In this fourth article in the series, we share three more MBA admissions interview best practices. This next set of interview preparation tips will be particularly useful for shaping your communication plan and perfecting your delivery for the big day.
- Picture yourself “on campus”
- Ask intelligent questions
- Rehearse until you don’t sound rehearsed
Picture yourself on campus
This isn’t just a tip about the power of positive thinking. Help your MBA interviewer imagine the kind of student you would be if accepted by supplying imagery in your responses that feature the kind of student you will be on the business school campus. For example:
“If I’m accepted by Kellogg, I want to launch a new Kellogg Cares service week during Spring break. I conceived and led a similar service week during the winter holidays for employees at the investment bank I work for.”
Ask Intelligent Questions
When asked if you have any questions, the types of questions you ask your interviewer and the way you ask them can make a tremendous impression, either positive or negative. Thoughtful questions require advance preparation. The best questions to ask are those that are tailored to your interests and relate to your reasons for wanting to attend business school. Intelligent questions reflect the quality of your MBA school research. Well-conceived questions indicate that you are an effective decision maker. They also are evidence that you have a sincere interest in gathering more information to help you with this major life decision.
One more tip regarding you questions: be cognizant of what your interviewer may be able to answer before you ask the question; it can be awkward if you stump your interviewer with a question that they don’t have the requisite knowledge to answer.
Rehearse until you sound unrehearsed
At a minimum, you need to practice out loud to perfect your delivery during you MBA admissions interview. Even better, recruit friends and/or admissions coaches for three mock interviews in the weeks leading up to the big day.
The first MBA mock interview is about road testing your responses and stories. Don’t worry if your answers are a little rough. The most important thing is to practice your responses out loud in front of an interviewer so that you can figure out what works and what doesn’t. Take notes so that you will remember what answers need to be refined.
The second MBA mock interview is your chance to nail the delivery of your stories. One thing to pay particular attention to at that stage is reducing the brag factor of your responses. There is a fine line between sharing an achievement and bragging about one. To help you minimize the brag factor, your mock interviewer should be looking for places where you cross the line from confidence into arrogance.
The third MBA mock interview is about moving beyond rehearsed text and being so comfortable with your answers that you can relax and deliver your responses in a smooth, unrehearsed way. Paradoxically, the more you rehearse, the less “rehearsed” you will appear. You will reach a point in your MBA interview preparation where that happens and it’s different for everyone. Keep practicing until you’ve reached that point.
There’s More to Come…
In the final article in MBA Prep School’s 5-part MBA Admissions Interview Best Practices series, we will share a few last tips that will ensure you excel in your business school interview.