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MBA - Interview tips and experiences

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MBA - Interview tips and experiences [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2010, 11:17
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Hi GMAT Clubbers

This thread is intended to have useful tips and guides for MBA Interviews and Interview experiences of GMAT club members. Lets keep aside interview discussion from this thread and consolidate the interview related info and guides spilled across our forum.

Interview Tips/Guides



Interview experience
International Schools
US Schools

All, please feel free to add the information you have and share your interview experience in the forum. I will add the link to those useful infos and keep updating this post.

Hope we will make this thread as one stop shop for all MBA interview insights

Last edited by ISBtarget on 29 Jan 2010, 09:38, edited 11 times in total.
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Re: MBA - Interview tips and experiences [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2010, 11:58
Thank you! Great collection that will definitely help with interview prep.
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Re: MBA - Interview tips and experiences [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2010, 12:28
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Another good resource is Accepted.com's interview feedback:
http://www.accepted.com/mba/InterviewFeedback.aspx
It's a database of actual interview experiences (including questions) from a comprehensive list of schools.
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Re: MBA - Interview tips and experiences [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2010, 12:37
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asimov wrote:
Another good resource is Accepted.com's interview feedback:
http://www.accepted.com/mba/InterviewFeedback.aspx
It's a database of actual interview experiences (including questions) from a comprehensive list of schools.


thanks - added to the master list
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Re: MBA - Interview tips and experiences [#permalink] New post 14 Feb 2010, 17:37
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HBS MOCK INTERVIEWS
I DO A LOT OF THEM
I CAN HELP YOU (I CAN ALSO HELP WITH STANFORD AND WHARTON)

I did about 80 mock interviews for HBS in Round One this year. Over the past 10 years, I have probably done over 600 HBS mock interviews. My knowledge of how to prepare you for an HBS mock interview is based on those experiences.

I know typical HBS questions, including questions often asked of investment bankers, private equity, venture capital and hedge fund associates, and questions asked to those employed in non-profits, the military, manufacturing, and technology.
I know how to help you formulate your core story in ways which can be applied to many questions.
I can predict trouble areas in your application and help you come up with talking points to deal with them.
I can sense what your particular needs are in terms of presentation, for example, if you don't get to the point soon enough (a possibly fatal habit) or if you appear too aggressive or too arrogant or confident in the wrong way for often thin-skinned (and just plain thin) HBS interviewers (some of whom are predisposed not to like bankers).
I can help you create a back story for your goals which creates a solid platform for Why MBA, Why HBS?
I can help you prepare a strong answer to the question "Why should we take you?" This questions is often asked in several forms:
"What can YOU contribute to case method discussion based on background and experience?"
"How will your classmates remember you?"
"How have you grown as a leader?"
I can calm you down, although that will not be the first thing that happens.
I can help you formulate answers to 'ice-breaker' questions such as:
"I already know you from your application, just tell me what you think the three defining moments in your life are?"
"Pretend I have not read your application and I just met you. Tell me who you are, what you've done, and where you want to be 15 years?"
I can help prepare you to face such recently popular questions as:
"What is one thing that is not immediately apparent about you to others?"
"How would your friends describe you?"
"How has the financial crisis impacted you, your friends, your industry and your goals?"
THE PROCESS:THE MOCK INTERVIEW IS DONE BY PHONE.
If you want a mock HBS interview, send me an email, telling me when your interview is, what time zone you are in, what days and times are good for you, and attaching a resume. I will reply back w. dates and times, etc. Then you send me a pdf of your application. Mock interviews take about 60-70 minutes. The price is $300.00 dollars USD. You pay me when we speak and do the interview.
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Re: MBA - Interview tips and experiences [#permalink] New post 14 Feb 2010, 17:41
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PART OF OUR CONTINUING SERIES: WHAT HAPPENS AT HBS INTERVIEWS. OUR INTERVIEW PREP IS BASED ON HUNDREDS OF REPORTS LIKE THIS INTER-WEAVED WITH OUR KNOWLEDGE OF THE FULL APP AND THE OUTCOME AND THE FULL ANSWERS GIVEN, BOTH IN PREP AND AT THE INTERVIEW. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS, POST OR LET ME KNOW. FOR INTERVIEW PREP. SEE OUT WEBSITE, hint, look at avatar.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------




Interviewer: Pam Ralston (Alstron? Not 100% sure).

