dr. Shirish Sankhe Partner Government and infrastructure Mumbai project 5) Dr Pramath Sinha Principal Area of specialization NA 6) Mr Ramesh Mangaleswaran Partner Did not come this year, but area of specialization Automotive operations 7) Mr. Rajiv Lochan - Engagement Manager Finance, BPO 8) Ms. Ramya Engagement Manager Outsourcing, Operations (Automotive) 9) Mr. Shailesh Krishnamurthy Engagement Manager Operations, discrete manufacturing NOTES: 1) It always helps to find out which partners/ EMs are coming and brush up areas in which they are strong. 2) McKinsey India is very strong in Operations, hence a lot of their cases are likely to be concentrated in this area.


Interview 1 Conducted by Ms. Ramya Personal interview : 5 minutes Case: 40 minutes Wrap up questions: 5 minutes

PI Questions: 1. Tell me about yourself 2. You have mentioned outsourcing in your resume, we are very interested in outsourcing and are trying to develop a point of view on the same. Can you elaborate on what you did? 3. What do you think are the characteristics of a good leader? 4. Have there been instances where you have showed leadership? Case: The client has a piece of land, say on the road to Nandi Hills in Bangalore. The land is 100 m X 100 m. The client is a chemicals manufacturer who had a factory on this land and has razed it to the ground. He now wants to develop the land. What can he do? Basic answer expected: 1) 3 Cs Analysis of a) property in terms of location, infrastructure connectivity b) Customer base in the form of commercial complexes/ residences/ industries coming up in the region c) Competition pushing up or down the real estate rates 2) Coming up with the options of a) sell land for industrial application b) lease land for industrial application c) develop residential complex and sell flats d) develop residential complex and rent out flats e) develop commercial complex and sell office space f) develop commercial complex and lease office space 3) Estimate of total revenues and total costs (Revenues-costs framework) for each project, to calculate the profitability of each venture. We took up the following cases: a. Residential complex b. Retail showroom c. Office complex 4) Intricate details that were explored included: - Floor Space Index restrictions that limit the square footage that can be built - Minimum clearance and parking requirements that determine the actual area that can be occupied by the building - Common area losses for offices and residential complexes - Parking area loss for commercial complexes (ground floor given for parking)


- Cost per square foot for construction of residences/ offices (would be given by interviewer if we didnt know) - Retail outlet rent is not fixed on per squarefoot basis, but on a percentage of profits basis. - Possible customer base if we set up a retail outlet like foodworld. This was done by dividing the city into 4 quadrants and 3 rings. I used a uniform population density to estimate no of households in each ring and quadrant. I then assumed different percentages of population from each ring will come to shop in the retail outlet. Further, I assumed that Rs. 500 per week was a reasonable amount to assume, we argued over this a bit. I then estimated the weekly sales of the retail outlet, took 10% as profits, and assumed that 20% of that will go for rent, to calculate revenues. - For office complexes, I assumed a rent of Rs. 40 per square foot (Rent at ITPL was Rs. 60 per sqft, so this seemed reasonable) - For costs, I assumed Rs. 2000 per sqft for commercial complex construction and Rs. 800/ sqft for residential complex. - Variable costs included cost of watchman and sweeping charges, cost of electricity for common areas and water costs. I made assumptions for this. The interviewer questioned me as to what the challenges were in such a project. I pointed out that lack of experience in running these outlets was one. I couldnt identify any other significant issue. She was expecting me to cite raising capital for the project. Final outcome was: The company was offered 2 options, one of retail and another of building a hotel. They ultimately decided against the project due to a) Lack of initial capital to put up the building b) Lack of expertise in running the buildings. Wrap up: Do you have any questions for me? I asked her 3 questions reg work nature etc. Interview 2: Conducted by Mr. Ramesh Srinivasan Personal Interview: 5 minutes Case: 40 minutes Wrap up: 2-3 minutes Personal Interview: 1) Tell me about yourself 2) Brief introduction about himself and his work area. I started asking him numerous questions in his area of interest, and this led to some discussion Some more PI questions after the case was finished: 3) What are the characteristics of a good leader?


4) State instances where you have shown good leadership. (Leadership is one thing every one kept probing) Case: Our client is a pharma company that has been making generics and regular drugs under the protection of the process patents regime. With the arrival of product patenting, our client wants to develop a strategy for growth post 2005. Clarifications: 1) Revenue and profits of company: Rs. 1000 crores and Rs 100 crores respectively 2) Product line: Predominantly generics, some drugs under patent protection elsewhere 3) Interviewer also clarified that existing revenue will remain intact and we have to look for incremental growth only. I started off by commenting that a new drug development program is expensive and will cost about a billion dollars. The interviewer wanted to explore this angle. He gave the following additional facts: The new drug development process is divided into 2 stages, lab development of new molecules, and clinical trials. The former costs $300 million and the latter, $700 million approximately. The latter has 3 stages of which the first can be performed in 1 country only, but the next 2 stages have to be performed worldwide. Usually, 60 molecules are developed in the first stage, 40 pass through to first stage clinical trials, 20-30 to second and 4-5 to third stage. The points that I made were : 1) First stage clinical trials can be held in India itself, which will reduce costs. 2) The way to reduce costs across the chain is to restrict the number of molecules entering the trial stage. By using Bioinformatics simulation software such as that developed by Ocimum (ISB had worked with them on a project) and Strand Genomics, we can reduce this. 3) Using a platform concept similar to automobiles, where a base molecule can be developed as a general curative, and molecule chains can be attached to this to cure specific illnesses. I was not sure if this was possible, but the interviewer seemed happy with the idea. 4) Leveraging facilities across numerous government and academic research labs to eliminate/ minimize initial investments in equipment etc 5) Buying basic knowledge from same sources, and building upon these. 6) Sharing the cost of research with MNCs by licencing the molecule developed for certain territories to the MNC while retaining certain territories for oneself 7) Contract research for MNCs to raise additional capital for our own new drug development program. The interviewer was happy with these points and stopped the case thereafter.


Again, a 2-3 minute wrap-up session where I asked questions about the sector he was working on and so on. Interview 3: Conducted by Pramath Sinha: PI: 20 minutes Case: 20 minutes Personal Interview: 1) Tell me about yourself 2) Instances where you have shown leadership 3) What are your strengths ? 4) What is your weakness? 5) What have you done to address this weakness? 6) Why ISB? 7) Why did you return from abroad? 8) What are the 3 things you learnt from ISB? 9) What are the 3 things that you think must be improved in ISB? Case: This was a weird one. Jet Airways has just been approached by Sahara, who have offered to sell Air Sahara to them. Mr. Naresh Goyal is sitting next to you on a flight and asking you to advise him on the deal. What will you tell him? Each flight is essentially a fixed cost irrespective of how many passengers fly in it. Hence, by increasing occupancy level, we can reduce cost per seat mile. If we reduce the number of flights where Jet and Sahara routes overlap, we can increase occupancy. Also, we can redeploy the now redundant planes to other routes to grow further. Also, we will be able to increase revenues per seat mile due to reduction in competition. Thirdly, we will be able to cover more regions as Sahara may be flying more areas where we are not. We can provide connections to passengers from these areas etc thus increasing benefits to them and therefore, our revenues. I also pointed out that Jet needs to find out if Sahara is flying too many unprofitable routes, and whether they are required to do so by law even post acquisition. We also investigated scale economies in maintenance, food services and so on. Then, the interviewer asked me Is competition necessarily a bad thing?. I was puzzled, but came up with the following logic: If Jet acquires Sahara, its only competitor is a PSU, that is, IA. This will make Jet complacent and its service quality will drop. Today, there are several low cost airlines like Air Deccan coming up. The only thing distinguishing Jet from these is their service level. If this drops, then Jet will be hammered by low cost


airlines. Hence, they should not acquire Sahara so that they have an equally good competitor to fight with, and therefore keep their service levels up. The interviewer was satisfied with this answer. Interviews 4 and 5 were informal chats, no specific questions, except Rajiv Lochan who asked me if I had shown specific instances of leadership at IIT. Overall, McKinsey seems to want several instances of demonstrated leadership ability, structured and lateral thinking, as well as ability to go into microscopic details and do numbers if pushed. 2.3.4. BBBBBBBBB

2.4. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & ITES 2.4.1. MICROSOFT AJITKUMAR NANDKUMAR Duration: 45 mins Interviewer: Sunder Srinivasan. Started with introduction and questions from my resume (15 mins) 1. 2. 3. 4. Where were you working? Nature of work, technical and non-technical? More about my role with Prophet Systems Innovations & Broadcast industry What I learned from my customer interaction.

Then the typical Microsoft interview questions Question 1: Given a string of characters that may be repeated for example aaaabbcccddd, how will you compress it? (15 minutes) Question 2: How would you design a system to reduce the waiting time for a table in a busy restaurant without adding capacity. (10 mins)


Then he asked me if I have any questions and I asked a couple of em (5 mins) ANUJ SAHAI Duration: 45 mins Interviewer: Pratap Laxman. Started with general chit chat on the great campus. Basically an ice breaker. Asked if I was comfortable with programming. Then the typical Microsoft interview questions Question 1: Given a string of characters that may be repeated for example aaaabbcccddd, how will you compress it? Question 2: How would you design a restaurant. He wanted the criteria that would need to be considered for designing a restaurant. Then he asked me if I have any questions. BHIBHU CHOUDHARY 1. There are 3 people standing in a line, all facing in the same direction. Their boss has 5 hats, 3 White and 2 Black. He puts a hat on each ones head. No one can see their own hats. The boss asks the 3rd guy if he knows the color of his hat, he replies NO. The boss then asks the 2nd guy, he also replies NO. Boss then asks the 1st guys and he says YES. What color is his hat??? 2. Write a program to find if a binary tree is a complete binary tree. Optimize it so that the processing time is O(d) where d is the depth of the tree. 3. Discussed one project from the previous company. 4. There is a 4x4 matrix all filled with 1. Now replace 6 of the 1s with 0s, so that the number of 1s in each row and column is even. 5. Given n gas stations with distance d0, d1, .dn apart in a cycle with gases g0, Write an algorithm to find a gas station from where a car can start so that it completes the full cycle. 6. Discussed projects from my MS


7. There are some red eyed and some black eyed ppl on an island. They cannot talk to each other and there is no mirror/water/reflecting surface in the island (ie they cannot see themselves). An angel comes and says that all red eyed ppl shd commit suicide to save the island. The angel comes back on the first day and says there are red eyed ppl on the island. She says the same thing on the 2nd day. On the third day she says that the island is free of red eyed ppl. How many red eyed ppl are there? 8. There are red, green and blue balls in an array. Sort the balls in linear time 9. Write a library to add, delete and find strings from a chunk of memory. The only operation you can perform is realloc(). What data struct shd you use to optimize.. etc. How to design how to test 10. All the program shd take care of all error case. I was asked to test all the programs that I wrote. RAMAKRISHNA RS Duration: 1 hour One interviewer: Pratap Laxman, lead program manager. This was the prelim round, beyond which there are 2-3 more. Started with introduction and questions from my resume (10 mins) 5. 6. 7. 8. Where did you do your engineering? What was I doing in Nokia? (My employer before ISB) Nature of work, technical and non-technical? Specifics of technical work like systems, programming etc.

Then he asked if he could move on to puzzles Question 1: I have an array of number with me. I need an algorithm to find all pairs of numbers that sum to a given number. (20 minutes) I answered with the redundant solution first, linear search. Then he asked me to optimize it. Went on to sorting the array and binary search. Then to hash functions. Two things are important here, that I missed: negative numbers are possible and you need to know the O() of complexity calculation for your solution. Question 2: How would you design an elevator system for a building It is essential that you dont go straight into the features. Show customer focus, ask questions and act like a consultant. Then wear the hat of the user and think from his


perspective and produce features. Talk about trade offs you have to make when deciding features. Be as creative and exotic as you can. Then he asked me if I have any questions. I asked and it was time up! Second, third and fourth rounds were the same type. Puzzles followed by design questions. Since my background was CS, I was asked questions in hardcore computer science, like threads, semaphores etc. Did not make it finally. Shyam Murali Round 1 On campus Around 30-35 of the 75 applied were shortlisted for the first round of interviews. Rounds 2-4 were held at the office, after around 4-5 days. Duration: 45 mins Interviewer Madan Appiah Questions 1) General questions on why Microsoft 2) What are the MS products I like, dislike, why, how can they be made better 3) I was talking about the business solutions group and MS-CRM, question on how tech can be applied to CRM was asked 4) Set of tech questions what is multiprocessing, primitives, semaphores etc. I had mentioned Operating systems as one of my interests 5) Array with each record have a colour blue or red how would you sort to get the reds first and then the blues basically each time you encounter a blue, swap it with the last element, move the last element pointer by one to the left 6) Design questions design an elevator system for a 45 storey apartment complex. Think deep into any design question how many elevators would be optimal, would the buttons in the elevator be low so that children can press them? Would all elevators stop at all floors? How abt glass walls so that ppl dont feel the time taken to travel 45 floors etc. Keep asking questions to get more info from the interviews on the lines of a consulting interview. Those shortlisted are called for 3-4 more rounds of interview at the MS office. 7 of us and 5 ppl who interned with MS were shortlisted.


Round 2 Interviewer Ramcharan Duration around 1 hr 1) Given a dictionary, write a program(or give the logic) to list of all sets of anagrams. Ans : sort the letters of each word alphabetically. Anagrams will have the same sequence of letters. 2) Design questions you are a PM. What are the parametere/metrics you would present to the top management from a customer feedback/complaint message board. Number of queries, unsolved questions, increasing number of questions, repeat customer complaint etc 3) 3X3 chess board. Two black knights on one corner, two white knights on the other end. What is the minimum number of moves required to swap the positions of the black and white knights. Round 3: Sundar Srinivasan lead program manager Duration : 1 hour 1) Two robots are shot out of a plane and they land with parachutes. Write a program to make them meet. The same program runs on both robots. Ans: Assumption. Robots and parachutes fall on the same straight line. P-R-P-R Move left till you meet a parachute. On meeting a parachute, turn right and continue to move. On meeting another parachute, move twice as fast. 2) If left side of the road driving was to be made right side instead, what are the changes that need to be done. Ex: Sign boards need to brought from the right of the road to the left of the road. Round 4 Interviewer was ex- IIT kgp prof Duration 1 hr 1) What is object serialization, what are the problems associated with it?


2) Give three new features for a mail client Ex outlook 3) How would you implement one of the features you suggested block diagram, protocol etc. 4) Give a number, print out all pairs of numbers in an array that would add up to this number. Suggestions : Read moving mount fuji Microsoft puzzles. Available at the LRC. Get a hang of what design problems mean. Rounds two and subsequent ones are very techy, so is the role they offer. Tech questions will be based only on what you have done before, not random tech stuff. SUMIT SINGH Duration: 1 hour One interviewer: Rama Krishna, 15 year veteran with Microsoft, did everything from IE 3.0, Windows 3.1 to Windows XP, to currently storage systems This was the prelim round, beyond which there are 2-3 more. Started with introduction and questions from my resume (10 mins) 9. Where did you study? 10. What was the entry process like? 11. Nature of work, typical project life cycle 12. Specifics of technical work like systems, programming etc. Then the typical Microsoft interview questions Question 1: Given a string of characters that may be repeated for example aaaabbcccddd, how will you compress it? The things to be careful about this one are as follows: Take different cases and then first create the output that would be the most optimal There might be cases where no compression is better than compression Handle boundary condition Think about Byte size and the amount of information that can be stored in it Special case : aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.. till 10,000 times Question 2: How would you design an elevator system for a building Think Customer focus Segmentation


Different types of elevator and features , late customization Think from the user perspective Maintenance and design Then he asked me if I have any questions. All the Best. Comments: I think this particular interviewer was very aggressive and didnt want much of the customer focus, and all the stuff that an MBA is all about. Pure techy guy who checks your approach. Might get too pushy at times, so keep your cool and Keep going. TARUN JAIN Interview 1 at ISB 1. Resume based recent projects 2. I had used J2EE in some of my projects so many questions around J2ee like architecture, EJB, RMI and so on. 3. How will you design an elevator for a hospital use all the imagination you can in terms of minimum waiting time for the doctors and so on. 4. given a list input two numbers and output should be a number equal to the sum of two input numbers discussion around time complexity and all Interview 2 at MSFT 1. Unix level things processes and threading caching - again J2EE 2. Think of three revolutionary features in search engines which are still not in the market 3. reverse a link list Interview 3 at MSFT 1. reverse a link list more tuning in terms of performance 2. Stacks and Queues in operating systems 3. design memory allocation (malloc and free functions) just the algo needs to be written Interview 4 at MSFT 1. How will you implement a time bomb in a software self destructs after some time 2. some puzzle straight from the book I forgot the puzzle 3. disaster recovery and database management systems was on my resume 4. Data warehousing applications fundas and issues 5. few trivial fit Questions like what role do you like more tech focussed or more customer focussed and so on.


