I had my Kellogg interview on Nov 12, Saturday. I had received an email from the adcom with the details of one emergency contact. I googled the contact and eventually he turned out to be my interviewer. He was a 2010 alumnus, an extremely tall and nice guy. The interview event was in Gurgaon and a lot of alumni interviews were scheduled there. I reached there an hour and a half in advance. My kid brother wanted to see what the Kellogg people are like, so he had also come. He stuck out like a sore thumb dressed in his green tee and hiking shoes. Well, he told me that I looked fine. I met a lot of people whom I had already met in the information event. After spending the time mostly talking to my brother, I was called for the interview. Here is how it went-
Interviewer: Hi Ccatcher, I am <his name>. Then he told me about his experience. I don’t even have a copy of your resume. Can you give me one. (I gave it to him) Now walk me through your resume.
Me: I did my graduation in <my graduation major> from <my college> (I launched into my detailed story)
Interviewer: Hey, I was just looking for a brief intro. I want this to be a conversation.
Me: Sorry. (I completed my “brief intro” in two lines)
Interviewer: Tell me Ccatcher, when did you start thinking of doing an MBA and what prompted it?
Me: Talked my interactions with the CEO and other senior staff and how it made me realize my shortcomings.
Interviewer: Why Kellogg. How did it figure in the list of your schools
Me: Collaboration+ Team work + some ranting about the course
Interviewer: You seems to have a lot of ECs. Tell me about them
Me: Talked about my community work in and outside Adobe
Interviewer: Tell me about a time when you had to deal with hostile team workers
Me: Told a story when I saved a project from getting scrapped
Interviewer:What I meant was “people problems”. At times people are not very motivated or they have ego problems.
Me: Told a story when I had helped resolve a problem by identifying new opportunities for my team.
Interviewer: Indian IT. Last year, we took just two people from this profile. Why do you think we should take you
Me: My diverse experience and creativity (Discovered that we had went to the same school at different points of time)
Interviewer: Give me an example of when you had solved a problem creatively, not when you designed something creatively. Also tell me about the things that you plan to do at Kellogg….clubs you’ll join etc. I realize that I have asked two questions. You can answer the first one for now.
Me: Talked about the time when I initiated a new approach for the community service activities at work.
(Though I remembered the second question, he asked another one so I skipped the second one)
Interviewer: Do people report to you?
Me: Answered it.
Interviewer: Do you go to your college to recruit?
Me: Answered it.
Interviewer: What’s your plan B if you don’t get a job in the US after your MBA?
Me: Coming back to India and finding a job here.
Interviewer: (Talked about the huge financial undertaking an MBA is. Talked about his own loan. Told me to think through it all.) OK. Tell me about the things you plan to do at Kellogg
Me: I talked about the problems in one of my community initiatives that I hope to solve at Kellogg and about the clubs that I am interested in.
Interviewer: have you interacted with any of the current students or alumni to find the ground reality because some of the things may not live upto your expectations. You have very limited time and you should try and invest it most wisely.
Me: Yes I have been interacting with <name>, a current student.
Interviewer: Talked about the things he found disappointing. With your particular career goal why don’t you apply to college x in the US or one of the Indian colleges
Me: Talked about the diversity they provide.
Interviewer: This could apply to any top tier college in the US. Which ones have you applied to anyway.
Me: Narrated the list. Told him that I like this particular program at Kellogg
Interviewer: Picked at my choice for a European college. Suggested another college with similar program and that I should look it up too.
Me: Said something….don’t remember what. I thought the course he is suggesting is not exactly what I am looking for but didn’t point that out as I was not sure.
Interviewer: Do you have any questions for me.
Me: How did the Kellogg experience change you personally and professionally.
Interviewer: Answered in detail. I listened intently.
Me: May I ask one more question.
Interviewer: (Looks at his watch) Yes
Me: Asked about his most memorable experience.
Interviewer: Answered in detail. I listened intently. Well Ccatcher, this is it. (Stands up and we shake hands) Now I will submit your interview report to the adcom and they will look at your complete file including your essays, resume and GMAT score. It will be between you and the adcom now.
We exchanged niceties. I asked for his business card which he didn’t have. He gave me his email id. I came back and wrote a thanks note to him to which he replied after a day.
This was it, I don’t have any definite feeling about the whole interaction. I came out to find that my brother had become best buddies with everyone sitting in the waiting area. We wished them all good luck and came back.