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Interviews from the HELL [#permalink]
25 Jan 2013, 10:44
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In my short but intense journey towards MBA, I had some very good experiences and some (1 to be precise) really hellish experience. I will create another thread to share that good experiences and thank those wonderful people.
But I believe the bad experiences are more important to share. we all worked so hard on our application, we troubled our busy referees and in many cases we paid money too during application. It pains, it angers, it frustrates when all these hard work goes to the drain just because of a stupid interviewer. Interviewing is a huge responsibility, that too judging a potential MBA student in a top school requires very specialised skill. You are a lecturer of history in the school does not automatically qualify you as an interviewer.
There are primarily two reasons for this thread:
a. I know many had gone through the disappointing experiences. Here we share our own experience so that you get some comfort that you are not alone. Probably you may think compared to others, your experience was not that bad. Just to lighten your mood so that you do not waste time in thinking over that bad dream.
b. The second objective is a dream. I hope probably some of the ad-comm members or schools will read this thread and learn from their mistakes and highly unprofessional behaviours. Hope they will take the interview process more seriously as deserved.
I know how frustrating it is, specially when you have done a very strong application, everything is perfect but suddenly you were interviewed by some moron (be a history professor or a last batch alumni). Every schools talks very loudly about interviews being a crucial part of the selection process but many failed to do a decent job. Interviewing is a very complex skill and you need maturity, intelligence, broad knowledge and some special skills to do a decent job. In many a cases, ad-hoc interviewers are assigned, simply because they are FREE. Sometime you lilerally meet some 'Frog in the well'
I will share my horrible experience with an odd professor, who had a very horrible English skill and to my horror, has absolutely no idea beyond his/her own subject. Interestingly, in his own subject too, he/she had a very narrow myopic views. Soft skills, maturity, logical thinking are all Roman to that fellow. Give me some time and I will share that JOKE to all of you.
In the mean time, share your own jokes.
Finally, please don't take this platform to vent your anger or frustration. The school may not be professional, but that does not mean you need to act in a similar fashion. Also, no name calling please, try to describe your experience in a sanitised manner.
Re: Interviews from the HELL [#permalink]
22 Feb 2013, 08:44
This post received KUDOS
Finally I had my last interviews today. I was reserving my conclusion on 'ABC School' to have more data points. I had a total of 5 interviews in my MBA journey and 4 were very engaging and enjoyable experience.
Now having 4 very insightful discussions with some 4 wonderful schools, I must voice out that something is seriously wrong with 'ABC School'. All the other 4 schools are ranked much better than 'ABC School' and they are all located in EU and mostly in UK.'ABC School' is the only school I had a very unprofessional and un-organised interviews. It was so silly and stupid that I can not even imagine that from a 3rd grade school!!
Here are the critical areas that I think ALL schools must focus on during the interviews, yes interviews, not question/answer session.
A Professional Interviewer This is MUST. Come on, you are playing with someone's aspiration, be serious.
All the 4 schools takes interviews as a very crucial part of the selection procedure and they engages highly experienced and matured people. These seasoned and matured interviewers has a well thought-of game plan and are so experienced that by just few questions, they can accurately gauge you. You can very clearly see and feel that the frequency is matching, the chemistry is matching.
On the contrary, 'ABC School' engaged a professor of one of the department. Based on my experience, it was quite evident that the person is clueless about what he really wants to achive from the discussion. The person is so stupid that he shamelessly accept that he was asked to take this interviews. So we spent some time aimlessly with some random questions/answers.
Homework before the interviews I think this is the bare minimum the interviewers must do.
All the 4 schools studied the application and CV throughly and had a very clear idea about the candidate beforehand. It was evident from some of the subtle questions that these people really gone deeper into your application and all the information are at the finger tips of these people. I was positively surprised with their personal touch in 3 cases.
