It doesn’t matter whether you believe the interview would be conversational or formal, around 75% of the interviewer will switch from friendly to part confrontational in a role that we have all known as the Devil’s advocate. The interviewer might believe in your achievements, goals or even ambition to change the culture, but they want to see how you respond to skepticism.
Even though Devil’s Advocate was an official position until 1983 in the Catholic Church, primarily created to challenge the evidence offered in favor of sainthood, in admission interviews, the challenges are not one dimensional. Business Schools must evaluate competitive factors while balancing the percentage of international, women and minority students in the class. Any evidence of incongruity or lack of salesmanship could be interpreted as a weakness. In addition to ‘being in the moment’ with enthusiasm and sincerity, here are 6 tough follow-up questions to expect in MBA Admission interview.
1) Career Choice
The choice of a discipline might be the result of a trend you followed, or it might have come from a sequence of events in school that gave you the aha moment. In interviews, the fakeness of a story cannot be hidden with flowery phrases. The interviewer is observing even the minutest twitch, smiles and wordplay. Truth always triumphs. Don’t create stories. Reflect and find moments, no matter how insignificant on retrospective, as the triggering point for your career choice. The Small Business of the family that is the backdrop for most immigrant stories has played into many career choices. Parents become role models for many. It might be the country’s renewed energy and ambition that might have pushed you into a career. It might be a talent that is irreplaceable by others that gave you the intuition for the career.
Note: The cross-questioning would happen in cases where there is a big change in major. For the most part, your choice of career reflects how you make life-impacting decisions. Connecting the dots and demonstrating a thoroughness in approach with a balance of spontaneity would position you as a serious contender.
List out 5 unique qualities that you began noticing in high school.
Shortlist the most relevant quality.
Find a connection between the quality and your career choice.
2) Most significant achievement
The question has bothered even the most confident applicants in essays. The fact-checking and context on the challenges would find new dimension when the interviewer is attentively listening to your quest to differentiate the achievement as the ‘greatest.’
If you have approached the essays in a balanced manner, you would know that the most significant/greatest achievement depends on the context.
But there are universally recognizable qualities that you should focus on while narrating the achievement:
The scale of your organization’s project doesn’t naturally translate to the scale of the project you have managed. This is the most common misrepresentation in essays and interview. I am assuming that you didn’t do that and offered enough context to separate the company’s achievement from your contribution. For start-ups with a team size of less than 30, the correlation is high. You should use the opportunity to take credit for the million-dollar project. If you were one of the key team members (less than 5) managing assets worth millions or billions or finalizing the branding message for a $20B company or led the redesign of processes that generated 300% growth in profit, proudly mention the impact you had on the team and the company.
Download F1GMAT's MBA Admissions Interview Guide for Complete list of Follow-up questions
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 (Team Discussion Strategy + Interview Tips)
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19. How do you define Success?
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