This is where understanding your interviewer’s background (explained in MBA Admission Interview Guide) is important. For someone from a consulting background, the greatest professional achievement is when the consultant brings organizational changes that generate substantial cash flow, gives the client a competitive edge, and sparks a cycle of innovation. For investment bankers, raising millions of funds through cold calling, and for a technologist - creating a stable, secure system that serves millions of users are examples of greatest accomplishments.
Instead of worrying too much about the interviewer’s background, you can find comfort in the fact that four qualities find resonance with interviewers, irrespective of their background:
Persuading a client to accept your proposal or your team to work hard on your idea require skills in communication and a deeper understanding on human behavior. You develop the skill through failures, and through keen observation of human motivations. Professionals who can articulate how they changed perception about the solution through careful construction of the message, social pressure, and finally compliance, make for an interesting session; a session that the interviewer will remember for the technique that you taught her.
Instead of plainly saying, “I convinced the client to invest $2 million on the solution,” give a sneak peek into the process that you followed. How did you study your competitors? What did you find lacking in them? How did you construct the message so that your solution mapped with the problems that the client was facing? How did you apply social pressure, and finally gain compliance to your demand. You don’t have to go into the detail of your process but highlight how you approached the problem systematically, the data you collected, and the research you did before crafting the message.
For a professional selling a Finance product, persuasion is a three-step process: Start with the end Goal, Think like a Customer, and Show Flexibility.
2) Attention to Details
We had advised against using Jargons, but as professionals, general statements about achievements don’t impress the admission team. There is a balancing act, and you can go into the detail of the implementation to impress upon your one unique quality – “attention to details.” Offer context and simplify the Jargons. When you describe the implementation, pay attention to ....
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