So you got an invitation to interview? Fantastic! That’s half the battle! But you’re not quite in yet. Because the interview can make or break an applicant’s chances of being accepted, it’s important to consider every aspect of the interview process. Including scheduling. Yawn!
However, with round 2 interview announcements coming up, it’s time we discussed that pretty straight forward task and address some of the things to consider.Who Should You Interview With?
In some situations, you will be able to determine which type of interviewer you get for your interview. The options will be someone in admissions, a current student (Admissions Fellow), or an alum. Each type has pros and cons – like most options in life we suppose!Admissions
: Interviewing with someone from the admissions department puts you closest to the decision making process and can give you an additional advocate in the room if you rock the interview. Then again, if interviewing isn’t your strong suit or you don’t demonstrate fit well, they’ll also judge that harsher. Not to mention, they’ve seen your entire application and will have had time to create some pretty detailed and insightful questions. Alum or Current Students
: On the flip side, interviewing with current students or alum can sometimes work in your favor. They may have seen less of your application (e.g. most alumni only see your resume) and may empathize with your position. However, they only submit an after-action report and won’t be in the room to pound the table on your behalf!Where Should You Interview?
You’re busy! You’re trying to balance your calendar between work, community, and personal commitments. Not to mention, flying around can get expensive. So where should you interview? Some schools don’t give you an option – you either interview on campus or you don’t interview at all (ok, well that’s not entirely true – if you absolutely CANNOT make it they give you options). Others offer interviews in key cities around the world in addition to on campus options.
The first question to answer is have you visited campus before? If you haven’t, GO! Certain admissions directors have flat out told us (we won’t say which) that they wouldn’t dream to admit a student who hadn’t visited campus. Visiting for your interview is a great way to learn more about the program, show your commitment, and interview all at the same time! Often times, a visit can make or break a decision.
Secondly, will where you interview impact who you are interviewing with? In 99% of the cases, it will. If you’re on campus, you’re likely going to meet with an admissions director or a current student, depending on the program. If you choose another city, it’ll most likely be an alum.Excuses excuses: “But it’s so expensive!” We hear that a lot. It’s so expensive to fly to all these schools for interviews or around Europe to meet with alum. You’re right. It is. You’re also about to pay $100K+ for an MBA. Think long and hard before you let a $500 ticket stop you from visiting the school of your dreams!When Should You Interview?
We get this question a lot. Does it matter when I interview? And the answer is….it depends. Sorry, but it does! 9 out of 10 programs follow a structured time table for their admissions process and, in those cases, it absolutely does not matter. One bit. At all. Do it the next day, or a week before the deadline, it won’t matter. It doesn’t show you’re overeager or lazy, respectively. There is no perfect timeframe. Pick the dates and times that work best for your schedule and your preparation requirements. That’s why they offer all those options! They’re being considerate.
When does it depend then? Well, if you’re applying to a program with a rolling deadline, then it matters very much. Take, for example, Columbia. If you choose Regular Decision, then the sooner you apply, the sooner you get an invite, and the sooner you interview, the sooner you get a decision. It’s that simple. We had a client one year get the invite on Monday, interview on Wednesday, and get an acceptance Friday. Ok, that’s an extreme example but you see our point, right?
We’re keeping our fingers crossed for you all as the decisions start rolling out. If you have any questions or want some really rigorous interview practice sessions, let us know! Our Interview Prep
services will make you sweat – in a good way, of course!
Want to see more articles like this one? Head over to our blog