7 Tips To Master Your MBA Interview
The interview is your best chance to show the admissions committee why you're a strong candidate for their program
By Vera Reed
The competition for admission into an MBA program is high and standing out from the flood of applicants can be difficult. The MBA interview is your chance to show the admissions committee why you’re a strong candidate for their program.
For many MBA applicants, the admissions interview is one of the most nerve-wrecking steps of the entire process. But making a positive impression is key.
Here’s 7 tips to help you ease your nerves and master that all-important interview:
1. Do Your Research
Part of preparing for your interview is showing that you know anything and everything about the school or program you are applying to. It has probably been some time since you submitted your application to the various top schools on your list, but you want to make sure that you are familiar with the program’s specific philosophy and goals for their students.
Incorporating the program’s philosophy and goals into your interview will show that you hold a special interest and will make you appear enthusiastic for placement into the school.
2. Look for Typical Questions
Many of the interviews will start off with some general interview questions such as, “Why are you applying for an MBA?” or “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?”.
You should look up some typical interview questions that past applicants might have shared and prepare some answers. Some schools might have questions that they like to tailor to ask applicants.
Another reason researching beforehand is important; schools want to know why you are interested in their specific program so they might reference opportunities their programs offer in their interview questions. Once you have a list of prep questions ready you can start practicing your answers.
3. Practice, Practice, Practice
Although you want to be prepared for your interview, you also want to appear genuine and not too robotic.
Practice your answers with your friends, family, and admissions coach through mock interviews. Keep practicing until you are able to clearly get your point across without fumbling to find the right words.
You also want to prepare a narrative about yourself that should be around two to three minutes. Discuss your achievements, education and work history as well as your goals for the future.
4. Presentation is Key
Remember this is the admissions committee’s first impression of you. As much as you want to sound professional you also want to look professional. Dress for this interview just as you would for an interview for your dream job.
5. Be Attentive and Listen
Showing that you are being attentive and an active listener is just as important as prepping your answers. Giving listening cues such as nodding and keeping eye contact are small gestures that can show that you are interested in your interviewer.
6. Ask Questions
Most interviews will end with time for questions so make sure you have some prepared for your interviewer as well. This is when you want to show that you have a genuine interest in the program and ask specific questions that can’t be easily found on their website.
You want to come up with quality questions that your interviewer can answer such as, “What do you think is the program’s greatest asset for students?” or “Why did you decide to be a part of [school or program]?” Questions like these will help you engage more with the interviewer and display your interest in their program or school.
Probably the most important and useful tip is to get a good night’s sleep and relax. Try to sleep earlier than you normally would to ensure that you are not only well rested but that you will wake up on time fully refreshed. Get to the interview early so that you can be familiar with the area and give yourself a moment to ease your nerves before your actual interview.