Everything You Need to Know About Preparing for Your MBA Interview
Congratulations on receiving your MBA interview invite – you should feel great about making it this far in the admissions process! Just when you thought it was time to sit back and relax, it’s now time to tackle your next challenge: preparing for your interview.
There are four things you need to know when prepping for your MBA interview:
Once you understand each of these steps, you will have a much better idea of how to approach, prep, and then ace the MBA interview. Let’s jump right in!
STEP 1: Know yourself.
This interview is about you, so if you can’t answer some simple questions about who you are and what you want, then you’re in big trouble. Ask yourself, and make sure you can answer, the following questions:
You’ve probably addressed these topics in your essays, which means hopefully you’ve already given them some thought. Go back and read your essays, review your notes (if you still have them), and then think, think, and then think some more about who you are and why this school should value who you are.
What happens if you complete your introspection session successfully and end up with a billion impressive stories and qualities that you think are share-worthy? How do you narrow down your talking points to a reasonable five or six?
Dawna Clark, Former Director of Admissions at Tuck, offers the following advice in an old Businessweek article:
“I would recommend that [applicants] spend some time thinking about five of the top skills, experiences, or accomplishments that they most want to emphasize. I would literally write a list of everything that you’re proud of before your interview and then cut it in half, and cut it in half again and cut it in half again, until you say, ‘You know what? If I have limited time, here are the five points I’m really hoping to get across in this interview.’ With each of those five bullet points come up with some examples and substantiate them.”
STEP 2: Know your interview goal.
Your interview goal is three-fold: You need to show fit; demonstrate your communications and interpersonal skills; and inform the school about recent achievements. Let’s look more closely at each one.
STEP 3: Know the school.
You can’t very well demonstrate your fit with your target program if you don’t know what your target program stands for – what it values, what its strengths are, what teaching method it uses, etc.
Regarding values: All programs are going to emphasize values like leadership, innovation, and teamwork, but some programs will emphasize certain values more than others, or in specific nuanced ways. So what you need to do is first understand those nuanced values and then explain how you share those same values.
Regarding teaching methods: You should prepare to explain how your learning style matches the program’s teaching style. To do this, you’ll need to understand how the program works. Are there learning teams? Cohorts? Lectures? Cases? Projects? The better you understand these methodological elements, the better you’ll be able to demonstrate how the program seems especially designed for you – for your educational needs, for your professional goals, and for your non-professional interests.
It’s during this step that you should think about how you will contribute to the school. Knowing what the school offers and what they are looking for will help you explore the ways in which you can contribute.
STEP 4: Know the type of interview.
Hopefully you’ll have access to this information – either from the school itself or from your fellow applicants who have already completed their interviews.
These are your options:
Whatever the school, whatever the interview style – we can help! Check out our MBA Interview Services and work one-on-one with an admissions expert who will help you prep and ace your interview!
Applying to a top b-school? The talented folks at Accepted have helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to their dream programs. Whether you are figuring out where to apply, writing your application essays, or prepping for your interviews, we are just a call (or click) away.
Contact us, and get matched up with the consultant who will help you get accepted!