VIJAY VENUGOPAL Microsoft recruits from ISB for the role of a Program Manager (PM). What is a Program Manager? 1. 2. 3. Also look at the PPT that was made for our batch Core Values that Microsoft looks for in any potential employee 1. Intellectual horse-power 2. Problem solving skills 3. Drive for results 4. Passion Program Manager Skill set - Design and creativity - Technical depth and understanding of algorithms - Customer focus - Complex problem solving - Negotiation and conflict management - Cross-group collaboration - Drive for results - Ability to deal with ambiguity - Written and verbal communication skills Interviews look for signs of the above qualities through the following types of questions: 1. Puzzles Microsoft interview puzzles are legendary and there are tons of books and sites on the web with sample puzzles from past interviews. Some of us used a book called Moving Mount Fuji Microsofts Cult of the Puzzle by William Poundstone. This book is available in the library. 2. Design problems These could be software or non-software design problems. Examples include designing elevator logic, cars for the hearing impaired, spell check for Pocket PC etc. Some of the software design problems will involve knowledge of data structures and some basic algorithmic techniques. Some of us found knowledge of measuring algorithmic complexity useful too. You have to remember that Microsoft is a very technical company and expects all employees (even PMs) to understand software and technology very well. You might even be asked to write pseudo code for a design.


3. General questions Examples: - Describe your favorite product and how you would improve it. - What was your most challenging project and what was your contribution - Strengths and weaknesses How do you demonstrate the requisite values? - Ask questions to clarify problems, gather all requirements before attempting to solve a problem (demonstrates customer focus and attention to details) - Look eager to solve problems. - Look for alternatives if stuck - You might be offered an alternative by the interviewer, but watch out this could be a trap as well!! - Drive for result take as much time as you can but try not to stop even if the interviewer suggests that you stop and move on to another question - I want to change the world attitude - Make trade-offs between alternative options - Indicate that you are willing to invest time in learning new technologies. You are not expected to be proficient in MS technologies, but should demonstrate the willingness to learn. - Self-confidence, people-handling skills, communication skills (dont ramble) My Interviews (total 4 interviews, approximately 1 hour each) Interview 1 1. Calculate the angle between the hour and minute hands of an analog watch. Handle special cases like smoothly moving minute hand versus discrete movement. 2. Design a spell check and grammar check program for Word. How will it differ if it is for a Pocket PC? Interview 2 1. You are given a row of balls which are either red or green in color. You also have a robot which can understand just two commands GetColor(i) and Swap(i,j) where i,j are position indices. Design an algorithm to sort the balls (red on one end, green at the other) using just these two commands. 2. How will you modify the algorithm if there were 3 colors instead of two 3. How will you design a software time bomb, ie, a shareware product which has (say) a 30 day evaluation period? How will you ensure that it is unusable at the end of the evaluation period?


Interview 3 1. There is a flat disc which has one half painted black and one half painted white, which is spinning in some direction (clockwise or anticlockwise). It is spinning on an axis passing through the centre of the disc. You can place two probes over any point of the disc, which can determine what is the colour of the disc at that point. Design an algorithm that will determine the direction of spin. 2. How will you design a car for the hearing impaired Interview 4 1. There are 3 blindfolded men and five hats 3 red and 2 white. Each man has one hat placed on his head. The first man takes off his blindfold, looks at the hats on the other two men and says I cant say what is the color of my hat. (They cannot see their own hats). The second man too takes off his hat and says I too cant say what is the color of my hat. The third man says I know the color of my hat even before he takes off his blindfold. How and what color was it? 2. Design a DNS server

2.4.2. COGNIZANT ARTHI SRINATH 1. 2. 3. 4. Run me through the projects youve done at Infosys? Why ISB ? What is OSS ? (since I had worked with a telecom client) Do a SWOT analysis for Infosys against a European competitor (Logica) for its telecom client in Europe 5. Design a billing system for a telecom company -what features would you build into it ? (they expected application of some managerial fundae in this) 6. How is CMMI different from CMM level 5? 7. Give an example when you have worked in an unstructured environment professional and extra-curricular ? 8. Why Cognizant ? 9. Why not Infosys ? 10. Was asked some detailed info on a finance project I had worked on probably because the lady on the panel was from the BFSI sector 11. What was your proudest moment ? 12. What is the greatest development last year? (such an arbit question!! the answer expected was EBP electronic bill payment!) 13. Why an MBA ? What do you think you will do differently after ISB? 14. Any questions ? (asked some stuff about their ERP Services horizontal)


AJITHKUMAR NANDUMAR 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. Why did you come back from US? Why not Wharton or Kellogg over ISB? What are you looking at (in terms of a job, during placement)? Why Cognizant? What other companies are you looking at? Walk me through your resume. What do you mean by digitization in broadcast industry? (Resume based: deliberately put it in there as a hook and they took the bite, from here on I was on the drivers seat ) What project methodology is best suited for the kind of development work you have done (Waterfall, RAD, spiral etc.chose RAD and explained why) Given that you have worked in client server technologies, and that some our projects would involve working on legacy systems, what would be your comfort level? What difference has ISB made in you ie if you were to answer the previous question how would they differ before and after ISB? Since you have mostly worked on Application development and since most of our work involve application management, how do you think you will fit in? What technologies have you worked on? Why have you taken Strategic Marketing as your second area of concentration? If a consultant was charging 30,000 Rs for a work and another consultant who was charging only 15,000 Rs for the same work and both were comparable in terms of quality, time to delivery and every other parameter you can think of and if you were to choose the more costly consultant how would you justify the selection to your boss? (Gave some fundas on Economic Value Analysis based on intangibles etc, ROI based approach also) What is the BCG Matrix? Draw and explain. Take a brand and map its products onto the BCG matrix? (Took Maruti and their car models..) Lets do a role play: You are my boss and he is your boss. You give me a rating of 3.5 and your boss who is a relative of mine asks you to give me a rating of 4.5. What will you do? How will you manage the relations based on your actions? Any questions? (Took the time to ask about a particular vertical that I was interested in and asked for some clarifications based on what was on their web sitethe idea was to show I had gone through their web site )

15. 16. 17. 18.

DIVYANSHU KUMAR A good 45-50 minutes interview, Key points to focus on:


1) know ue resume in and out ( be prepared to talk about any one point for as long as they desire) 2) Act like a thorough marketing guy ( if looking for a BD role) 3) I think they like confident, bold approach Ques asked: 1) U have been in mgmt consulting (KSA) , why IT consulting ( used it as opportunity to say good things about consulting, and then linked that with what was missing for me ( IT exposure), said: will now be able to complete package in retailmy consulting vertical) 2) follow up ques: then u mean , no exposure to IT? ( actually had done two major projects, but had deliberately underplayed it in the first ans)---explained them 3) Which firm was it ( toldcannot disclosebut it was 2 bn $ firm) 4) asked me to explain the projectretail 5) u have experience in three factory start-up and re-engineering projectsexplain, what u did, learned, etc 6) what is the relevance of these projects to retail----expalained giving some backward linkages/ supply chain fundas/ lead times/ gave example of walmart.. 7) what have u learned from ISB which would help u do these project better today.... 8) what kind of relevance can any IT package provide to inmprove upon these projects.. 9) propose a business application in IT space which will help improve the bottom line of a retailer.... 10) explain one more.... 11) one more... 12) Ok, now how will sell this to your bosses within allocate resources to this application.... 13) good, this is what u will have to do when u join us too..u will have to sell ur business isead within the firm is going to be a self charted direction for u..r u prepared for it.. 14) what position do u find urself to be fit for...why BD?told him of the sales of consulting projects which I made while at KSA.... 15) happy ending....some laughter..dont exactly remember...what 16) any ques for us....

GAGAN SYAL Panel: Pramod ( HR Head, Cognizant) Abhijeet Choudhry (BDM in BFSI) First 10 mins 1. Why engineering? 2. Why Satyam? 3. Generally in IT industry people switch jobs pretty often, but you stayed with Satyam for 4 years. Why? 4. Why ISB?


5. You are on a sabattical, so why not go back to Satyam? How does Cognizant fit in with your future plans? (gave the fundas regarding their people orientation, substantiated with proofs like first company to get PCMM Level5 and info from friends) 6. Asked if he was to make a spot offer would I take it. He had made up his mind, but I didnt take the cue .. therein stress interview started Next 15 mins Some 15-20 questions asked, just trying to check how I would perform under stress. (They wudnt let me finish, contradict me and suddenly stop me). I remember only a few questions 7. Cognizant has a crappy way of handling things.u will be working on RFPs , managing projects.working with client. pulled out of work would you survive in such a culture. 8. What are my views on the IT industry? Most promising areas. My thoughts on Energy and Utilities, Retail and Healthcare verticals. 9. Which vertical would I like to work in. 10. You have taken LCM courses. If u were to make one recommendation each to Satyam Chairman, Dean Mahajan and Cognizant CEO, what would those be? 11. Kumar Mahadeva the CEO of Cognizant has stepped down and a new person is at the helm of affairs, there might be major organizational changes, how would you manage..better go back to Satyam. 12. How many feathers are there in a badminton shuttle? (I had baddi on my resume) 13. Did Saurav Ganguly take the right decision by not enforcing follow on? ( India Australia series was going on, and the qs pertained to the 2nd test match) 14. Im a great scriptwriter and I have written a script of the likes of Titanic and Forrest Gump. I wanna sell it to a film producer, and he has offered to share either 1% of the revenues or 10% of the profits. What would you go for? ( remember no answer is right/wrong, they only show your risk averseness. Once u give an answer theyll try to make faces as if u r a total dumbo, but stick to your answer. Show strong convictions.) 15. Theres was some case of ethical dilemma alsoI dont remember 16. Once again asked If I were to give you a spot offer this evening, would you take it? 17. Any questions? (Unfortunately, I had none. Its always good to ask one or two smart questions ) Interview over in 25 mins. Got the offer INDRANIL MITRA Background: 5.5 yrs of work experience at COSL (Citicorp Overseas Software Limited) now merged with Polaris Software Labs. Entire experience was that of an IT consultant in the BFSI domain. Handled roles like development, design, business analysis and project management (delivery). My intention was to move into the Business Development function.


Interviewed by: Shankar Srinivasan- Director Projects, Aditya (forgotten the second some) Total Interview Time: 30 minutes. Overall Interview process: Very conversational and my understanding is that the focus was primarily on judging attitude and fit. Was probed quite a bit on the resume I had put across for the application. My preparation: - Numerous mock interview sessions - Tried to get comfortable with personal questions so that in the interview the impression conveyed would be one of spontaneity - Brushed up some core term material like Marketing 1 and 2, Corporate Finance, Organization Management, Competitive Strategy Interview questions: (While I have put down the main questions some of them led to slightly protracted discussions with some back and forth activity) Ice Breakers 1. Talk us through the course of your career and how you have evolved as a professional? 2. What made you stick to COSL for 5.5 years? 3. Why did you decide to do an MBA, why did you choose ISB? 4. What have gained from your year in ISB? Interviews specific to my COSL experience 5. How did you handle the pre and post merger (COSL Polaris) situation personally and in the context of your team? 6. Why do you think the merger happened, how did the two entities benefit? Some more generics 7. Why cognizant? 8. How will you contribute to Cognizant in the next 2-3 years? 9. How will you handle situations where as a BDM you face flak from the customer due to delays in project delivery? 10. Do you have any questions for us? Additional tips: - Know you resume in and out - Do lot of mock interviews with friends, ask them to make it as tough on you as possible - Know your aspirations for the next 3-5 years - Stay cool in the interview, try to make good eye contact with the full panel and smile if you can Dont bluff


Ramachandran Rajagopalan Background: 5 yrs in IT Applications development for manufacturing systems in Atlanta, USA IIT Madras Mech Eng + Texas A&M MS Ind Eng Interviewed by: Ms. Sailaja (BFSI vertical Delivery Manager) and Mr. Nambi (Manufacturing & Logistics vertical). Total Interview Time: 35 minutes. Overall Interview process: Very resume focused. Now coming to specific questions 11. Explanation of products developed by my company 12. What are the differences between products from our company versus competitors 13. Details + questions about optimization in manufacturing problem that I had worked on 14. Details + questions about optimization in supply chain problem that I had worked on 15. Details on applications for other clients 16. Gave a case A logistics provider has approached you with a problem. How do u approach this. Then went into the details of the following levels a. Managerial level b. Top level design level c. Mathematical model variables, objective function, constraints d. Application of optimization e. Execution including design of algorithm 17. Why did I come back to India 18. Gave me gyan about some of the projects they were working on that included optimization 19. Gave me gyan on career progression 20. Questions My gyan: Know your core courses very well. Donot assume that say if u dont major in finance, u r not expected to know finance. You need to know enough to learn about a customers business. I formed separate focus groups for finance (I lost interest in fin jobs though after interviews, IT sounded lot better), consulting (case interviews help even if u dont want to go to consulting), and IT (including IT marketing). We spent quite some time reviewing course materials. Each of us was assigned multiple courses for which we prepared documents (max 2 pages) that listed the key learnings from those courses and explained it to others. Then we spent some sessions on discussing general IT topics ERP, SCM, CRM etc, understanding some key concepts and statistics. Then we


conducted mock interviews. First rounds were more general, then we went into puzzles, case interviews, stress interviews. It helped a lot. We were getting lots of requests to join our group for interview preparation, but ideal size is 5 (very committed persons). Let one person take the initiative of calling for meetings and setting up the agenda. In each interview, we had one person as observer and three persons asking the questions. RAMAKRISHNAN S Duration: 30 minutes. This was late into the day and they wanted to finish in time. Totally resume based. 1. 2. 3. 4. Walk us through your work experience What was your primary role at Nokia Why did you leave Nokia Pick any one consulting assignment you have done and explain how you won more work from the client after the assignment (resume based) 5. Take us through the process of how you convinced your client about your idea, cost of the project and duration 6. What were the offshore and onshore billing rates and why? 7. Have you done project management 8. What went wrong in your project plan 9. How did you tackle it 10. If you were to go back to Nokia after ISB, what would you do different 11. Why did you leave Future Software (my employer before Nokia) 12. Has the reason why you left Future Software been vindicated 13. Tell me one project that you have done in ISB that shows your diversity of interests 14. What did you go about doing your ELP project (entry strategy for mobile phone company) 15. What was the outcome? 16. If your client liked your suggestion and offered a job to set up operations in India, would you take it up? 17. What kind of a role are you looking at? 18. You have experience in telecom, but wud you mind working in other domains? Thats all that I can remember. These guys are extremely sincere with the interview process and dont have elimination rounds like GD but just one round of selection interviews. That is very impressive. Shows the companys commitment to give everyone a fair chance. Sincere suggestion: good company. Good money. Please take the interview seriously, be prepared with all the fundas from your majors and all the other basic fundas from the core courses. Prepare about the company as well and show your interest. Be confident, crisp, defend your resume and display passion and you will get through. Expect the unexpected. I did not get an offer


RAVI CHODAGAM Background: 6.5 yrs of work experience. 5.5 yrs in IT services as a software consultant and 1 year in manufacturing as marketing manager. In IT worked in manufacturing and banking vertical for Fortune 500 clients. Onsite experience of over 4.5 yrs. Interviewed by: Ms. Sailaja (BFSI vertical Delivery Manager) and Mr. Nambi (Manufacturing & Logistics vertical). Total Interview Time: 35 minutes. Overall Interview process: Very resume focused. Every detail in resume is asked. Need to be prepared for every possible question on resume. Every experience, every responsibility. Even interests, etc. CTS had 3 interview panels running simultaneously. My panel was completely resume focused, hardly any personals. 2nd panel was completely focused on soft questions with some resume based. 3rd panel (HR panel) but surprising their questions were completely on MBA concepts. Here people screwed up big time, as they were not prepared for general MBA concepts. They were expecting IT questions. Explanation offered by CTS later, was that they were hiring MBA not to do coding, so they should have a good grasp on all MBA concepts. I had prepared a table where for every responsibility ( every line on resume), I had answered the following questions - What were the learnings from the project. - What were the challenges faced on project. - How would I do differently if I had to do that project post-MBA. Now coming to specific questions 21. Run us through your overall work experience ( ice- breaker question). 22. Why did you leave job and join new places. 23. Which vertical do you want to join. ( I wanted to get into Manufacturing & Logistics vertical my interest was to work on SCM using IT). 24. What role are you pitching for. 25. What did you do at GE Appliances. ( I had worked on a warehouse management project for over 3 years). 26. Explain the system and what does it do. 27. What are the various areas you would optimize in a warehouse. 28. Who are the key elements in a Supply Chain. 29. What is bullwhip effect. 30. Who all make IT applications for SCM. 31. Name some packages used for warehouse management. 32. Tell us about your ELP project ( it was a supply chain project for ITC foods). 33. What did you learn about supply chain of commodities. 34. What was the process followed for the project.


