Cracking the code to success: Acing the MBA interview questions
You’ve narrowed down business schools, taken the GMAT, updated your résumé, gotten your transcripts, crafted your essays and got your glowing letters of recommendation. Your next step? Await an invitation for an interview to knock the socks off the admissions committee with your well-researched MBA interview questions to seal the deal and be on your way towards obtaining a coveted business graduate degree.
The interview is a key in the admissions process, especially for highly competitive schools. The stakes are high, which means you’ll want to prepare accordingly to ensure you impress the panelists and get in when you answer the MBA interview questions.
As the process is arguably one of the most stressful part of the journey, here are some of the things to keep in mind for any MBA hopefuls prior to an interview:
Learn as much as you can about your school and its values, along with your interviewer(s)
Every business school has its unique set of requirements, so comb through the website to see how you’ll be a good fit, and tailor your responses accordingly. Think thoroughly of ways why you’ll be a great fit, along with some examples.
Don’t forget to look up your interviewers too, including their LinkedIn profile, which can be useful during the interview process for talking points.
Understand the interview process
Who will interview you? Where will the interview take place? How will the interview be done?
MBA interviews vary from school to school. Some business schools use their alumni to conduct the interview while others have an admissions committee. You could be interviewed with other students, or have a panel interview by two-person teams.
Wharton, for instance, has Team Based Discussions which “helps to paint a clearer picture of who you are and how you would fit into the class”. Kellogg, on the other hand, has an alumni-led MBA interview.
An interview can last between 30 minutes to an hour, so keep in mind the time frame you have to impress your interviewer.
With a pandemic on hand, students might want to prepare for an online interview instead of a face-to-face interview on campus or at a hub city, so you’ll want to ensure you have the equipment and a quiet and well lit area to do your interview.
Reach out to friends and acquaintances who are currently or have completed the programme at your school of interest via LinkedIn for their thoughts and experiences.
Practice common and not-so-common MBA interview questions
Not unlike a job interview, you’ll want to practice answering some of the common MBA interview questions so that you’ll be able to give informative and confident answers on the day of your interview.
Expect the usual suspects like: What me through your résumé. Why did you choose this school and this programme? How will this programme fit your personal career goals? Tell me about a time you demonstrated leadership skills. What are your short-term and long-term career goals?
They might ask questions about your industry, or even unconventional and tricky questions to throw you off-guard like, “What’s one skill that you’ll never master?” that can tell the interviewer how well you think on your feet and handle stress.
Don’t forget to think of your own questions to demonstrate your interest in the programme.
At the end of the day, an MBA interview helps the interviewer gauge your fit for the programme, so don’t waste this opportunity by failing to prepare beyond the effort you put in for your résumé and essays.