3 Common MBA Interview Questions And How To Answer Them
You’ve gotten past the first round of the MBA application. Now, it’s time for you to tackle the interview round.
Applicants who are often nervous about the interview process can rest easy as there is an abundance of information about how to effectively prep for your interview.
Stacy Blackman, an admissions consultant and founder of Stacy Blackman Consulting,recently published a blog piece on the top three most common MBA interview questions and how applicants can address them.
“Tell Me About Yourself”
Blackman says the number one way to answer this question poorly is to go “on and on.”
“It’s easy to do when you’ve been asked such an open-ended question, so make sure you practice your response out loud a few times,” Blackman writes. “There’s no need to recite your life’s story—talking about where you were born, your family, or your childhood is not what they’re looking for here.”
Rather, Blackman says, applicants should approach this question as if they’ve been asked to walk the interviewer through a resume.
“Quickly summarize the highlights of your college years and then move on to your professional career,” Blackman writes. “Explain why you took the roles you did, what your main responsibilities were, and what you enjoyed or took away from each position. If you’ve stayed at the same company for several years, you could talk about how your responsibilities have increased over time.”
“Why School X?”
This question is all about discussing your goals.
“If you haven’t discussed your short- and long-term career goals by the time you are asked this question, you could begin your response by briefly explaining what you’re hoping to do after graduation,” Blackman says. “Then you can state the specific skills and knowledge you’ll need to be successful in the future—and how School X can help you fill those gaps.”
It’s important to also bring in additional information about the specific school.
“You should be prepared to mention school-specific examples of courses, clubs, and other aspects of the curriculum that fit with your career goals,” Blackman writes. “In short, do your homework and refresh your memory of School X’s program before your interview.”
Tyler Cormney, co-founder of MBA Prep School, says the best answers to this question are both personal and specific.
“They are personal because they cover the unique challenges that you need to prepare for in the future,” Cormney writes in an article for P&Q. “They are specific because they draw distinct connections between your motivations for an MBA and the particular resources that each business school has to offer you.”
“Is There Anything Else You’d Like To Add?”
Blackman suggests applicants to always add extra information to this question. The worst things you can do is say no.
“Even if you’ve had an hour-long discussion that covered everything under the sun and you’re feeling confident about how things have gone, you still should take this opportunity to reiterate why you’re excited about the program and why you’d be an asset to the incoming class,” Blackman writes.