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Best practice of interview preparation
An IIMB NSRCEL & Goldman Sachs Supported Firm
Agenda
1.  Different types of interviews
2.  Type of interview & how to prepare
•  Behavioural
•  Situational
•  Resume based
•  Industry/ functions based
•  Case based
•  Guesstimates
•  Some common questions
3.  Type of role & typical line of questioning
Different types of interviews
•  Behavioural
•  Situational
•  Resume based
•  Industry/ functions based
•  Case based
•  Guesstimates
Behavioral interviews
•  In behavioral interviews, you need to showcase your knowledge,
skills and competencies by giving specific examples from past
experiences
•  Expect questions like "Tell me a time when..." or "Give me an
example of when..."
•  Which types of companies are famous for behavioral interviews?
Behavioral questions examples
•  Tell me a time when you have to take calculated risk?
•  Tell me a time you have take initiative to solve a problem?
•  Tell me about a time when you took a decision under pressure
•  Tell me about a time when you committed to a team member but
could not live up to their expectations. How did you earn their trust
again?
•  Tell me about a time when you had to analyze large amount of data
to solve a problem ?
Behavioral interviews – how to prepare?
•  Create an "Behavioral preparation sheet" in excel and write one line
each of whatever you have done in the past
(Use Amazon 14 principles of leadership as reference)
https://aws.amazon.com/careers/culture/
•  In next column describe each instance in detail using STAR format
Use a structure approach – STAR framework
•  Situation
An event, project or challenged faced
•  Task
Your responsibilities, assignment or objective of the project
•  Action
Steps taken to relieve or rectify the situation
•  Results
Results of action taken. Try to bring out not only specific impacts
but also how it helped the company in their overall business
STAR framework - Example
•  Executive Summary
I completed a very complex SAP logistics development project within 4 days (as
opposed to 10 days) for a large FMCG clients which was entering in UK market despite
working alone as my coworker got some personal emergency.
•  Situation
In my last job, we needed to develop a very complex and urgent logistics development
for a client which was launching its operations in UK. In this situation I had to work
alone as my coworker had a family emergency and needed to miss work for some days.
STAR framework - Example
•  Task
My supervisor instructed me to take on the project alone, and with no
leniency on the deadline, I had few days to complete the project that
originally should have done with two resources.
•  Actions (Bring your skills here)
I negotiated with my boss for a reduction in my weekly goals, allotting
me more time to attack the special project. As far as my weekly goals, I
was able to delegate them out evenly to some of my teammates.
STAR framework - Example
•  Results
With the reduction in my daily goals, I was able to dedicate more time to
the special project. This allowed me to finish it 5 days before time, enable
my client to start the operation as planned and with complete accuracy.
My supervisor appreciated my attitude and drive, and I was given
several more projects after that, along with an eventual promotion and
pay raise.
How to reflect for behavioral points
Customer obsession:
Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep
customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers.
1. Define
•  Who was/ is
your customer
2. Understand
•  What were
customers’
need
3. Met just
expectation
•  What
product/
services you
provided
which just met
their
expectations?
4. Created trust
•  What wowed
them, created
trust
How to reflect for behavioral points
Dive Deep
Leaders operate at all levels, stay connected to the details, audit frequently, and are skeptical when
metrics and anecdote differ. No task is beneath them.
1. Identify
•  When you
used data
and detailed
analysis to
get to the
root of
problem/
project issue
2. Approach
•  How did you
identify key
metrics for
the given
problem/
project issue
3 Analyze
•  What was
the analysis
done by you
•  What was
the
conclusion
4. Action
•  Based on
insights what
actions you
have taken to
rectify the
problem/
project issue
Behavioral questions: Common mistakes/ issues
•  Choosing a story that is not impactful
•  Choosing a story in which you can not explain your role
•  Poor communication skill
•  Telling a story with too much technicalities
•  Telling a story which is too much detailed (use executive summary,
be crisp, sense check in between)
Situational interviews
•  Like a behavioral interview, during situational interview candidates
are asked specific questions about what may happen on a job.
•  The candidate is asked to assess a situation and to provide solutions
on how he or she would handle it.
Example
•  Your team members not listening to you, what you will you?
Situational interviews – How to prepare
•  Try to come up with a similar situation in the past and answer it like
a behavioral question
Situational questions – Examples
•  What you will do if your team members are not listening to you?
•  How do you deal with an unsatisfied customer?
•  What you will do if your team is not able to take decisions?
Situational questions: Common mistakes/ issues
•  Not using logic/ facts/ data/ examples
•  Giving up too early
Resume based interviews
•  Be very thorough about your resume
•  Not knowing any point written in resume in great detail is strict no-
no
•  If you have done lot of job shifts, be ready to answer that
•  If you have shown poor academics, be ready to defend that
•  If you have travelled across countries/ geographies etc. , be ready to
talk about the difference in culture etc.
