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# What do you do when your interviewer disses the school???

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Intern
Joined: 16 Feb 2010
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16 Feb 2010, 12:01
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I had a recent interview with a 2nd-year student, where throughout the interview, he was dissing the school and b-school in general. I don't want to go into too much detail, but how the heck do you handle something like that? It's the 1st time I've ever encountered this. I don't expect all interviewers to be drinking the cool-aid, but this was a little off the charts. This was an on-campus interview in the admissions office, by the way.

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Re: What do you do when your interviewer disses the school??? [#permalink]

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16 Feb 2010, 12:03
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well for starters, i wouldn't join in. devil's advocate - maybe he/she was testing to see if you'd join in the bashing? i'm pretty sure that would be an automatic ding
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Re: What do you do when your interviewer disses the school??? [#permalink]

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16 Feb 2010, 12:08
well for starters, i wouldn't join in. devil's advocate - maybe he/she was testing to see if you'd join in the bashing? i'm pretty sure that would be an automatic ding

Yea, even IF that were the case, it would still be a little inappropriate. I basically smiled through most of it. I mean, what was I supposed to say to something like that? I liked the school before the interview, but now I'm having second thoughts, even though I know that this is probably an isolated case.

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Re: What do you do when your interviewer disses the school??? [#permalink]

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16 Feb 2010, 12:21
Indeed surprising and very unfortunate. Usually adcoms pick the most cheerful and happy students to conduct interviews and attend the admissions events. Obviously a disgruntled student - I think the best strategy is to take the stronger position and start asking him/her genuine questions (or try to be genuine) and understand the motive for such inappropriate behavior.

P.S. There are always those who think they are better than others for legit reasons or not. Could have been a scholarship student who is regretting not going to a better school and settling for money - grass is always greener on the other side.
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Re: What do you do when your interviewer disses the school??? [#permalink]

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16 Feb 2010, 12:28
Maybe I'm too good of a listener, and he just wanted to vent. Who knows. I'm just concerned how this would affect my chances at the school.

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Re: What do you do when your interviewer disses the school??? [#permalink]

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16 Feb 2010, 13:42
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Expert's post
FrigginConfused wrote:
Maybe I'm too good of a listener, and he just wanted to vent. Who knows. I'm just concerned how this would affect my chances at the school.

On one hand, you can call the school and tactfully share your experience and possibly voice your concerns
On the other, the school is more likely to believe the 2nd year student and will be likely to just to dismiss your experience as an attempt to get a second interview

Another option would be to ask the 2nd year student for drinks, as a thank you, and pick his brain
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Manager
Joined: 07 Nov 2009
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Re: What do you do when your interviewer disses the school??? [#permalink]

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17 Feb 2010, 07:11
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I would politely contact adcom here.

"I do not share XXX's misgivings about the program; in fact it has been my first choice from the very beginning. Therefore, I am disappointed by this interviewer's negative attitude and do not feel that my candidacy can be judged fairly after this experience. I hope that the admissions committee will bear this in mind when evaluating my application further."

Or something!
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Re: What do you do when your interviewer disses the school??? [#permalink]

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17 Feb 2010, 07:16
britguy wrote:
I would politely contact adcom here.

"I do not share XXX's misgivings about the program; in fact it has been my first choice from the very beginning. Therefore, I am disappointed by this interviewer's negative attitude and do not feel that my candidacy can be judged fairly after this experience. I hope that the admissions committee will bear this in mind when evaluating my application further."

Or something!

what school was it m8?

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Re: What do you do when your interviewer disses the school??? [#permalink]

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17 Feb 2010, 08:03
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britguy wrote:
I would politely contact adcom here.

"I do not share XXX's misgivings about the program; in fact it has been my first choice from the very beginning. Therefore, I am disappointed by this interviewer's negative attitude and do not feel that my candidacy can be judged fairly after this experience. I hope that the admissions committee will bear this in mind when evaluating my application further."

Or something!

Eh, I don't know about sending an email like that. That would probably be a last resort, if something really bad happens. Even though he was negative about the school, I don't think the interview went badly.

LUGO wrote:
what school was it m8?

Sorry, but I don't think it'd be a good idea to disclose the name of the school here.

