December 21, 2004

ISB Admissions Interview

I was checking the blogs of a few prospective ISB students and found them all populated with posts about interview preparation and stuff. Well, here is a framework that will help the prospective students answer all work related questions in a very structured manner. The framework is called START.

Every work related question and quite a few behavioral questions can be answered using the START framework. What exactly is the START framework?

S: Situation
Start by giving some information about the situation you were facing. This could be background information that will help the AdCom understand your position better or information that is vital to understanding why you did something.

T: Tasks
Given the situation, what tasks needed to be done?

A: Actions
What actions did you take? Tasks is the universal set of things that needed to be done while Actions is the subset that you performed.

R: Results
Based on the actions you took, what happened? What were the improvements? Usually improvements are in terms of cost, efficiency, greater customer satisfaction etc.

T: Takeaways
What were your key takeaways from this experience?

Practice using the START framework. Your answers will be crisp, structured and to the point.

All the best to you guys!


At 7:09 PM, Blogger Indian Blogger said...

Great stuff! You are the Man!

At 12:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I am crazy....about you...totally....

At 4:06 AM, Blogger Indian Blogger said...

:D Just read the other comment..I hope that itz a gal and not a guy..He he he!
Thanks for the inputs..Any more tips for the applicant junta

At 4:37 AM, Blogger Ranjyte said...

Hey D, now we know where those roses came from! The CCC is coming to get you...

At 10:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dhar find some time for people who are waiting to recieve your mail as well.....
Read Made for ISB's comment.... it's true....need I say's who?

At 11:16 AM, Blogger Dhar said...

*Buggers* :)

At 11:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

coudl be * Huggers* tooo......:)).....u r caught guy....

At 6:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been hunting for ISB related everything everywhere.. and you know what ...almost all of you ISB wannabes or ex ISB bloggers seem to be techies!! Why god??! No offence.. in fact I am one of you for the past 4.5 years but god knows I don't want Linux lovers and gozilla mozilla RPS discussions !!

ISB applicant (who might contribute to the allegedly low 19% female ratio of ISB if selected)

At 9:11 PM, Blogger Dhar said...

>almost all of you ISB wannabes or ex ISB bloggers seem to be techies!! Why god??!

The question, Anonymous poster, is not Why... it is Why not?

Anyway, to answer your question, first there is probably a high correlation between a person being a techie and having a blog.

Second, close to 70% (Ranjyte, correct me if I am wrong) of the ISB students are from Tech backgrounds.

Third, I am not that sure that many other ISB bloggers are "Linux Lovers" or "Firefox Freaks".


At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dhar how much is your score IMP and knowing your seniors how worth do you think is it for a Year.?


At 11:06 AM, Blogger Dhar said...

> Dhar how much is your score IMP

I am assuming you are talking about the GMAT score. To be honest, it does not hurt to have a good GMAT score. As a candidate it just means you have one less thing to worry about. I believe ISB's average GMAT score is around 690. But I am sure they have taken exceptional candidates with lower scores than that.

> and knowing your seniors

Not sure if that helps a lot. They might guide you a bit but I suspect just knowing your seniors wont get you an interview call. Again these are my impressions and I may be wrong. But overall other than fundaes and gyaan, I dont think seniors will help beyond a point.

> how worth do you think is it for a Year.?

Are you asking about how good the 1 year program is? Well, basically the value of the program can be gauged by the faculty, the facilities, the peer group and the placements.

Faculty: I would rate it as 10 outta 10
Facilities/Infrastructure: 10 outta 10
Peer Group: It would rate ISB at 8 outta 10 on this parameter.
Placements: Ask me again in a month or so when the placement season at ISB is over. ;-)

Hope this answers your questions... If you need further info, you can either mail me at "sumit dot dhar at gmail dot com" or the AdCom.


At 11:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks a ton.....neways I'm looking at it next year when my experience would be around 3 yrs....:)....i feel to naive at this age to plunge into it...
Will talk to you soon.
Would like to correct you About knowing your seniors...i meant asking you know where they are now...and where they wanted to it was the satisfaction level I was talking about nothin else ...D.
by teh way if knowing your seniors helps...then I might as well come and stay there....:)


At 4:36 PM, Blogger kaushikonweb said...

Hi All,

Thanks for those useful tips on preparation for interview.

Have applied to ISB in the 2nd round.

Would you be having any idea how the 2nd round goes ? Can anybody share their experiences during the interview ?
What would be the best way to prepare ?


At 5:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish to get admission in isb hyderabad. i am civil engineer from REC, surathkal.. and after that i worked for 7 months as structural engineer.. have always wanted to do mba.. but with the structural work, was unable to concentrate on mba entrance preparation.. AFter that i joined a faculty in an mba entrancecoaching institute, am not boasting but was able to perform exceptionally well there... my acads are decent and consistent... am applying on the basis of cat score-93.5 pecentile. my gmat score is 710. what are my chances ... please guide me....

