Thanks for the kind responses.
Although there are A LOT of good resources out there, I read Richard Montauk's "How To Get Into the Top MBA Programs" before working on my essays and applications, etc. It allowed me to collect my thoughts, get organized, etc.
I made myself complete one entire set of essays (for one school) before doing any others. Also, I forced myself to write the "why do you want your MBA / why now / why our school?" essay first. I made sure I could clearly explain my intentions, need for an MBA, and future goals. This is imperative, IMO.
And quite frankly, the rest of the essays came pretty easily after that.
I wrote approx one essay a week. I chose 3 people to edit my essays - individuals I trusted - w/ good writing skills & know me well. The hardest part for me was making myself STOP editing and making changes!! I had to force myself to say, "I'm done w/ this essay & I'm moving on!"
Word of advice: don't lose your original voice in your essays. In other words, don't let friends/family change your essay into something entirely different. Carefully pick/choose what changes & suggestions you want to incorporate.
As for the interviews ...
I consulted accepted.com
and Motauk's chapter on interviewing for possible questions. I then drafted answers to almost all of them. I practiced out loud w/ a friend. Studied my resume, transcript, and essays. Researched the schools like crazy! Made sure I knew about the best professors, what majors I would select at each school, classes I wanted to take, etc.
As I mentioned, neither of the interviews were intimidating - the interviewers were friendly and warm. They really wanted to know why I want my MBA, why now, why their school, and my future plans/goals. I was asked to "describe a typical work day" - which was a difficult question for me, since I don't have a very routine job!
As I'm sure is the case for most people.
Best advice for the interviews is to be yourself! (Well, don't be yourself if you're a jerk.
) Smile, ask questions, be friendly, outgoing, enthusiastic!
And make sure you carefully choose and then track the people writing your letters of recommendation. I would even suggest giving them an earlier deadline (vs. the actual application deadline).
Take care. I will let you know where I end up going!