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Re: What do you do when your interviewer disses the school??? [#permalink]

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17 Feb 2010, 09:18
My experience several years ago from biglaw interviewing was that there will always be that one person who tries to rattle you with some sort of impolitic statement and it's up to you to look earnest and sincere and non-offended/upset, acknowledge the position quickly, deflect it and then keep to the path of selling yourself. I would probably have listened quietly then deflected it with, "it's interesting that you say that because one thing I really like about school X is..." I come down on the side of never saying "I'm sorry you feel that way..." because it sounds incredibly condescending to most people so usually I put on my face of "intrigued surprise," widen my eyes and try to deflect as politely as possible with a "That's an interesting data point" or some such boring statement. I agree with never ever slamming other schools or the schools you're interviewing at (which obviously, I'm sure you didn't do). I'd also write this person a pretty nice thank you note and throw in something like "it was great getting a complete picture of the school and having a really open dialogue with you" or some such.

Basically I do approach the whole interview from handshake on as a sales job and it's my job not only to sell myself but why I want to marry the school and have its babies and whatnot.

I didn't face exactly the same thing but I did have an interviewer start my interview with "you know, when I look at this resume the first thing that goes through my mind is that you really don't need another degree..." and I had to kind of quickly rebut it without sounding argumentative.

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Re: What do you do when your interviewer disses the school??? [#permalink]

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17 Feb 2010, 11:41
retake wrote:
I normally dont post here, but this caught my eye. I am an admissions interviewer for my school and have also recruited for my pre-MBA employer. Many students(and I have done this on occasion) deliberately do this in order to

See if you have the poise to handle it, and,
Check if you have done the homework about the school for yourself

So, dont be hasty in complaining to the ad-com. Finally, posting this on an internet forum is not a great idea. It is very easy to look up IP addresses. You said you had a good interview. Dont risk it.

FrigginConfused wrote:
I had a recent interview with a 2nd-year student, where throughout the interview, he was dissing the school and b-school in general. I don't want to go into too much detail, but how the heck do you handle something like that? It's the 1st time I've ever encountered this. I don't expect all interviewers to be drinking the cool-aid, but this was a little off the charts. This was an on-campus interview in the admissions office, by the way.

Thanks very much for the info and perspective. Good to know this is at least a somewhat standard practice; applicants can prep better with that in mind.

However, what should he/she have to fear from an IP address lookup? The OP's done nothing but approach this situation professionally both here and, it seems, in the interview room.

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Re: What do you do when your interviewer disses the school??? [#permalink]

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17 Feb 2010, 13:30
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retake wrote:
I normally dont post here, but this caught my eye. I am an admissions interviewer for my school and have also recruited for my pre-MBA employer. Many students(and I have done this on occasion) deliberately do this in order to

See if you have the poise to handle it, and,
Check if you have done the homework about the school for yourself

So, dont be hasty in complaining to the ad-com. Finally, posting this on an internet forum is not a great idea. It is very easy to look up IP addresses. You said you had a good interview. Dont risk it.

FrigginConfused wrote:
I had a recent interview with a 2nd-year student, where throughout the interview, he was dissing the school and b-school in general. I don't want to go into too much detail, but how the heck do you handle something like that? It's the 1st time I've ever encountered this. I don't expect all interviewers to be drinking the cool-aid, but this was a little off the charts. This was an on-campus interview in the admissions office, by the way.

Why does retake's reply come across as a veiled threat? Technically speaking, I am pretty sure only the owner(s)/moderators of this forum can look-up IP addresses. Besides, the name of the b-school has not been mentioned at all and there is absolutely NOTHING to fear. This is a very legitimate issue to raise here. I would certainly be VERY disturbed if I had an interview experience like this.

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Re: What do you do when your interviewer disses the school??? [#permalink]

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17 Feb 2010, 13:34
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Acknowledge the interviewer’s sentiment. It is understandable as many business school graduates are in face of tough job searches. Ask some probing questions to understand his position more. His answers might have helped you think through your own career plan and action steps. Then turn the conversation into a more positive tone to show that you have the skills to direct the conversation as well. Ask him about which professors and courses he likes. In the end, thanks him for sharing honest and insightful thoughts. Affirm that you are very interested in the school and wish to be a valuable contributing member.

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Re: What do you do when your interviewer disses the school??? [#permalink]

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17 Feb 2010, 13:57
tdave wrote:
This is a very legitimate issue to raise here. I would certainly be VERY disturbed if I had an interview experience like this.

Agreed. Further, it strikes me as very similar to the interview preparation help that adcoms love to boast their own MBA students provide each other when one of them experiences a tough case or unexpected question.

Seeing as that's a frequent selling point for an MBA community, FrigginConfused seems like he/she would be a valuable collaborative asset for his/her peers.

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Re: What do you do when your interviewer disses the school??? [#permalink]

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17 Feb 2010, 14:20
Maybe it's because they want to protect their yield and wanted to make sure that you're really interested in their school?
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Re: What do you do when your interviewer disses the school???   [#permalink] 17 Feb 2010, 14:20
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