What To Practice Going Into An MBA Interview
You’ve gotten the interview. Now, you’re one step closer to attending your dream MBA.
Maria Wich-Vila, a contributor at Forbes, recently broke down how applicants should approach MBA interviews.
Going into your interview, Wich-Vila says, it’s important to set the right mindset.
“While it’s normal (and healthy) to be nervous about your interview, I sometimes meet people who completely psych themselves out in a counterproductive way,” she writes. “This can lead to an interview performance that is too jittery or too quiet.”
To avoid this, Wich-Vila says, applicants need to change how they view the interviewer.
“Don’t think of the interviewer as some sort of antagonist — a mighty judge on high whose goal is to mentally criticize and put down everything you say,” she writes. “While the interviewer is (of course) evaluating you based on your answers, remember that MBA interviewers are usually either admissions committee (“AdCom”) members, current students or recent graduates.”
Mindset is also critical in how you prepare for your interview.
“Throughout the preparation process, remember to maintain a growth mindset,” Kenton Kivestu, CEO of RocketBlocks, an interactive, skills based prep platform that prepares students for case interviews, writes for P&Q. “The key concept of a growth mindset is that each individual’s skills are *not* innate and fixed – they’re flexible and they can be augmented with targeted practice and preparation.”
Know Your Story
You may think you know your story well enough given the amount of time you spent crafting your MBA application.
Yet, experts say, it’s important to refresh yourself on what your story is.
“Given the timing of interview invites, you probably wrote and submitted your application a month or two ago,” Wich-Vila writes. “A lot of the anecdotes you brainstormed about yourself for the essays and recommendations might not be so fresh in your mind anymore.”
Malvina Miller Complainville, expert coach at MBA admissions coaching firm Fortuna Admissions, says applicants should be able to make connections between their story and what makes them stand out among the competition.
“Your key selling points and stories should relate to your strengths, your contribution to the school, your personality or soft skills (leadership potential, teamwork skills), and your career goals,” Complainville writes for P&Q. “Your stories should consist of behavioral examples that illustrate the key selling point, and should be shared with honesty and humility. Take the time to reflect on how a key selling point will benefit the MBA community, how it will help you reach your career goals, and how it fits with the school’s core values.”
Practice Out Loud
Knowing your story is one thing but being able to actually articulate it is a whole other exercise.
Wich-Vila says applicants should practice articulating their answers out loud and record them.
“Sometimes, once we start giving our answers out loud, we realize to our horror that we are going off on a tangent, or we are not explaining something clearly enough so that a stranger can understand it, or we are inadvertently striking the wrong tone,” she writes. “For this reason, I want you to practice each answer to each sample question between three and five times. Ideally, you can record yourself (e.g., on your phone) and listen to what you said. I promise you that the first time you give an answer out loud, you won’t sound nearly as polished as you expected.”
Sources: Forbes, Poets & Quants, Poets & Quants
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