Business Schools might have obsessively evaluated your motivation to do an MBA, but don’t forget schools, and admissions team have motivations too. Selecting the best candidate is a goal not the motivation behind the evaluation. When an MBA Admission Interviewer - an Alumnus, takes time away from their schedule to meet you and discuss your plans, they are not getting paid by the hour as a consultant. For a member of the MBA Admission team, the interaction is much more focused. They cannot give excuses like “I was busy last week”. It’s their job.
The Clock Watcher
When candidate Y shook hands with the interviewer – an alumnus, the meeting had finally happened, after three rescheduling. Past two appointments were cancelled at the last minute, and Y was even considering calling up the Admissions team, but better sense prevailed. When rescheduling happens more than 2-times, you can be sure that the interviewer is a Clock Watcher, a fake busy body or genuinely overwhelmed consultant – you will never know, but the phone will be on silent not switched off, and between conversation, he will check for messages at least two or three times. As an interviewee - this can be demotivating, especially when you are going on a monologue about your greatest achievement. It’s not you, or perhaps it’s you, but mostly likely the interviewer is looking for that one spark, that says, you are the ‘One’.
Doing your research about the Interviewer is your first action item when you fix an appointment. It can do wonders, and the interviewer’s behavior will not demotivate you. It might just be an act to stress you. Candidate Y got selected. She stuck with the plan and maintained the high-energy conversation, despite initial discouraging signs from the Interviewer.
The interviewer sounded like your best friend. She is interested in you, strikes a genuine smile, and wants to learn how you will contribute for the school. After the initial rapport building, when she was not hesitant to ask about your parents, siblings, and partner, you began to wonder – “What is the fuss about MBA Admission interview. This is a breeze.” You felt comfortable opening up, and you did not have to follow strategies consciously and create favorable first impression, or fine-tune your answers according to the interviewer’s personality. Your research on the interviewer indicated that she was ambitious, and prefers heavy metal to romantic comedies. Initial chat revealed nothing of that sort. You are smiling excessively, and slowly your guard is going down, and then she asks “What is your biggest failure, and what have you learned from it?”
The wide grin is gone, and now you are contemplating “How to phrase the first sentence.” You are nervous, and the three examples that you had prepared seem lacking for the conversation. ‘The Conversationalists’ has outdone you, my friend. No matter how ‘nice’ the interviewers are, they are meeting you for one goal - “To Evaluate your candidacy.” Never forget that.
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.
1) Booth School of Business
2) Columbia Business School
3) Ivey Business School
4) Johnson Graduate School of Management
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