Interviews are a crucial part of the MBA Applications process. This detailed conceptual video on MBA Interview Preparation shall help you in achieving a broad perspective for your MBA Interview Preparation and orient you towards the same.
A General Approach Towards MBA Interview Preparation
Before you begin with your MBA interview preparations, in earnest, it is vital to understand how to prepare for the MBA interviews on a macro level. By doing so, you will be able to comprehend the more nuanced aspects of the interview preparation better.
One of the first and most important things to keep in mind while preparing for and giving your MBA interview is what you need to convey to the interviewer. Your aim should be to convey that you are good enough and that you are deeply interested. This advice holds true not only for MBA interview questions but also for every other type of interview and will be worth remembering when you sit for your first job interviews, after graduating. Now let us move on to the big picture, regarding your MBA interview preparations.
The following are the five aspects of your MBA interview preparations that we will elaborate upon in this article.
1. The Correct Mindset
3. Having Stories to Tell
The Correct Mindset
As is the case with any endeavor, it is vital to approach the MBA interviews with the right mindset. Most importantly, do not be scared; do not look at the interviews as some completely opaque or unknowable challenge; it is absolutely possible to understand the nature of the interviews and prepare accordingly. Furthermore, it is a mistake to approach the interviews as an obstacle in your path to securing admission that must be overcome rather take the interviews as an opportunity to express yourself and help the MBA admissions
committee come to know you better. Your entire journey, from your GMAT to the admissions process is a prelude to the MBA, a part of your pursuit of management education, treat every part of this journey as something that you can learn from. Your mindset should also inform how you conduct yourself during the interview. You must feel and sound "ready" during your interview and show an eagerness to take up a management education and go on to become a capable business manager who will be a worthy alumnus to the university.
As this may be the first interview of this kind that you will sit for it is important to understand the ways in which MBA interviews differ from the professional and academic interviews that you may have prior experience with. These interviews are focused on having the candidate discuss their background, aspirations, why they need management education, and why they wish to attend that specific school. The interview should be treated as a discussion, not a viva.
Before you sit for your interview, there are some subjects that you must have absolute clarity on.
Clarity on Yourself
Most admissions interviews begin with a question along the lines of "Tell me something about yourself." or "Take us through your resume."; you must absolutely have a two-minute summary ready for this question; it may very well define the course of your interview. You must be absolutely clear on your career highlights, all of your concrete, quantifiable achievements. You must also be clear on your strengths, areas of improvement, and your functional area and industry, including its recent trends, challenges, and future trajectory.
Clarity on Why MBA
Ironically, this tends to be the area where MBA candidates struggle to answer questions the most; even though they have taken the GMAT, decided to leave their jobs, move to a new city, and invest thousands of dollars into their further education they still find it difficult to explain why they want to pursue an MBA. While having a good answer to this question is very important, you should not worry if you do not have one yet; most MBA candidates don't and that is what this section of the article is about.
In order to answer this question, you must be able to answer three other questions, why is this the best time for you to pursue an MBA, what will be your key takeaways from an MBA, and why are you interested in that specific school. An interview answer that can provide clarity on these three points will be very rich and effective, indeed.
Clarity on Career Goals
You must be sure to have answers on your career goals
prepared before your MBA interview, as your interviewer is sure to ask you a question on them. Remember, specificity is very important when answering such questions, provide information on the specific role and industry that you plan to target and avoid generic answers. Follow this information up with the goals that you hope to achieve, approximately 10 and 20 years after graduation; most importantly, also mention the impact that you wish to leave on your industry or functional area. By mentioning the impact that you wish to make rather than simply talking about the position that you wish to secure, you will convey a desire to give back. While preparing for your MBA interview, keep in mind that business schools seek visionary leaders, thus, if you can showcase a well thought out vision for your career, you will be able to distinguish yourself from the other interviewees.
Have Stories to Tell
Remember, one fine example is better than a dozen claims; this is one idea that should inform your entire MBA interview preparation. You must have clear, concrete examples of yourself in action, at least three-five stories about your professional career. You might not be certain whether you have good stories to tell, in your interview, but if you think deeply along the lines of leadership stories, failure stories, challenge stories, ethical dilemma stories, etc. you will be surprised to find just how many impressive stories you have to tell.
When you sit for your MBA interview, you must have twenty clear giveaways for the interviewer, 20 things you want the admissions committee to know. A good exercise that will help you prepare for the interview is to imagine that there only one question will be asked, "Tell us 20 things about yourself." and come up with 20 bullet points to answer that question.
It is often said that "Practice makes perfect." and this is absolutely true for MBA interview preparations. The interview is a practical test, and you must practice how you will answer the questions, beforehand. However, while you should have a broad approach for answering questions, you should not try to prepare a script.
What you should do to improve your interview style is rehearse in front of a mirror or record yourself; recording yourself will be particularly helpful if you have to interview over Skype. If at all possible, try to get a mentor or at least a buddy who can provide you with real feedback on your interview preparation.
On the eve of the interview, do not try to cram in further preparation rather take some time to relax. Avoid any type of stress or anxiety at this point, so that you can sit for your interview with a calm and clear mind.
For a more complete understanding of MBA interview preparation, please read the other articles, prepared by Experts' Global.