Overall: The questions were pretty standard, often the same as what we went over,
Questions:
1. Tell me about your past, present and future.

2. Tell me more about your career goal, what made you decide to pursue it?

3. What barriers will you face in switching careers? How do you plan to address them?

4. What is your plan B if it doesn't work out?

5. If I called up your supervisor, what would he say are your strengths and weaknesses? Key Answers: Similar to what I prepped.
6. What risks is HBS taking if we admit you?

7. How did you prepare for your interview?

8. How did you choose your recommenders?



9. What question were you expecting that we did not cover?
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Re: MBA - Interview tips and experiences [#permalink] New post 14 Feb 2010, 17:43
HBS INTERVIEW INTELLIGENCE, PART OF OUR CONTINUING SERIES OF POSTS DURNG ROUND 2 INTERVIEW SEASON.

Taieb has reputation for giving push back to IB and PE types, as below. If you get him as interviewer, be sure to play "It's not about the money" to the max, of course, in a convincing way. :-) If anyone has any questions or suggestions on how to deal with any Q below, just post :-)



Philliepe Taieb

1) Tell me about general themes in your development since college:
2) What surprised you at IB:
3) What surprised you at PE shop:
4) Since I spoke about communication skills that I witnessed at IB, he asked whether I saw Partners persuading clients with bad advice so they could generate fees:
5) Went on whole routines about how HBS Class is an Orchestra and everyone plays a different instrument (which he admitted he didn't quite believe in)...Asked me what distinguishes me--
He challenged me on the last point saying that he works part time in the career office and that most students come in with ambitious goals and then change their goals within 2 months of coming to HBS.
6) Asked me what areas I was trying to improve on:
7) Asked me how I saw myself as a contrarian:
8) Anything else you would like to add:
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Re: MBA - Interview tips and experiences [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2010, 08:05
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HBS interview: what to expect
I have my HBS interview on Monday. Do you have any last minute tips for what to expect?



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Is an HBS interview a make-or-break interview? How do they view it? Does the adcom generally know which of the candidates that have been invited for interview that they want? Or do they make their final decision based on the interview?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
It can be a break exp. but not a make exp, if you screw it up, and blather, or cannot explain yourself, or piss off the interviewer: YOU WILL BE DINGED.

Of the 1800 kids they interview that happens in maybe 180 cases (10 percent). OF those 180, maybe 80 actually know it was a disaster, and walk out REALLY BUMMED, no fooling. Like a kid who wrote me, in response to my wondering about initial report, if this person was just having normal second thoughts, “I cannot tell you how bad it was…………..” That convinced me. THAT KID WAS DINGED. (Phone call w.kid, and details of back and forth really did it). Of the 100 kids of the 180 SCREW UPS who DO NOT KNOW they screwed up, it will be a matter of irritating the interviewer, w. a pattern of evasions, jargon, sports talk, bravado, tin ear replies, and interviewer is not the type (and most are not) who overtly expressly dislike but rather just silenty says, “Keep it up, it’s your funeral……………….” That report gets written up as answers were evasive, arrogant, not aware of audience, etc.etc.

Of the remaining 700 kids who get dinged anyway and are not part of the above 180–their interviews were mostly non-events, but after interview they lost out to better candidates in their silo, however defined, see DeeDee’s explanation of this above.

What interview does not do, IN MOST CASES, is get you in, e.g. turns a marginal app. (by interviewed app. standards) into AN ACCEPT, altho who knows, I imagine if you are borderline, and some guy very similar to you has ok inter. and you have boffo interview, well, maybe you will get in, but that dont happen as much as you might predict.

