MBA Interview Tips

MBA Interview Tips (1/2)

Congratulations on getting your interview invite! Only about 40% of all applicants are invited to interview with their dream school, so this is no ordinary feat. Now since you have cleared the first hurdle, expectations and anxieties are bound to rise, however you should continue to remain focused and double down on your effort to ace the interview.

Some general advice to keep in mind while preparing for your interviews are:

  • While all schools offer a mix of on campus, off campus and virtual formats for the interview, its always recommended to meet with their admissions officers in person and on campus (to the extent possible) since it showcases your desire to be a part of their community and your willingness to be a part of the class once an offer is extended.
  • Since the interviews tend to be professional in nature, try to dress in a formal attire and make sure you reach your venue at least 20 min in advance for in person interviews or are online and waiting in lobby at least 10 min prior for virtual interviews. Carry multiple copies of your resume which was submitted in the application to the interview.
  • For virtual interviews, try to test your internet connection prior to the interview and always have your hotspot on standby in the case of any weakness in your internet connectivity during your interview.
  • Always greet your interviewer with a big smile (helps set the mood for the interview) and ask them how they are doing. In case of virtual format, do confirm the logistic (audio and video) is working fine to avoid any last-minute glitches, and flag them out in case you become aware of any such glitch prior to the interview.
  • The interview is a great opportunity to tell your life story in person and hence its will be helpful to cull out specific instances which can create an impact. Do consult friends, colleagues, and family members to figure out stories that have most impact. Try to get feedback from an array of sources to incorporate all diverse perspectives.
  • The interviewer is genuinely interested in getting to know you as person, so don’t just remain fixated on your professional achievements, talk about your personal life (hobbies, interests, passion etc) as well, they can be great hooks to get your interviewer invested in you and can help strengthen the connect.
  • Networking tends to play a critical role in getting to know your school on an intimate level, so do reach out to current students or recent alumni to learn more about the community and school culture. Do mention the names of these connects during your final interview.
  • All responses shouldn’t typically exceed 3min since the typical human attention span is not very long. Try to keep the responses short and crisp as that will help keep your interviewer engaged, short responses can be seen as red flags and long responses will drop interviewer’s interest.
  • The standard opening question tends to “Tell me about yourself / walk me through your resume”, make sure you have practiced this response multiple times. Having some bullets to remember key points is always helpful.
  • Most important: Practice at least 2-3 mock interviews so you can get a feel of the environment and commit any obvious mistakes in these safe settings. While most questions tend to be standard, its you delivery and quality of response that will make all the difference.

Finally, always remember that “Being Likeable” is the most important element for an interview as that helps establish a connect between you and interviewer. All the best for your upcoming interview!!