35. What did you do as relationship manger at GE. 36. How did you win projects at GE against competition from other players. 37. What were your main key strengths as an organisation. 38. How did you compete as a US firm when there was competition from Indian IT companies like TCS, Satyam & Infosys. 39. Why dont you go back to the organisation you came from before ISB. ( I had worked for 1 year in own family business before joining ISB). 40. Dont you want to work for own business. 41. Again what role are you looking for in CTS. (after this Nambi explained the whole career growth path in CTS). 42. Do you have any location preference. 43. What did you hear from your seniors working at CTS about CTS. 44. Any questions for Cognizant. ( I had thought of asking question about my career growth path. But since that was already answered during interview, I had to quickly think of a question on the fly. I then asked about how CTS will compete given that other US firms like Accenture and IBM are setting up offshore facilities). Overall know your resume in and out. Do not mention anything where you cannot answer beyond the second probing question. You will get caught very easily if you mention any incorrect experience. Prepare by having mock interview. Believe me they really help. I had 3 mocks before CTS interview. In the first 2 mocks, I was sweating by the end of interview, although I was being interviewed by friends. But by third I had improved a lot and did lot of homework to tackle most of the common questions. Finally result was got the offer. SUMIT SINGH Duration: 25 minutes. This was late into the day and they wanted to finish in time. A Very different interview. Panel: Pramod ( HR Head, Cognizant) Abhijeet Choudhry ( FS something -techie) 19. You know Arabic ( I mentioned on my resume, so the panel talked to me in Arabic for 5 mins) 20. What other companies have you applied for? ( Give frank answers, but show a strong inclination for Cognizant I think I made the mistake of wavering between Cognizant & Sapient (My Old firm) 21. What is your GPA? 22. You have done estimation right?, How do you do it? And any other methods of estimation? 23. You are interested in reading, tell me the most interesting book you have read and what are you currently reading


24. Tell me one project that you have done in ISB that shows your diversity of interests 25. Previous employer related questions Thats all that I can remember. I did not get an offer Comments: Overall, a very professionally managed interview process. These people shortlisted 69 people and actually took the time to meet with each and everyone of us. There was only one interview round and then final offers were made. They gave 12 offers. Initially they had planned two rounds of interview with the first being a screening interview and then having a detailed one. However, they ended up taking only one round of interviews and spending more time on people. I would recommend that you be able to defend each and everything on your resume, this would include whatever majors you are doing. VINU MUKUNDAN 18. Why engineering? 19. Why IBM? 20. Why did you quit IBM (indirectly why MBA?) 21. Why ISB? 22. Why not go back to IBM? How does Cognizant fit your future plans? (talked about their culture really looked pleased after that) 23. If I were to go back to IBM and ask your colleagues about you, what would be the one thing they would all tell me? 24. Walk me through the migration process of a software project? 25. If you were the manager asked to rate 3 data warehousing packages available in the market to be used in a customer project, how would you go about it? 26. Some KPAs of CMM Level 5? 27. What do you know about CMMi Level 5? 28. Role play the HR guy acted as a 60 year old man dead against taking loans in life I was the manager of Citibank I had 5 minutes to sell him a home loan? (to test my interpersonal skills to understand if I could understand what the customer wants and adapt yourself)? 29. Role play I give my subordinate a rating of 3.5/5. He goes and influences my boss, and my boss gives him a rating of 4.5/5. What would I do? (I stuck to my rating) Now assume that my manager over rules my rating and gives him a 4.5my subordinate now starts mocking mewhat would I do? 30. One key take away from all your LCM course so far? 31. How do you define a leader? 32. Is Dawood Ibrahim a leader? Is Osama bin Laden a leader? Is Saurav Ganguly a leader? Why or why not? 33. Whos your favorite author? 34. Among all of Arthur haileys novels (we found common ground there) which is your favorite? Why?


35. Two books which have really influenced you? One take away from each? 36. If I were to give you a spot offer this evening, would you take it? (I talked about the role and the offer and said I would decide accordingly.) 37. Any questions? (I asked them the telecom vertical in their organization) Cant remember any more the whole thing went on for about 45 minutes so there were obviously other questions )


2.4.3. CSC SACHIN PAI 1. Tell me about yourself 2. Wholly resume based questions went into the nitty-gritty of every project I had worked on and my contribution therein 3. Was very particular on the time line asked for duration of education in each place/board, duration of each project. I guess this was mainly to ensure that I was never slacking off at home doing nothing and that I was never on the bench 4. Cursory questions on extracurricular activities and interests Total interview time: Approximately 35-40 mins 2.4.4. GECIS Anurag Rastogi Q. Tell me more about your HSBC Scholarship and the selection procedure involved? Q. Then would you be interested in IT? Q. You have worked for 4 years in IT, then why would you like to shift from IT? Today we are recruiting only for IT division of GECIS. Thanks for your time Sonal Surana As you have been born and brought up in Hyderabad, how do you feel about the fact that ISB is also here? Tell me about what you have done at ADP Wilco. What did you like best about the job that you did at Wilco? What was experience at ISB like? What were your learnings? What are you looking for? What content are you looking for in your job? Sameer Rekhi


What has your experience at ISB been like? Where do you think you can fit in GECIS? What skills do you have that you think are valuable in the environment to GE? Challenging experience faced in managing teams.

Ravi Chodagam GE is known for having completely stress-free interview. So be relaxed. I had 2 rounds of interview. 1st round questions - Walk us through your resume. - What did you learn at GE ( I had worked earlier for GE for 3 years in USA). - What role are you looking for at GECIS. - Any questions. - I was told that I need to be interviewed by one more HR person who looks after the Software services recruitment. - Have you got any other interview today. ( Who all are you interviewing with). 2nd round questions. - Did you do just IT work at GE or any Business process work. - Would you interested in working for SCM practice in Industrial division. We think you fit very well. Wanted to know your opinion. - Any questions. - Have you got any other interview today. ( Who all are you interviewing with). Shyam S Murali Interview Process Interviewer Raj Raghavan Duration 45 minutes GECIS recruited for both GECIS-IT and GECIS-Analytics. I interviewed for the IT role. 1) Interview more a test of fit into role. No BPO related questions asked in my case. Read Prof Ravi Arons bpo handout might be helpful for other BPO interviews. 2) Very personal and resume based. 3) Most interviews lasted around 20 minutes. 4) Be clear on why you want a career in this industry and why GECIS in particular, what roles you are looking at, where you would fit into etc. 5) Was asked to meet a second panel informal chat on the role and what it would involve.


They called ppl who made offers from a second round of discussion on the role and the compensation later that evening. I made an offer and was initially give a week to decide. GECIS was very flexible with acceptance deadlines, and granted extensions without much of a hassle. 2.4.5. HCL ASHISH SIDHRA Observations: 1) 2) 3) 4) Very knowledgeable panel with sharp observation. No bullshitting with these guys. They put in a lot of thought in the process Be prepared for 45min to 1 hr of GD followed by 1 to 1and half hour of intense interview. The whole process for us lasted from 7:30 in the evening to nearly 7:00 in the morning. 5) They really take time to decide the right profile for you, showing that you are not a commodity for them. This is quite unlike many other IT companies.

The Process: GD: Topic: How would you apply the marketing concepts learnt at ISB in managing an election campaign? We were a group of around 8 people in this discussion. There were two people as observers. They intervened occasionally to channel us in the right direction. Otherwise they were just observing and jotting down their observations. Interviews: The first interview could be divided into two parts: - First was related to verification of facts stated in the resume with questions like; i) Tell us something about yourself. ii) Tell us about the most challenging project you did in your last job iii) Then they went into core Telecom technical stuff (I was being interviewed for the telecom vertical) with questions on call flows etc. Warning: Dont try to bluff, because for a marketing head this guy had in depth knowledge on telecom technicalities. The second part of the interview was more to see my fit with the profile with questions like: i) What is the cost structure in a typical telecom service provider in India? ii) There was a long discussion on network and IT asset outsourcing in the telecom sector in India.


iii) iv) v)

What are the opportunities of generating business from telcos in India? What is most important while managing a telco account? How would you generate leads on further business opportunities from an existing moderate value account? (This is all I can remember as of now. Obviously there were other questions. )

The second interview was just to discuss the role on offer and the compensation package. RAMKRISHNA RS GD: 2 topics. Very nice way to do GD. Told us that they werent interested in aggressive people. They also said they wanted to listen to everyone. They interrupted if someone never got a chance to speak. Intervened when the discussion went tangential. Encouraged everyone to speak and said there was no time constraint. Topics: 1. is India Shining? Talk with economic parameters 2. is a corporate branding team necessary for a software services firm. Apply frameworks. Interview: 1. Usual questions to begin with. About background, career aspirations etc. 2. Role play: asked me to make a cold call to a new prospective client. (I was gunning for BD) 3. Very chilled out interview. They make you feel very comfortable. So, dont worry. Be frank and open. 4. Questions from Kotler because my specialization was marketing. Got the offer SANTHOSH SRINIVAS Background: Growing company, Stock was zooming in the feel good factor period, Pretty stable and believes in sustenance through work not very high up the value chain GD: We had a GD .. forgot the topic .. only pointer listen and show conviction Interview: From the background and talking to people and going through the interview, I think they were primarily looking for commitment, humility, realistic expectations and desire to stay with and grow the organization.


I was interview for a Process Consulting role. The process was the longest Ive ever given, so be prepared to stay energetic for the late and long hours. The interview primarily drilled into the words of the resume. - What have you done? - What did you learn? - What went right and wrong? - How would do things if you were given a chance now? Then the interview took a direction of an analyst/consultant .. How would you design a system take any project you would like to conceptualize and go about explaining the thought process you would go through. How can you contribute to our organization? We believe in not too hifi work .. What do you think? Would you fit in with our companys goals and objectives

The HR guy was trying out a stress interview and asking all sorts of weirdo question Cmon thats not what we are looking at you for Status: Offer received and politely rejected SAURABH KHANNA Brief description of the process: 2 GDs followed by a lengthy (1 hr long atleast interview). The GD topics were pretty generic (how can Internet help in primary school education?) etc. It seems they were looking at listening skills and conviction in the points. Generally those who spoke a lot and did not listen lost out. I have worked for HCL for 3 years, hence for me the interview was a bit different. It started out with how I found working with HCL and why would I like to come back. However, as mentioned by Santa (Santosh), the interview had a tinge of a consulting interview. I was given a case to solve. The statement was You are managing a project. Suddenly the client comes and tells you that the communication from your side as been erratic and incomplete, thus he does not know the status of the project. All this makes him nervous. What would you do? I stared with trying to find out the source of miscommunication and finally was able to come up with convincing action points. One thing to always keep in mind while interviewing with HCL (or any Indian IT company for that matter) is that mostly even the interviewers do not come with a predetermined role for you (if you have prior IT work-ex). Depending on your aptitude and performance, the role may be determined on the fly. However, some companies take this a bit too far. So it is always better to be very sure of the role they would be offering.


All the best for interviews. I can be contacted on 2.4.6. HELIOS & MATHESON AJAY VIKRAM SINGH Background 4 years work experience Telecom and Data-communication Research and Product development Last Employer: Motorola Computer Group, Motorola Inc Undergrads IIT Roorkee, Electrical engineering major Helios and Matheson Interview They were among the most sincere guys that I came across in my ISB interviewing experience. They were very down to earth but at the same time no-nonsensical. Helios recruited for a variety of roles (account management, Business development, Operations). All roles offered are in middle management Level. These folks are damn serious about getting people from ISB. It can be judged from the fact that the chairman, MD, client relations GM, HR manager had all flown down to campus and were here for a full 2.5 days. Core Values that H n M looks for in any potential employee 5. Entrepreneurial Drive 6. Honesty and dedication (so dont misrepresent facts) 7. A go-getter attitude 8. A team player and willingness and keenness to learn 9. Flexibility

P.S. : Educational and Work Ex Pedigree might help ( good acads from good colleges are a definite plus)

My Interviews (total 3 interviews)


Interview 1 (approx 1hr 10 minutes) 1. Learning in ISB 2. Previous work experience related questions 3. Convincing abilities ( I come from Telecom background and havent worked in IT services, hence couple of questions framed to test convincing skills for job suitability) Interview 2(approx 1hr) 1. Situational questions 2. Personal questions 3. General Fit questions 4. Resume scanning in detail Interview 3(approx 50 minutes) 1. Job role fit and Job role description 2. Salary negotiation Result: I was offered position of Principal consultant. Job is going to be primarily Account management evolving to Business development. I chose the offers over established brands because of the role. The company image and culture (as it came out in the interviewing experience) was highly impressive and was yet another major contributing factor. VENKATNARSIMHAN VARDARAJAN First let me explain the interview process. Had three rounds of interviews. o First round was work experience, personal questions, why ISB, Why MBA etc o What kind of projects I have handled? Whats the $$ value for these projects? o How did you fare in ISB.. What is your general grade and how does that compare with the rest of the student community? (relative position like top 10, top 50 etc) o At the end of first round, there was elimination. They selected 7 people for the next round. o For the second round, the questions were based on fit. o What do I want to do in H&M.. Why are you interested in the role..? o Justify how you are qualified.. o What are the other offers you have in ISB? o Would you travel abroad? How many years would you stay? Do you have any personal/family issues? o At the end of second round, they have pretty much made up their mind whether to make up an offer or not. o For the third round, the questions were based mostly on the offer.


o They talked about the client that I will be working with. They explained my role in the client site etc. o What is your salary expectation.. How much were you drawing in the previous company? o Do you want Indian Salary+ US allowance (something like what TCS does) or a complete US based position and US salary with no Indian salary? o They gave very little time, ( 2 days) whether to accept/reject the ofer. About the company My take The company is a small company with aggressive growth plans. They want managers who can set processes in place, make sure that the client is happy, get more work and grow the business. The entire top management (chairman, CFO, MD etc) were in the campus for 3 days to pick the right talent. This shows the importance they give to ISB. They were very honest in the way they explained about the company, the role, the client, pay structure etc. The company is very entrepreneurial in nature and they wanted people who believe in the company and who are totally (100%) ready for what they are offering. In the last round, when few students expressed their weariness regarding the uncertainties of a small company, the chairman withdrew the offers he was about to make to the students. Bottomline, know what you are venturing into, be confident and yourself in the interview, be clear on what you want to do after ISB, justify how you are qualified for it: you are through. Any questions, do not hesitate to contact me at

2.4.7. I2 Amit Guha What was your background before ISB? BTech(CSE), IIT Kharagpur MS (CSE), SUNY Buffalo 5 years AT&T Labs, Vitalect, Sun Microsystems What are the roles for which the company recruits? Supply Chain Consultants. How should one prepare to interview with the firm?


Basics of Operations (OM) and SCM. Brush up on Java programming and knowledge of Databases. Also be prepared to be asked difficult questions on your favourite topic (not necessarily in MBA). What skills was the company looking at? Mostly analytical skills and problem solving ability. But they also want a good background and understanding of software design. In both interviews I spent most of the time solving these math puzzles. 1. You have a 40 kg block of stone. How will you break the stone into 4 parts so that using a normal bazaar weighing scale you can measure anything from 1 to 40. (Ans: Powers of 3: 1, 3, 9, 27) 2. You have a 10cmX10cm square. What is the maximum number of 1cm diameter coins you can place in this square. (Ans: Depends) Interviewing Process What attributes do they look for when short-listing? Not sure but from the shortlisted candidates, interest and background in consulting, software, and supply chain, knowledge of the company. How many rounds of interviews? Two. Are group discussions and presentations part of the interview? No. The number of interviewers and how long does an average interview last? 1 in the first interview, 3 in the second, each lasted about 45 mins. Salaries at different job levels in the firm? Depends on years of experience. Overall in the 6-9 lakhs range. ANKUR SAIGAL 1) Every panel had a different style. Primarily a case interview but cases can range from operations to hindi movies (believe me one of the guys was given a case on hindi movies). 2) Given a chance dont say that you know any language (C++, Java etc). It is not held against you but if you say yes you are in for some good trick questions which you might goof up having been out of touch for a year.


Prashan Agarwal (Sr. Consultant) 1) What was your educational background before ISB. How many years of work experience did you have at the time of joining ISB and in which domain? B.Tech.(Mech), IIT Kanpur 2 years - Sapient 5) What are the roles for which your company recruits? Consultant Sr. Consultant 6) How should one prepare to interview with your firm - specifically for each role, and your domain in general? They ask a lot of puzzles and tech questions. So be prepared to answer questions on SQl, Java if you have it on your resume. You can be frank and let them know if you are not comfortable in an area. They also grilled people on a favourite topic which happened to be Corporate Finance for most of the guys and it turned pretty tough for them. Now the funny part I told them my favourite topic was movies and thats when I was asked to solve a case (Should original dvds be released on the first day of the release of a new movie). 8) What was company looking for (please give your opinion for each of these factors) Leadership skills Domain experience Profile Attitude Aptitude/problem solving skills Enthusiasm/passion Any other factors that may be important Domain experience, should be comfortable with technology. 9) Please describe your firms interviewing process? Pre-selection (what important attributes do they look for when short-listing? Any pointers for resumes/EOI?) Resume. Could not figure out a trend. How many rounds of interviews? 2. Are group discussions and presentations part of the interview? No.


