For many applicants, the notification of an interview invite from your dream school is an exciting next step after an arduous application process. All of your hard work has finally paid off with some initial success. However, typically the excitement soon turns to anxiety as candidates begin to realize they have no idea how to prepare for an admissions interview for business school. “Is it just like a regular job interview?” and “What type of questions do they ask?” are just a couple of the common initial questions that can arise once an interview invitation is received.
The business school interview should not be viewed as anything new to you. It is more similar to the traditional job interview than you might expect. Just like a regular interview, you are aiming to impress, and most of the interview will be focused on YOU! The key difference with this interview is the goal: admission to the MBA program of your dreams.
Veritas Prep recommends preparing for your MBA interview the same way you prepare for any job interview. It starts with knowing your own personal background inside and out, along with your motivations for that target business school. Then it’s on to researching your target school and identifying the aspects that make the school uniquely attractive to you. A nice way to do this is to pair up school-specific offerings of interest with an adjoining explanation for why that offering is uniquely attractive to you. This includes academic offerings, extracurricular activities/professional clubs, career support/recruiting strengths, etc.
Next you should identify common MBA questions like:
- What Are Your Career Goals?
- Why an MBA?
- Why School X?
- Walk Me Through Your Resume …
There are also other common situational business school questions that address interpersonal skills like leadership, teamwork, and maturity. For the most part, these interviews have very few surprises, and you will know what’s coming, which makes the prep all the more important. Preparing conversational responses in a script format to each of the common interview questions is one method for those who prefer a more structured approach to their interview prep. But make sure to incorporate elements of your personality into your script to avoid coming off as too rehearsed.
Breakthrough candidates will make sure to incorporate the “I” of what they accomplished into their script. Make sure to connect the dots with regards to the steps you’ve taken in your career, and remain structured in your responses. Utilizing the S.T.A.R format (Situation-Task-Action-Result) and talking in buckets — “There are 3 Reasons Why I Want to Go to Fuqua” are other tactics you can incorporate into your preparation for the interview.
Finally, take particular note of how the interview style of certain schools can affect your responses. Some schools like Kellogg have “blind” interviews so the interviewer will not have seen your application, so they will not have access to important information like GPA, GMAT, essays etc. Other styles can be influenced by the type of interviewer (Alum vs. Student vs. Admissions) or the location (On Campus vs. Off Campus) which can dictate the type of information you are prepared to share as well as list on your resume for the interview.
Don’t let the interview be the end of your business school journey. Prepare accordingly and come decision day you will be all smiles!
Need help preparing for your interview? Sign up for a mock interview session with one of our MBA admissions experts. Also, join Veritas Prep for a free webinar on February 7 at 5 p.m. Eastern on the Veritas Prep YouTube channel. We’ll offer interview tips and answer your questions. Sign up at https://www.veritasprep.com/business-school/free-online-mba-admissions-workshop/. As always, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.
If you have questions, give Veritas Prep a call at 800-925-7737 to speak with an MBA admissions expert or request a free consultation at https://www.veritasprep.com/business-school/free-profile-evaluation/. For more insights and advice, check out Veritas Prep’s blog, and be sure to find Veritas Prep on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.
Dozie Azotam is a consultant with Veritas Prep, the largest privately owned test prep and admissions consulting company in the world. Since 2002, Veritas Prep has helped thousands of applicants gain admission to their dream schools using its team of experienced consultants and a personalized game plan for each client.