What to expect: interiewer will be courteous but not empathetic, or gushy, or even warm; inter. may take lots of notes, which can be disconcerting, you will walk out saying, “that was an anti-climax, I did fine, but I did not get a chance to unroll my super leadership answers, or boffo stuff I researched about treks, or my great OTHER failure not in my app…..it was just a chat, and pleasant, with only one substantive team question at the end, s what gives??” WHat gives in most cases is you did fine, and your admit will be determined by rest of app.

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Re: MBA - Interview tips and experiences [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2010, 13:01
Expert's post
ISBtarget wrote:
asimov wrote:
Another good resource is Accepted.com's interview feedback:
http://www.accepted.com/mba/InterviewFeedback.aspx
It's a database of actual interview experiences (including questions) from a comprehensive list of schools.


thanks - added to the master list
ISBtarget wrote:
asimov wrote:
Another good resource is Accepted.com's interview feedback:
http://www.accepted.com/mba/InterviewFeedback.aspx
It's a database of actual interview experiences (including questions) from a comprehensive list of schools.


thanks - added to the master list
ISBtarget wrote:
asimov wrote:
Another good resource is Accepted.com's interview feedback:
http://www.accepted.com/mba/InterviewFeedback.aspx
It's a database of actual interview experiences (including questions) from a comprehensive list of schools.


thanks - added to the master list


Thanks for adding the MBA Interview Feedback Database to your list of resources. Your readers may also be interested in Accepted's free MBA Interview Prep Mini-Course.

Best,
Linda Abraham
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Re: MBA - Interview tips and experiences [#permalink] New post 23 Mar 2010, 02:01
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This is a wonderful list folks - should be of great use to the applicant pool.

I'd like to add another resource. http://www.clearadmit.com/wiki

The Clear Admit Wiki is a great source for interview questions - with literally hundreds of first-hand, field reports from MBA applicants to top-tier programs. Like any wiki, the site is 100% user-generated and very timely. The site also includes a "current state" page with details on distribution of interview invites and admissions decisions.

Enjoy,

Graham Richmond, Clear Admit
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Re: MBA - Interview tips and experiences [#permalink] New post 05 May 2010, 03:09
Great interview questions.Thanks for sharing
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Re: MBA - Interview tips and experiences [#permalink] New post 19 May 2010, 08:27
This thread is great. I am planning to give my GMAT in next month and then look forward for tips and suggestions for application and interview. Keep posting.

Pawan
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Re: MBA - Interview tips and experiences [#permalink] New post 19 May 2010, 08:39
Btw, I forgot to put this in my previous post. This is the interview experience of one of my close friends who has given his GMAT couple of months back, scored 720, applied couple of international schools of US, India and Singapore.

Here goes his interview experience of Rice University. Apologies for the informal format but it's like he is - :)

Interview expereince of Rice University : http://www.pawanverma.com/2010/02/09/mb ... ames-bond/

Regards,
Pawan
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Re: MBA - Interview tips and experiences [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2010, 15:35
pawanverma wrote:
Btw, I forgot to put this in my previous post. This is the interview experience of one of my close friends who has given his GMAT couple of months back, scored 720, applied couple of international schools of US, India and Singapore.

Here goes his interview experience of Rice University. Apologies for the informal format but it's like he is - :)

Interview expereince of Rice University :

Regards,
Pawan


Hi,

Thanks very much for this comment. It help me to think about my ideals.

Apart from that, this link below may be useful: Interview tips
Tks again and pls keep posting.
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Re: MBA - Interview tips and experiences [#permalink] New post 23 Mar 2011, 07:31
Anyone has any tips for the interview for HEC Paris..or the other French Grand Ecole schools?

Thank youuuuuuu
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Re: MBA - Interview tips and experiences [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2011, 08:12
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How NOT To Blow Your Harvard Interview
by John A. Byrne
November 4, 2010
Poets & Quants


For some smart, tell-it-like-it-is counsel, we turned to Sandy Kreisberg, aka HBS Guru, the rebel savant of MBA admissions consulting. The highly opinionated Kreisberg has been advising applicants to Harvard, Stanford, Wharton and other elite B-schools for some 15 years. During the 2009-2010 application season, Kreisberg conducted mock interviews with more than 100 applicants to Harvard alone, a service he offers for $300. (For details, click here.)
http://www.hbsguru.com/prices.html#4



All the round one applicants to Harvard Business School yesterday (November 3) heard whether they've been rejected, waitlisted, or invited for an interview with an admissions official. If you're one of the estimated 800 applicants who won an interview opportunity, you're bound to be jumping for joy. But in all probability, you're also filled with anxiety over the final hurdle you have to overcome before getting into Harvard.

