In this third article in MBA Prep School’s MBA Admissions Interview Best Practices series, we share three more interview best practices that admissions experts have developed to help you prepare for what is arguably the most important step in the MBA application process:
- Sell what they are buying
- Know your resume and application up and down
- Know the program backwards and forwards
Sell What They Are Buying
Keep in mind that an MBA admissions interview is less about testing for skills and more about determining if there’s a fit. Instead of emphasizing technical skills such as building spreadsheet models or calculating manufacturing cycle times, share stories with your MBA interviewer about your leadership and management strengths. As every good salesperson knows, you have to sell what the customer is buying!
Know your resume and MBA application up and down
Commit all the facts on your resume and MBA application to memory. Getting a date wrong on your resume or flubbing a story from your business school application is not only sloppy, it might raise questions consciously or subconsciously in the interviewer’s mind about the honesty of your written application.
Know the business school backwards and forwards
Going to business school is probably one of the biggest personal investment decisions you will make in life. Graduate management programs will only admit candidates who take this decision very seriously. If you don’t know the MBA program you are pursuing backwards and forwards, then it raises questions about your judgment as a business leader and skills as a business decision maker. Effective managers know that every major investment decision should be thoroughly researched.
MBA Prep School students often ask if we recommend school visits? We always do. If you have not visited the school, it portrays you as the kind of person who would invest a big chunk of their net worth and spend two years in a place you have never even set foot in.
The bottom line is that you need to do extensive research on the business school that is interviewing you so that you can build a convincing case to your interviewer about your motivations for applying to their specific program. Generic interview answers like: “I want to go to your school because of the great professors and great students” just won’t cut it.
Along those lines, be sure you know about new developments in the program, and, if possible, link those current events to your interests, skills and values. Overall you want to convince the MBA interviewer that you are very passionate and enthusiastic about attending their business school.
There’s More to Come…
In the fourth article in MBA Prep School’s MBA Admissions Interview Best Practices, we will share more tips that will ensure you excel in your business school interview.