Congratulations, you got THE CALL! Now you have the opportunity to tell more of your story to the admissions committee as part of the interview process. Here are five tips to help you convert your interview into a seat at your dream MBA program this fall!
- Know Your Story. Practice the basics. For just about every program, you already know 80% of what you will be asked. Walk me through your resume. Why MBA? Why us? What are your biggest accomplishments? Practice answering these questions in cohesive two to three minute responses. Ask someone you trust to listen to your responses and provide tips on how to tighten your answers.
- Prepare for THIS School. Everyone wants to be loved and business schools are no exception. You must have specific reasons related to how this program, these professors and these clubs will help you reach your goals. If you speak in generalities, your interviewer will assume that you don’t really want to be at the school since you did not take the time to make the personal connection. No school wants to waste an admit on someone who does not want to attend.
- Never Let Them See You Sweat. For the 20% of questions that you can’t predict (What is the best book you have ever read? How do you handle surprises?), remember that how you respond is just as important as what you say. If you don’t have a ready answer, don’t panic. Ask for a moment to think or restate the question to give yourself more time. Then try to connect your response to a key theme and maintain confidence at all times.
- Look The Part. A big part of being successful in an MBA interview is demonstrating professional presence. Essentially, your interviewer wants to be confident that you will be successful in the job search in two years. Wear something professional that gives you confidence. Pay attention to the little details- polish your shoes, trim your nails, iron your clothes. All these little things add to your overall professional presence.
- Smile. The last piece of advice is the simplest. The most important thing you can wear is a smile. This is not an appointment for a root canal; it is an opportunity to express who you are and move closer to your short and long term goals. It is difficult to fake passion and enthusiasm. Enjoy the ride!