MBA Interviews are a critical part of the MBA Admission process; they can make or break a school’s decision to admit a prospective student. Students that look good on paper (via their MBA essays, resume and recommendation letters) are being tested in the interview - are they as good as they claim to be? Did they really write their own essay? Can they communicate and connect? The burden of proof is on the student.
Some schools interview a large portion of the applicant population, and every student that is invited to interview has the potential to be admitted. The chance of being admitted based on an interview varies from school to school; for example, Columbia Business School interviews a significant segment of its strong applicants, while NYU Stern School of Business interviews a smaller percentage. The nature of the interview and the number of available interviewers also varies from school to school (and even from year to year). An interview invitation from LBS, INSEAD, Harvard or Stanford is a strong indication of the student‘s potential to become an MBA student at that program.
How to prepare
1. Know yourself - be prepared to talk about each bullet point in your resume, each class you've taken in college, and any major decision you've made. (Why did you quit your PhD program? Why did you switch
from consulting to industry?)
2. Know the school - while some schools might not ask about "why Stanford/Harvard," most will want to see that you've spent time and energy considering their programs and that their MBA program is a good fit for your needs and personality. Be sure to have specific details at your fingertips to show your passion and commitment to the program.
3. Be prepared to talk about yourself - most people find it easy to talk about their professional life, less so about their weaknesses, failures and personality. This is the tricky part and you have to be ready to give honest and relevant answers.
4. Be prepared to be surprised - there are going to be some unexpected questions that you can't prepare for, so be ready to take any questions that are thrown your way. One applicant was recent asked to draw the
organizational chart for his company, another to talk about the dynamics of his family business.
5. Get specific feedback - prepare with a professional, not just with a friend or a family member. You want to get feedback about your verbal and non-verbal communication, and find ways to improve your performance. Whether you're using too many fillers ("you know," "mmm"), lean forward at an awkward angle or speak too fast, these are all things you can work on and perfect.
Read more interview tips at Yael’s MBA Admissions blog. Connect with Yael Redelman-Sidi on Facebook or follow her on twitter, to get more MBA tips and news.
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