As you may guess, the purpose of the MBA admissions interview is twofold. First, it gives the AdCom a chance to see a candidate’s personality, leadership qualities, and motivation for pursuing an MBA. Secondly, it also lets applicants tell their own story beyond the essays and other materials in the application. Once you receive your b-school interview invitation, your focus should be on preparation.
Keep in mind that many schools, such as Dartmouth Tuck and MIT Sloan, pose behavioral questions during the interview. Presenting yourself clearly can be especially difficult with behavioral questions (“Tell me about a time you…”) because it is natural to launch into a story without much direction. Stay focused on telling your story in order to demonstrate the qualities you wish for schools to see.
Do these 11 things, and you’ll knock it out of the park on the big day.
- Go into it with confidence.
- Know yourself, or the version of yourself that you want to display.
- Cover your weaknesses.
- Build up a broad base of knowledge about business and the world.
- Study the school in-depth, and, if possible, research the person who will interview you, too.
- Dress the part.
- Have a list of stories that you can adapt to various questions ready.
- Keep your answers concise, but always have a lot more to say.
- Stay cool.
- Know what questions to ask.
Finally, wrap up your b-school interview with a sincere thank you for the interviewer’s time. Also, remember to ask for a business card if you haven’t already received one. Send a thank-you note or email within 24 hours, and try to include a memorable detail from your conversation to help the interviewer remember you as well as to reiterate your interest in attending the school.
The interaction in a b-school interview speaks volumes about what kind of teammate you will be when you are in the program, so make sure the right message is coming across loud and clear.