How to ace your MBA admissions interview
By Darcy Bickham
If you’re in the process of applying for an MBA program, the MBA admissions interview can seem very intimidating. Now that you’ve seen our video highlighting mistakes on what to avoid during an MBA admissions video, it’s time to learn how to succeed and stand out during your interview.
We’ve asked MBA admissions directors tips on what they look for in a good interview, and came up with the following.
When interviewed, almost every admissions director highlighted the importance of candidates staying true to themselves during an interview. Candidates often think that they have to mold themselves a certain way to align with a business school but that’s not the case.
Schools want to be able to get a feel for who you are and whether or not it will mesh well with the program you’ve applied to. One of the most important things is to make sure you are in an MBA program that will best suit your goals, schedule, and experience.
If you need help with any step of the MBA admissions process or advice on how to research schools to determine which program would be the best fit for you, we have an MBA guide book that can help.
If you’ve already determined why certain programs would best suit you, [NAME] from [School] has more advice on succeeding in your admissions interview and why it’s critical to stay true to who you are throughout the process.
There are many ways to showcase your academic potential during an MBA interview. You want to make sure that you’re able to highlight your successes, while making sure to prevent yourself from sounding like you’re just listing all your qualifications.
For example, you can explain how your undergrad experience helped prepare you for the MBA program or speak about obstacles you faced in your career and how that would help you in both the program and in the working world post MBA.
Even if you aren’t sure if you have a strong academic profile, you should still touch on this during your interview. Admissions directors are looking at you as an entire person and understand that you may have a lot of experiences or be strong in one area and lacking in another.
Whether or not you’re sure what sector you want to be working in after you complete your MBA, it’s important to speak about this during your MBA interview. Some schools have MBA programs with specific specializations, and knowing about these specializations can show that you’ve done your research on the MBA program and already thought about why you’d be a good fit.
With that being said, there’s nothing to worry about if you don’t know exactly what you want to do after graduation. One of the main purposes of going through the MBA program is to learn about yourself and the business world, which will then help you decide what you’re most interested in after graduation.
Be Prepared For the Unknown
No matter how much you have prepared for an MBA interview, there will still be some unknown aspects that you will have have to navigate during the interview. [NAME] from IE Business School explains why it’s important to be flexible during an MBA interview and cautions candidates against being too confident.
Like we mentioned previously, it’s important to stay true to yourself and make sure you ask questions you may have about the school or its program. By asking questions or coming up with authentic answers to their questions, admissions directors will see that you’ve taken the time to research the program they’re representing and have done your homework.
Although it may seem like common sense to dress professionally for an MBA admissions interview, you’d be surprised how often this step is missed. An MBA interview is a lot like a job interview, and it’s important to dress the part.
Business clothes are typically recommended, even for an online interview and also be sure to have your online interview in a professional looking setting. The last thing you want is for the admissions directors to hear your dog barking in the background or see your unmade bed behind you during the interview.
Time to Ace Your Interview!
Now that you’re prepared for your MBA admissions interview, it’s time to start getting connected with schools. The more you’re able to meet with schools face to face, the better chance you have to make personal connections with admissions directors.
One of the best ways to make these personal connections is at an MBA fair where you can meet with representatives from a variety of business schools. The QS World MBA Tour provides this opportunity. Learn more about the event, and find us in a city near you!