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MBA Admission Interview – Focus on the Interaction

MBA Admission Interview ExperienceMBA Admission Interviews are never evaluated in isolation. It is part validation and part discovery. The Adcom is primarily validating the personality that is conveyed through the essays. They want to make sure that the essays are not the imagination of an MBA Admissions consultant or an expert editor, who has carefully constructed the essays to represent the candidate’s profile in the best possible light. Interviews offer Adcom with the opportunity to evaluate the experience of interacting with the candidate.

Often candidates prepare for the interview by reading previous year’s questions. This is a necessary step to familiarize with the nature of the question. If you ask some of the best actors - how they authentically emote for the camera, most of them will say, “Learn the line.” It is a fundamental requirement to be a great actor, although critics might argue that Marlon Brando had cues all over the set, and he was poor at learning his line. He saw it as a distraction from authentically being at the moment. Unfortunately, MBA admission interviews have no retakes.

To focus on the experience of the MBA Admission Interview, we have to think about the following factors:


1) Likeability

For face-to-face interview, several factors influence the likeability of a candidate. As we had mentioned in our MBA Admission Interview Guide, to improve likeability in MBA Admission Interviews demonstrate Confidence, Enthusiasm, Listening Skills, Objective Criticism, and Respect. Two factors that weigh in the most are Confidence and Respect - a combination that immediately builds rapport between the interviewer and the candidate.

Confidence can only be demonstrated when the candidate has prepared for the interview. The candidate should research about the interviewers and appreciate the journey that they have taken to excel in their career. Without learning about the interviewer, the respect that you convey through ‘fake smiles’ and ‘thank you for the interview’ pleasantry at the end of the interview will have zero contribution for the authentic experience that you are creating for the interviewer.

2) Familiarize with the environment

The interview preparation should stop in the morning of the interview. If the interview is in the evening, visit the café or the meeting place in the morning or the day before, to familiarize with the environment. For the actual interview, arrive at the location one hour before the scheduled time. Experts advice against arriving at the interview location too early as it will make you more nervous. There is no harm in being little nervous. If the stakes are high, it will be ....

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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

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