This crucial step of the process confronts applicants to most of the other highly ranked schools, from Stanford and Wharton to Columbia and Kellogg. At Harvard, virtually all the interviews are by admissions staff. At Stanford, where nearly 400 first round applicants will get invites for interviews, alumni do the vast majority of interviews. At Wharton, second-year MBA students, admissions staff, and alums are called into action. Wharton, which interviews between 30% and 50% of all its applicants, can invite as many as 900 MBA candidates for interviews in its first round.

HOW THREE TOP SCHOOLS WINNOW DOWN THEIR APPLICANTS



If you get invited to an interview by Harvard, you stand a 64% chance of getting accepted to the school–much better odds than if you were invited to an interview by either Stanford (48%) or Wharton (43%). Application numbers are for the classes that entered this fall. Numbers for interviews and acceptances are rough estimates based on interviews with admission directors at each school.

The big question now: How do you not screw up your interview?



Obviously, if you made it to this stage in round one, it's a big deal. The interview is the only thing separating you from a seat in the class, right?
Yes, but it's like being born. It's a special passage where awful things can happen. Tremendous damage can occur in a very short period of time. You should worry about it, and you should prepare for it.

What have you picked up so far in your coaching of applicants who are prepping for these interviews?
The real news this year is that Stanford and Wharton are trending toward behavioral questions versus the more typical ones like 'why Wharton, why now, why do you want an MBA.' Of course, it would still help to prepare for those questions as well. But if you are being interviewed by Stanford or Wharton, you should Google behavioral interviews and you'll get some bad advice about how to answer those questions but at least it will help you get some standard questions. They're asking people things like, 'Tell me about a time you worked on a great team, or a bad team, or worked with a great leader. Tell me when you disappointed yourself and what would you do differently if you had to do it again. Tell me about a time you had a conflict with a person and how you resolved it. Tell me about a time you dealt with an ethical issue.' For some reason, Stanford and Wharton seem to be tilting toward those questions this year.

Sandy, what's the most common misperception about these interviews?
Some think this is like an audition for a symphony orchestra where the conductor is choosing one violinist out of ten and you have to be .001 better than nine other people. It's not that. It's more like an audition for a marching band. You just have to be able to bang a drum in terms of talent and not appear to be arrogant, inward, unsure of yourself, or confused.

At Harvard, that means if they interview ten people, they will reject one with marginal English right out of the box. If you can't speak English, you're done. You won't be able to survive. Then, of the remaining nine English speakers, one to two people might have a meltdown of some kind. They have a bad hair day or a bad tongue day. So the way that smart people blow the Harvard interview is to have a bad half hour.

And what does a bad half hour look like?
The most common way that smart people blow a Harvard interview is to get lost. Talking too much. Digressing. Getting lost in the weeds. That is the most common mistake. It outweighs every other mistake. You're asked a simple question like, 'Why did you go to Cornell for your undergraduate degree?' And you begin with a history of Cornell and tell the admissions person all about your family. You're eight minutes into it and you haven't yet answered the question. It is one of those moments where you hear yourself speaking and you cannot believe you are saying this. You just generally come off as inarticulate and struggling.

In terms of intellectual preparation, you just have to make sure you don't get lost. Go through your resume and for every job and transition in your life be prepared to crisply explain why you did it, and your stories and explain why you did it, what it was like, what you learned, and how you would do it differently. Be able to talk about every job in 40 seconds. Don't feel the need for completeness. If they are interested, they will ask a follow-up question.

So Harvard and other schools are looking for succinct and clear answers, not meandering detours for answers. Makes sense to me.