The number of interviewers and how long does an average interview last? 1 in 1st interview, 4 in 2nd interview 10) Could you give us an idea of salaries at different job levels in your firm as well as a comparison of the take home v/s quoted cost-to-company salary? Salary turned out to be pathetic and negotiation was difficult after the offer had been made. Try to negotiate the salary in the 2nd round of interview. I was offered 6 lacs p.a. but I am sure if negotiated well, they should be willing to give around 7.5 lacs at Sr. Consultant position. 11) Can you please share any other information that can help the placements at ISB this year? One should be familiar with basic concepts like NPV, ROI, 4 Ps, 5 Cs, BCG Matrix, etc.

2.4.8. IBM INDIA IBM interview. HR Head Other people in the panel Role Process One GD and an interview. Salary offered 5.8 lakhs pa. but the variable pay at IBM is supposed to be very good. Interview Questions. GD topic does mass media communication effect personal relations Interview questions 12) tell me about yourself 13) every thing on my resume 14) two things which are needed for a sales person? 15) Tell me an instance where you have evinced leadership abilities 16) What is the difference between customization and selling Most importantly they were looking for passion in individuals. Mr. C Mahalingam (very nice guy) Ram General Management position (after 3 months training it would be either in sales, finance or consulting)


2.4.9. INFOSYS

ANKIT DANGAR Panel: B G Srinivas (ES-Head) and Narsimhan (HR Guy) Since I was working with Infy before coming to ISB my interview was more on the role and responsibilities and not so much on the resume. Not asked much about past experience as BG knew me but was asked the following nevertheless: What value did MBA add at ISBThis was common across all the interviews! How would you approach your previous account in terms of management now that you have done your MBA (picked up on points I mentioned in earlier question). My advice is prepare well for the follow up questions!! What major have I opted at ISB and why? Some accounts related qs- Fixed cost, variable cost allocation (Activity Based Costing). Application of ABC to a client project? Which other offers you have got or in pipeline?

Interview lasted for about 25 mins mostly on the role based qs I had from myside. Was sure of the offer anyways and got the offer !! GOVIND MAHESHWARI Panel: B G Srinivas (ES-Head) and Narsimhan (HR) As I was a former employee of Infosys, and had worked in the Enterprise Solutions (ES) group, prior to joining ISB; my interview was focused on my asking questions. Questions asked: Explain your previous projects at Infosys. Based on resume: how did your experience in Japan contribute to your personal development. What sort of role are you looking for now? Interview lasted about 20 minutes. I was pitching for a Consultant role, though I was offered role as Associate Consultant; interview was more of a negotiation about role and responsibility. I was offered choice of location, vertical (ERP, CRM or SCM practice) and immediate on-site posting. 77

Finally chose not to join Infosys. Name; Govind Maheshwari Email id: Alok Chawla Interview Process: Plain Interview 2 people panel. 1 Person moved out in between. Questions: Why Infosys? Some initial questions on previous work-ex what did you do in a project, ... Which is the company of your choice? Which division of Enterprise Solutions is of interest to you? Why? Have you done any courses specific to these? Which? How did you score in these subjects? Any specific location requirement? Will you join if given an offer?

RAMKRISHNA RS Pretty dull interview. Only the HR guy was there. The other tech person got a call, went out and never returned for 30 mins. The HR guy asked me about 1. Background 2. Why Infy 3. Why Enterprise Solutions 4. what is erp 5. what is the benefit of erp 6. why not custom solutions 7. why package consulting 8. why isb 9. why mba 10. other offers 11. salary expectations these guys knew they were bad pay masters and spoke to us one on one to see if we were still interested after the numbers were told to us. They offered only to those who were interested despite the salary. RAVISHANKAR VAJJALA


Panel: Narasimha Prasad HR Head & 2 others One of them was a Principal Consultant and the other was a Senior Consultant from the ES group. Questions: The interview questions were all resume based. They basically asked me about my past experience related to Project Management. Some that I can remember are: 1. Explain the various SDLC phases as they were done in your past projects. 2. How would you measure the productivity of your team members? 3. Major challenges faced while leading teams and how did you overcome them. 4. I had done some work on Software Estimation methods, so they asked them a number of questions about advantages and disadvantages of the various methods (Function Points, Weighted Use Case method, etc) 5. There were a few questions related to my UK onsite experience. 6. Why Infosys? 7. Why Enterprise Software? Interview lasted for about 20 mins Got the offer AAKASH CHAUDHRY Interviewer (Mr. Ravi Kumar, CRM head): (not in particular order) 1) Why do you want to join Infosys? 2) Why did you join ISB? Wasnt your engineering degree enough to get into a technology company? 3) Tell me something about the BCG matrix. 4) What all subjects did you take in marketing? Which one is your best course? 5) What do you understand by Discriminant Analysis? Have you worked on SPSS? 6) What is the importance of Marketing Research in an organization? 7) Are you OK with the Idea of coding (software coding/programming), if required? 8) What are major strengths and weaknesses? 9) (Pre-ISB, I was involved in an entrepreneurial activity) Why dont you go back and join your own company, Why Infosys? 10) Are you OK with working on-site/client site? Any issues in leaving India for work? 11) Do you have passport? Have you traveled outside before? For what purpose? These are some of the questions, which I could recollect. Apart from this, the only tip I have for any prospective candidate for Infosys interview is that the Infy guys are looking for those candidates show clear interest in Infy and are ready to grow with the organization. I consider, knowing marketing fundamentals, basic courses and concepts like BCG matrix etc as a must. Once you are through with basics of courses, start


focusing on how to handle interviews personally i.e. your strengths, weaknesses, school experience, key learning from school/course, team work skills, etc etc. 2.4.10. ITC INFOTECH Amit Guha What was your background before ISB? BTech(CSE), IIT Kharagpur MS (CSE), SUNY Buffalo 5 years AT&T Labs, Vitalect, Sun Microsystems What are the roles for which the company recruits? Business Analyst IT Consulting May be a good idea to talk to ISB alums at ITC Infotech about the specifics of the roles there. Venky (Class of 2003) is probably the best person to talk to. How should one prepare to interview with the firm? Most of the questions were about fit. However be sure which area you want to get into and why. They do most of the work in PLM and CPG and some consulting in ERP and SCM. I was interested in SCM. No technical questions but we did have a discussion about Indian supply chains. What skills was the company looking at? They were looking for expertise either in software/hardware or domain and industry experience. Interviewing Process What attributes do they look for when short-listing? Background in IT or industry experience in FMCG, consumer products. How many rounds of interviews? Two. Are group discussions and presentations part of the interview? No. The number of interviewers and how long does an average interview last?


1 person in each interview, the first was more technical, the second was more HR related, location preferences, travel preferences, etc. Salaries at different job levels in the firm? Not sure, but depends on experience and in the 7-10 lakh range. Prashan Agarwal (Manager IT Consulting) 1) What was your educational background before ISB. How many years of work experience did you have at the time of joining ISB and in which domain? B.Tech.(Mech), IIT Kanpur 2 years - Sapient 5) What are the roles for which your company recruits? Business Analyst IT Consulting 6) How should one prepare to interview with your firm - specifically for each role, and your domain in general? Mostly personal questions Why ITC Infotech, why me, what unique do I bring, questions on projects I had done at Sapient, how should ITC Infotech compete with Indian giants like Infy, Wipro. 8) What was company looking for (please give your opinion for each of these factors) Leadership skills Domain experience Profile Attitude Aptitude/problem solving skills Enthusiasm/passion Any other factors that may be important Leadership skills, domain experience, PASSION! 9) Please describe your firms interviewing process? Pre-selection (what important attributes do they look for when short-listing? Any pointers for resumes/EOI?) domain experience How many rounds of interviews? 2. Are group discussions and presentations part of the interview?


No, not at ITC Infotech. The number of interviewers and how long does an average interview last? 1 in each interview 10) Could you give us an idea of salaries at different job levels in your firm as well as a comparison of the take home v/s quoted cost-to-company salary? It depends on the years of experience one brings to the table. 7.5 2-3 years 8.5 3-4 9.5 >4 years There are perks beyond this figure. 11) Can you please share any other information that can help the placements at ISB this year? One should be familiar with basic concepts like NPV, ROI, 4 Ps, 5 Cs, BCG Matrix, etc. Venkatesan Natarajan (Class of 2003) 1) What was your educational background before ISB. How many years of work experience did you have at the time of joining ISB and in which domain? B.E.(Mech), Master of Design (Industrial Design) New product development 2) Please list the companies you worked for before coming to ISB and your designation in them Parametric Technology Corporation, India - Implementation consultant EID Parry (I) Limited - Deputy Manager - Design Infosys Technologies Ltd - Software Engineer 3) Please give us your current job description, roles and responsibilities and the opportunities ahead. I look after a new sub practice within the ambit of a larger practice at ITC Infotech India Limited. I look after all aspects of staffing, delivery and operations though not much of business development. Over time this will evolve into a practice of its own and I will be responsible for the complete profitability of the same. 4) Is your company planning to recruit from ISB this year? Of course! 5) What are the roles for which your company recruits? For each role, please mention the following What is the required background profile? What are the locations where the company may recruit for?


How easy is it to relocate within the company, location as well as roles? What are the future career path/growth opportunities? Business Analyst Business Development IT Consulting 6) How should one prepare to interview with your firm - specifically for each role, and your domain in general? Prepare on the strength of any domain knowledge you have, get a holistic view of the domain - technology, competition, drivers, trends, major companies, geographical presence etc. Prepare on how to identify opportunities, analyse situations and decide the course of a solution. On an individual front - prepare on what differentiates you from others outside and within ISB. 7) Please list as many questions as you can remember that you were asked when you were interviewed (for some/all of the companies that you interviewed with) For each company, please mention the following Company: Role interviewed for: Questions asked: Anand Group - Operations and Business Development What is your ambition and how do you see yourself five years from now? Why do you think you fit this role? If asked about compensation and you throw up a number, be prepared to justify it. Mahindra Holidays - Do you think you will fit a marketing role? What makes you think so? Give me an instance that you think you could have done differently as an afterthought. They also ask you about previous companies, their current market situation etc. ITC Infotech - What are your strengths? What difference can you bring to this role? Reliance Petro - what do u think is happening to the petro sector in India? how do u think Rel. Petro can compete against the PSU's? How do you think technology can make a difference to this business? Are you willing to be located at Gujarat/MP/Rajasthan etc. 8) What was company looking for (please give your opinion for each of these factors) Leadership skills Domain experience Profile Attitude Aptitude/problem solving skills Enthusiasm/passion Any other factors that may be important Leadership skills, domain experience, PASSION! 9) Please describe your firms interviewing process?


Pre-selection (what important attributes do they look for when short-listing? Any pointers for resumes/EOI?) domain experience How many rounds of interviews? typically 2 mine was 3. Are group discussions and presentations part of the interview? No, not at ITC Infotech. But Anand Group did. The number of interviewers and how long does an average interview last? 2,1,1 - in each stage Anything else Bring something new to the table - propose a new business opportunity and justify its business prospects. 10) Could you give us an idea of salaries at different job levels in your firm as well as a comparison of the take home v/s quoted cost-to-company salary? 60% - tax cuts is the biggest chunk of diff. Variable pay is based on performance and paid annually, PF is held up. There are other perks at ITC Infotech that dont form part of the CTC but that depends on the level you join. 11) Can you please share any other information that can help the placements at ISB this year? Prepare well for interviews - last year many of them were over confident. Study a company well, competition, balance sheet, etc. 12) Do you have any tips on resume writing: Should prospective candidates go for Resume customization or EOI customization I am sure you would have gone thru the "CAR" stuff - context, action, result. Be brief and to the point! Dont state just what you did, mention what was the result of what you did. (For IT Firms only) How much of techie info should be in the resume? Which companies look for tech heavy resumes Just enough to know you have that background. No stories! 2.4.11. KANBAY SAPNA PRABHKARAN


2 rounds of interviews spanning 2 days Round 1 1st interview with techie 30 to 40 mins Small business case about a credit card company that has designed a new online system, but even though the no of customers and conversions are higher, the channel is losing money. Why? Lots of probing questions. You are expected to analyse the situation and come up with plausible reasons and solutions. Anything you say will only lead to further questions. Understanding of basic financial businesses like credit cards, insurance, securities will be an advantage. High emphasis on thinking on your feet asking relevant questions is as important as giving answers. The more questions you ask, the more info he reveals. Other questions on LCM what are the courses about, what did you learn, what subjects, what makes a leader, to what extent should the CEO be involved in strategy and execution, when should he distance himself, what happens as a company grows, how will you cope with the change. What did you learn from the previous entrepreneurial set-up that you worked in? How does that differentiate you from other candidates, other learnings? General resume based questions about work, personal interests, family. Round 1 2nd interview with HR 20 to 30 mins Resume based, work experience, family, interests, life a ISB, general chit-chat What kind of job would you like to do? Marketing, sales, business intelligence, business analyst? Round 2 the next day 45 to 50 mins both HR and tech guy from the previous day Case based interview First case business situation there is a foreign bank in India that finds out that the only customers they are getting are customers that other large MNC banks dont want. Why is this so, what can be done? Is this a good situation or bad, what are the causes, if this is a bad situation, what should we do to rectify it? You are part of a global team sent to India to study this situation, how will you report it to the CEO sitting abroad? This problem can arise even in other countries, does it make sense to send a team to all these countries to study the situation and report on it? Why if yes, why if no? Now imagine that you are CEO sitting abroad and you read a report on this situation, what questions will you ask the team to extract maximum information out of the study they have done? Will decision will you take next? Second case - Kanbay is looking at rapid expansion in India and hence going on a major recruitment drive. They currently use channels like internal referrals, advertisements and placement agencies. He drew a chart with the percentages of candidates, conversions etc. If you are heading the recruitment drive, imagine that you have to give a business plan recommending the recruitment plan for the next 2 years, channels, budgets, numbers etc. How will you go about it? How will you


get the best quality of candidates? How do internal referrals work? How will you incentivize employees to pass on referrals? After the 2 case interviews, there was a spate of more resume based and personal questions. Status Was offered a job as Business Analyst by the evening of the second day. Accepted it. Sharad Sharma Ill be joining Kanbay Inc, a software technology firm (Banking and Finance vertical), in their accounts and finance department. Kanbay had come to campus, for technology specialists and not for finance ppl. But when they were on campus, on their website ( they had indicated their requirement for a person to handle their treasury operations. This got me interested in the company. I forwarded my CV, through CAS (Shalaka) and interviewed twice with them on campus (Manoj Menon and Soumitra Narain). Both interviews lasted approx. hour each. First with Soumitra and then with Soumitra and Manoj (i.e.Panel). These interviews were focused on why Kanbay and what can I add to their operations. I felt they were primarily to gauge my level of commitment. The interviews were practical i.e. few questions were like -What are some of the opportunities you see for technology in the banking sphere? I answered Basel-2 implementation (I believed they were looking for that answer) -Can you describe some key points of the Basel-2 Accord- I did -Suppose you were to pitch to SBI for outsourcing their IT ops, how would you go and what would you pitch? I answered demonstrate definite results in a specified time frame. You should pitch on improved quality parameters and costs. Build a partnership of sorts with close integrations. Relationships matter a lot. Start with a small areas demonstrate your capabilities and then pitch for more areas. -What makes you tick i.e. what do you look forward to in your day of work? I answered that I like an entrepreneurial kind of work culture and will be able to put in my best when Im in charge of situations, responsible for them,.(I believe the key word here was entrepreneurial, because after the interviews when I got to see the back of their Tshirts , it said something of the sort do your own thing...Kanbay ..this indicated a kind of an entrepreneurial spirit. Moral of the story get the company culture right. Unknowingly and fortunately, I did. Two weeks later one final interview (semi-formal i.e. over dinner and beer!!) with their VP. Main questions: -Grilled on CVeach point i.e. - Deutsche bank essay competition essay description, - CRISIL essay rupee forecast? What are my views on the rupee, US recovery,,,the future president of USA in 2004 etc.


- Andhra Pradesh politics ..will Chandrababu return -Achievements, work exp etc everything!! Then, -Why Kanbay? -Which roles interest you? -Family background -Salary expectations -Role at Welspun (my previous company) He makes me the offer. But also asks me to visit Pune next week. That I did. Met the people. Again grilled on CV twice (repetition of above). Then they told me that the position for treasury was mainly to hedge positions and they dont make money on it (shucks!!). Anyways, I was offered a position, which initially will have a lot of management reporting and project costings involved. The role is fluid and will evolve over time.


The various questions you were asked in the interviews both personal as well as technical.

Already mentioned above 3. Any tips you want to give to future batches to tackle the interviews.

-Dont oversell your self. Show youre interested, but within limits! -Study company culture -Research on latest company news -Research on latest economic news i.e. daily glance of Economic Time helps -For high end finance interviews (deutsche bank, Goldman Sachs etc) - keep one case study in memorypreferably a really tough one i.e. swaps ,futures type. This was a surprise question to me in the Deutsche Bank interview. It took me some time to recollect even one case and its details!! -While course studied at the ISB are important, also be thorough with your work experiences (prior to ISB) -Bbe ready for trick questions/logical questions (eg): ICICI one source (a BPO) call for their interview at 2400 hrs, as Id submitted my CV separately- their first question to me was did we wake you up? I unassumingly said yes. . probably a BPO may not suit you!! Irevna- Ronaldo earns $50mn p.a., Sachin Tendulkar $10 mn, .but Tiger woods $150 mnwhy? Because they play for different countries therefore if we bring Purchasing power parity Ronado palying in Europe i.e. approx $ 75 mn, Tendulkar $50 mn and Tiger W- $150 mn .Then Ronaldo and Tendulkar play team sport (i.e. football and cricket) but Tiger W play an individual sport (golf). Main point I saying here is be alert and logical in your reply.


