The following are 5 MBA interviews tips from the Ross Michigan MBA program. The latest application advice offered this week by admissions director Soojin Kwon Koh of the Stephen M. Ross Michigan MBA Program covers how to use the interview experience to provide added dimension to the “paper” version of yourself.
As we’ve noted before, the purpose of the interview is twofold: it gives AdCom a chance to see a candidate’s personality, leadership qualities and motivation for pursuing an MBA; and it also lets applicants tell their own story beyond the essays and other materials in the application.
Applicants should remember that an invitation to interview doesn’t mean you’re a shoo-in. The admissions interview is intended as a “fit” interview, says Soojin, so you should approach it with the same seriousness and vigor you would a job interview.
Here are some of the admissions director’s MBA interview tips for conquering the admissions interview with grace:
Be professional: Schools want to admit candidates who will represent their institution well to recruiters and the outside world ”” both as students and future alums. Interviewing with a second-year MBA student doesn’t mean that you can be more casual in your language and demeanor. Remember to keep it professional.
Know yourself: You should be prepared to answer the question, “Why an MBA?” While you already have written about it in your application essay, AdCom also wants to know how you talk about it in person: Do you have your “elevator pitch” down?
Anything on your resume is fair game, so know it well. Explain your experiences clearly and succinctly. Provide specific examples and relevant details. Use the “CAR” approach ”” context, action, result ”” to frame your responses.
Know the school: Interviewers tend to feel more positively about candidates who have done their homework. They don’t just want really smart, accomplished students to join the community; they want students who will engage in the many opportunities Ross offers.
Knowing all about Ross doesn’t guarantee an interviewer’s endorsement, but you can make a more favorable impression on an interviewer ”” whether it’s for b-school admission or for a job ”” if you show you’re interested enough to research the organization.
Distinguish yourself: Make sure the stories and examples you share give the interviewer a sense of your interests, passions, goals, values, decision-making framework, and personality. AdCom wants to get to know you as people, not as resumes.
Practice: Here is the last, but arguably the most important, of the MBA interview tips. Practice discussing your professional experience, and identify stories that highlight some of the characteristics the school is looking for in candidates ”” leadership, teamwork, initiative, engagement, integrity, self-awareness, curiosity, passion, etc.
Conduct a mock interview with a colleague or friend to crystallize your thoughts and figure out the appropriate level of detail and length of response. And remember to relax and be yourself. We hope the above MBA interview tips were of help.
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If you’re in the midst of preparing your application for the Ross School of Business’s Round 2 deadline coming up on January 5, 2011, read Stacy Blackman’s complete Michigan Ross Advice section for essays tips, application updates and more!