At most top MBA programs, interviews are a required and important part of the application. Even where they are not required, they are generally recommended by admissions staff.
The interview offers admissions committees the opportunity to access a candidate’s ability to verbally communicate who they are. They see a candidate’s charm, beyond their written expression and their ability to think on their feet. Overall, a candidate should aim to behave in a manner that encourages conversation and open discussion. However, this requires practice. A few guidelines are the following:
- Aim for consistency with the written application. Candidates should be sure to review essay questions prior to the interview and make responses align with their written responses.
- Research the school. You may even want to have knowledgeable questions in mind for the interviewer related to the school’s program.
- If you tend to be nervous in interview situations, find a way to relax yourself.
- Be honest!
- Be prepared especially to explain your weaknesses and make them strengths. Avoid using the old, “I’m a perfectionist line.”
- Support your answers with examples.
In practice sessions with friends or co-workers or individually (ideally still aloud), practice the following themes:
- College and (Graduate education if applicable). Why did you attend the college you did? What was your experience like? How were your classes? Which ones in particular stand out? What were your college extracurricular activities?
- Job. Why did you choose the job(s) you chose?
- MBA. Why? Why now? Why at ___? Where else did you apply? What is your top choice? Where would you like to work in short and long term? What curriculum methods interest you?
- General. Tell us about yourself, according to your resume. Where do you see yourself in five years? Why do you leave the house each day? What is your opinion on random business issues (ethics, current markets)? How would people describe you, including friends, co-workers, and supervisors? Describe your style of leadership, your approach to ethical questions. Describe your strengths and weaknesses. Rate yourself in terms of motivation, teamwork, organization, loyalty, work ethic. If money was not a worry, what would you do?
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