MBA Interview Tips Post 2: In-Person Interview with MBA Student or Alumnus
Many MBA adcoms delegate the interviewing to alumni and students. In this scenario, typically second-year students interview the applicants who come to campus, and alumni interview off-campus – though in some cases, they also will conduct the local interviews.
Why adcoms use method: Among other things, it allows the adcom members to focus their resources on application review and decision making.
• This approach is a way to keep alumni engaged and involved with the school, and it gives students a voice in the admissions process.
In these interviews, you are not making your case directly to a decision maker. However, admissions offices assert that these interviews have as much weight as ones with adcom members.
Blind or not blind: Usually alumni and student interviews are blind, i.e., the interviewer will not read your application before the interview, but probably will review your resume.
Process: Alumni and students usually are trained for the interviews. You meet with an alumnus off campus or a student on campus. The off- campus sites can be anywhere from the interviewer’s office to a coffee shop. The interview is a one-on-one conversation with the interviewer, during which she will ask you questions, usually at least some of which are predetermined and will typically cover basic topics such as goals. While you should be prepared for challenging questions, it’s usually a getting-to-know-you introductory discussion. If you are socially adept, you will not just answer questions but may also facilitate conversation. Afterward, the interviewer will write a report to the adcom on the interview.
NOTE: If you are a non-native English speaker interviewing with an alumnus in your own country, please expect to conduct the interview in English!
Benefits and pitfalls for applicants:
• Benefit: can showcase your strong interpersonal and communication skills by the in-person contact.
How to make this type of interview work for you (this is in addition to all the common sense advice for good MBA interviews):
• Review on Accepted.com and other websites comments by previous interviewees regarding the likely questions. Your interviewer may have a strict script or may be free to improvise, but usually they have at least some questions specified by the adcom.
By Cindy Tokumitsu, co-author of The Finance Professional’s Guide to MBA Admissions Success, and author of numerous ebooks, articles, and special reports. Cindy has advised hundreds of successful applicants in her last fifteen years with Accepted.com.
Accepted.com's experienced admissions consultants can help you create the most impressive application possible with comprehensive packages, or provide targeted assistance from picking perfect programs to designing a dazzling resume, constructing engaging essays, or preparing for intense interviews…and more! Accepted.com has guided thousands of applicants to acceptances at top MBA programs since 1994 – we know what works and what doesn't, so contact us to get started now!
This article originally appeared on the Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog, the official blog of Accepted.com.