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When to start preparing for interviews?

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When to start preparing for interviews? [#permalink] New post 26 Jan 2014, 13:21
Hey all,

Just wanted to get a gauge of when people generally start preparing for their interviews to MBA schools? e.g. do you start preparing right after you submit your applications, just to give yourselves enough time? How much time do you actually spend in preparation? And what types of things do you do to prepare? I know the common things are to research your school, and look at some of the common interview questions posted online, but anything else you folks do? e.g. do any mock interviews with consulting companies, etc?

Thanks!
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Re: When to start preparing for interviews? [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2014, 01:59
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kdub09 wrote:
Hey all,

Just wanted to get a gauge of when people generally start preparing for their interviews to MBA schools? e.g. do you start preparing right after you submit your applications, just to give yourselves enough time? How much time do you actually spend in preparation? And what types of things do you do to prepare? I know the common things are to research your school, and look at some of the common interview questions posted online, but anything else you folks do? e.g. do any mock interviews with consulting companies, etc?

Thanks!


Hey there,
Well I can tell you what we do with our clients. It's a bit different every time, and I think the first step is to recognize your interview strengths and weaknesses. Are you normally articulate, charming a fantastic rhetorician with perfect english?? then you will need less. :) But anyhow, EVERYBODY can use at least 2 sessions. First would be a cold run - just prepare the most common questions, do a mock interview with someone and see how it goes and get feedback. Then start "fixing" - working on your answers, your stories, preparing more "odd" questions, more aggressive questions, and mock again. It can be useful to use a professional cause they have seen it all before and have a certain sensitivity to what works and what doesn't.

Usually starting too early won't help you that much. 1-2 weeks before is more than enough.

Hope this helps!!!
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Re: When to start preparing for interviews? [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2014, 04:05
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Building on Jon's advice, focus on QUALITY over QUANTITY. A few solid sessions of quality prep with friends/colleagues/consulting firm is more effective than long hours practicing by yourself in front of the mirror. This is not to say that going over answers in front of the mirror is not important! But that technique is better when you're focusing on the polish.

This was my interview prep strategy:
Week 1 (5 hours): Research typical school questions, brainstorm my stories and what I want to showcase
Week 2 (6 hours): Practice with friends and get feedback on the content and structure of my stories. Feedback is SO important! They helped me realize holes in my stories or if a story/example was lame :)
Week 3 (3 hours): Practice in front of a mirror to work on the delivery and polish.

Different things work for different people but this was my winning strategy. Be methodical and not afraid of feedback. Good luck!!
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Re: When to start preparing for interviews? [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2014, 07:01
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Hey there,

It really depends on the kind of person you are. As Jon mentioned, if you're naturally eloquent in interview-esque situations, then you can probably streamline the preparation a bit. When you do run through your mock interviews, try to find someone with two criteria.

For one, make sure they know interviewing. If you work with an admissions consulting firm, you won't have to worry about that. But if you run through family and friends, they may never have conducted an interview in their lives. Which isn't the right audience then.

Secondly, try to have at least one of the interviews be with someone who isn't familiar with your story. When we conduct our mock interviews, we pair clients with partners who weren't a part of their prep process for the first interview. That way, we can hone in quickly on what is and is not coming across and overall strength of the experience. So when we start building on / tweaking those responses, we have candid, objective feedback to work from.

Hope that helps!

Bhavik
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Re: When to start preparing for interviews?   [#permalink] 27 Jan 2014, 07:01
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