My interviewer in 'ABC School' had not gone through my application. Read my CV on the fly, just before the interviews. And the horrible part is, he read it completely wrong. It angers me as rest of the schools highly commented about my CV and application and this fellow understood it so wrongly, could not even connected the things which were chronologically presented. It is beyond my wild dream how some text can be read so wrongly .... good, I did not had a chart or flow diagram in my CV!!
Broad knowledge in a vast area This is a very crucial area.
You as an interviewer, are interviewing a diverse pool of prospective students from diverse regions, coming from wide range of functional areas and backgrounds. Very unlikely you will be interviewing a person from your own comfort zone. And to do your job reasonably, you must have a broad-base knowledge or atleast an OPEN mind. You absolutely can not afford to take a 'frog in the well' approach.
In case of 'ABC School', it was so evident that the interviewer has absolutely no idea beyond his area of expertise. The issue is not that I have no idea about rocket science but I must have common sense to understand the basics and appreciate the new areas. It is a crime to look at rocket science from my own coloured/distorted view points.
All the other 4 schools engaged interviewers, who had a vast knowledge in so many areas and it was so enjoyable to discuss with them. In 2 cases, we had so enjoyable discussion that we both thought that 1 hr+ interviews was too short, we touched so many topics at different depth!!.
'ABC School' interviews was like beating around the bushes aimlessly.... and it looked that the guy had a mandate to spend atleast half an hour .. to beat the bushes!!
Communication skill This was a CRIME!!
I don't know whether you believe me or not, 'ABC School' interviewer was unable to communicate in English. I AM SERIOUS!! I do understand that he was not native English speaker but that does not help someone if he can not speak few sentenses in English properly.
I had a horrible time to repeat each of my statement 3 to 5 times at different speed, at different pitch, using simplified words. And the frustrating part was, he was still unable to understand or even catch!!. And the worst, he was understanding a completely opposite views. I have not expected a Shakespeare to take my interviews (I would had problem then!) but expected someone who can communicate. I had lived in various part of the world and I never had such worst communication issue.
Naturally, other 4 schools had professionals and it was so smooth. One of the school was non native English speaker and her English was fluent (ignoring the natural accent)
Soft sklls Soft skills are crucial in management and all the 4 schools paid the right amount of importance to assess various soft skills. Unfortunately 'ABC School' does not give me any impression that the interviewer has capability to assess soft skills. In fact I have full doubt about his soft skills!!
Integrity and value system Same like soft skills.
MBA is much more than class room teaching This came very clearly with all the 4 schools and 'ABC School' once again unable to leave their mark.
Mutual FIT MBA is not about selection/rejection by school/prospective student. MBA is all about FIT between the school and the student.
This is another very crucial point. It is about a close FIT and all the 4 schools took significant pain to assess a very close fit between the school and the prospective student. I can understand that assessing a close fit is not so easy and requires multi-dimensional skills in many areas. I am so happy to say that the 4 schools has wonderful interviewers who has the required band width to evaluate you holistically for a close FIT.
'ABC School' failed miserably. A few random questions will give you a 50-50 probability at the best.
Career Service All the 4 schools shows their seriousness about your future placements and all seems to genuinely care for your future career.
'ABC School' was so different, the interviewer very promptly passed the ball to career section. I have no idea, please ask career section was his answer. And no, I have not pissed off him, although I was completely pissed off!!
Ownership Passionately takes ownership of the school they represented represented.
All the 4 schools were so proud of their schools, they owned their schools and they all were passionate about their schools. If they did not had the information, they took the initiative to connect you to the right person.
In 'ABC School', it was just pass the buck, I know only my area ...
come on! You are representing your school
I would not like to reveal the name of this unique specimen as a professional gesture. I believe in a simple fact, if you really want to improve, the first step is to acknowledge the problem.
Sorry to hear your case. It is beyond my common sense to understand - why these schools can not have 4 or 5 well trained and matured interviewers rather than randomly assigning an alumunus or a history professor!! It is hard to believe that these schools never heard of words like CONSISTENCY and FAIR PRACTICE.