MBA interviews generally go on for 20-30 minutes. If you are able to show your best during this time, then nothing can stop you from going to your dream b-school. Hence, you need to prepare hard, know your basics and be aware of current affairs if you are opting for an MBA with Operations specialisation. But, how do you go about preparing for the interview? Do you know what operations are? Are there any concepts you may need to know? And how do you answer ‘Why Operations’ questions? Read this article to find answers to all your questions.
Operations is a specialisation sometimes gets misunderstood because of its multidisciplinary nature. It basically involves planning, organising and supervising the production, manufacturing, to serving or delivering of product or services. It is a process that ensures that all the inputs successfully turn into output. Input can be anything, be it material, technology, equipment, building, staff to even human resources. Operation management can be further subdivided into two broader categories - supply chain and logistics.
You will read more about supply chain, logistics and other categories in detail when you do an MBA. For now, just be familiar with the terms and where they can be used.
- Designing the operations system
- Managing the operations system
- Improving the operations system.
- Checking and managing inventory
- Management of human resources
- Deciding the quality and quantity of goods or services.
- Checking and deciding the processes by which goods and services are produced
- Operations manager
- Plant Manager
- Process Manager
- Procurement Manager
- Vendor Management
- Supply Chain Manager
- Inventory Control Manager
- Processes: Process in operations is a method of mass production in a continuous flow. There are four types of processes: Job-shop, batch process, assembly line, and flow continuous process. At your stage, you don’t need to do a deep on the types, just know what they are and where they can be used.
- Production layout: They are of two types - product and process layout. The layout is dependent on the goods or services you want to process. Product layout suits standardised, large-volume products because it helps in the fast movement of goods. For a customised product, a process layout is better. Just know the basics of it, no need of a deep-dive, yet.
- E-commerce: Operation process of e-commerce is subsequently different from a traditional company. It is more internet-oriented. Transactions take place via B2B (business to business), B2C (business to consumer), C2C (consumer to consumer), C2B (consumer to business). There are various models based on which e-commerce operation process work. They are inventory led, market-led, hybrid market. For your interview learn more about the e-commerce space and the basics of each business model and transaction models.
- Logistics: It’s the physical flow of materials, both before and after the whole manufacturing process. There are three types of logistics - Inbound, Outbound and Process. Just be familiar with that. Logistics also has many other things like types of transportation and various logistics management models. You can read about it here if you want, but it is not necessary for the interview.
- Inventory management: It is the process of storing, ordering, and using a company's inventory. It includes - components, raw materials, and finished goods, and warehousing and processing of such items.
- Six Sigma: Six Sigma is a popular operations management tool that aids managers to improve the efficiency of their operational procedures. There are various certificates and levels in order to use this tool, the panel doesn't expect you to have them but they want you to know what is six sigma and how and where one can use it.
Questions That May Be Asked
- Why MBA Operations?
- Are you aware of the different roles of an operations manager?
- What are the various sectors of Operations?
- Are you aware of any current happening in the area of operations?
- What are your favourite topics in Operation Management?
- What do you understand by supply chain management?
- How to manage a budget of a startup that is not currently growing? What do you do to cut costs?
- Case-related question
- Current affair related questions
- In dealing with a customer, think of your most difficult situation and tell me how you handled it. (If you have work experience).
- TVS Motors
- Dr Reddy’s Laboratory
- AB InBev
- Walt Disney
- How Well Do You Know Your Supply Chain | Take This Quiz
- To Stock Or Not To Stock? That's The Question - A Starter's Guide To Operations Management
- GST And Supply Chain - A Match Made In Heaven - Abishake, IIM Lucknow
- Understanding The Sourcing Policy In Supply Chain - The Indian Context - Vaibhav From IIM Calcutta
- Boman Moradian: God Of Operations Management
Apart from all of the above, keep yourself updated with current affairs! Read The Most Important Current Affairs Topics For Your MBA Interviews!