Getting an interview invitation is exciting – you’re a step closer to pursuing your MBA at your top choice program! Now you need to prepare for your interview with the same focus that has gotten you this far in the application process…
Here are some areas to help you focus your preparation:
Your interview will probably include questions about your strengths and weaknesses. Start thinking about what you want to focus on, and think about some specific anecdotes/experiences to illustrate your strengths. When discussing a weakness, we encourage our clients to be sure that they talk about ways they overcame or are working on overcoming it. We advise them to support their assertions with stories.
You must know all the information on your resume cold. Your interviewer will have reviewed your resume and will have it at hand. You need to know dates, positions, responsibilities, awards, etc. and how to expand on them. Again, use stories to emphasize important moments in your life and how those experiences furthered your goals and your decision to apply to this MBA program (and attend if accepted).
Your interviewer doesn’t want to hear a laundry list of short- and long-term goals. They want to know how you formed your goals and exactly how you plan on achieving them. How have your past experiences contributed to your goals? How will an MBA help you accomplish them? Are your goals realistic? Think these questions through before your interview.
What you’re looking for in an MBA program
How are you a fit for the school, and how is it a fit for you? Research the program’s curriculum, faculty, student life, extracurricular activities, etc., before your interview. Why is this the perfect b-school for you? (Be specific – rankings and location won’t cut it.) Take the time to visit the school’s website, communicate with alumni and students, and visit the campus. Think about how you’ll contribute to their program, and be ready to show your “fit.”
How to stay calm during your interview
Interviews can be stressful. One way to master your anxiety is to practice positive visualization techniques. Picture yourself answering all of the interview questions in an impressive manner. Imagine yourself entering this b-school full of confidence and ready to contribute. This skill will help you keep your wits about you not only during your interview, but in other stressful circumstances as well.
Your interview is your chance to let the adcom see who you are. Work one-on-one with an MBA interview expert to ensure that you are ready to ace your interviews. View our MBA Interview Services for more information on how we can help you prep for the big day!
Linda Abraham is the founder of Accepted, the premier admissions consultancy. She has coached MBA applicants to acceptance for over 20 years. The Wall Street Journal, US News, and Poets & Quants are among the media outlets that seek her admissions expertise.
Comments or questions about this article? Email us.