How To Nail Your MBA Interview
Interviews play a critical role in the MBA admissions process. Typically, if you’ve made it to the interview stage, your chances of admission are high.
Stacy Blackman, founder of Stacy Blackman Consulting, recently covered some of the toughest MBA interview questions and offered insight into how applicants can nail the last step of the admissions process.
“WHAT ARE YOUR BIGGEST WEAKNESSES?”
When it comes to weaknesses, Blackman says, it’s all about demonstrating strong self-awareness and a dedication your improvement.
“Say you have a shortcoming in your application, such as a lack of community service or middling undergrad academic performance,” Blackman says. “Use the interview to remove doubt about any potential red flags. Explain how you have already begun the hard work of improving on your negative traits and that you have a plan for further progress while at business school through specific classwork and activities.”
Cultivating confidence in your answer is key, experts say.
“Focus on your strengths and when they ask about your weaknesses, be ready to be self-critical while highlighting your belief in yourself,” Anjala Krishen, director of MBA programs at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas Lee Business School, tells US News. “Being ostentatious or arrogant during an interview is not good, but being overly self-critical and lacking self-belief is also bad.”
“DESCRIBE A POOR MANAGER YOU’VE HAD”
Everyone has likely had a poor manager before. The key to discussing this past experience is being diplomatic in how you answer. As Blackman explains, it’s a delicate balance of assigning blame to the poor manager and conveying how you view strong leadership.
“Your best bet is briefly explaining—with no bitterness—your issues with the manager and moving on to the positives,” Blackman says. “Discuss how you adapted, became empathetic, reached a compromise, or confronted the situation to ultimately achieve a favorable outcome.”
“TELL ME ABOUT AN ETHICAL DILEMMA YOU FACED”
MBA admissions officers typically ask this question to better understand your moral compass and the decisions you’ve made.
“Choose your ethical dilemma carefully to make sure the situation has no clear-cut answer,” Blackman says. “Remember, it doesn’t need to be a large-scale conundrum. Situations that rest in the gray area are most effective with this sort of question, as those circumstances require leadership, nuance, and maturity.”
Sources: Stacy Blackman Consulting, US News
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