The answers need to be specific, crisp, and articulate. They want to see you draw a straight line from one end of the canvas to another. The way you mess up a question is to draw an squiggly line across the canvas. You need pop-up answers. Why I took this job? What my best accomplishment on this job was? What the culture of the firm, was and why I took my next job and how I would improve the job looking backwards. The correct answer to the Cornell question is, 'I lived in New York and wanted to get away from home yet not leave the East Coast. I was interested in liberal arts and not certain at the time what my major goals were. My high school guidance counselor and friends who went there suggested I look at Cornell. On my campus visit, I was excited by the enthusiasm of the students, and I immediately felt that it was a place where I could feel at home. Looking through the course catalog, I got really excited.' The quickest way to get rejected is to answer with a 'duh' because you're surprised at how simple the question is. A lot of people are thrown by this question. Kids who went to Harvard College are asked why they chose Harvard and often have to watch themselves from saying, 'duh!'


There's got to be more to it than that. I imagine that Harvard and other schools are looking for certain answers.
Aside from getting lost, the second way smart people flunk an interview is by being a super jerk. Super jerks come in all types: there is the Bain/McKinsey super jerk, the Goldman super jerk, and the Teach for America and World Bank super jerk, and most recently, the Google super jerk. Almost any Bain Capital or TPG guy dinged by HBS has flunked the interview on the jerk meter.

Non-HBS types come in all varieties. About 20% of the Harvard admissions committee members dislike investment bankers and private equity people. They are just looking for you to say something that is not politically correct. If you tell Harvard you are interested in opportunistic investments in distressed debts because you can make a killing, or even any nice version of that, you have just committed suicide. Instead, they want to hear you say you are interested in investing in companies that can really make a difference. 'My greatest transaction was in supporting an orphan drug company that created a drug to help people with a rare type of diabetes.' Or that you found a creative way to help finance a social enterprise in rural India to provide clean drinking water to people.'

It's hard to believe they'll fall for that, but I get the double bottom line emphasis, given all the accusations about greed. How should an applicant dress for the interview?
There are two mistakes you can make here. One of them is making a statement with what you wear. If you are a banker, don't show up looking like Michael Douglas in Wall Street. You shouldn't be on campus wearing a white collar on a blue shirt or a pair of gold cufflinks. Definitely no suspenders. You are not getting credit for suspenders when you are 24-years-old. The shoes should not scream 'these are $1,000 shoes!' The other mistake is more rare. Some techies often show up from work wearing chinos. You don't need to wear a suit; you can wear a blazer, but dress in a way that shows you are taking this event seriously. For women, you should be a cross between Hilary Clinton and Carly Fiorina. Don't make a statement in terms of accessories. Go light on the bling.

How does an applicant prep for one of these interviews?

You should know what the standard questions are. About 90% of the questions are, 'Take me through every line of your resume.' They say, 'Why did you go there?' They are obsessed with transitions. 'What did you accomplish? How did you accomplish it? How would you do it differently?'

You also should be prepared to discuss how the economic downturn has affected you and your industry.

And then, there are frequent flyer questions like, 'What did you think of the application? Have you attended an HBS class?' That is an important question. Your answer should be truthful. If you haven't, you should say so but add that you have seen a video of a class on the Harvard website. And then you should be able to do a song and dance on what you thought of a class. The big mistake is to say, 'I went to UVA (University of Virginia) and I've had case study classes so it's not going to be a problem for me. Harvard is looking for case method virgins. They want you not to have been to the big city. They want you to say, 'Golly, holy smokes, the class was a mind blow. I was really impressed with the energy and with how the case study helped students bring to bear their different experiences and backgrounds in the class discussion.' The wise guy UVA answer by inference says, 'I have done this before and it won't be a problem for me and I can give a better answer than the guy next to me when the time comes.' That answer becomes the first drop of poison in the cup. If you keep answering that way, you are toast. Goodbye.

Another mistake people make is they think they have to deliver their whole package. They already have your package. Some people come out and say, 'We never talked about my plans for health care reform.' They don't care. A large part of a Harvard interview, like 40%, can be your college experiences and internships and some jive about clubs you will join at HBS.

