Thursday, November 30, 2006

LBS interview experience

I had my interview yesterday and I enjoyed it immensely.
It was a kind of unexpected, so I didn’t have time to become scared (that’s a plus).
We had previously agreed to meet during the weekend, but my interviewer phoned me yesterday morning and asked whether I could come the same very day (he sent me an e-mail on Tuesday night that his plans had changed, but I received it only after his call). I said: “Yes, of course, if you don’t mind seeing me in jeans”. He didn’t mind (and thus missed the opportunity to see me in blue-suit-white-chemise-and-tie :)).
Such “unexpectedness” meant that I didn’t rehearse my answers and didn’t prepare for all of the tough questions. But there were not as many tough questions as I expected (no “ethical” ones, no “tell me how your team failed”). Nearly the first thing the interviewer told me was “Forget about the structure you have probably prepared. It will be more like a normal conversation”.
We planned to talk for about an hour, but ended up with more than 2 hours. I only wish I could steal a little more of his time, because the last part (my questions about his experience) was rather short. Well, it was late, middle of the week, he still had work to do, and his family was waiting for him.

So let’s get to the practical part now.
Interview was conducted in English. He received my current application, essays and CV. No recommendation letters or even the recommenders’ titles, no last year application.
He was curious “what were those huge improvements and changes that made adcoms consider you this year” so we talked about my last year aspirations as well.
I wasn’t asked about Life and Universe and Everything (I mean why MBA, why NOW, why LBS), but this question loomed in the air.
What I was asked:
  • Your short-term and long-term goals. How LBS curriculum will help you fulfilling them? What skills do you think you need?
  • How did you like your visit to school and what was your take-away from the lectures you visited?
  • What project would you choose with your study group at LBS if you were at the point of choosing? What role in the group would you play?
  • How would you choose between different schools if you were in such situation? (what would be the base for your decision?)
  • What it the difference between firms at which you are targeting?
  • Tell me about your current industry, its main players. How do you see the perspectives of this industry?
  • What would you do if not admitted?
  • How you plan to finance your studies if admitted?
  • How do you lead? Describe a recent experience. Any lessons learned from it?
  • Your three good traits from your colleagues’ point of view? Three bad traits? (that was a tough one)
We got into the details of some of my essays. Talked about my work, current project and international experience.
At the end the interviewer gave me a presentation topic. It was close to my heart so I hope I was able to handle it well. In the meantime I ruined a whiteboard in the conference room, because the highlighter turned out to be non-erasable (The interviewer promised to send me a bill for the board to clear my conscience, so that’s OK ;))

In the end I don’t know what impression I’ve made. On my way home I thought of thousands of better and well-structured answers. But I enjoyed every minute of the interview, I believe this is what really matters.
Let’s wait for the 19th of December and see what the school will say.

Good luck to those of you who are preparing for their interviews.
For those in Moscow don’t forget that LBS is giving an information session this Saturday – hope to meet you all there!

Friday, November 17, 2006

LBS interview invite!

Yes, I have one!

I am delighted to inform you that based on the strength of your initial application you have been selected for interview by the MBA Admissions Committee.


UPD: The interview must be scheduled until 8th December and the admission decision will be on the 19th of December.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Book about IB, trading and consulting - "Fast track"

Couple of days ago I came across one interesting book and immediately thought of first year MBAs who are now torn between banking and consulting.

1. The "Fast Track" is written by Mariam Naficy who worked at Goldman Sachs (IB) and Gemini (MC), and then got her MBA from Stanford.
2. The book holds lots of interviews with insiders and a very good list of additional literature.

If you're interested look at Amazon reviews here.
Tip: don't check the book's website - it is useless.