ANKUR SAIGAL 1) 2 interviews (45 mins *2) as a part of round 1. 2) 1 interview (30 mins) as a part of round 2. 3) Interviews are heavy on resume and chances are that you would be given a small case. The case is primarily a simple one somehow related to the financial services industry. For example the two cases I got were a. The profitability of the corporate customers of the bank is decreasing and the bank has hired you to solve the problem. b. The bank wants to increase the efficiency of its credit card operations and you have been hired as a consultant. 4) One of the panel members (Ravi Deshmukh, VP, Securities) gets very deep into the resume and would try to look for any overstatements in the resume. Its better not to overstate your achievements in the resume. 5) One last point, this is one of the most relevant interviews one could have for the IT industry, I mean most of the other interviews are strengths, weaknesses etc.. types. RAMKRISHNAN S I bailed out of the Kanbay process midway through because I did not want my third offer to come from Kanbay. First round: Case question: Estimate the number of electricity meters in Andhra. If you develop a wireless electricity meter reading transmission device and want to sell it to CM Naidu, how will you estimate expected cash flows. How will you sell it to the CM. Otherwise, usual questions about background, my knowledge about Kanbay, why fin services and IT and why not back to telecom (my previous industry). Second Interview: Totally personal. Why ISB, Why MBA. Questions about my interests outside the coursework, like my experience when I was teaching part time. The HR guy got very interested when I told him I would love to conduct some training courses. Third Interview: Bailed out before it began. SANTHOSH SRINIVAS Background: Growing IT Company in the Financial Services vertical. Rampant expansion plans as of April 2004. Post Interviewed for: Senior Consultant Business Intelligence.


Interview: I had two rounds of interview. The first was regarding my work experience and interest. - The usual about yourself questions - Why I did not take LCM as a specialization? - What are the things I learnt at the ISB? Why did I not learn them before! - What is your background and interest in Analytics and Statistics - How would you apply analytics in an organization like ours - Tell me some of the models youve developed - How would you develop a model to identify critical improvement opportunities in an organization (I dont remember the exact question .. I gave some gyaan on regression modeling, simulations and significant variables .. blah .. blah) - Would you be interested in Business Intelligence .. The second round was with HR: - Tell me about yourself - Where do you see yourself in the years to come .. short and long career goals - What are the three main factors you desire in an environment that excites you Status: Offer received and accepted

2.4.12. SAPIENT RAMKRISHNA RS Case Study + 3 rounds followed by HR discussion Case Study: Typical Project Management case study. You needed to figure out how to handle constraints and write a project plan with timelines and block diagrams for a new project. Round 1: Based on case. Detailed analysis of my solution, slight twists in my solutions and how I would handle them. Know about general PM fundaes like scheduling, risk management and if you are a techie, little basic tech stuff. Be ready for questions about the validity of your solutions, what could be changed and what is the best and worst points in your solutions. Also about pricing the project, staffing the project and situational questions like resource allocation and convincing your manager about the profitability of your project. I was made to do role plays. Round 2: Best interview of my life so far. Was given the role of a PM with a project specification and then the guy interviewing me went on and on complicating my situation, making it tough, like your team members leave, your client changes, your


design changes midway, your timelines go haywire, your boss plays truant, you fall sick etc etc. He tried to see if I break down under the pressure. Round 3: Values of Sapient: General funda. Give examples from your work ex for stuff like leadership, client management etc and you are thru. Be confident and sound intelligent. Thats all. HR discussion is all about salary. I got the offer. Sapient HR guys were very professional. Sapient was visiting campus for the first time. These guys are very sincere with their interview process. You will enjoy interviewing with them. Ryan Pais Sapient Corporation (3 interviews 1hour each and 1 written case 1hour): 1) Discussion on written case for 1 hour. Tried to understand the thought process that went into my business proposal and project plan. Also asked questions about project management/ software development life cycle. 2) Give me a scenario that you encountered where you had to work with an extremely difficult person. How did you deal with the situation and what would you have done differently today? 3) I am the CEO of a potential client. Sell Sapient to me. 4) Describe a situation where you made an impact on the life of a team member 5) What are your areas of development?

ZAMEER MITHIAN Company - Sapient Corporation Role Senior Associate Program Manager Result - Offer recieved The selection Process: Students who make the short list are put through the following rounds: 1. Round 1 Case analysis: A case describing a live business scenario will be given to Sapient aspirants. The objective of the case analysis is to develop a project plan that would involve stating the business problem, how IT can help solve the problem, high level project plan, assumptions in making the plan, resourcing, hurdles, costing etc. One hour is the time limit for the case analysis. This is an elimination round. Please keep in mind that Sapient would by all probability looking for Program managers therefore a strong grounding(through work experience or reading) in project management fundamentals is essential.


2. Round 2 Case based Interview: Students who are short listed based on the case analysis is subjected to an interview that tests the boundaries of the project plan they have created. This interview will be based purely based on the solution that the student had created. The objective of this interview is to test your domain skills, consultative skills, presentation skills and ability to think fast in a changing client engagement. Deep knowledge of the IT solution being implemented is good but not a pre-requisite. This is an elimination round. 3. Round 3 Competency based Interview: This interview will basically test the student on project management fundamentals. This is a situation based interview and the student would be quizzed on various aspects of PM. This is an elimination round. Some questions which I was asked were : a. What are the stages in the software development life Cycle? b. How does one estimate the effort involved in coding for a project ( brush up on how function point estimation is done)? c. How does one handle people based issues in a project? 4. Round 4 Values based Interview: This interview will basically test the student on HR related issues to see whether there is a fit with the Sapient culture which is basically focused on openness and client centricity (all the way. Always remember to keep the client focus in all your answers right from the first round Sapient is obsessed about giving clients what they want no matter what.). This is also an elimination round. Some of the questions I was asked were: a. In face of increased requirements from the client post project sign off how does one handle the client. b. How would you demonstrate that you are a team player. c. What is your leadership style. d. What is a weakness that you have overcome and how? e. What are your long term goals? Once you get past the 4 rounds there is a Sell Close session in which the Interviewers pitch Sapient to students. This would involve a detailed discussion of the roles, the Sapient work culture and a heads up regarding what one can expect from Sapient. 2.4.13. SATYAM Naren Peri (Satyam) (Class of 2003) 1) What was your educational background before ISB. How many years of work experience did you have at the time of joining ISB and in which domain? B.Tech in Chemical Engg from REC, Warangal-1998 Grad. 4 Years of prior work experience. Domain:IT for financial institutes 2) Please list the companies you worked for before coming to ISB and your designation in them Iflex solutions-1998:2002. Designation: Associate consultant Roles: Programmer/team member, project leader.(8-15 member team)


3) Please give us your current job description, roles and responsibilities and the opportunities ahead. Domain:IT for financial institutes Designation: Deputy Manager. Firm:Satyam Computers Role: Project Manager(32 member team) 4) Is your company planning to recruit from ISB this year? Yes 5) What are the roles for which your company recruits? For each role, please mention the following What is the required background profile? What are the locations where the company may recruit for? How easy is it to relocate within the company, location as well as roles? What are the future career path/growth opportunities? 6) How should one prepare to interview with your firm - specifically for each role, and your domain in general? 7) Please list as many questions as you can remember that you were asked when you were interviewed (for some/all of the companies that you interviewed with) For each company, please mention the following Company: Role interviewed for: Questions asked: 8) What was company looking for (please give your opinion for each of these factors) Leadership skills Domain experience Profile Attitude Aptitude/problem solving skills Enthusiasm/passion Any other factors that may be important Look at last 4-5 month's BW or BT..there was an artice which answers your question. All are important. You missed the most improtant skill: TEAM PLAYING ABILITY. 9) Please describe your firms interviewing process? Pre-selection (what important attributes do they look for when short-listing? Any pointers for resumes/EOI?) All top IT firms are looking for 'Leadership Skills' and 'Team playing' abilities. How many rounds of interviews? 2(1 presentation .followed by interview- satyam)


2 interviews(TCS), 1 GD and 1 interview(Wipro) , 1 interview(Cognizant), 1 GD and 1 interview(igate), 2 interviews(Techspan) Are group discussions and presentations part of the interview? Yes. Please check my response to previous question. The number of interviewers and how long does an average interview last? 2-7. 30-60 minutes Anything else Be very confident. Be aggressive(it appears that u r assertive). Never beg.(be realistic..see what sal I have asked. Please don't make the same mistake) You are the best. 10) Could you give us an idea of salaries at different job levels in your firm as well as a comparison of the take home v/s quoted cost-to-company salary? CTC: 677200. Take Home: 36000 11) Can you please share any other information that can help the placements at ISB this year? If you want to assert any of your quality, say it in so many words. Please don't excpect that recruiters guess/infer. They may want to play fair game. But in practice it's difficult. 12) Do you have any tips on resume writing: Should prospective candidates go for Resume customization or EOI customization I recommend both resume and EOI customizations. Follow GFIBP framework. Your stories should coherently fit with what you put on your resume. (For IT Firms only) How much of techie info should be in the resume? Which companies look for tech heavy resumes Cognizant(asked for 10 lacs), Wipro(asked for 8 lacs), TCS and Infosys(I asked for 6.5 lacs) rejected me. I was not sure about my market value.I am not sure why they rejected me. I put minimal techie stuff(2 bullet points) in my resume. Please call me on +919849289211 if you require more details. 2.4.14. TCS Sabyasachi Mitra 1. What are you majoring in ? Expect deep questions on whatever your answer is. I was asked about Cognitive Dissonance and Marketing strategy in declining markets. 2. What should TCSs strategy be against competition like Infosys and Wipro as well as against MNCs like IBM and CSC 3. What role do you want in TCS? Where do you see yourself 5 yrs from now?


4. What is the difference between consulting and delivery. 5. What are the various marketing steps involved in a typical IT consulting project 6. Describe your project management experience/ Leadership experience / Team work experience. 7. How would you convince a customer to choose TCS over other vendors for a IT service project. 8. How important is Brand for a IT services company? Think of a brand vision statement for TCS. Ester Martinez Two interviews, one in ISB and one in Bombay For a lateral position First interview: VP Corporate Transformation & Regional Manager (AP) Background and Experience Who do you conceive the HR function in a company? What should be their scope? Which profiles should a company have in the HR department? What is your opinion of the assessment centers? What would make the HR manager and the business manager work together if they have never done it? How is your sense of humor? Tell us a joke. Did you attend the ppt? What did you thought about TCS. Why India? Why IT?

Second interview VP Human Resources Corporate Background and Experience (repetition) What do you thing are the challenges in HR in IT outsourcing? How would you conceive transformation of a corporate? How would you implement a change from a tradition IT software into a Global consultancy firm? Role expectations Location expectations Salary expectations Tips They are looking for people with their own opinion about hot topics in the area that the role will be located. They want to assess your interest Know what you want in terms of content of job, conditions, salary.


Contact me at

Shyam Murali TCS Interview 1) First round GD 30 minute GD. I think they looked for a couple of good points, aggression not a plus. 20 of the 50-60 short listed for GD moved into the first round of interview. Round 1 One hour interview. Panel of three. Mostly resume based. Some ppl were asked concepts from their major marketing, fin questions, some strategy stuff etc. Mine was purely resume based and personal. Round 2 15 shortlisted for the final round of interviews. Panel of 7-8 ppl including the three ppl who interviewed me in round 1. These three only observed. Idea was to get the whole panel approve the decision made in round 1. My was short and personal. Around 10-15 mins. 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) How was the interview process Vision in life Roles Im looking for My role model More resume questions, questions on achievements/hobbies etc

Second round interviews for others related to questions on majors. Marketing ppl questioned on market research, surveys, product life cycle, diffusion etc. Of the 15 short listed for the final round. Six of us accepted, including me. SIDDHARTH MOHAN TCS On-Campus Interview:


My Background: Undergrad from the London School of Economics in Economics. 2 years of running my own restaurant chain in Delhi. Fin and Tech major at ISB. No tech training at all. Procedure: There was a group discussion on the previous evening. We were about 8 students in the room with two observers from TCS. The topic was Made in India A global reality. We were told that they did not want all of us to come to some consensus but more importantly to discuss the topic thoroughly. We were given about 20 minutes for this exercise. The second round was the next morning and it was an interview with 2/3 TCS people. This was the general resume based interview. Though this round should last on average half hour, mine lasted almost one full hour and most of the questions came from one person only. The others in my case were observing rather than asking questions. Then there was a third round with Mr Vishwanath from TCS (he is the senior guy with the white beard). This round was a complete stress interview and my recommendation would be either do not be the first person to go in, or if you have no choice then be prepared the handle the toughest questions ever (see below). Round 3 lasted about 45 minutes for each person. Sample Questions: Round 2 - So tell us why you would like to join TCS - Why dont you want to go back to your previous line of business - Do you think you are suited for a role in technology - What do you understand your role to be in company as TCS - Where do you see yourself fitting into the whole setup - Why ISB What have you enjoyed about ISB Round 3 - You have no tech background, you know we have guys from IIT with experience, do you think you can match up to them - First LSE then ISB, it seems to me you just go around getting yourself branded - Name all the tech courses you have taken, name all the Fin courses you have taken - You cant even remember all your courses, you dont seem to be serious about your education here, or did you just sit through the classes without paying attention - What was wrong with all the internet models that failed in the past - What are your weaknesses - How do you value a company (valuation); then how do you value a brand - What do you do when you are competing in a market where your product is being treated as a commodity - Why did you choose ISB I think this one year model is really not up to the mark - What was your biggest takeaway from your ISB experience - What ROI are you looking for with the money you have spent here


Experience: I know from the sample questions I have listed in Round 3 do not seem too stressful, but imagine sitting in a room where there are 7-8 people on the other side just staring at you and noting down every mistake you are making. All the questions are being asked by a senior gentleman who glares down at you. He is polite with just a hint of sarcasm in his voice to make you feel as if he doesnt really believe a word you telling him. Even before you finish one answer he moves on to the next. You should know that Mr Vishwanath is a real champion of ISB at TCS though he gives everyone a rough time. The key is to keep your cool even though some questions are offensive. Round 2 for me was totally resume based and I had to convince them hard of why I was switching career tracks. Its difficult because they kept coming back to the same question. You have to be convinced yourself if you want to convince them. I have to say that the presence of 2 alumni did help as they kept giving their words of advice and encouragement in between the interviews. Overall the process was rigorous and you come out feeling you worked hard for that offer. Vikramjit Grewal The first round was a GD in which the topic was Is the Indian BPO sector headed the dotcom way Subsequent to that there were two rounds of interview. The first round was basically resume based.. Since I had indicated my interest for the role of a BRM and BDM they asked me questions such as 1. What are the qualities that a marketing manager requires 2. What are the 4 Ps 3. What are roles and responsibilities of a BDM according to you 4. Why TCS?? 5. What additional offers do you have and why arent you taking them up? 6. What do you think about TCS as a company? 7. The asked very specific questions regarding the telecom vertical ( I had worked in Wipro on this) The second round of interview was a stress interview. At the start of the interview the interviewer told me that he is feeling very bored listening to the same faff non stop so why dont I tell him a joke. After that he started taking my trip on why a one year MBA is not worth it, I tried defending it but he was not interested. He asked very specific marketing questions again, like what is the difference between brand equity and the value of a brand. What is the difference between a test market and market testing. He asked a few questions on MR which I cant recall. He then said that he cant offer me BDM and BRM roles but would like me to start as a PM. Thankfully the alums had warned me about this. The best way to handle this for TCS


is to say you have no problem. They basically want to test your flexibility. The people who come and take the interview are not the ones that decide the final role!!!

2.4.15. VCUSTOMER HARPREET SINGH 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Tell me about yourself About previous job what were the things you did not like in your job What kind of job r u looking for. If finance, what kind of finance. Why? Nothing technical, only personal interview. Main consideration is the case.

Sohit Brahmawar 1. Generic background questions Why vCustomer, Team management example and the routine 3-4 starting questions.(Approx 5 mts) 2. What do you know about the BPO industry and how do you think you can contribute to vCustomer.(approx 2-3 mts) 3. Can U co-relate your work experience (Merchant Navy) with BPO?(2-3mts) 4. If you realize your competitor BPO is able to provide service at a lower cost then what will you do.(6-8 mts Basically the operations management stuff) 5. Some HR type questions: Strengths, weaknesses, Setbacks and response.(5 mts) It was a non-stress interview and apart from the normal interview preparations, what helped were the concepts of operations management course. Total interview duration was about 25 mts. RAJESH MALLAYA Job Role (as per your present understanding): Management of Accounts assigned to ensure all client service delivery metrics are met along with overall client satisfaction; Client coordination and accounts relationship management; Work with HR to develop Motivation, Retention, performance incentive plans so that it results in increased performance, productivity and quality of team members; Ensure proper staffing within team and also proper communication across all lines of authority within the team Reporting details (who all you report to and who reports to you - job titles only)


Senior Mangers / Group and team leaders.