•  Be prepared with all the details in a structured format
Resume based questions - Example
•  You have saved xyz mn in this project, this seems unbelievable can
you explain?
•  You have worked in this project tell me some of the learnings from
this project?
•  You have worked in this industry how you can convince us that your
experience is relevant to us?
Industry/ function knowledge based interviews
•  Industry structure, KSF, key players, new trends, disruptions,
future potential
•  Knowledge of company/ its products etc.
•  Understanding of function and its theoretical/ practical aspects
•  Knowing current trends, future projections etc.
Questions related to emerging technology domain
•  Use cases
•  Benefits
•  Business case (RoI)
•  Risks
•  What companies are doing to convince clients to adopt emerging
technology
Interviews around MBA courses / Value add from MBA
•  At least be ready with two subjects fully
•  Know all the important frameworks 5S, 4P, BCG matrix, Porter's
etc.
•  For preparing for value add from MBA type of question, use your
Behavioral preparation sheet, in which add one more column and
write how you will do it differently post MBA
Some common questions
•  TMAY
•  One line about you/ broad profile (years of exp, value chain in
which you worked etc.)
•  Relevant work ex (role/ name of the company)
•  Your relevant expertise
•  Achievement
•  Anything you want to highlight or anything you want a recruiter
to ask questions on
•  Why you are interested in the job/ role
Some common questions
•  What is your weakness
•  Don’t be evasive
•  Understand which trait has ‘consistently’ impacted your work performance
•  What are you doing to improve and what’s the status
•  Use examples/ stories
•  Why do you want to join this role
•  Tell genuinely how it aligns with your short term/ long term objective
•  Talk about learning opportunities, quality peers etc.
•  You can reuse some relevant facts/ examples mentioned by them in PPT/
website
What is a case
Source: McKinsey Deck
Case interview: Common mistakes/ issues
•  Not listening the question properly
•  Not clarifying
•  Directly jumping to the solution
•  Not laying down your approach
•  Not asking key questions or asking irrelevant questions
•  Not thinking aloud
•  Not taking interviewers’ hint
•  Not doing data driven analysis
•  Not concluding properly (or concluding without confidence)
Type of roles & typical line of questioning
Type of roles & typical line of questioning
Interview Preparation

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Interview Preparation

  • 1. Best practice of interview preparation An IIMB NSRCEL & Goldman Sachs Supported Firm
  • 2. Agenda 1.  Different types of interviews 2.  Type of interview & how to prepare •  Behavioural •  Situational •  Resume based •  Industry/ functions based •  Case based •  Guesstimates •  Some common questions 3.  Type of role & typical line of questioning
  • 3. Different types of interviews •  Behavioural •  Situational •  Resume based •  Industry/ functions based •  Case based •  Guesstimates
  • 4. Behavioral interviews •  In behavioral interviews, you need to showcase your knowledge, skills and competencies by giving specific examples from past experiences •  Expect questions like "Tell me a time when..." or "Give me an example of when..." •  Which types of companies are famous for behavioral interviews?
  • 5. Behavioral questions examples •  Tell me a time when you have to take calculated risk? •  Tell me a time you have take initiative to solve a problem? •  Tell me about a time when you took a decision under pressure •  Tell me about a time when you committed to a team member but could not live up to their expectations. How did you earn their trust again? •  Tell me about a time when you had to analyze large amount of data to solve a problem ?
  • 6. Behavioral interviews – how to prepare? •  Create an "Behavioral preparation sheet" in excel and write one line each of whatever you have done in the past (Use Amazon 14 principles of leadership as reference) https://aws.amazon.com/careers/culture/ •  In next column describe each instance in detail using STAR format
  • 7. Use a structure approach – STAR framework •  Situation An event, project or challenged faced •  Task Your responsibilities, assignment or objective of the project •  Action Steps taken to relieve or rectify the situation •  Results Results of action taken. Try to bring out not only specific impacts but also how it helped the company in their overall business
  • 8. STAR framework - Example •  Executive Summary I completed a very complex SAP logistics development project within 4 days (as opposed to 10 days) for a large FMCG clients which was entering in UK market despite working alone as my coworker got some personal emergency. •  Situation In my last job, we needed to develop a very complex and urgent logistics development for a client which was launching its operations in UK. In this situation I had to work alone as my coworker had a family emergency and needed to miss work for some days.
