We recently interviewed an LBS alum for interview tips. Here's the interviewA brief background about yourself.
I graduated from LBS in 2009, having previously worked in industry for ten years in a range of roles from operations to sales and business development. I currently work as an Investment Manager in a mid market private equity firm in London.How has been your experience at LBS? Has LBS met all your career and personal aspirations? What do you like the most at LBS?
LBS is a fantastic institution. I met some amazing people, learned an enormous amount and made a step change in my career that simply wouldn’t have been possible without it. The breadth of experience available within each class at LBS is staggering: no matter what the topic, someone will have a personal experience to bring the principles to life. The faculty is world class and the place has an energy that you can’t help getting swept up in.What is the importance of interviews in the overall selection process at LBS? Is it a make or break after the interview? Or, does it form a parameter in the applicant's candidature?
The interview plays a very important role in the LBS admission process. If you’ve made it as far as an interview, you’ve shown you have potential. It is used in the context of your application as a whole and is used to allow you to explain your motivation for studying and explain what you would bring to the class. With fewer than 400 places on the full time MBA, each one must go to somebody who will contribute to the community of the school.
The LBS interviews are always carried out by Alumni, so they have been through the process and know what a difficult process it is; they will be trying to judge whether you will cope with the programme and whether they would have liked you in their class.
The style of the interview is to allow you to show what you can do rather than to pressure you into making mistakes. The interviewer will want to see that you’ve thought through this huge decision carefully: you know what you want to get out of the course and what you’d contribute to it. During the interview you’ll have to make a presentation on a topic the interviewer. This tests your ability to communicate ideas clearly and succinctly.How should a potential candidate prepare for the LBS interviews?
The main thing is to really think about why you want to do an MBA. It’s a big commitment of time and resources and the interviewer will want to see that you know why you’re doing it and what it will help you achieve that you couldn’t do without it. You may well change your mind during the course, but if you haven’t got a direction in mind you won’t make the most of the opportunities available.
The second thing is to prepare to talk through the study and career decisions you’ve made in your life: Why did you study Law / Chemistry / Economics? Why did you start work in consulting / the army / volunteering? If you can show how you decide what to do with your life and how the MBA will help you reach your goals it’s likely that you will do well.What dresscode would you suggest for the LBS interview? (men & women)
Business professional – like any job interview. By all means dress according to local customs, but be smart.What are the three typical mistakes that the candidates commit during the LBS interviews?
Most candidates cannot talk through their career history concisely and bring out the relevant points. If you can’t do it in three minutes, it’s too long. The interviewer will probe on the areas they’re interested in, so you don’t have to explain everything in the first spiel.
Many people haven’t thought of good questions to ask the interviewer: these are really important. It shows that you’ve thought through what it would be like and are resolving things that you don’t understand. The interview is a great chance to ask questions of someone who has sat in your seat and can relate to your situation.
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Application Reviews & Mock Interviews by Alumni of your Target B-School
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Application Reviews & Mock Interviews by Alumni of Your Target B-School
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