First, I apologize for the late reply. I had promised, I will post something over the weekend.
Well, the weekend was pretty crazy. There was an event to take science and technology intellectual property and try to build business models with it. http://www.futurebusiness.co.uk/
There was also an event in London for startup jobs that went for some networking. And, then Sunday night I got invited to formal dinner at another college. http://siliconmilkroundabout.com/
The reason I am giving you all these details is also to give you a chance to glance through a window to my life here.
Now, to interviews.Basics -
1. Whether you are coming here for in-person interview or doing it over skype, do dress formal. This may sound too obvious, but I have seen some people ignoring it. Safest business formal is dark suit (black, charcoal, midnight blue), black shoes, blue or white shirt and preferably darker tie. Avoid striped suits, lighter colors, or too colorful ties. If you are skype interviewing, do suit up.
2. Be nice to everyone on campus. That includes receptionists, staff and students. People will share their opinions of interactions with admissions staff. Something positive may not get into your evaluation file, but trust me that something negative will.
3. If you are interviewing over skype, do find a quiet place, silence your cell phone and lock your door. Make sure there isn't a poster of some kind behind your desk. When you speak, look alternatively at the monitor and the webcam. Looking into the webcam is the only way to make eye contact with interviewer. If you haven't done formal meetings over skype, it might be a good chance to do a mock with a friend.
4. Mock interviews help. But, if you don't have access to someone who can give you constructive feedback, then just practice your interview questions in front of mirror or webcam.
5. If you are interviewing in person, do not slouch back in your chair or sit too far to the front. Don't fidget with your hands or fingers. Again, basics, but, people do miss them.Content -
1. Three questions. Why MBA? Why now? Why Oxford? I think you will encounter these three questions in almost every MBA interview. Don't just rant on when asked these questions. Keep your answers brief (1-3 minutes at the most). I am not a big fan of frameworks, but it might help to try and model all your answers according to this - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Situation, ... on,_Result
2. Look at your essays. Even if they smell bad by now, they are the stories that got you to the interview. You have to stick to them. You will have many opportunities during the year to pursue other options, for the interview, do stick your original stories.
3. Make a list of at least 3-4 different stories of your life. You will be asked questions such as, "tell me a situation where you failed", "tell me when you took risk", "tell me when you went above and beyond what was expected". There won't be more then 2-3 such questions. You can't use the same story over and over again. And, make sure all your stories are within the last 2 years. Something that you did in middle school doesn't hold relevance anymore.
4. There will be a question such as what if you don't get admitted to Oxford. Its ok to say you will apply again. Its ok to say, you will get a job in your targeted industry and try after two years. You be the judge what will be the best answer to this question. There is no perfect answer. It depends upon your background, where you are coming from and where you are headed.
5. You might be asked where you have applied. It will sound strange if you iterate 15 programs across Europe and US. That means Oxford and many others in your list are there just because they are part of some ranking. Do answer with 3-4 names and follow-up with a common theme that explains why those 3-4 are very similar. It doesn't hurt to mention that Oxford is your top choice (and, it should be).
6. If you are being interviewed by adcom member, you won't be asked industry specific questions. If you are being interviewed by faculty, they may ask your opinion on a recent business event. Nobody is looking for a thesis paper here. Just your educated view gathered from reading newspapers, blogs and following industry trends. When you receive your interview invite, google your interviewer's name and find out who he/she is. Based on that expect a question of this kind. To prepare for this question, read big stories on WSJ or FT for the past week or so.Oxford Specific Advice -
1. Oxford is a unique place. Nobody here is insecure of the schools in Cambridge or some French forest. That's because there is enough in Oxford to make it a distinctively unique, desirable place. Research some of those. What professors do? What centers are there in business school? What events do they organize? Is there a inter-collegiate sports team that interests you? How would like to see Gary Kasparov, Peter Thiel, Mark Shuttleworth debate over innovation at the Oxford Union? (I did that last Friday) How will access to various research centers outside the business school help broaden your thoughts? And, so on. Answers to these questions will not only help you with your interview, but also your final decision making process.
2. Do not come here for a degree and job. You will be disappointed. Of course, there is education, a degree and a job afterwards. But, that's not even 20% of what Oxford and Said is about.
3. If you are deciding to do your MBA at Oxford or in Europe, you should know that European economy is not doing well (just in case, you have been living under a rock). This should not matter to you at all. As an Oxford (or for that matter graduate of any premier European MBA program), the value of your education, network and mere prestige of your school will go anywhere in the world you wish to work in. You may get asked about this.
4. International motivation. There are students from 42 different countries. More than 95% of class is from outside the UK. How will you adjust to this environment? Will you be able to work together and have fun socially?
5. We do (party) have lot of social events. There was a crazy Diwali (Indian festival) party (or BOP as they are known here) on Saturday. If nothing else, there is always somebody's birthday on every weekend. If you love social interaction outside your comfort zone, meeting new and interesting people, Oxford is the perfect place for you.
I think I covered most of the basics here. If you have specific questions, do feel free to ask them here. And, if you are coming to Oxford for in-person interview, let me know and I will be happy to meet with you in person. I believe I am on the schedule to have lunch with you guys on both interview days, but do send me a PM me with your name and personal email address.