Eight tips for a winning MBA admissions interview

Be 100% clear about your career goals:

mba-admissions-interview-tipsIn a typical MBA admission interview, certain questions are designed to assess the clarity of thoughts, career path and career aspirations. Candidates are expected to be clear as to how the MBA course and the particular B-school could help in achieving the desired result (reasons such as financial aid, school specialization, career growth, school rating etc might come in handy). Your goals should be consistent with your experience and your desire to pursue further education. Hence, we recommend candidates to have both short and long term career objectives when preparing for a business school admissions interview.

Be illustrative on various soft skills:

A majority of business school interview questions place heavy emphasis on leadership skills. Most business school admissions interview look for candidates who show these leadership capabilities. The personal history of the candidate is looked at – career history, education, extra-curricular activities, community activities, honors and awards at work and during education and so on. Candidates’ depth in interpersonal and communication skills is also given high credence in any business school interview. Stating relevant instances where such attributes are portrayed is of great importance.

Have ready answers related to weaker areas:

This important tip helps a prepared candidate ace through the business school interview questions. Weak areas such as highlighted below should be thought through and convincing reasons should be stated before attending an MBA admission interview:-

  • Low score in GMAT, TOEFL etc
  • Inconsistent records
  • Frequent change in employment
  • Limited involvement in co-curricular or extra-curricular activities
  • Gaps in employment
  • Gaps during education

Right Attitude – Confident, Honest and Humble:

You need to showcase the right attitude in the Mba admission interview as the recipe for success in life is a right attitude. Some points with having the right attitude during an MBA admission interview are:-

  • Be honest: Honesty is the best policy. Your interviewer or interviewers will have a lot more experience than you. Don’t put up a false front.
  • Always allow the interviewer to complete the question
  • Exhibit some level of humility.

Know what is in Your Resume:

Admissions officers are often surprised to see that most candidates are not familiar with what is in their resume. In the MBA admission interview, the interviewer may wish to probe into some of your claims to fame in your resume. Be sure to review your application, essays and resume prior to the interview. Contradicting yourself at the interview can have very negative results. A basic printout of your resume and other important details should come in handy here, especially for telephonic business school admissions interview.

Using refined language, being “Polished” :

Wear a suit or other formal business clothes to an MBA admissions interview- even if it is telephonic. Even if you are meeting in a casual location, dressing professionally demonstrates respect for the school and seriousness about the process. For a telephonic business school admissions interview, keep your desk clean as this enhances clarity and coordination of thoughts.

Know all about the MBA program, B-school and the university:

Revisit the school/website to get very familiar on key facts unique to your business school interview questions. Even if you are applying to multiple schools, each one has its own identity, curriculum, specialties, etc. This could make you aware of some specific details about the business school admissions process or the program – which would reflect in your answers during the business school interview. It is important to project yourself as a person who pays attention to detail. It also conveys your specific, keen interest in the school.

Be Confident and Comfortable:

Nervousness is a sign of lack of self confidence. This factor is highly considered in any business school admissions interview process. Avoid stress and get to the venue on time and maintain calmness and composure during the interview process. During the interview, take time to understand what is asked of you. Feel free to ask for a repeat if you don’t clearly understand a question.

Preparation is the key to a successful MBA admission interview. The tips and some business school interview questions mentioned above are to let you know what to expect from the interview process and to help you plan your approach. Remember, Acing the Business school interview is highly dependant on your Preparation!

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