How To Prepare For An MBA Interview
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This Guide Will Help Prepare You Before The Interview
All top business schools include interviews as part of their application process. Through MBA interviews, schools learn about applicants beyond written applications and test scores. Admissions committees look for certain qualities in applicants, including emotional intelligence, oral communication skills, and self-awareness.
Schools may offer interviews on an open or invitation-only basis. Some MBA programs invite only the most promising applicants for an interview. Other schools welcome all applicants.
Both types of MBA interviews require preparation. This guide covers how to answer the most common MBA interview questions and offers MBA interview preparation tips.
Frequently Asked MBA Questions and Answers
Interviews often begin with this statement. Respond to it by discussing your undergraduate experience, work experience, and career goals. Try to mention something memorable or unique, such as a hobby or a cause that interests you. Explain how this interest aligns with your desire to earn an MBA.
Aim to answer this question ambitiously but realistically. Discuss specific ways how an MBA will further your career goals and how you plan to apply the skills you learn. You can draw on your career goals essay to answer this MBA interview question.
This question allows candidates to demonstrate their familiarity with a particular MBA program. Discuss what appeals to you about the program's culture, faculty, alumni, and curriculum. Be sure to mention any positive interactions with a current student, faculty member, or alum.
Think about the classes, projects, or professors you found challenging as an undergraduate. Briefly describe a specific challenge and what made it difficult. Then, shift your focus to how you overcame the challenge. Explain how this challenge became a positive learning experience.
Include a mix of short-term and long-term career goals in your response. Your short-term career goals should be specific and realistic. Your long-term career goals should relate to your personal values and passions. Explain how the MBA will help you achieve both types of career goals.
Keep specific examples in mind to answer this question. Mention scenarios in which you demonstrated leadership in a work environment. Leadership comes in different forms, including overseeing projects, standing up for your beliefs, or making a positive impact. You might also mention leadership experience from extracurricular activities or volunteer work.
Choose two or three strengths that will make you stand out, and provide specific examples of how you demonstrated these strengths. Then, provide examples of one or two weaknesses. In these examples, always discuss how you learned from your weakness and ultimately recovered in the situation.
After answering a series of MBA interview questions, be prepared to ask some of your own. This makes you appear serious, thoughtful, and well-informed. You might ask, "What sets this MBA program apart from others?" You can also ask the interviewer to connect the program to what you have told them about yourself. Consider asking, "What are this program's greatest advantages to someone with my goals?"
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5 Tips for a Successful MBA Interview
MBA interview preparation is paramount to your success. Common interview mistakes, such as failing to prepare, or coming across as negative or unfriendly, can hurt your chances of getting accepted into your desired MBA program.
This section provides MBA interview tips that can help you succeed at this stage of the process.
Each school conducts MBA interviews differently. An important part of MBA interview preparation is knowing each school's interview process.
For example, at some interviews, applicants meet with only one interviewer. At others, applicants meet with a whole panel. Sometimes interviewers will have read your entire application. At others, called "blind interviews," they will only have seen your resume.
MBA interviews may last 30 minutes to over an hour.
The STAR method can help you answer behavioral interview questions. This type of question asks candidates to provide an example of a time when they handled a specific type of situation.
The acronym STAR stands for situation, task, action, and result. First, describe the situation you faced. Then, mention what your specific role, or task, was in that situation. Next, explain what actions you took to address it. Conclude by sharing the result of your actions.
Certain questions arise in almost every MBA interview. Preparing answers to the most common MBA interview questions can help you make a positive impression.
Use your resume and application essay to identify your main strengths. Then, develop anecdotes to illustrate them. Ask a friend, family member, or mentor to perform a mock interview with you. Record the mock interview so you can evaluate and adjust your performance.
Candidates can make a good impression by following basic etiquette rules. Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled interview time. Bring an extra copy of your resume. Wear conservative business attire, unless your interviewer specifies a different dress code.
Also, be friendly and polite, not only to your interviewer but also to others you encounter. Make eye contact, and project confidence with good posture and a firm handshake.
Within 24 hours after your interview, send a thank you letter or email to your interviewer. If you fail to obtain your interviewer's contact information, simply email the school's general admissions office. Include the interviewer's name in the subject line.
Thank them for their time, and reiterate some key points from your meeting. You can also add anything important that went unmentioned during your interview. End by reaffirming your commitment to the school and your enthusiasm for its specific program.
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