  • 9. STAR framework - Example •  Task My supervisor instructed me to take on the project alone, and with no leniency on the deadline, I had few days to complete the project that originally should have done with two resources. •  Actions (Bring your skills here) I negotiated with my boss for a reduction in my weekly goals, allotting me more time to attack the special project. As far as my weekly goals, I was able to delegate them out evenly to some of my teammates.
  • 10. STAR framework - Example •  Results With the reduction in my daily goals, I was able to dedicate more time to the special project. This allowed me to finish it 5 days before time, enable my client to start the operation as planned and with complete accuracy. My supervisor appreciated my attitude and drive, and I was given several more projects after that, along with an eventual promotion and pay raise.
  • 11. How to reflect for behavioral points Customer obsession: Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers. 1. Define •  Who was/ is your customer 2. Understand •  What were customers’ need 3. Met just expectation •  What product/ services you provided which just met their expectations? 4. Created trust •  What wowed them, created trust
  • 12. How to reflect for behavioral points Dive Deep Leaders operate at all levels, stay connected to the details, audit frequently, and are skeptical when metrics and anecdote differ. No task is beneath them. 1. Identify •  When you used data and detailed analysis to get to the root of problem/ project issue 2. Approach •  How did you identify key metrics for the given problem/ project issue 3 Analyze •  What was the analysis done by you •  What was the conclusion 4. Action •  Based on insights what actions you have taken to rectify the problem/ project issue
  • 13. Behavioral questions: Common mistakes/ issues •  Choosing a story that is not impactful •  Choosing a story in which you can not explain your role •  Poor communication skill •  Telling a story with too much technicalities •  Telling a story which is too much detailed (use executive summary, be crisp, sense check in between)
  • 14. Situational interviews •  Like a behavioral interview, during situational interview candidates are asked specific questions about what may happen on a job. •  The candidate is asked to assess a situation and to provide solutions on how he or she would handle it.
  • 15. Example •  Your team members not listening to you, what you will you?
  • 16. Situational interviews – How to prepare •  Try to come up with a similar situation in the past and answer it like a behavioral question
  • 17. Situational questions – Examples •  What you will do if your team members are not listening to you? •  How do you deal with an unsatisfied customer? •  What you will do if your team is not able to take decisions?
  • 18. Situational questions: Common mistakes/ issues •  Not using logic/ facts/ data/ examples •  Giving up too early
  • 19. Resume based interviews •  Be very thorough about your resume •  Not knowing any point written in resume in great detail is strict no- no •  If you have done lot of job shifts, be ready to answer that •  If you have shown poor academics, be ready to defend that •  If you have travelled across countries/ geographies etc. , be ready to talk about the difference in culture etc. •  Be prepared with all the details in a structured format
  • 20. Resume based questions - Example •  You have saved xyz mn in this project, this seems unbelievable can you explain? •  You have worked in this project tell me some of the learnings from this project? •  You have worked in this industry how you can convince us that your experience is relevant to us?
  • 21. Industry/ function knowledge based interviews •  Industry structure, KSF, key players, new trends, disruptions, future potential •  Knowledge of company/ its products etc. •  Understanding of function and its theoretical/ practical aspects •  Knowing current trends, future projections etc.
  • 22. Questions related to emerging technology domain •  Use cases •  Benefits •  Business case (RoI) •  Risks •  What companies are doing to convince clients to adopt emerging technology
  • 23. Interviews around MBA courses / Value add from MBA •  At least be ready with two subjects fully •  Know all the important frameworks 5S, 4P, BCG matrix, Porter's etc. •  For preparing for value add from MBA type of question, use your Behavioral preparation sheet, in which add one more column and write how you will do it differently post MBA
  • 24. Some common questions •  TMAY •  One line about you/ broad profile (years of exp, value chain in which you worked etc.) •  Relevant work ex (role/ name of the company) •  Your relevant expertise •  Achievement •  Anything you want to highlight or anything you want a recruiter to ask questions on •  Why you are interested in the job/ role
  • 25. Some common questions •  What is your weakness •  Don’t be evasive •  Understand which trait has ‘consistently’ impacted your work performance •  What are you doing to improve and what’s the status •  Use examples/ stories •  Why do you want to join this role •  Tell genuinely how it aligns with your short term/ long term objective •  Talk about learning opportunities, quality peers etc. •  You can reuse some relevant facts/ examples mentioned by them in PPT/ website
  • 26. What is a case Source: McKinsey Deck
  • 27. Case interview: Common mistakes/ issues •  Not listening the question properly •  Not clarifying •  Directly jumping to the solution •  Not laying down your approach •  Not asking key questions or asking irrelevant questions •  Not thinking aloud •  Not taking interviewers’ hint •  Not doing data driven analysis •  Not concluding properly (or concluding without confidence)
  • 28. Type of roles & typical line of questioning
  • 29. Type of roles & typical line of questioning