I, The Absolute

Interview Prep season begins

Posted by itheabsolute on November 3, 2005

With placement rules out and a discussion on the same happening, it appears that the prep time for interviews is on. I continue to work on my resume and I know that so long as I do not give a due date to finishing it, I would never bring it to shape. Resume making is the toughest part of the interview prep. Since the short lists happen based on the resume, the importance of resume can never be overstated. I have also made a list of must do things leading to the interviews. This was made possible with a few decisions I made. I finally say goodbye to consulting; IB was never on my radar. But a new field, which I have been researching on for sometime now, has interested me quite a bit – Private equity. That will leave me with three industries – commercial banking (India / Singapore); Private Equity (India); and Institutions relating to microfinance (India / the US).

Consulting and Investment Banking are most sought after not because everyone likes these industries or everyone would have a perfect fit with these industries. Nor that these companies are the highest paying. Manufacturing companies paid higher salaries last year. Many times, Consulting and IB are just a fad. Only a few people are made for these industries. The only way to know if one is fit to work in these industries is to research the industries and more importantly introspect to see if one likes the job profiles. Regular travel and long office hours would put off most of the people, which factors are usually not considered when evaluating a career option in consulting / IB. I am in no way claiming that these industries are not superior – they provide excellent learning opportunities, great peer groups, fantastic brand equity and good moolah too.

For me, Commercial Banking is a natural choice. Given that I have fair amount of knowledge and experience in microfinance, any related activity (including Microfinance PE firms) is a logical choice. Private Equity interested me because again it relates close to what I was doing – investing. Earlier in my job I used to invest in companies as a lender. In private equity I will have to do it as an equity investor. There is a difference between these two, but no so much as to feel alien about the field.

My prep for interview started with resume making (as I said, still in the process) – one type each for an industry. I would further go down to customizing resume for each company that I will apply to. This would require that I research each company and the profile of the job I will apply for. I have made a list of areas (such as current affairs, review of concepts learnt in the core courses, etc) I need to prepare and the resources available to do this prep. From what I estimate it will take three months of good preparation to be able to crack the interviews. One has to be the best because everyone else is trying to be better. I will of course continue to do my own search for jobs outside the purview of the placement process, of course, subject to the guidelines given out.

One thing is for sure. Stakes will get high. Adrenalin will flow. Some will rejoice. Some others will sulk. Enemies will be made. Battles will be fought. Come February, ISB will turn into a battleground. Life will never remain the same again.


1.Why I leave consulting out of my shortlist and why IB never interested me will be a topic of a separate post.

2. I missed “A –“ grade in two subjects by just a mark :-((

6 Responses to “Interview Prep season begins”

  1. sure amit. u never know what could happen with life. but definitely not a junior associate role.


  2. Amit said

    Consulting & iBanking jobs have that sexiness quotient & hence they attract some of the best brains wherever they go. They have done an excellent job at managing perceptions in prospective employee’s minds. I see it as great marketing too. 🙂 But they are not the best for everyone. thankfully, at ISB, we do get some good job profiles in other industries too. Still few but atleast they exist.
    Why do I get the feeling that you might end up joining McK as RajKamal did 😛

    PS: Seeing an ‘A’ in gradesheet on promis, before leaving ISB, is one of my personal goals too..

  3. shilpa

    my fear is ….will i ever get close to A again.

    i want to take at least one A before i leave


  4. Hi RS

    thanks. when i came to ISB, sure consulting was on the top of my priority. as the time passed, i learnt more about the industry, researched it, spoke to people, etc. i also expressed my concerns about my personal inability to be able to join any consulting firm at a junior level. i finally decided to let go, after having all the data and after having fully thought about the facts and about myself.

    it surely was not a predecided matter. it was just the opposite.

    btw, i agree that people make decisions and rationalize the decisions.


  5. Anonymous said

    me too missed A by a crack! 😦
    – Shilpa

  6. Anonymous said

    good reflections

    there are studies that shows that usually people form their opinion first then look for data substantiate the reasoning.

    Can it be the one factor possible when you diregarded the consulting/IB for
    commercial banking. Bacause ur earlier posts gives a picture that was ur most preferred career.


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