What preparations did you make at pre interview stage; this is specific to the job offer you have accepted? Please be as detailed as you can! On resume: Reoriented the key aspect of the CV i.e. my work experience on creating quality system was projected up the line. Communication skills: worked on key issues and the way to present if asked Mock interview practice: Though about issues such as why this industry? What growth plan in this area? Collecting information of company / role: Attended all the session of outside speakers. One of these speakers was Mr. Sanjay Kumar. Though his speech I understood the importance place by the organization on quality and process systematization. ( that is why ISO9000 work in my CV was featuring on the top of the list.) Technical / subject / functional preparations: Just comfortable with all the key concepts learnt at ISB. PPTs stage:- Nil Any other details:- Nil Give details of the initial interview process? Group discussions: Nil Case study Analysis , presentations etc: A written case was given to work on. This was primarily around a call center operation and manpower planning. The knowledge was though variety of operations courses attended at ISB. Assessment centre: Nil Management games: Nil Panel / one on one interview: Only one interview (I could see my written exam marks so ) Telecon interviews: Nil Video conferencing etc: Nil Any other details ( names of your interview panel , designations if you can ) Our Alumnus, Mr. Siddharth Choudhary AVP Logistics What questions were asked? Please give details. Starting / warm up questions: Introduction only past experience, and ISB experience Technical / Functional questions: Subjects at ISB (Just few names), detailed questioning about ISO9000 Rapid fire/ unrelated questions (if any): Nil People skills / Soft skills questions: Few questions on why this industry and like.


Closing / concluding questions: How may years you will stay in this company? Any significant learning you have picked up at this stage or and any mistake you made in asking / answering questions , that you feel you could have done better , if so what are the details ?

It is good to be over prepared than under prepared. Be comfortable with all the details on your CV( because you change the order of the key highlights for every job). Take a copy of your CV with you. During my case the panel could not locate my CV and my copy was a helpful. Final stages of your interview: I had only one Stage interview and the second salary information session

2.4.16. VERIZON RAMAKRISHNA RS Interviewed by the Chennai Verizon MD. Primarily questions about my interests in life. 1. Tell me about yourself. 2. have you managed teams? 3. if so, when and how? 4. how any people in the team? 5. did you recruit them? 6. problems you faced in team management? 7. What do you want to do in life professionally? 8. Why do product development? (when I said I like developing new products) 9. why not services? 10. Why telecom? (pretty dumb question I thought, given my background) 11. What do you think was lacking in our PPT? 12. What could we have done better in terms of pitching Verizon to the students? 13. Any questions? Got the offer. Again, pretty sedate. They were just evaluating you on basic characteristics. Ryan Pais Verizon (1 interview 40 minutes): 1) Tell me about yourself? 2) Verizon want to market itself using a very small marketing budget (not enough for TV or newspaper ads). Besides, we provide almost no services in India. Give


us an innovative method by which we could make ourselves known to a large number of people? 3) Tell me what you know about the telecom industry in India? 4) Why do you want to join Verizon? 5) Give me any innovative ideas (even half baked ones) which we could implement in Telecom once you were hired by Verizon? 2.4.17. VIRTUSA AARTI ASHOK Company: Virtusa (India) Pvt. Ltd. Post: Business Analyst Process: Interview Only Interview Panel: Santanu Paul Paresh Shrivatsav General Manager & Head of Productisation Project Manager 1 hour

Duration of Interview:

Interview Process: Questions based on resume including education, work experience, projects done at work and at ISB, positions of leadership held, etc Why Virtusa, what do you know about the company? What are your immediate and long term ambitions? What is the exact profile of the role that you wish to perform at Virtusa? What is the domain that you would like to specialize in and why? What is the procedure to acquire new business in the domain of your choice? What is the best method of eliciting user requirements from clients? What is your idea of a good URD (User Requirements Document)? What organization initiatives have you taken? Are you averse to travel? My impressions Interviewers are friendly and cordial. Not a stress interview. You are encouraged to give any information that will help your selection process. Confidence, clarity and a good resume will win you points. 2.4.18. WIPRO ANURAG RASTOGI

101 RESULT : NOT MADE AN OFFER. DURATION : 2 INTERVIEWS OF 30 MINUTES EACH. 1) What was your educational background before ISB. How many years of work experience did you have at the time of joining ISB and in which domain? B.Tech. (Textile Technology), IIT Delhi 4 years Infosys Marketing, Project Management and IT Consultancy. 2) What are the roles for which your company (WIPRO) recruits? All levels & All Roles: Account Management. Presales leading to BDM. IT Strategy Consulting. 3) How should one prepare to interview with your firm - specifically for each role, and your domain in general? Prepare for a usual general interview questions like Why WIPRO, What are your expectations, etc.? Be extremely thorough with all sorts of possible questions on your Resume I was grilled on the Project Management side of IT! 4) What was company looking for (please give your opinion for each of these factors) Leadership skills Domain experience Profile Attitude Aptitude/problem solving skills Enthusiasm/passion Any other factors that may be important I am NOT clear! Maybe the people selected can be better judges of this. But in my opinion like any other IT company they too are looking at filling bodies! 5) Please describe your firms interviewing process? Pre-selection (what important attributes do they look for when short-listing? Any pointers for resumes/EOI?) Resume. How many rounds of interviews? 2 Are group discussions and presentations part of the interview? NO.


The number of interviewers and how long does an average interview last? 2 interviewers per panel 6) Could you give us an idea of salaries at different job levels in your firm as well as a comparison of the take home v/s quoted cost-to-company salary? VERY LOW! Around 5.5-7 lacks CTC! Moreover there is NO guarantee that they would send you abroad. But it is implicit that being from a B-School and if you are selected for a BDM role then you would go abroad in 6 months 1 year period! From other sources of knowledge, WIPRO has a better work environment than Infosys, Satyam, TCS. The attrition rate is much lower implying that people are genuinely happy working here. 7) Can you please share any other information that can help the placements at ISB this year? QUESTION BANK AND SHORT REPLIES: The Usual questions: Tell me about yourself? Why WIPRO? What role would you like to work in? I said BDM. The Unusual questions: Q1. What goes into making a proposal? How is the process carried out? My Answer: Process: After receiving a RFP (Request For Proposal) Do background check to see whether similar projects were executed in the company Talk to people working on existing or prior projects to discuss the issues involved in the proposal Prepare a list of questions to ask the client Client conference for clarifications Prepare a draft version of proposal Get the proposal reviewed from Others Send across the Proposal to the Client Have another conference for client clarifications Negotiate with the client / Clarify issues for the client Submit final proposal. Q2. Which part of the proposal did you usually work on? My Answer: I have worked on all parts of a proposal from Technical to Commercial. Of course I was working on one or two particular parts for any given proposal. But for different proposals I have worked on all parts. Q3. What do you think is the most important part of a proposal? My Answer: SCOPE


The scope should be inclusive enough to include all relevant parts of a project and exclusive enough to avoid any ambiguity during the implementation phase. Q4. Lots of questions on project management: What are the different methods of estimation? Function Points, LOC, Use Case Describe how you did any one estimation? Use Cases Function Points [Caper Jones Table]. Challenges during project management? Timely completion, Avoiding Effort overruns, Scheduling, Change Management, Quality initiatives, etc. Any failures? YES, Time overrun by 20% (Due to midproject changes) What if Questions<Dont remember now> Q5. You have worked mainly in Financial Services domain and how much time would you take to shift to a new domain? My Answer: I feel that for a BDM role it should not take more than a month to bring myself up to speed on a new domain. It would also take me that much time to learn about the SCAs of WIPRO which are marketed to the clients in their proposals. Moreover as a BDM placed onsite, I would have to work with Project Managers offshore for writing proposals. So, it would take that much time to build working relationships offshore before flying onsite for my client assignments. Comments: The reason for not making an offer - They felt a person needs to be offshore for 6 months and needs to prove himself in Presales before he can be posted onsite in the role of a BDM. Whereas I took the stance that I had already done Presales for about a year and felt that one month was sufficient for making the transition onsite. They were willing to offer me an immediate onsite posting as an account manager, but I did not want to be stuck in a delivery role at one location. I wanted to do Marketing (BDM). Govind Maheshwari Interview with Wipro Technologies Questions 1. Tell us something about yourself that is not in your resume 2. How many offers have you already been made? (I had an offer from Infosys at the time of the interview) 3. So, why is it that you are applying to Wipro? 4. What role are you seeking at Wipro? (I mentioned about my interest in business development) 5. Why do you want to do business development? 6. What do you understand about the role of business development?


7. How would you convince the client about the need to implement technology solutions? 8. How would you convince the client about partnering with Wipro instead of our other competitors? 9. What do you understand about the retail vertical? ( I was keen to get into the retail vertical) 10. Do you have location constraints? I was made an offer in business development in the retail vertical. 2nd round was a negotiation with the recruiter about salary, location, job description and reporting structure. Note: In our batch, most of us received more than what we initially were offered, but obviously less than what we asked. Kashyap Kompella 1. Wipro Infotech works for clients in India, Asia-pacific and the Middle-East. 2. Wipro Technologies works for clients in North America, Europe and Japan. On the ISB placement website, separate applications were not asked for 1 or 2 but based on previous experience Wipro short listed people for interviews for either 1 or 2. I was initially short listed for Infotech The interview lasted around 20 minutes. The questions were like: What are the qualities needed in a consultant? How do consultants add value? What value do they add value? Tell us about an instance in which you generated addl. business for your company. What are your travel / location preferences?

The interviewers explained the way Wipro Infotech. and Technologies operate and asked me if I would be interested in Infotech. or Technologies. Then they informed me that the Wipro technologies panel also wants to talk to me. I then interviewed with the Wipro Technologies panel. In discussions lasting 20 about 20 minutes, I was asked about: My motivation for coming to ISB Previous work


What is the role you expect? What would that role/position entail (i.e. responsibilities of that position)? How would you market a start-up firms products? Whats your preference Wipro Infotech or Technologies? Preferences about pay, location, travel etc.

Later, they came up with a list of offers and then had a discussion with HR about compensation. My background: B.E. (Electrical & Electronics); 5 years of experience in software RAMKRISHNA RS I pitched for the telecom/datacom/embedded systems group for BD role. Apparently they did not have such roles open. So did not get the offer. I had three rounds although. One, with wipro infotech that shortlisted me. I told them I am interested in wipro technologies and they referred me to wipro tech. wipro tech guys took my general interview, about my background and work ex. I told them what my interests were, gave them numbers about the size and growth of the group I was gunning for (they were mighty impressed). They referred me to the head of telecom and datacom and he again asked me to go through my work experience, why mba, why isb, my strengths and weaknesses, why his group, my career goals etc. Tarun Sharma Process: 2 interviews . First one was a general interview and the second one was a Vertical specific interview with the vertical Head. Wipro seemed to be looking for people with profiles suited to their current business needs e.g. for Verticals like Retail, Telecom and Energy & Utilities. Mine was the last one (E&U) because of my prior work experience. This might change from year to year depending on the cos requirement. First Interview: General Why ISB & MBA? Do you have any experience in Project management and then a few questions from the resume on specific project? How do you do estimation and work allocation on projects. I said FPA (Function Point Analysis) and some gyan relating it. A Must Know.


Flexibility of role. Wipro was offering different roles like Business Analyst, BD, Consulting etc. I was asked a Q on this. I said Im flexible on the role and would like to see where I fit the most, and not just force-fit myself. I also asked them how easy it was to move across these roles. Key Point: Being flexible helps You can always migrate to a different role later if youre more suited for that.But dont close any doors for yourself early on.

Some personal questions from the resume. Actually as with most of the interviews it was also Resume based - on the stuff youve done pre-ISB and in ISB.

After the first interview and seeing that I had a E&U vertical experience, I was interviewed by the VP of Wipros E&U vertical practice. Again resume/project based. How would you contribute? Lot of fit type questions Would you be comfortable working in specific group etc.? Would you be OK with overseas travel ? Even Location .

Some general Tips for interviews: IT Related As mentioned above Be flexible to a certain extent on the roles you want to take up. Many a times you might be rejected because you were too rigid on some kind of role. Cover basic Project Management concepts like Estimation/ SDLC/ SLA/CMM/Six Sigma etc. Really Help. Eg. FPA Be clear on the role the company is offering and suit your answers accordingly. This is important, as for e.g. if the company is offering roles for Business Development, do a basic ground-check on their currents projects/requirement from websites etc. This way you could formulate an answer the interviewer wants to listen. KNOW YOUR RESUME. Cant stress enough.


Shashank Shekhar Email: Wipro Infotech: Some resume based questions and since they were interviewing me for consulting, hence quite a lot of general question (also things related to insurance as I had earlier worked on Insurance projects. First they gave me an introduction on the consulting division and asked me whether I would be interested in consulting. These guys were pretty straight forward about the difficulties that can come like frequent traveling, possible posting to remote location in small teams of 2. Describe how insurance works? Had prepared for thatlike various processes.production, ratemaking, underwriting adjustment etc.different lines of insuranceP&C, Life, Health,..stuff like reinsurance and co-insurance. Could you tell us what changes were witnessed in the Insurance Industry after 9/11? - Some new coverages relating to terrorism protection introduced, federal insurance schemes and write-offs in US. - Effect on re-insurance companies like Swiss Re and Genoa Re What was the news relating to banking sector in India in last couple of days? Thank God I was reading ET FDI Cap was raised from 49 to 72 % or was it 78%? If you are in a distant location with a client who is not very interested in getting the work done, how will manage the situation? You have only weekly access to your headquarters and no support This could be tough, be prepared on surprises on softer questions..I always found the personal / softer question very guess that most of these questions are for judging the fit. How would you manage client relationship, in cases where you are given wher you may have to do vendor selection for client and one of your own divisions is bidding for project. Give answer which you believe you will do I said that if my other division is a competent bidder then will try to get an arrangement which will generate more business for my company. (had quite a long discussion on thisone if the interviewers saying that in Consulting client comes first and our aim is not to generate business for our downstream unit.and I thought that the interview got over there..but then they had other questions.)


Shyam S Murali Wipro Interview Just one round of interview. Panel of two. Approx 30 minutes. Questions 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) What is your understanding of the role of a business analyst? Which vertical would you want to work in? - retail Talked abt applying tech to retail, current trends etc Asked to describe one of my projects in my previous company Analyze attractiveness of any industry other than it used five force framework to analyze the BPO industry. 6) What should be done by BPO players in India to derive a sustainable competitive advantage? 7) Questions on resume.

Made an offer. Those who received offers were called in for another discussion on the role and compensation. Ankur Saigal 1) Primarily a personal interview. 2) Can be thorough on the resume. Again do not overstate any achievement in the resume. 3) Questions like Why MBA, Why presales/business development/consulting depending upon the area you applied for. 4) Other questions I was asked were moral dilemma at work place, strengths, weaknesses and one place where you made a difference (personal or professional).

2.4.19. ACCENTURE Prashan Agarwal About the company? Accenture in India is present as 3 entities Consulting, India Delivery Center, BPO. Accenture Consulting came here for hiring people for the Tech Consulting division which


is mainly into IT Strategy, ERP Consulting (not implementation), etc. They have offices in Delhi and Mumbai and have a total strength of around 130 people. What they look for? They were looking for people from diverse backgrounds IT Consulting, ERP, SAP, Manufacturing background. They generally prefer people who they can easily fit into their culture so probably having less years of experience helps. Questions? General Fit Questions why consulting, why accenture, why would you not take the offer from other companies that you currently have, etc. Salary? They pay in the range of 6-7 lacs p.a. for an analyst with around 2-3 years of experience. 2.4.20. BBBBB 2.5. TELECOM 2.5.1. RELIANCE INFOCOMM ASHISH SIDHRA Observations: The process consisted of hour of interviews. 1) The panel consisted of Group HR head for Infocomm, Head of operations for AP region, two HR dept. Employees and one other person. 2) They seemed to have studied the resumes in great detail and had some idea about the profile fit for which I was going to be tested, even before the interview. So prepare your resume well. Questions: 1) What type of role you are looking for in Reliance Infocomm? 2) In terms of strategy, what is more important, the strategy conceptualization or the implementation? 3) Why do we need internal strategy planning for an organization when we can easily get it done from top notch consulting firms like Mckinsey etc? 4) With the top guys in the organization like Mukesh Ambani and Bajpai (Infocomm group president) busy formulating strategy for the group, how can you contribute to the group strategy with your limited experience? 5) In view of the ever decreasing margins in our business, suggest methods of decreasing costs.


