3 Tips For The INSEAD MBA Interview
The interview is a critical component in the admissions process at INSEAD. As one of the top B-schools in the world, INSEAD specifically seeks out applicants who can demonstrate a unique perspective as a candidate.
Melissa Jones, an expert coach at MBA admissions coaching firm Fortuna Admissions and former assistant director of the INSEAD MBA program, recently offered her top tips for preparing for a successful INSEAD interview and what applicants can expect.
CRAFT YOUR ELEVATOR PITCH
The INSEAD interview typically starts out with “walk me through your resume” or “tell me a bit about yourself.”
Jones says applicants should be prepared to answer this opening question with what she calls the “one-minute elevator pitch.”
“Your approximately one-minute MBA elevator pitch should be a compelling and concise conversation opener that speaks to who you are, what you’re passionate about, and what’s driving you to pursue your business school degree,” Jones adds. “Your goal is to both create a positive first impression and open the door to further conversation by generating interest.”
KNOW THESE TWO Q’S
Every INSEAD interview will include the following two questions: Why an MBA? And why INSEAD?
The best way to prepare for these questions, Jones says, is to thoroughly understand INSEAD’s unique culture and values. Then, connect the dots between your own personal goals and values and INSEAD’s.
“Among other qualities, your interviewer is looking for your leadership potential, fit with the school and ability to connect the dots within your professional experience to why the INSEAD MBA is the ideal next step in advancing your highest aspirations,” Jones says.
HIGHLIGHT INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE
INSEAD prides itself on having a multicultural community of students. The B-school has three fully-integrated campuses in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East and is home to over 80 different nationalities in the classroom. Showcasing your international experience is a must.
“International experience isn’t only an advantage, but a distinct criterion your interviewers will be assessing,” Jones says. “You’ll need to do more than enumerate your trips or adventures abroad. INSEAD wants evidence you’ve learned from these experiences, that you’ve gained interesting insights, cultural sensitivity, and curiosity for cultures beyond your own. Know that many short trips abroad count for less than extended stays, such as working or studying in another country, when you would’ve had to adapt to different environments. If you haven’t had the opportunity yet to work or study abroad for an extended period, you could also discuss the experiences you have had working with international teams, and most importantly, what insights you have gained about cross-cultural collaboration.”
Sources: Fortuna Admissions, P&Q
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