Saturday, May 08, 2004

post-interview relief

thanks trip and mansur ! am blogging before sending a thank-you note to my interviewer ;-)

it's done, and what a relief. I feel like a great load has just been lifted off my shoulders. i would characterize it as a good interview. started out with a little snafu (get the bad things out of the way first :). my interviewer was waiting for me at the wrong building. after 10 minutes or so he came up to where he asked me to wait and after some pleasantries we got started. Oh, before that as I was parking some guy came up to my car and said that it was a cool car (i drive an Element) and we had a little chat about it as he was thinking of getting one. I think that little chat took my mind off the worried thinking about the interview. Thanks man, whoever you are.

The interview was about an hour or so long. Started with the general why do you want an MBA to which i gave my well-rehearsed spiel, entirely consistent with my essays, which he had in front of him. He then followed up with a few questions:

* you mentioned the plusses of LBS. what do you think are some risks or negatives about LBS and getting an MBA
* if i asked your teammates over a beer what they like about working with you and what they don't, what would they say.
* did you apply to other schools in the US, why/why not ?
* are you going to take up a job after your MBA ? If so, do you have a geographic preference for where you want to work ?
* what do you bring to LBS ?
* a sorta funny question was - you seem to have taken all your decisions based on a clear strategy. was applying in R3 also strategic, based on the fact that it has the highest probability of acceptance ?

huh ? really ? i didn't know that it did :-) procrastination does seem to have some fringe benefits :-)

then we went into the next part of the interview where i had to make an impromptu presentation on a topic he had chosen. I had five minutes to prepare and 2-5 minutes to make an argument. i kinda just had a couple of points to say, i hope i didn't screw it up. I did make the main points though, didn't add any fluff to extend the time. he commented that it was very interesting to hear my opinion, because he had asked the same of another person earlier this week and he got a very different argument.

finally, time for questions. he had a similar background to mine - already had a graduate degree, immigrant to the US, went to study in London and came back here to work, and some interesting insights and realities about how hard it is to find jobs in the US from there.

all in all, a relaxed conversation in which i thought my points went across well. I hope he felt the same. The one BIG difference from other interviews was that he wasn't taking any notes, so didn't have the distraction of talking to a person with his head bent and writing.

on another note, this guy's office was probably as big as one of the studio apartments I've lived in. If this is the kind of job one gets right after b-school (he just graduated), it's pretty cool.

Some positives : he commented that when he went to LBS, he wasn't as focussed about what he wanted as I am, also mentioned the strong story I had in another context. At some point, he said something to the effect of us both not being from the states, we can understand xyz etc. I thought we had a good connection.

negatives : hard to say. there were no obvious questions where I didn't have an answer. maybe i was a little too critical of myself during the weakness type question, but that's the nature of the question.

I feel relieved. Not good, not bad. Just plain happy that I have done what I could on this journey. I've been to all the places i could go and just caught the last train out of the station. I'm going to kick back, get some sleep, and see where it takes me.

Trip - dude, i really really hope you get the call from Don Martin.
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