This video will enable you to answer a very obvious question - Why an MBA, in a very rich way. The pointers offered in this short MBA Interview Preparation video will prevent you from being overwhelmed and equip you with an efficient approach to answer this question and leave an impact on your interviewer.
How to Answer "Why MBA" in an MBA Interview
"Why do you want to pursue an MBA?" is one of the most basic MBA interview questions and should be the most straightforward to answer; however, ironically, it often turns out to be very difficult for candidates. This is a very important question, as the interviewer will expect you to have complete clarity on your decision to pursue an MBA and to have considered all the relevant factors, well before applying. A poor answer to the "Why MBA?" question will suggest that you have not given sufficient thought to your MBA plans and have a significant negative impact on your interview. In this article, we will cover the mistakes most candidates commit, the correct approach, and possible follow-up questions.
The Mistakes Most Candidates Commit
The biggest mistake that you can make while answering the "Why MBA?" question is treating it casually. Some candidates have been known to give the interviewer a look that asks "Isn't it obvious?". Well if it is so obvious, then give your interviewer the obvious answers. Remember, an MBA is a significant undertaking, requiring you to take the GMAT, invest a considerable amount of money, and move to a different city or even a different country; if your answer conveys that you have failed to consider why exactly you wish to take on such an undertaking, it will suggest a serious lack of maturity. Furthermore, an answer that suggests a lack of confidence or conviction in your decision will do the same. The second major mistake that MBA interviewees tend to make is providing a unidimensional answer. Many candidates only provide one or two reasons for pursuing an MBA, such as a career shift or a desire for career advancement, in their MBA interviews and harp on them over very long answers. An MBA is a lot more than just a tool for career enhancement; it provides a whole range of learning and exposure, and your answer must reflect that you have taken this into consideration. Another very significant blunder that you might commit, if you are not careful, is criticizing your current job. Suggesting that there is something wrong with your current job and you want to go for an MBA to change it is not a good approach; the correct approach is to say that your journey so far has been a positive one that has afforded you a lot of growth and now you intend to take on bigger challenges by taking up an MBA to evolve into a better version of yourself. In general, the "Why MBA?" question, in an MBA interview, must be answered in a very positive and inspiring way, not framed as a bailout plan. Finally, your answer to the "Why MBA?" interview question should not be a lame one; an answer along the lines of "I have gained three years of work experience." will only suggest that while you may have gained experience, you have not gained much maturity.
The Correct Approach
To begin with, you must gain conviction in your own reasons for pursuing an MBA; you will only be able to explain your reasons for "Why MBA?" to your interviewer if you understand them, yourself. Most importantly, cite reasons that are truly authentic; if there is one thing that that admissions committees prize, it is authenticity. You must also keep in mind that only providing one or two reasons will not suffice; make sure to include a full bouquet of reasons as to why you wish to pursue an MBA. A healthy variety of reasons will serve to add greater dimension and authenticity to your application.
Another important thing to keep in mind during your MBA interview is that your interviewer will most likely not ask you a separate question on why you wish to attend the specific MBA program that you are applying to. Thus, you must personalize your "Why MBA?" answer to also answer "Why from the relevant school?" You should include a good number of points that are specific to the particular school that you are applying to. One very efficient method of presenting strong reasons is to link your career goals, learning needs, and inspiration with the strengths of the MBA program. This method grounds your desire to pursue an education from that business school, in terms of concrete requirements, strengthening your response.
To recap, begin your "Why MBA?" answer with one-to-two sentences, covering four reasons why you wish to pursue an MBA. Below, you will find a glossary of reasons for pursuing an MBA; please go through it carefully and see which reasons apply to your story.
Management Perspective | Deeper Insight into the Discipline of your Career Choice | Opportunity for Career Enhancement or Career Shift | Global Perspective | Leadership Development | Networking Opportunities | Access to a Vast Alumni Base | Communication Skills | Presentation Skills | Interpersonal Skills | Cultural Exposure | Credibility of a Strong Brand | Opportunity to Create and Vet a Business Plan | Incubation/Funding Opportunities | Career Services | Internship Opportunities | Mentors | Versatile Peer Learning | Time Management and Personal Management | ...
Once you have provided the reasons behind your decision to pursue an MBA, move on to why you wish to pursue an MBA from that particular business school. Once again, you will find a glossary of potential reasons, below; please be sure to list at least four.
Sync with the Desired Career Goals | Program Structure | Teaching Style | Relevant Concentration(s) | Experiential Approach | Collaborative Environment | Brand Value | Commendable Placement Record for the Desired Post MBA Role | Faculty and Intellectual Property | Location | Duration | Flexibility in Customizing the Curriculum | Myriad Student Activities | Relevant Student Clubs/Organizations | Centers of Excellence | Student Exchange Opportunities | Rich Campus Life | Career Services | Networking Events | Simulations | Inter-College Competitions | Class Profile Represented Nationalities/Industries/Functional Areas | Vast Choice of Electives | Incubation Support | Emphasis on Leadership Development | Experiential Learning Opportunities | ...
In total, you will be providing eight reasons in response to the "Why MBA?" question and speaking 12 sentences; this means that you should be able to easily answer this question in two minutes.
Possible Follow-Up Questions
There are a number of different questions that your interviewer may follow the "Why MBA?" question up with. We have prepared an exhaustive list of some of the most likely options; please go through it carefully.
- How will your batchmates benefit from your presence?
- Why don't you pursue your career goals by continuing to work?
- How will you contribute as an alumnus?
- What attempts have you made to know about our MBA program?
- What are your five key takeaways from the MBA program going to be?
-What specific skills do you hope to develop through your MBA experience?
For a more complete understanding of MBA interview preparation, please read the other articles, prepared by Experts' Global.