When you see the Indian School of Business (ISB) campus sprawling with sharply dressed students carrying documents in their hands and walking swiftly to reach their intended destination, you know the placement season has commenced at ISB. With over 800 students interviewing with around 300 companies, the environment around campus at this time is a blend of nervousness, anxiety, grit and confidence.

Pre-Placement Talks (PPTs)
The placement season at ISB kicks off with prospective recruiters visiting the campus and holding Pre-Placement Talks (PPTs). A Pre-Placement Talk is a formal interaction session wherein senior executives of a recruiter visit ISB with the purpose of elaborating on the different kinds and scope of job profiles being offered, gauging the interest of students in the offered positions and addressing any queries regarding the recruitment process. A Pre-Placement Talk is an excellent opportunity for a student to gain insights into the organization’s vision and working style. Such insights often prove useful while submitting Expression of Interest and preparing for interviews.

Expression of Interest (EoI)
After a Pre-Placement Talk, the company seeks an Expression of Interest (EoI) from interested students. An EoI will consist of a Resume and none or some combination of the following:

  • Cover Letter
  • Psychometric Test
  • Other deliverables (such as case study solutions/pitch)

An EoI is extremely crucial as it is the only source of information a recruiter has about the student on the basis of which shortlists are released. The total number of applications made for a concerned role can be viewed on the Placement Portal, and there is an option to withdraw one’s application before the deadline.
In order to encourage only genuine applications to relevant roles, ISB places restriction on the number of “live” applications a student can have at any given point in time. The number varies each year, and is at the discretion of the authorities at ISB. An application counter remains “live” from the point of applying for the role to the moment the student is eliminated from the placement process.

Therefore, it is advisable to plan one’s counters by prioritizing companies for which one must apply. The expected date of shortlist is mentioned on the portal, providing greater flexibility in terms of planning application counters and live applications.

Click here to know details of the ISB Class of 2020 Placements

The wait for shortlists is by far one of the most stressful times at ISB. Shortlists are usually announced well in advance of the interview dates. However, last minute shortlists are known to be released by a few companies. The student is notified about his/her application being shortlisted through an e-mail from Career Advancement Services (CAS) and the same is reflected on the shortlisted students’ CAS Placement Portal. The total number of shortlisted applications is also visible on the Portal.

Pre Placement Process
The day before the Interviews commence is earmarked for Pre Placement Processes. Many recruiting companies use the Pre Placement Process to further screen shortlisted candidates. It could include a Group Discussion (GD), a presentation round, a preliminary test, a team based activity etc. The topic of a Group Discussion is usually generic in nature but abstract topics such as “Color Green” are also known to be thrown at the GD group for deliberation. A few companies present a case study to shortlisted students and require them to present the solution in front of a panel. Other companies may conduct Preliminary Tests that could range from being aptitude based to testing the student’s subject knowledge.

Interview Rounds
After the Pre Placement Process is over and the successful candidates are notified through the Placement Portal, the interview rounds commence. While the scheduling of these rounds is subject to changes each year, the latest overall structure is as follows:

Day 1: Includes two days of interviews i.e. Day 1.1 & Day 1.2
Leading recruiters at ISB visit the campus during these two days and conduct interviews with the shortlisted candidates. Interviews are conducted all around the campus – Faculty Cabins, Administrative Offices, Executive Housing Rooms etc. ISB makes all necessary arrangements to ensure that the interviewer as well as the interviewee are at their most comfortable. Areas are earmarked for allowing students to rest in between the process and sufficient arrangements for refreshments are made by the management.

Offers are rolled out at the end of each “Day” and after signing the Final Interview Form (FIF), the students are taken to have accepted the offer and automatically exit the placement process. These students usually participate in the placement process as volunteers and help organize the placement exercise effectively while assisting their friends prepare better for upcoming interview rounds.

Day 2: Includes two days of interview i.e. Day 2.1 & Day 2.2
These couple of days could either be spaced one month or a single day after Day 1 comes to end. This decision is at the discretion of the management that considers all possible factors so as to make the placement experiences suitable for everyone involved. For e.g. the Class of 2018 had Day 2 scheduled just a day after Day 1 came to an end. For earlier classes, the gap between Day 1 and Day 2 was at least a month. The process for Day 2 is identical to Day 1 in all respects.

Day 3, Day 4 & Rolling Placements: Includes two days each i.e. Day 3.1, Day 3.2, Day 4.1 & Day 4.2
Recruiters keep visiting the campus and holding interviews. Offers are rolled out just like during Day 1 and Day 2. After Day 3 & Day 4 are complete, rolling placements continue to take place. In these cases, either the company will visit the campus and hold interviews or the company invites selected students to a different city and conducts interviews. The Career Advancement Services (CAS) team offers their whole-hearted support during this process. They strive towards matching a student with potential recruiters and approach the company on the behalf of ISB to schedule interviews.

This is a brief explanation of how a placement season at ISB is designed and executed. Hundreds of students are placed in their dream companies each year during these days. The process is seamless yet exhausting. It will test you but the grind of this process will prepare you for future challenges in life!

Note: This is based on personal experience of ISB alumni and the process might have changed slightly over years.

For more information about ISB, visit the ISB website:

Indian School of Business (ISB) | Management Education

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