Talking about oneself passionately doesn’t come naturally to us, unless you are in Sales. Most MBA Applicants are not happy with their current responsibilities. They want a change in career or career progression in alignment with their potential and talents. Schools, however, will evaluate you based on what you have achieved. If you can’t talk with passion about your achievements, the admission team would find you uninspiring.
We find people engaging for two reasons – humor and for similar values and interests. Unfortunately, you can’t use humor in MBA Admission interview. Matching hobbies always seems phony. So matching values is the key.
If the interviewer believes in risk taking, then you have to quote one instance from your life where you took a big risk, even if you have failed.
11 Tips to prepare for MBA Admission Interview
1) Read your essays several times. The first thing that the interviewer wants to do is to check whether you are the same person as revealed in the essay and the resume.
2) Go through all the projects in details. If the Interviewer has a background different from yours, you will get the opportunity to teach an MBA Alumnus about your industry. Share your unique wisdom. They are also eager to learn something new. Approach the Interview positively. Don't see the interview as a barrier to getting into a top MBA program.
3) Research about the Interviewer. Find his/her likes dislikes. Go through the person’s social media profiles. Don’t send a friend request just now. A LinkedIn request is fine but introduce yourself in a sentence or two. If the interviewer has published blogs/white papers, read them. Don’t research too aggressively and creep them out. Don’t give the impression that you know everything about the person including the name of her pet dog. Use the research to guide the conversation. Even if you know a lot about the Interviewer, the opening icebreaker conversation should be about the person and her family.
4) List 50-100 Questions that the admission team is likely to ask. We have covered the commonly asked questions in F1GMAT’s MBA Admission Interview guide.
5) Avoid Generalization: about culture, people, achievements, team, and your experience. Bring the uniqueness of your experience during the interview. Offering the right context is the key.
6) The Interviewer will ask about negative emotions: disappointments, failures, and self-doubt. The interviewer is trying to figure out your Emotional Intelligence. Everyone feels negative emotions. Accepting the negative emotion is the key, but the interviewer wants to know how quickly you switch to an analytical way of approaching the problem. The interviewer wants to see if you get bogged down by setbacks.
7) Practice a lot. Record your answer. Fine-tune your tone. You should internalize all the answers but feel free to play around with the phrasing during the actual interview. Each answer should have one sentence or action verb that reveals your personality.
8) Write down your final recorded answer. Read it several times. It is like a stand-up routine. Good Stand-up comedians will give the impression that they are telling the jokes for the first time. Great ones are conversational. Make your interview conversational. During essay editing, we have helped our clients with storytelling, but the technique works even better in person.
9) Be passionate but don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Think of this interview as an opportunity to connect with the interviewer.
10) Visit the interview venue one day before the interview to familiarize with the location and ambiance.
11) Reach the venue 30 minutes before the interview
If you need any assistance with Interview Prep, do read F1GMAT’s MBA Admission Interview Guide. We have shared a lot of useful tips about interaction, first impression and on answering some of the tough questions you are likely to face.
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