What's your best advice on the famous closing question of many interviews, "Do you have any questions for me?"
The way you can kill yourself at the end is when you're asked do you have a question for me? Basically, the interview is over, your grade has already been faxed in. They are just trying to get you out the door. But you can screw this up at the last minute. You can pick an argument. You can say, 'Do you really think you can teach finance through the case method?' That is an awful question to ask because you are calling their baby ugly. They believe you can learn anything through the case method. So you don't want to get into a debate over it. A better answer is real light. If you're from another part of the country, you might say, 'I've never experienced a New England winter. Have you got any tips?' One of the best questions would be, 'How hard would it be for me to organize a forum around one of my passionate interests?' They'd love that one. If the chemistry was right between you and the interviewer, you might even ask if they could recommend an Indian restaurant in Harvard Square.

What are the basic differences between interviews at Harvard vs. Stanford, or Wharton?
One big difference between Harvard and the other two is that the Stanford and Wharton interviews are run off your resume. At Harvard, they have your entire folder. That's because admissions staff does most of the Harvard interviews. Stanford and Wharton don't have the essays, for example.

Alumni do up to 90% of the interviews at Stanford and it's well known that the interview is more of a marketing device to get alumni involved. You have to do something really dramatic to commit suicide in a Stanford interview.

Wharton interviews are a mixed bag. Second-year students on the school's student admission committee do a lot. If you can, my advice is to try to get an admissions board member first, then a student, and finally an alum, simply because alumni interviews can be odd. If they don't do many interviews, alumni of a school can have un-normal standards. If you only do two interviews, your standards tend to be higher than if you do 50 interviews. And some alums are just nuts and in rare cases predatory.

Sandy, you've got to be exaggerating.
Well, predatory is rare but not zero. If you can help it, you'll always be better off with an interviewer with a lot of experience because they are less likely to make oddball judgments. You want a normative interviewer, someone who knows the standards and who has been through it a million times. Alumni often have a chip on their shoulders. They may have issues with the school that can get projected in the interview. They may want to use you to deliver a message to the school, or they could have a prejudice against people who are in Teach For America or other non-profits. That happens a lot. And some alumni interviews can go on for more than an hour. They're just so much more unpredictable.

You're obviously doing a good number of mock interviews right now. What most bothers you about the whole process?
What upsets me is people who are good people but who have a bad hair day. The call I fear is from the person crying on Amtrak. They had their interview at HBS. They are on their way home on the train to New York, and they call in tears because they think they have blown their interview. If you think you've blown your interview at Harvard, you probably have blown it. Those are real sad calls, especially if you like the person, and they rehearse how they lost a step, then another and then tripped. If you could have prevented the first lost step, they would be in at Harvard. That happens, man, trust me. That happens. Years of work and hours of preparation and poof, it's gone, because they could not explain why they went to Cornell for college in 30 concise seconds.

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Re: MBA - Interview tips and experiences [#permalink] New post 17 Sep 2011, 18:40
Hi,

I agreed with you. Any way, your points of view make me thinking about some thing for my project.

Pls try to keep posting. Tks and best regards

Apart from that, you also can ref more resources at: High school interview questions

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Re: MBA - Interview tips and experiences [#permalink] New post 01 Feb 2012, 23:26
A good idea!
Thanks for all sources

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School office manager interview questions
http://typicalinterviewquestions.info/school-office-manager-interview-questions/
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Re: MBA - Interview tips and experiences [#permalink] New post 10 Feb 2012, 23:03
Thanks for your link. It's useful for our community.
Same material can be found at: Application consultant interview questions
I hope it's useful for you and you like it. Please continue sharing more information at this topic.
Best rgs!

Last edited by tua022012 on 21 Feb 2012, 06:51, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MBA - Interview tips and experiences [#permalink] New post 11 Feb 2012, 00:26
Thanks for the interview tips. These are great.
Re: MBA - Interview tips and experiences   [#permalink] 11 Feb 2012, 00:26
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