Friday, April 17, 2009

INSEAD R1 Second Interview (November 2008)

My second interview for INSEAD took place at the end of 2008 in a hotel bar in a very nice location of Paris with an alumni. Here is how it went:

I arrived on time but my interviewer was nowhere to be seen and I had to wait for him for about 1 hour! You can imagine my stress level rising during this 1 hour of hell. But I have to say that I sort of knew in advance that it would have been half-assed.

Indeed the day before, I had called my interviewer to remind him the date and location of the interview and to check whether he was still OK to come. But I unfortunately could not reach him, only his secretary so I left a message to her. Then I sent him an email to reconfirm and ask for his mobile phone number. No answer. Arghhh. So I would have to meet him at an unconfirmed place, unconfirmed time, no mean to reach him, not even knowing how he looked like.

And as I said, what should have happened finally happened. I waited for 1 hour in the lobby, staring at everyone, trying to find out whether he was my interviewer, asking them whether they were called Mr X, going to the receptionist and the concierge asking them whether Mr X has called for me. Nothing... To be honest I even thought to leave because I was not sure my interviewer would come and if so, I have problem with people being late to an appointment for more than 1 hour.

Fortunately or not, he finally arrived in his whole glory and apologize for his late arrival.
Before going through the details of the interview, here are some basic steps to check for interviewees beforehand:
  • As soon as you know who your interviewer is, contact him/her, arrange the date and location, ask for his/her mobile phone number or anything else where you can contact him/her anytime
  • Check the location, travel arrangements and time to make sure not to be late
  • Call him/her the day before to reconfirm the date/location of the interview
  • Ask for a way to recognize him/her: picture, where he/she will be seated,…
  • Be on time

So the interview finally started. The general tone was professional and a bit more tense than my first interview in the sense that the alumni seemed disdainful in some way. It was maybe a way to test my stress (stress interview?). My overall impression was that my answers were consistent and coherent with my project and file but I also had the feeling my interviewer did not really care about my answers. I did not manage to make this interview become an exchange as I think my first interview had been.

Here are the different topics we went through:
  • Can you briefly describe your career to date and tell me why do you apply to an MBA?
  • So, now there is an economic crisis and you apply for a MBA: is it for you a way to hide from the crisis?
  • Can you explain the credit crunch crisis?
  • What do you think of the actions taken by Sarkozy and the french government to solve this crisis?
  • I see in your file that you are interested in Entrepreneurship post-MBA. With the current crisis, do you think it is a good choice to start a business right after MBA?
  • Can you describe 2 achievements at work?
  • What was your latest challenge at work?
  • Could you tell me about a mistake you made and how you coped with it?
  • I see that you have managed people in the context of projects. How do you handle people and do you make things done?
  • What are you hobbies?
  • Do you organize parties in Paris?
  • What other schools did you apply to?
  • Why would you choose INSEAD over the others?
  • Questions?

After several questions on the INSEAD program, student life, his career, the interview ended and we said goodbye.

Then I wrote a thank you note but never got an answer back (I had one from my first interviewer).

As I said, this interview had been more stressful due to the late arrival of my interviewer and his general tone.

I guess I did not succeeded that well finally because I then got waitlisted :(.

I'll describe later the waitlisted status management (if that even exists!)


The Parisian MBA

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Hi, Parisian,

I couldn't find any contact information on your blog, so I have to post a comment instead. :-)

This is GeekMBA360. I found your site because my blog has been getting quality traffic from your blog. I just want to thank you for linking to my blog.

I like your blog. Good stuff! BTW -- before I started bschool 7 years ago, I spend a month in Paris, and absolutely loved it! :-)