Doing the appropriate research prior to your MBA Admissions Interview is of utmost importance.Here are three solid keys to ace your face-to-face!
- Know how you fit the program
Chances are you have already demonstrated your interest in the particular program in your application and essay – so go over those again. Refresh your memory on why your professional and educational background matches the school’s methodology, strengths and career opportunities. Dig out your old essays and re-read them from beginning to end. This solid written document will remind you of why you were interested in the school in the first place. Remember that there will be some hard questions about why this program is the right fit for you – ex: If you were accepted to this school as well as your other top choices, why would THIS MBA Program suit your professional needs best? Be prepared with an answer.
It is important to remember that you might not have much time with the interviewer and the interview might be cut short and asked more specific questions about how you will contribute meaningfully to the program. Dig deep for this research by talking to current and former students who are involved in a club or extracurricular that you are interested in. A little contact can go a long way and shows that you have done your homework.
- Know yourself
This is hugely important. You can talk about the school for hours, but how your personality would add to the patchwork of students for a particular admission cycle. Once a Harvard applicant who had listed singing as her passion was asked to singe DURING the interview. This unique skill can be just enough to push the needle for admission, so have a strategy about how much you want to share and when. Be prepared with a list of your top five skills, experiences, accomplishments and have examples ready to back up your point. In addition, don’t forget to drill on the common questions like: what are your weaknesses, what are your plans for right after graduation, your personal contributions to a team environment and explaining a career change.
- Know the school
Much like you prep for the particular program, you need to know the school. What is their history of admitted students? Do they value innovation, leadership, teamwork and challenging conventional thinking? Many school claim they do this, but find articles and information about how they are practicing what they preach. Knowing how they define their core values and how your admission will contribute to that shows that you have done your appropriate homework and are ready for a well-rounded MBA Admissions Interview.
Now go do the research, hone your talking points and nail that interview! Email us for a free MBA candidacy evaluation.
Applying for a business school is quite daunting and it is hard to know what the admissions committee of a prospective business program wants from you as an applicant. This is an obvious statement but one that has been tackled by Melissa Korn of The Wall Street Journal. Last year, she interviewed Derrick Bolton, Assistant Dean and M.B.A. Admissions Director at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and asked a lot of questions about what he and his colleagues look for in an applicant. We included parts of the interview below as well as highlight some important points to keep in mind.
(The original WSJ interview can be found here.)
WSJ: Do you check out the GMAT score and if it’s below a certain number, put that application aside?
Mr. Bolton: That would rob us of a lot of talent. The GMAT is helpful in terms of understanding how someone can perform in the first year, but that’s one small piece of the overall M.B.A. We [look at candidates] holistically [academic, professional, personal]. That depends on the candidate being authentic with us, which I recognize is hard because it takes a degree of self-confidence to be able to tell your story to total strangers.
- Notice while the GMAT is important, it is not the end-all, be-all; admissions looks at all the things you have demonstrated and see if you are fit for the program.
WSJ: What do applicants worry about too much?
Mr. Bolton: They worry most about scores, they worry about essays. I think they should spend more time thinking about references. They often think about it from the perspective of, ‘I need to pick three references who show different aspects of my personality,’ not from the perspective of, ‘I need to pick three people who are going to be my strongest advocates.’
- Mr. Bolton stresses the importance of your references and what they say. They can support you 110% and are able articulate that well on paper, but if they all say the same thing then it will not count for much. Each reference should be able to tell the admissions committee different reasons why they are rooting for you.
For more expert opinions and advice, contact Manhattan Review today.
Manhattan Review provides its students with topnotch prep courses that will allow students to tackle the challenges found in the GMAT. For young and aspiring entrepreneurs, entry into a top business school is vital to their future success. You have us on your side and quite frankly, our courses are more than capable of pushing you over the top. Assistance like that is valuable and necessary if you want to enter one of the ten toughest business schools in the country:
|School name (state)||Full-time applicants||Full-time acceptances||Full-time acceptance rate||U.S. News rank|
|Stanford University (CA)||6,618||466||7.0%||1|
|Harvard University (MA)||9,134||1,013||11.1%||1|
|University of California—Berkeley (Haas)||3,444||420||12.2%||7|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)||4,490||599||13.3%||4|
|New York University (Stern)||4,416||601||13.6%||11|
|Columbia University (NY)||6,669||1,062||15.9%||8|
|Dartmouth College (Tuck) (NH)||2,744||492||17.9%||9|
|University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)||6,442||1,209||18.8%||3|
|Yale University (CT)||2,823||539||19.1%||10|
|Northwestern University (Kellogg) (IL)||5,305||1,119||21.1%||4|
If the school you were seeking a nod from was not on this list, you can expect a 50-50 chance of getting accepted. While that may seem low to you, it does not beat the extremely low acceptance rates that Stanford University, Harvard University, and UC-Berkley are known for. Manhattan Review’s founder, Prof Dr. Joern Meissner, received his Ph.D in Management Science from Columbia University, which currently boasts an acceptance rate of 15.9%. With this in mind, you can use years of knowledge and prep expertise collected by him and his staff to assist you in preparing for the business world.
Much of the information above can be found in the original U.S. News article here.
For more information on a Free admissions consultation and GMAT preparation, contact Manhattan Review today.
- Pace It to Ace It – Test Taking Tips for the SAT
- Specialized Business MS Degrees on the Rise
- Three ways to ace your MBA Admission interview through proper prep
- Applying for an M.B.A.: Reading Between the Lines
- The Ten Toughest Business Schools to Enter
- Basic Strategies to Conquer the GMAT
- The Profile of the 2011 GMAT Test Taker Demonstrates Growing Diversity.
- Business School Scholarship Application Advice
- The Changing Face of Executive MBA programs
- Business School Reapplication: To do, or not to do?