MBA Admission Interviews - Five Common Mistakes

MBA Admission Interview MistakesMBA Admissions interviews are always important – the candidate knows that a strong performance at this juncture will mean a sure admission, while an unconvincing one will mean the end of the road this time round. Here are five critical mistakes we have seen candidates make over the years, and tips on how to avoid the errors:

Wanting to do an MBA for a higher salary: While it is fine to have a higher salary as one of the aims for doing an MBA, don’t make it your overbearing aim. Your aim should be to take up a different line of work (say, moving from software coding to project management) or a different business function entirely (say, moving from operations to marketing), which might have associated salary benefits too. Stating that you want to go for an MBA because the job you will get post the MBA will carry a higher salary will not go down too well with admissions committees. This is because it is possible for you to get a higher salary through various other means as well, and you are not placing any value on the scholastic and skill aspects of the MBA. On the other hand, tying an MBA with a desire to change the function you work in will involve the mention of these aspects and will make your answer well-rounded.

Not polishing up your general awareness about your Domain: Some candidates make the critical mistake of facing an interview panel without polishing up their domain knowledge outside of their area of work. Their reasoning is that they carry out a specific function within the organization (say, managing compensation and benefits) and so need not have much of an understanding of their domain outside this function (say, recruitment). Remember that the interview panel will often not be able to distinguish the boundaries of your work from those of other topics in your domain. They will probably end up asking you some questions about your domain but outside your area of operation. Make sure you are ready for these questions.

Criticizing your current organization/College/School: When explaining the reasons for wanting to do an MBA, remember not to criticize your current firm or your past education. Some candidates will make the mistake of saying that they are ‘forced’ to opt for an MBA because their line of education/profession does not give them any growth or opportunities. As this is hardly ever true, your interviewers will end up assuming that you are not dynamic enough to spot opportunities that are there. A better way is to state the facts, state the possible opportunities, and then explain why you feel an MBA will help you seize on the opportunities better.

Saying that you have no weaknesses: Every candidate has some weakness that he or she has yet to overcome. Taking the sanctimonious view that you have no weaknesses or that your weaknesses are ‘too minor to be mentioned’ will only get you into trouble. It will convey the impression that you are not self-aware or that you are unwilling to admit your weaknesses. Think through what your weaknesses are before you go for the interview.

Using the word ‘etcetra’ (etc) frequently: This really seems like a minor point, doesn’t it? It isn’t! Using the word ‘et cetra’ gives your answers an air of casualty, and makes it seem as if you are not thinking your responses through. Even if you have to spell out a list, avoid the use of the word ‘etcetra’. In fact, avoiding the use of this word in your entire application (including your interview) is a very good idea.

MBA Admission Interview Guide

The Guide offers detailed examples and strategies to answer about yourself, career summary, innovation, frequent job switch, managing change, handling conflict, the greatest accomplishment, low grades, difficult boss, backup plan, industry, role and gives you tips on managing first impression, improve likeability and lists the questions that you should ask the MBA Admission interviewer.

The Guide includes commonly asked MBA Admission Interview Questions for:

1) Booth School of Business
2) Columbia Business School
3) Ivey Business School
4) Johnson Graduate School of Management
5) Insead
6) Kellogg School of Management
7) Stanford Graduate School of Business
8) London Business School
9) Harvard Business School
10) MIT Sloan School of Management
11) Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Download MBA Admission Interview Guide

Top 31 MBA Programs + Analysis of 24 Industries (United States)

We analyze the MBA Curriculum, Class Profile, Total Cost and Post-MBA Salary of Top 31 MBA programs in the US.

+ Industry Trends

+ Future of Aerospace, Agriculture, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Automobile, Clean Tech, Education, Energy, Fashion, Financial Services, Insurance, FinTech, Government, Healthcare, Life Sciences, Military, Manufacturing, Maritime, Media/Advertising, Technology, Tourism, Trade, Transportation and Logistics, Virtual Reality (VR), and Augmented Reality (AR).

Pages: 327


"I have not reviewed many books for MBA Admission consulting companies but doing it now to give all applicants a brief idea on what the book covers. The book includes 31 top MBA programs - almost all the top schools you have heard or considering for your MBA application. Each chapter is categorized by US States where there is at least one top MBA program. So you have California and Massachusetts with the most number of MBA programs and several states with one top program (Washington, Minnesota, Washington D.C., Connecticut, Virginia, and Maryland) and other states with two to three MBA programs. The book focuses on four aspects of an MBA program - curriculum, cost, class profile and post-MBA salary. For me, the breakdown of the cost and post-MBA industry was useful to make my decision on selecting the top 5 programs for 2017-18. It is a fascinating read in an industry where consultants overprice for their expertise. I recently bought a 30-page guide for $49. Compared to the obvious observation in that book, the 300+ page, MBA in US - the Ultimate guide is a goldmine of information and analysis." - Verified Purchase (21st June 2017)

"I bought the ultimate guide after a friend recommended it for me. The guide covers a lot of ground on the history of each prominent US states and goes into the reasons why a certain industry emerged from each state. In addition to the analysis of the economy, trends and expected changes in the next 5 years, the book features top MBA programs in each state with an extensive study of its curriculum. Ultimate guide is an essential reference book for MBA Applicants if they want to shortlist MBA programs based on value and cost, and not just ranking. " - Verified Purchase (14th June 2017)

"Should be a required reading before applying for an MBA. School events and MBA Tours are PR events disguised as a Q&A. On the contrary, the book is an unbiased analysis of each Top MBA program in the US supported by a large dataset and historical context on each industry. The guide builds a case for indstries that are likely to emerge as favourite for MBA graduates. Thorough and a valuable book." - Verified Purchase (15th June 2017)

"What I liked: The breadth of the information. Some of my favorite nonfiction books have taken the same approach as the ultimate guide have - cover background information in-depth. In the book, the author uses parallel threads to demonstrate the history of the state and the rise of industries. Will make you think how schools thrive based on the policy set by the state. California's obsession with Technology has revolutionized how we do Business and changed post-MBA trends. Many MBA applicants will be consulting or doing marketing for a Technology company. That is one key finding from the book. The latest development in AI, FinTech, and Automation is an additional context that I found valuable in the book.

Very informative. I would recommend that you read the book at least once in chronological order before using Table of Contents." - Verified Purchase (2nd July 2017)

Download How to Choose the Best MBA in US: The Ultimate Guide
(2018 Entering Class)

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