6) What do you know about outsourcing of network management and IT assets in Indian telecom industry? 7) What is an MVNO (Mobile virtual network operator)? How relevant is this concept in the Indian context? 8) How can we reduce dependence on voice as the basic revenue generator? 9) What is the future of data as an alternate revenue stream, in India? 10) How can we popularize data utilization among the masses in India? 11) What would be the target segments for this purpose? SUNANDA MITRA Since I am from Mudra, an Ambani owned agency, the first few questions were related to who all I knew in Mudra and the clients I worked for. The rest went like this: 1. Personal background questions on family 2. How this one year at ISB has helped me. Was it worth the money I paid? (!!!!!). they then quizzed me on balance sheets on my saying that I got exposed to new subjects like financial accounting. 3. How would my experience with F&B clients come of use in this particular sector (telecom) 4. Question on branding: What do I think is more important: the umbrella corporate branding or the individual product branding? Why? What should be the case at Reliance with all its various products? 5. Generally tapped to see how much I know of their telecom business. The extent of their business. All of this carried on for not more than 20mins.

2.5.2. BBBBB 2.6. OTHERS 2.6.1. ASTRA ZENECA Ryan Pais AstraZeneca Pharma (4 interviews 30 minutes each) 1) Why do you want to get into the pharma industry? 2) What do you know about AstraZeneca? 3) Suppose you were a project manager for Astra. You had the choice of sourcing a project to India or China. Which country would you choose? Support your argument. 4) Give me an instance where you demonstrated leadership and initiative in the work place and out of the work place.


5) Give me an instance when you had the change to implement a change or an idea. What were the obstacles you encountered and how did you overcome them? 6) Give me a 3 minute briefing on the pharma industry.

3. QUESTION BANK FOR FINANCE INTERVIEWS Sunaina Dhanuka Behavioral Questions 1. Tell me about yourself. Cite recent personal and professional work experiences that relate to the position you're seeking and that support your resume credentials. 1-2 minutes See 109 questions Question 1 Prepare a 1-2 minute response that explains your background and training related to this position. Use this time to mention things that the employer needs to know, such as certificates or recent classes you're taken. 2. What are your major weaknesses? Your major strengths? Strengths - Include four specific skills that employers value highly: self-motivation, initiative, the ability to work in a team and a willingness to work long hours. Additional qualities employers admire include good communication skills, loyalty, reliability, integrity, promptness and self-confidence. Weaknesses- Your objective isn't to discuss your weaknesses as much as it is to discuss how and why even your shortcomings make you an ideal candidate. Assume that you're detail-oriented, a workaholic and that you neglect friends and family when working on important projects. You can turn these weaknesses around by saying that you're very meticulous and remain involved in projects until you've ironed out all the problems, even if it means working overtime. This way you've cast your weaknesses into positives most bosses would find irresistible. 3. What causes you to lose your temper?

4. 5.

What role does your family play in your career? How well do you work under pressure? In meeting deadlines?


6. 7. 8. 9.

How much initiative do you take? Why should we hire you? What do you look for in a job? How long would it take you to make a meaningful contribution to our firm? Keep it brief -- give an action- and results-oriented definition. Not long at all -- you expect only a brief period of adjustment to the learning curve.

10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33.

How long would you stay with us? Tell me about a time you failed miserably in your career. What are your salary expectations for this position What is your beta? take it in the spirit and reply based on how risky you think you are Tell me a good joke that is neither sexist nor racist What specific goals, including those related to your occupation, have you established for your life? Describe yourself in three words. How would your friends describe you? If you are on this panel, what would you be looking for in the candidate for this position? What are your reading habits? Describe your ideal career? Whats your dream job? Tell me about a time you persuaded others to adopt your ideas? Tell me about a time when you implemented an unpopular idea? What was the last book you read? Who is the person you admire the most? What type of management style do you think is effective? Tell me about a learning experience that affected your management style. What do you like to do for fun? What sport do you play? Tell me about your most difficult or personal experience. What is the biggest risk you have ever taken? What are you most proud of? This is a great place to talk about extracurricular activities or personal interests. This helps the interviewer get to know you better. Be prepared to share interesting anecdotes that show a passion for the activities you have pursued. This is also a great place to highlight your abilities as a leader.



Ten years from now, you are making a presentation to the Board of Directors. What would you be presenting to them?


Technical questions 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. Name three companies that you think are undervalued and tell me why you think they are. Which industries are you interested in and tell me the multiples of those industries. Different forms of US corporations (specially for me) What stocks do you like? Can you tell me a recent IPO that you followed? What is your investing strategy? You are in the board of directors of a company and own a significant chunk of the company. The CEO, in his annual presentation, states that the companys stock is doing as it has gone up 20 percent in the last 12 months. Is the companys stock doing well? First ask about the beta of the company 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. Tax regulations for mergers/demergers in India Takeover regulations Accounting standards Describe a recent M&A transaction that you have read about. how was it structured and likely impact on the earnings Can you name two companies which you think should merge? What is the extent of liquidity in debt markets today? What is the exchange rate? What is the expected movement? WILL THE RUPEE STRENGTHEN TO 45? There seems to be an all round belief-our 304 executives in the poll included that the rupee will continue to harden versus the dollar even in the next year. Jamal Mecklai, CEO & MD, Mecklai Financial and Commercial Services, predicts that the rupee will touch 44.50 by the end of 2004. The reason, he says, is simple: America's huge current account deficit ($500 billion) combined with an all-time low rate of interest of 1 per cent will continue to keep the dollar weak against other major currencies. Even in the case of an upturn in the US economy, Mecklai argues, the US Fed may not necessarily increase the rate of interest. Besides, if China agrees to devalue its yuan


(current exchange rate versus dollar is 8.28), the rupee may grow stronger still. At the moment, though, it is safe to expect the rupee to remain in the 45 to 47 band. (Source: Business Today Jan 2004) 49. What does the Asian Bond Fund do? As the name suggests, an Asian Bond Fund (ABF) is simply a fund that invests in the bonds of Asian countries. These could be sovereign bonds, ie bonds issued by the governments or sovereigns of the countries in question, and would typically be denominated in dollars, or they could be local currency bonds, including corporate paper. What is the need for an ABF? The need for an ABF can be traced back to the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98. The crisis forced economists and policy makers everywhere to try and think of ways to prevent a recurrence of such developments in future. There are many explanations for the crises, but they can be divided broadly into two categories. The first emphasises that the crisis was self-made, the result of crony capitalism. The other emphasises panic. It points out that by conventional indicators, the SE Asian economies were in comparatively good health and there is no explanation for this abrupt loss in confidence other than the fact that international capital is extraordinary fickle, footloose and suffers from herd mentality. The consequences, needless, to say, are traumatic. The five worst-affected SE Asian economies ( Indonesia , Malaysia , Thailand , S Korea and the Philippines ) saw a shift of $105bn in a single year 11% of their combined GDP. These two interpretations of what caused the crisis throw up different answers about how best to prevent and deal with future crises. If crony capitalism is the reason, then the solution lies in reforms aimed at ensuring transparency, improving supervision and limiting moral hazard. But if the reason is panic and fickleness of global capital flows, then the answer lies in providing institutional alternatives to lend greater stability to markets. This is where an ABF comes in. How will an ABF help? The first initiative to find an institutional alternative was launched at the Thai city of Chiang Mai in 1997. Though nothing came of the Chiang Mai initiative and the subsequent relatively-strong recovery of these economies put such initiatives on the back-burner. The resurgence of private capital flows to emerging markets in recent times has once again turned attention to the need for setting in place institutional mechanisms to act as a safeguard in the event of a sudden reversal. One such mechanism could be an ABF that would invest in sovereign and quasisovereign Asian bonds so that countries would not find themselves left in the lurch if and when private capital starts flowing out. Typically. that is when countries find international capital markets turn against them. The ABF, however, would be like a lender of last resort. It would provide them the much-needed


capital. Indeed, the sheer knowledge that there is such a fund could stem the rout in confidence and prevent a crisis from occurring in the first place. In June 03, the Bank of International Settlements and a group of Asian central banks announced a $1bn ABF, known as ABF1 (as distinct from ABF2, which is to invest in local currency paper) to invest in Asian sovereign bonds. The fledging fund is really too small at the moment, the hope however, is that it will grow in time and be able to offer sufficient succour to beleaguered countries in times of need. ABF2 (to start with this would also be a $1bn fund) is of even more recent origin and is really more an idea than a reality at the moment. An ABF could provide an alternate avenue for investing some of the huge store of reserves built up by Asian central banks more than $1.8 trillion in November 03. The bulk of these reserves is invested in low-yielding US Treasury bills when they should actually be in capital-scarce Asia where they could earn higher rates of return. By acting as a contrarian fund (buying when others are selling) the ABF could step in at precisely the time that private capital flows out and restore some sense/order to markets. It would also help develop the regions bond markets by adding to the volumes. Deeper markets and a proper yield curve would emerge that would help banks and investors to price risk better. It would also enable corporates to reduce their dependence on banks and turn instead to the bond market a more efficient way of spreading risk and recycling funds, since bonds can be traded in the secondary market while bank loans cannot (unless, of course, they are securitised).


Yield curve current nature and past trend.


Merrill Expects yields to steepen on long-tenor gilts Yields on government securities are expected to steepen further towards the long end and as a result it will be wise to concentrate on short-term maturities, according to the fixed income strategy issued by Merrill Lynch for this month. (Nov 03) According to the investment banking outfit, the reason for the shift to short term maturities is that the short end of the yield curve is expected to be relatively insulated from the overall weakness as liquidity and shifting market preferences support this segment. The steepening of the yield curve is due to the term spreads widening especially in the 10 and 20 year segments. Surplus liquidity and lower dated security supply are the two positive factors that will continue to support the market in the near term. 51. What risks does a bank face? Risk mitigating measures used by banks. Banking, by its nature, entails taking a wide array of risks. Banking supervisors need to understand these risks and be satisfied that banks are adequately measuring and managing them. The key risks faced by banks are discussed below. Credit risk The extension of loans is the primary activity of most banks. Lending activities require banks to make judgements related to the creditworthiness of borrowers. These judgements do not always prove to be accurate and the creditworthiness of a borrower may decline over time due to various factors. Consequently, a major risk that banks face is credit risk or the failure of a counterparty to perform


according to a contractual arrangement. This risk applies not only to loans but to other on- and off-balance sheet exposures such as guarantees, acceptances and securities investments. Serious banking problems have arisen from the failure of banks to recognise impaired assets, to create reserves for writing off these assets, and to suspend recognition of interest income when appropriate. Large exposures to a single borrower, or to a group of related borrowers are a common cause of banking problems in that they represent a credit risk concentration. Large concentrations can also arise with respect to particular industries, economic sectors, or geographical regions or by having sets of loans with other characteristics that make them vulnerable to the same economic factors (e.g., highly-leveraged transactions). Connected lending - the extension of credit to individuals or firms connected to the bank through ownership or through the ability to exert direct or indirect control - if not properly controlled, can lead to significant problems because determinations regarding the creditworthiness of the borrower are not always made objectively. Connected parties include a bank's parent organisation, major shareholders, subsidiaries, affiliated entities, directors, and executive officers. Firms are also connected when they are controlled by the same family or group. In these, or in similar, circumstances, the connection can lead to preferential treatment in lending and thus greater risk of loan losses. Country and transfer risk In addition to the counterparty credit risk inherent in lending, international lending also includes country risk, which refers to risks associated with the economic, social and political environments of the borrower's home country. Country risk may be most apparent when lending to foreign governments or their agencies, since such lending is typically unsecured, but is important to consider when making any foreign loan or investment, whether to public or private borrowers. There is also a component of country risk called "transfer risk" which arises when a borrower's obligation is not denominated in the local currency. The currency of the obligation may become unavailable to the borrower regardless of its particular financial condition. Market risk Banks face a risk of losses in on- and off-balance sheet positions arising from movements in market prices. Established accounting principles cause these risks to be typically most visible in a bank's trading activities, whether they involve debt or equity instruments, or foreign exchange or commodity positions. One specific element of market risk is foreign exchange risk. Banks act as "marketmakers" in foreign exchange by quoting rates to their customers and by taking open positions in currencies. The risks inherent in foreign exchange business,


particularly in running open foreign exchange positions, are increased during periods of instability in exchange rates. Interest rate risk Interest rate risk refers to the exposure of a bank's financial condition to adverse movements in interest rates. This risk impacts both the earnings of a bank and the economic value of its assets, liabilities and off-balance sheet instruments. The primary forms of interest rate risk to which banks are typically exposed are: (1) repricing risk, which arises from timing differences in the maturity (for fixed rate) and repricing (for floating rate) of bank assets, liabilities and off-balance sheet positions; (2) yield curve risk, which arises from changes in the slope and shape of the yield curve; (3) basis risk, which arises from imperfect correlation in the adjustment of the rates earned and paid on different instruments with otherwise similar repricing characteristics; and (4) optionality, which arises from the express or implied options imbedded in many bank assets, liabilities and off-balance sheet portfolios. Although such risk is a normal part of banking, excessive interest rate risk can pose a significant threat to a bank's earnings and capital base. Managing this risk is of growing importance in sophisticated financial markets where customers actively manage their interest rate exposure. Special attention should be paid to this risk in countries where interest rates are being deregulated. Liquidity risk Liquidity risk arises from the inability of a bank to accommodate decreases in liabilities or to fund increases in assets. When a bank has inadequate liquidity, it cannot obtain sufficient funds, either by increasing liabilities or by converting assets promptly, at a reasonable cost, thereby affecting profitability. In extreme cases, insufficient liquidity can lead to the insolvency of a bank. Operational risk The most important types of operational risk involve breakdowns in internal controls and corporate governance. Such breakdowns can lead to financial losses through error, fraud, or failure to perform in a timely manner or cause the interests of the bank to be compromised in some other way, for example, by its dealers, lending officers or other staff exceeding their authority or conducting business in an unethical or risky manner. Other aspects of operational risk include major failure of information technology systems or events such as major fires or other disasters. Legal risk Banks are subject to various forms of legal risk. This can include the risk that assets will turn out to be worth less or liabilities will turn out to be greater than expected because of inadequate or incorrect legal advice or documentation. In


addition, existing laws may fail to resolve legal issues involving a bank; a court case involving a particular bank may have wider implications for banking business and involve costs to it and many or all other banks; and, laws affecting banks or other commercial enterprises may change. Banks are particularly susceptible to legal risks when entering new types of transactions and when the legal right of a counterparty to enter into a transaction is not established. Reputational risk Reputational risk arises from operational failures, failure to comply with relevant laws and regulations, or other sources. Reputational risk is particularly damaging for banks since the nature of their business requires maintaining the confidence of depositors, creditors and the general marketplace 52. Prevailing level of NPAs in India

Table I.1: Select Financial Sector Indicators: 2001-02 Vis--Vis 2002-03 Financial Entity 1 Indicator 2001-02 2002-03

I Scheduled a) Growth in Major Aggregates (Per cent) 14.6 Commercial Aggregate Deposits Non-food Credit 13.6 Banks Investment in Government Securities 20.9 b) Financial Indicators (as percentage of total assets) Operating Profits 1.9 Net Profits 0.8 Spread 2.6 c) Non-Performing Assets (as percentage of advances) Gross NPA 10.4 Net NPA 5.5

13.4 * 18.6 * 27.3

2.4 1.0 2.8

8.8 4.4


Recent regulatory changes in banking sector


What do you know about working capital management?


55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60.

Imagine you are a forex trader. A corporate asks for a quote for a 6 month forward dollar. How will you arrive at a quote? What is the role of FRBs in volatile markets? How to value a company for takeover? What do you know about US-64? What are the key problems of the Indian debt market? (Answer: Lack of liquidity, secondary market, flat yield curve etc.) On which securities are repos allowed? Currently in t-bills and government securities. RBI plans to start repos in corporate bonds soon. What are different methods of pricing FRBs? What is the correlation between D/E and ROCE? What do you know about FIIs and their behaviour in the capital market? What are your views on the current reforms in the Indian banking sector e.g. liberation of banking ratios such as SLR and CRR? If you were Manmohan Singh or Yashwant Sinha, what would be your budget proposals? What are the SEBI guidelines on say insider trading or takeovers? What are the five methods of pricing (finding a markup) a FRB? What is the outlook for FRB market? What is a reference rate? What is capital convertibility? What is the significance of credit ratings? Share you views on interest rates scenario in India? What are your views on capital adequacy reforms? Has securitisation been a success in India? Why do you think so? Develop a hedging strategy for MNCs? (Hint: Do an analysis of economy, industry and company) Estimate the demand for LCs (Letter of Credit) in Bangalore? What are the linkages between Money and Capital Markets & Commercial Banking? How can you make non-tradable debt tradable? Questions on rationale behind capital adequacy norms If you had a choice between Citibank and Bank Am, which would you choose and why? What do you think of 18 months of operations in Citibank??? How do you price a loan? What is transfer pricing and its application to cross-border trade? How do you interpret a Banks Balance Sheet? What are the various means of raising finance? What is the correlation between interest rates and short term volatility? What is the significance of IS-LM curve? What do Philips curve & J-curve represent?

61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 84. 85. 86.


87. 88. 89. 90.

A doctor from the US wants to set up a rubber glove factory. He approaches you to get finance. What do you do? How will you woo customers away from SBI Jamshedpur to Citibank Calcutta? How have the recent changes in banking regulation impacted the banking industry? If you are given a balance sheet; how will you evaluate whether finance facility should be extended to the client? Ratios and Profit Which sectors do you expect to grow and why?


