By now, as an MBA applicant, you have had your fair share of interviews. Be it for a job or as part of your undergraduate admissions process, you likely have experience in the art of interviewing. The MBA interview, however, can be a slightly different animal.
Interviews are becoming more common in the MBA admissions process. Today, there are three different scenarios which lead to you interviewing with an admissions officer or committee at your program of choice, or not at all. Some business schools have required interviews for all applicants while some, such as Stanford, do not conduct any applicant interviews. In the third and most common scenario, admissions officers invite certain candidates to interview as a follow-up step after reviewing their application.
The most important tip to remember in your MBA interviews is to be committed to a clear goal in your career. Admissions officers love to hear about exactly what you are interested in pursuing and how their program can advance your career toward achieving those life objectives. It is also very important to be yourself, but to not let your guard down and reveal any doubts or flaws that you may feel comfortable talking about if you develop a good rapport with your interviewer.
Make sure that you have done your research about the MBA program you are interviewing for, and be prepared to ask multiple questions to the admissions officers. This part is very similar to a job interview as interviewers feel that all applicants should have ample questions for them – the interview is not solely about you! That being said, be prepared to accurately answer questions about your resume, your application and your career accomplishments. Lying may be the worst possible thing you can do, and you will get caught.
Finally, make sure that you have practiced your interview and anticipated the common questions that nearly all interviews include. You will be asked about your strengths, your weaknesses, your career, your successes and failures and working both individually and in a team setting. As always, practice makes perfect, and you will be able to handle any question that gets thrown at you.
Make sure to dress for success, practice and be confident – and you’ll nail it.