Why the Interview?
Many admissions experts believe the interview to be one of the most critical components of the MBA application process. It is an opportunity for the admissions team to get to know the real you, evaluate your fit into the program, and of course assess you leadership skills. The entire admissions process is stressful, but interviews are most unnerving - unlike essays or GMAT, they cannot be rewritten, taken again, and last only 30-60 minutes. As the result, the topic of interviews comes up quite a bit on GMAT Club’s MBA forums – applicants want to know what questions were asked, how long the interview lasted, and who they interviewed with. Even those who already interviewed often want to compare their notes with others, hoping to get an idea how they performed. As interview question comes up every season, we have compiled a short overview of Business School Interview process with a list of most often asked questions.
Types of interview
Alumni vs. Admissions vs. Current Students
Many application interviews are conducted by business school alumni. Majority of schools have vast alumni networks that enable off-campus interviews taking place all over the world. Admissions committee members usually interview applicants on campus or at the MBA Fairs in other cities. However, interviews by current students (mainly 2nd year students) are more frequent on campus. Student interviews can be some of the toughest and have most unorthodox questions.
On-campus vs. Off-campus
On-campus interviews are usually conducted by current business school students who were trained to do it. This is a good option if you live close enough to the school of your choice. Off-campus interviews take place either in your town of residence, provided a school has its alumni there, or in the nearest city the school has alumni in.
Phone interviews are popular with international students, especially when business school alumni are not available in the applicant’s country of residence. However, phone interviews are sometimes conducted because of time constraints or other factors that might interfere with personal interviews.
How to Prepare
The best way to prepare for any interview is to practice answering possible questions. Business school application interview is no exception. You have to practice your interview questions with a friend. Practicing this way will eliminate unnecessary anxiety, while creating conditions most similar to the real interview. Furthermore, practicing with a friend acting as an interviewer is a must if you are not a native speaker. If you cannot set up a personal practice interview, make sure you at least have a Skype session. Remember that “practice makes perfect.”
Be yourself no matter what questions they throw at you. If you behave unnaturally, it becomes evident to the interviewer and might add to already existing jitters. So why decrease your chances of getting into the school of your dreams? Do your best to impress the interviewer with who you really are.
Be confident. Do not underestimate your achievements or personal traits. Make it clear to the interviewer that you fit into their community and your admittance to the school will be a benefit to all.
Very popular interview questions follow. For more information regarding b-school interview preparation see our forum discussion about Business School interviews.
Top MBA Interview Questions
- Why are you applying to business school?
- What brought you here? (applying for business school)
- Why the MBA? Why now?
- Why does this school appeal to you?
- Have you thought of other schools?
- Where else have you applied and what was the result?
- Tell me who you are.
- Discuss yourself.
- What do you want to do (in regard to business function, industry, location)?
- Describe your career aspirations.
See this link for the other 200 common interview questions asked by MBA Admissions.
If you have any questions or suggestions about Business School Interviews or the process, please post them here: http://gmatclub.com/forum/t74657-compiled-interview-questions