For MBA program applicants, the admission interview remains a tough nut to crack. The admission committees ask a few general questions to assess whether the candidate has what it takes to fit into the class.
In such a situation, how would you ensure success at the interview and admission at a school of your choice?
Admission experts agree on the need for proper preparation for the interview. It should be treated just like a job interview. You need to think about and prepare answers to all sorts of possible questions. Your attire, attitude, and manners should also reflect the importance given to the interaction.
The interviewer may be admission officers, alumni or students. Initially, they may ask to state the reasons for choosing to enroll for an MBA at this particular B-school.
The school website, admission events, current students, the faculty and the alumni would provide valuable information about the program. You would then be able to answer such questions with confidence.
How to crack the MBA Admission Interview | Tips and Tricks
How to Answer Career Goals Question
The career goals question may also be clubbed with two others, namely, why you need the MBA to achieve these goals and why is this the best time to enroll for the program. In all possibility, you may have already stated these points in your admission essay. It would be good to read the relevant portions to refresh your memory prior to appearing for the interview.
About career goals, you should identify and talk about an immediate post-MBA target role, industry and at least two target companies. You may also need to describe your short-term goals as well as long term targets, about 5 to 10 years after receiving the MBA.
You could also explain how the program would help you to acquire the necessary knowledge through the program to achieve these goals. In this context, it would be good to identify two or three specific skills that you need to acquire.
Why Did You Choose This School?
It will be good to write down three reasons for the school being the best fit for you. You could also list three resources at the school, the courses, professors, conferences or professors to buttress your argument.
The school website would provide details about the courses, clubs and other activities. You could also attend admission events or garner the information from students and alumni.
Telling Your Story
You are most likely to be faced with questions like ‘tell me about yourself’ or ‘walk me through your resume’. In such cases, try to keep your answers brief, about three minutes, and to the point. Do not talk fast or ramble.
It would be good to hold a rehearsal of the typical interview questions with a friend, colleague, mentor or admission consultant. They will be able to give you feedback on the timing and pacing.
What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?
This question demands an honest and straightforward answer. You may have to give an account of how certain qualities helped you overcome academic or workplace challenges.
At the other end of the scale, you may also be asked to recount your weaknesses or failures. Do not shy away from revealing the shortcomings that led to failure. You should explain how, after identifying the reasons for failure, the remedial steps that you took or intend to take to come out of such a situation.
What to Ask Your Interviewer
Most of the interviews conclude with the candidate being given some time to ask questions to the interviewer. You should avoid such questions where the answers would be available on the website or other public platforms.
If the interviewer is a student or an alum, you could ask about his or her experience, the challenges, and the rewards. If it is a faculty member, you could ask about the various aspects of the program and clear your doubts.
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