92. 93.

What will be the value of Sensex one year from now? Why? What are GDRs? How & why are Indian companies using them? 1. A bank certificate issued in more than one country for shares in a foreign company. The shares are held by a foreign branch of an international bank. The shares trade as domestic shares, but are offered for sale globally through the various bank branches. 2. A financial instrument used by private markets to raise capital denominated in either U.S. dollars or Euros. Both are instruments denominated in foreign currencies but having for its underlying security, shares of Indian companies. While GDR is issued generally in the European markets and generally designated in US dollars, ADR is an allAmerican affair that must pass muster the exacting US GAAP norms. Not so much for funding purposes as for visibility purposes.

94. 95.

Develop a strategy for credit cards for Citibank? What is Modigillani Miller theory? If capital markets are perfect, including zero taxes, the market value of a firm is independent of its capital structure. This may not hold true in practice due to following: M-M ignores taxes. If debt is tax-favored, debt can really be cheaper. The tax savings to the firm from deducting interest are partly offset because gains on equity are taxes at capital gains rates, which is more favorable to the recipient, but only partly.


Why firms don't use more debt -- financial inflexibility, cost of conflict between equity and debt, managerial preference for more equity. All of these are outside the M-M perfect market assumptions too. As the company issues more debt, the equity gets riskier, and requires a higher risk adjusted rate of return. Conversely, if the company issues more equity, the debt gets safer and requires a lower risk-adjusted rate of return. M-M ignores bankruptcy costs. 96. 97. Pecking Order theory What is the significance of Laeffer curve The curve suggests that, as taxes increase from low levels, tax revenue collected by the government also increases. It also shows that tax rates increasing after a certain point (T*) would cause people not to work as hard or not at all, thereby reducing tax revenue. Eventually, if tax rates reached 100% (the far right of the curve), then all people would choose not to work because everything they earned would go to the government. 98. 99. How do you value cross currency options? What is Covered Interest Arbitrage? A simple currency swap in which the counterparties exchange currencies at both the spot and forward rates simultaneously. The forward swap restores currency exposures to the original position without a currency gain or loss-making this a way to adjust exposure to a narrowing or widening of interest rate differentials rather than adjusting currency exposures. Covered interest arbitrage also insures interest rate parity because this relationship prevents speculators from profiting by borrowing in a low interest rate country and simultaneously lending in a high interest rate country and hedging the currency risk. Occurs when a Portfolio manager invests dollars in an instrument denominated in a foreign Currency and hedges the resulting foreign Exchange risk by selling the Proceeds of the Investment forward for dollars. The forward price should reflect the exact differential in the interest rates of two countries, otherwise there is an arbitrage. 100. 101. 102. 103. Compare CDs with CBs? How do you price cards? What are the sources of profits for a card issuer? What are the problems in marketing of services? Compare Citibank with BankAm and HSBC



How do you hedge a rupee forward? Say if a bank has entered into forward contracts to sell dollars in exchange for rupees, it can hedge its position by simply buying dollars at the current spot rate. But the bank does not need these dollars now. And holding dollars for 6 months is costly. So, it enters into a forward contract to receive the amount payable in dollars six months hence. Simultaneously, it sells the spot dollars bought earlier. Six months later, the bank receives dollars from its counter party to deliver to the company.


How do FIIs invest in India? FDI and portfolio investment, debt instruments (non-convertible debentures, partly convertible debentures, bonds, dated government securities, treasury bills).

106. 107. 108.

Economic ratios for India Problem with CP markets? Instrument to get cash for Bank at cheap rates Commercial Paper (Commercial paper, or CP as it is popularly known, is in the nature of an unsecured usance promissory note, transferable by endorsement and delivery. It is of fixed maturity. The minimum amount of issue is Rs.5 lakh and multiples thereof. The maturity of commercial paper is typically less than 270 days; the most common maturity range is 30 to 50 days or less). Most crucial issues for corporate treasury Cash flow, Enterprise wide risk management, corporate governance. New trend seen in developed outsourcing of treasury function in full or part to banks opportunity for banks



Most critical issues for Banking sector Foreign banking, Nationalised Bank, Private bank Your perception of various foreign banks Credit proposal how do you look at it? Difference in analysis between a financial services and a manufacturing company How does investment banking differentiate from Merchant banking?

111. 112. 113. 114.



Do you do see any cartelisation in Indian banking industry? Possible. Report in Hindu of 2002 that PSU banks looking for cartelization for loan syndication. Also with increasing share of retail and SME sectors, foreign banks will also need the network of PSUs to compete. MRTP doesnt apply to financial institutions. Harshad Mehta scam? M3 rising - X-M scenario? M3 has been rising though at a slower growth rate than the previous year. See the column below. Budget/ Fiscal deficit

116. 117.



Forex sterilization

The official purchase of foreign currency involves selling domestic currency; therefore, reserve accumulation expands domestic liquidity. Since the RBI is concurrently assigned with the task of ensuring price stability, expansion of domestic liquidity cannot be ignored, as it is perceived to put pressure on prices. Though this is an unreasonable fear when the economy suffers from demand deficiency, the RBI seems to be wary of the impact of its interventions in the foreign exchange market. Hence, even as it buys dollars it resorts to open market sale of securities to mop up the excess liquidity a policy strategy known as sterilisation. Available estimates indicate around 75 per cent of the capital inflows is being sterilised in India. RBIs working group has recently released a report on instruments of sterilization. 120. 121. Infrastructure development into 8th Five Year Plan outlay Difference between corporate banking and corporate finance? Corporate banking is lending to corporates through own funds, whereas corporate finance involves finding suitable investor/lender who would provide funds to the corporates. How do you go about setting up a power/ telecom project?



As a fund manager, how would you decide of a portfolio?


Portfolio beta is the weighted average of all the stocks betas in the portfolio, where the weights are determined by the fraction of the total wealth invested in each stock. p = w1 1 + w19 stocks 19 stocks


Limitations of banks


How different is it to mobilize deposits in todays scenario? Number of avenues available to investor mutual funds have grown fast. Corporate bonds, etc. Depends a lot on the interest rates. Read


How will you fund a $ 50 million loan?

127. 128.

Where is banking industry 3 years from now? Given B/S (balance sheet) how do you evaluate whether O/D (Overdraft) facility should be given? Current ratio and quick ratio How do you market a mutual fund? How will you determine whether the P/E ratio of a given stock is high? PE ratios essentially depend upon two factors price and expected future earnings. One way to find out whether the PE ratio of a given stock is high is to estimate the growth rate of the firm and to then use the Gordon growth formula to estimate the price of the stock. Also PE ratios of comparable firms could be used. PE ratios could also be observed over a period of time.

129. 130.


Since you are doing Analytical Finance in ISB, how do you see the journey you have to make from Analytical Finance, to Corporate Finance. At ISB we are well equipped to handle problems related to Corporate Finance as well. In fact, I have already undertaken a course in finance called CCFS which uses real life cases of various corporations to deal with the problems of valuation and risk management. I am also currently undergoing training in courses such as Commercial and Investment Banking, Capital Raising Strategies and International Finance which will further enhance my knowledge of Corporate Finance. I have also worked on a risk measurement project for a securities firm as part of ELP and


I am planning to undergo another course in the subject in my final term. To add to that, since I am a qualified chartered accountant with experience in tax consultancy, I believe I have the requisite knowledge of accounting and tax regulations governing corporations. All in all, I believe that with my work experience and knowledge that I have acquired at ISB, I will be able to work on issues relating to Corporate Finance successfully. 132. What are the factors you would consider while evaluating Sovereign Risk?


What is fundamental Analysis. Talk about the different risk factors at each stage in such an analysis. (Thats where the sovereign risk question came from). As opposed to technical analysis which involves looking at historical prices of stock to predict price patterns, fundamental analysis fundamental analysis of a stock (or other security) involves using financial analysis to analyze the companys underlying business, such as sales growth, its balance sheet, etc., (its fundamentals) to decide whether and when to buy and sell. (see for details Also used to refer to study of basic, underlying factors that will affect the supply and demand of the commodity being traded in futures contracts. In such a case, the focus of fundamental analysis lies on the economic, social and political forces that drive supply and demand.


What is more important in determining Beta. Nature of company, or nature of the business? Beta measures the sensitivity of a stocks return to changes in the market return. The nature of business will have a greater impact on the changes in its returns so it should be more important. (what is the difference between nature of company and nature of business?)

135. 136.

If your company has too much cash, what would you advise it to do? You want to merge/buy a company, would you use cash or stock? In 1988, 93% of deals were cash and 7% stock. In 1998, 66% were stock and only 37% in cash. Part of the reason is because of strong stock markets. Tax


considerations are also important because cash may be taxable but stock will be taxable only when it is sold. 137. What is EVA? How would you compute it? EVA is net operating profit minus an appropriate charge for the opportunity cost of all capital invested in an enterprise. As such, EVA is an estimate of true "economic" profit, or the amount by which earnings exceed or fall short of the required minimum rate of return that shareholders and lenders could get by investing in other securities of comparable risk. EVA = Net operating profit after taxes (Capital * Cost of Capital) 138. 139. Can a company function without working capital? Risky. Affects short term solvency. What would be a good instrument to use to hedge a portfolio of preferred stock? Since the preferred stock is similar to bonds that never mature (perpetual bonds), the best hedging instrument would be a long-maturity risk free instrument such as a t-bond option What economic indicators do you think have the greatest impact on stock/bond markets? Inflation, US Fed interest rates, GDP forecasts, unemployment If you owned a bank which asset products would you look at? Why? Which products do you think are going to pick up? What are the spreads on these products? What are the credit issues with these products? Explain CAPM model, what is sharpes ratio? What is fishers point of indifference? CAPM r = rf + (rm-rf) Sharpe ratio is the ratio of return premium per unit of portfolio risk (standard deviation). The slope of the CAL (Capital Allocation Line) is also called the Sharpe ratio. The CAL shows all risk-return combinations possible from a portfolio of one risky asset and the risk free asset. The slope thus measures the extra return you get from investing in the risky asset per unit of risk. Fisher Given perfect and complete capital markets (frictionless), the production decision is governed solely by an objective market criterion (represented by maximizing attained wealth) without regards to individuals subjective preferences that enter into the consumption decision. This is extremely important for corporate finance


141. 142. 143. 144. 145.


Regardless of the shape of an individuals indifference curve, every investor will make the same production decision The investment decision is independent of individual preferences The separation principle implies that the maximization of the shareholders wealth is identical to maximizing the present value of lifetime consumption Since borrowing and lending take place at the same rate of interest, then the individuals production optimum is independent of his resources and tastes If asked to vote on their preferred production decisions at a shareholders meeting, different shareholders will be unanimous in their decision - unanimity principle Managers of the firm, as agents for shareholders, need not worry about making decisions that reconcile differences in opinion among shareholders i.e there is unanimity The rule is therefore - take projects until the marginal rate of return equals the market interest rate Other points to remember: Minimum variance frontier is the plot of expected return and standard deviation of a portfolio of risky assets (only). Assuming CAPM holds, the CAL for every individual is the market portfolio of assets (stocks, bonds, real estate etc), thus every investor faces the same CAL. This CAL in such case becomes CML. SML plot of returns of assets against their betas. SML can be thought of showing only systematic risk. Thus if CAPM is true, all securities will lie on SML. However, CML plot shows systematic and unsystematic risk. Thus, only risk free asset and market portfolio will lie on CML. 146. Basel II reforms

It may be recalled (see "Changing the risk rules", World Money, June 6) that the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision had put July 31 as the time limit for receiving comments on its third consultative paper on capital adequacy norms. The major reform proposed was about the calculation of the capital charge for credit risk. At present, there is only a broad classification of credit risks. They are classified into four categories with risk weights ranging from 100 per cent (commercial exposures) to zero per cent (sovereign exposures). Basel II has gone for a far more complicated way of assigning capital to credit risks depending on the probability of default, loss given default, exposure at default and maturity for each commercial exposure. In principle, the uniform 8 per cent capital adequacy for all commercial exposures under Basel I is less than logical _ surely credit risks in respect of an AAA-rated borrower and a BBB borrower are significantly different, and should get properly reflected in the capital


needed. Basel II aims at rectifying this anomaly, but has attracted serious criticism from three different perspectives: it may lead to increased capital requirements; the sheer complexity of the proposals; and the proposals, if implemented in the current form, may tend to deepen economic cycles. In its comments on Basel II, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has argued that "in its attempt to strive for more accurate measure of risks in banks, the simplicity of the present Capital Accord is proposed to be replaced, with a highly complex methodology which needs the support of highly sophisticated MIS/data processing capabilities." It has, therefore, argued in favour of giving "greater flexibility to national supervisors to calibrate risk weights". It also believes that, since the proposals are to become applicable to "internationally active banks", such banks need to be defined as those having, say, 20 or 25 per cent of cross-border business. Interestingly, even the US authorities are proposing to apply Basel II norms only to about a dozen American banks. The RBI has also argued in favour of a gradual approach to compliance with Basel II. It believes that in order to move towards the internal rating-based approach, banks may be initially "allowed to use the internal ratings for assigning preferential risk weights, on certain types of exposures_. This could be gradually extended to a larger portion of the banks' asset portfolio...[which] will encourage banks to refine their credit risk assessment and monitoring process", and avoid the use of external credit assessments. Most banks just do not have historical data on the variables at the heart of the proposals, essential for the introduction of internal rating-based approach. This reinforces the case for greater discretion and flexibility to national supervisors in defining exposure classes for allocation of capital. The RBI apprehends that "widespread adoption of the IRB Approach by internationally active banks would lead to a significant increase in capital requirements for loans to lower-rated borrowers". This could affect the availability and cost of cross-border loans to developing countries. At the extreme, weak borrowers attract the highest risk weight, which is 1,250 per cent _ given that the base capital adequacy ratio is 8 per cent, this works out to 100 per cent of the asset! Many other industry bodies as well as regulatory authorities have serious concerns about the proposals as they stand. The US authorities feel that the proposals would reduce the availability of funding to small businesses, and that major banks having the resources to put in place sophisticated systems will have an advantage over smaller banks using less sophisticated systems. This, for the smaller banks, would lead to significantly higher capital charges as compared to the current norms. China has rejected the proposals outright. International Swaps and Derivatives Association and the Bond Market Association have protested that the allowances for hedges in the form of credit default


swaps are "too conservative". The British Bankers Association has criticised the complexity of the proposals, and also feels that given the 50-odd areas where national supervisors enjoy discretion in application of the proposals, they would lead to problems for international banks operating under more than one jurisdiction. The Securities Industry Association apprehends that the new rules could have a detrimental impact on capital market liquidity, stock-lending operations and over-the-counter derivatives. The European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association is critical, and so is the European Banking Federation. Eurochambres is worried about the risk weights attached to equity investments of banks. Chances are that the Basel Committee would need to modify the proposals, at least in certain respects, in the light of the comments and criticisms. It remains to be seen whether the present timetable for finalising the proposals before the end of the year would be met. Whatever the quantitative issues, one major qualitative problem remains. Manifestly, at a time of economic slowdown, rating downgrades are common. In contrast, when an economy is booming, rating upgrades also go up. The result would be that banks would increase lending during boom times, and curtail it during slowdowns, thus deepening the cycles. Banks would be inhibited by the Basel II proposals from acting countercyclically in the broader interests of the economy. Work experience 147. 148. 149. 150. 151. 152. How many different jobs have you held? What were your major achievements in each of your past jobs? What functions do you enjoy doing the most? What did you like about your boss? Dislike? Which job did you enjoy the most/the least? Why? Whats the most creative project youve worked on?

Questions for each specific company? 153. 154. 155. 156. 157. 158. 159. 160. 161. Why _______ (company name) What other firms are you interviewing with and for what positions? What are the 3 most important challenges our company is facing? Tell me what you know about our company, its culture, its products? Tell me what you think our distinctive advantage is within the industry? Describe me the concept of customer? Why do you think you are qualified for this position? What do you know about us? Why do you want to work for us?


Don't talk about what you want; first, talk about their needs: You would like to be part of a specific company project; you would like to solve an organisation problem; you can make a definite contribution to specific goals. 162. What would you do for us? What can you do for us that someone else can't?

Relate past experiences that show you've had success in solving previous employer problem(s) that may be similar to those of the prospective employer. Questions to ask 1. "If I work hard and prove my value to the firm, where might I be in five years?" 2. How does the position and the department contribute to the overall Banks mission? 3. "What is a typical day (assignment) [ for your position] in your company?" 4. "What characteristics best describe individuals who are successful in this position?" 5. "Does the position offer exposure to other facets of your organization?" 6. "What other positions and/or departments will I interact with most?" 7. "To whom does this position report?" 8. "How will my performance be evaluated?" 9. "What are the opportunities for advancement?" 10. "How would you describe the organization's culture/environment?" 11. Make sure to ask something on the position that you are being offered.


Points to be noted: ICICI doesnt believe in rotation before 2 years 3.1. bbbbbbb 4. General3 4.1. bbbbbbb