At 5:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am same person who is from surathkal, rec and wanted ur help... well, i passed out in 2002. and after that along with structural engineering experience+faculty.. its total of 14 months of workexperience...

At 3:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just finished my ISB degree and I can tell you one thing. They will not accept you unless you have more than 3 years of work experience. GMAT scores for accepting class have ranged from 480-720. Best of luck!!

At 4:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi There,
I am interested in applying to ISB.Have more than 5 years of Exp here in the US and a GMAT score of 620 (;.
Do you think I should give it a try or work on my GMAT score?Please advise.


At 7:12 AM, Blogger Dhar said...


Please mail me and we can discuss your chances further.


At 6:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi sumit ,
Just sent you an email.Please revert back at your earliest.


At 4:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


What's the "recommnded" dress code for the ISB interview for guys?!


At 4:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

if cat score is 94 percentile..what is chance for ISB

At 12:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Alok Here. I got an intervew in abt 4 days. Need some dope & guidance. Wher can I reach you for the same ?
I can be reached at or at 09886355107.

At 12:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Mr Dhar,
I wish to get some help from you regarding my chances to get admitted in ISB:
1. 7 years of professional exp in IT Consulting (starting from developer to Senior Project Manager). Out of these 7 years, 3 have been in USA.
2. 700 GMAT
Do you think I should retake GMAT or go ahead with my application with this score itself.

At 12:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi There,
I am electrical engineering graduate and interested in applying to ISB.Have more than 9 years of Exp here in power sector and a GMAT score of 620 (;.
Do you think I should give it a try in ist round or work on my GMAT score?Please advise.


At 2:03 PM, Blogger V said...


Thanks a lot for ur tips. It will be helpful to everyone. I want to apply for ISB and still working to appear for GMAT. I need your help right from the applications process to interviews. Please let me know if you could help me with my queries. Please give ur contact details to get in touch with u.

At 9:03 AM, Anonymous sri said...

Hi all

I am currently having around 4 years of IT experience currently with Wipro Tech...and yet got to take my gmat in sep first week...would be applying for thing is i am not much confident if i can do my gmat well.. getting a gud score i important does gmat score plays in getting through ISB... and do they reject applications on the basis of gmat scores...
Last but not least how gud or bright chances are there for a girl to get into ISB.


At 12:37 PM, Blogger care said...

hi, next month i am giving my gmat.i am not feeling comfortable in para writing and sentence correction can you give me some tips or book you like to recommend. help pl.

At 6:24 PM, Blogger Varun said...

hey try Princeton for sentence correction

At 6:26 PM, Blogger Varun said...

hey i am currenlty working with infosys Technologies, planning to give GMAT next year and apply for class of 2010.
what are the chances for a guy with 2 yrs of work experience and a good gmat score.

At 4:39 PM, Blogger swarna said...

Hi Dhar
Nice to see ur blog.. lovely insights!! Iam working in dubai, planning to apply for ISB! may be 2009 intake, preparing GMAT as well.

Please post couple of questions for Admission interviews.


At 10:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice BLOG THERE !! i hv researched MBA quite a lot now... joinin Manchester in 08... some articles on my blog are the MBA Dilemma part one and two... care to take a look.. hope it helps..

At 11:56 AM, Blogger aadhar said...

Hi ,

I work for a software company and have around 4 years of experience in java and j2ee with around 8 months of onsite experience

I have average acads and a GMAT score of 720 what are my chances to get into ISB

At 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi ,
Thank you for excellent info .
Iam a techie working in software for last 7.5 yrs , my acads of graduation is bit screwed up < 60.

Is there any chance of still making it to ISB.

At 5:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 3:52 PM, Blogger Devanampriyan said...

I have an impression that some good quality management experience is what ISB or any class b school is looking for when it says "experience".. is it true? and so technical exp takes a backseat??

At 7:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Dhar............wanted to know about my chances to get into score is 610 and have 7 yrs experience in financial sector.Have alraedy done my MBA.

At 5:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have a score of 620 do i stand a chance of getting into work ex is 5yrs+and if yes are there students are in isb and had a score like this

At 10:24 PM, Blogger Uma said...

I have a score of 620 do i stand a chance of getting into isb. My work ex is 5yrs+ as software engineer. Is there any concession for female students. Is there any chance for getting into isb with score like this..

At 10:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr profile is as follows :
10th 82%
12th 78%
BTech - 75%

currently working in infosys by the time i apply ,i will have a work ex of 2 yrs...
can any one tell me my chances of getting a call from ISB if i am able to get a decent score ard 550 to 640.

At 3:36 PM, Blogger sash said...

my profile goes as follows:
10 th - 79%
12 th - 72%
BE(comp)- 66%
profession - Military service(MAJOR) Indian Army
GMAT Score- 630

what are my chances of making it into ISB ??

At 4:02 PM, Anonymous Sumit Dhar said...

To those posting the questions, please provide an email ID to provide a response.

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