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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?

GMAT Updates – Noticeable Trends

Based on quite a few recent student reports, the GMAT is becoming increasingly challenging, both on the math and verbal sections. Therefore thorough and serious GMAT preparation plays a crucial role in scoring high. Practice, practice and practice to get your time management under full control!

Here is a summary of recent trends, which might not be representative for all GMAT tests.

Verbal Section

Reading Comprehension: Instead of 3-4 passages, you may see 4-5 passages now with 2 science passages (non-social science) in the same exam. Some of them can be much longer or shorter than normally expected.

Takeaway Point: Gaining time from finishing Sentence Correction problems seem to become more and more inadequate. You also need to practice Reading Comprehension more diligently as it takes significantly more time and concentration to skim through each passage and jot down notes either mentally or physically.

Sentence Correction: Out of 14-15 questions in this category, you might see 3-4 fully underlined problems in the same exam.

Takeaway Point: This means that instead of zeroing in on the common errors of parts of a sentence, you should also work on most efficient and grammatically correct sentence construction to convey the underlying logic clearly. This skill also ties with your AWA practice.

Math Section

Data Sufficiency: This is an increasing number of Data Sufficiency questions, making it harder to score high, as most students have more issues with this category.

Takeaway Point: Practice more with Data Sufficiency after you get a good handle on problem solving. Do not become complacent at your math skills. Get more used to drawing conclusions based on conditions, while skipping the interim calculation. Data Sufficiency prepares you well to be a manager who is comfortable with making quick calls based on limited resources and information!

Problem Solving: The difficulty level is increasing. So study all the advanced topics as well!

Posted on November 6, 2007 by Manhattan Review

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