"Proving You Fit" is about knowing what qualities the program values most and using that knowledge to select and shape the stories you tell during your interview.
In this third lecture in our Admissions Interviewing series, we return to the concept of "Fit Qualities" introduced earlier in the MBA Prep Steps™ program. You will learn how to identify and shape stories and interview responses that feature the school's "Fit Qualities." By drawing together concepts and exercise from across the MBA Prep Steps™ Program, we provide you with a step-by-step approach for convincing your interviewer that you are a great fit with his or her school.
I'd like to start off this lecture by reading you a quote taken from the first line on the first page of the admissions website of one of the leading MBA programs. It reads:
"Admissions is all about the right fit."
Admissions officers will tell you that they're job is to determine if an applicant is a good fit for the school, but what do they mean by that?
Fit is the collection of qualities that the school values most. In this lecture, I'm going to show you how to define fit on a school-by-school basis and use those quote/unquote Fit qualities" to decide which of your stories to tell during your interview.
If you don't remember anything else from our three interview prep lectures, I want you to remember this: Proving you fit is about knowing what qualities the program values most and using that knowledge to select and shape the stories you tell during your interview. In this lecture, I'm going to teach you how it's done because I believe that proving you fit is the key to earning an acceptance letter.
Let's review what we've covered so far in the lecture series and what I'll be covering in this lecture.
In the 101 lecture, I compared the Admission Interview to a final exam and told you what you'd be tested on.
In the 201 Lecture, we delved into the four areas that qualify a candidate for an MBA, and I showed you how to draw on your experiences, talents and goals to build interview responses that prove you qualify.
In this 301 lecture, we'll move beyond the conventional approach to interview prep. Many candidates are qualified for an MBA, objectively speaking, so the key to earning an acceptance letter to a top school is to prove you're a better fit than your competition. In this lecture, I'm going to show you how to prepare stories that prove you fit.
Let's take a look at our lesson plan.
We'll start by reviewing the list of valued qualities that I shared with you in the 101 lecture, and then I'll draw a distinction between generally valued qualities and the qualities that a particular school values most. We'll call those the school's "Fit Qualities.
I'm going to be teaching you a step-by-step process that you can use to prove you possess those Fit Qualities
There are three steps in this process and three questions you must answer along the way:
– What are the Program's Fit Qualities?
– Which Fit Qualities should I feature?
– And How do I Prove I Possess those Fit Qualities?
Once you've done your detective work, I'll show you how to assemble the evidence and tell your story.
Before we begin the process, I want to distinguish between valued qualities and Fit Qualities.
In the 101 lecture, I introduced nine essential qualities that MBA Programs value.
Those valued qualities, which are listed on the left-hand side of your screen, range from leadership to analytical intelligence to self-awareness.
This list is helpful, but it's really just a starting point when it comes time to prepare for your interview. As you'll see in a moment, that there's a huge benefit to determining the specific qualities the program you're interviewing with values most – we'll be calling those the school's "Fit Qualities. A school's Fit Qualities may include qualities that aren't this list – or that are a combination of these qualities.
Let's take leadership for example. Every single MBA program values leadership, but do they all define leadership in the same way?
The Haas School at UC Berkeley recently released a new strategic plan for the MBA program. If you read their announcement closely, you'll learn that Haas certainly prizes leadership in its students but is looking for a certain kind of leader they refer to as the "innovative leader" – a leader whose leadership qualities are equaled by his or her creative capacity. So if you're building a list of Fit Qualities for Haas -- Innovative Leadership would be on the top of your list.
Similarly, some research on Stanford reveals that Stanford values a quality they call "Intellectual Vitality" which is a combination of collaborative nature, analytical and emotional intelligence.
Columbia prizes the "Entrepreneurial Mindset. MIT Sloan values "Drive. And so on…
I hope these examples persuade you that our the nine essential qualities we discussed in the 101 lecture is a useful starting point, but it's only a starting point. You need to do your own detective work to identify each school's specific "Fit qualities.
When you're just staring out, figuring out how to prove you fit is something of a mystery. In the next series of slides, I'm going to show you how to solve this mystery.
To prove you fit, you need to answer three questions:
– What are the Program's Fit Qualities?
– Which Fit Qualities should I feature? and
– How do I Prove I Possess those Fit Qualities?
I'm not going to solve this mystery for you, but I can offer you something almost as good ... wait for it ...
...A 2x2 Matrix.
...Okay, arguably not as good, but bear with me. Let's take a closer look at what I call a Fit Matrix and I'll show you how it can be used to solve the mystery of proving you fit.
On the vertical axis, you'll rank how much the program values a quality. On the horizontal axis, you'll weigh the evidence that you possess that quality. To solve the mystery of proving you fit, you must emphasize the qualities in the upper-right hand corner of the matrix: the intersection between your strongest qualities and the qualities the school values most.
So that's straightforward enough. What's not so obvious is how you go about placing qualities on your matrix.
Certainly, you could use your intuition to choose the qualities in the upper-right hand corner. But the best way to fill out the matrix is to do your detective work and gather some evidence. By the time your done you'll know which of your qualities to emphasize and you'll have the evidence to back them up. You'll have solved the first two questions of our mystery and your competition won't even have a clue.
So let's get started with our detective work.
The first mystery we have to solve is:
"What are the program's Fit Qualities?
There are three steps to solving this mystery. You'll need to:
– Research the Fit Qualities;
– Define each one; and
– Rank them in importance.
The admissions office won't send you a neatly wrapped package containing a list of the school's Fit Qualities. You'll need to do your own detective work.
I'm often asked where to find information about Fit Qualities.
Excellent sources include:
– The school's web site
– The Admissions Office web pages
– Presentations by the Admissions Officers, the Dean, and Professors
– And meetings with students and alumni.
Another way to add to your list of Fit Qualities is to study the essay questions and interview transcript questions. Those questions were designed so that admissions officers and interviewers could determine if you fit; so you may be able to reverse engineer fit qualities by studying those questions closely.
Online discussion forums and school guides may help as well.
If you listen carefully to admissions committee members, alumni, and students your research will eventually yield a list of Fit Qualities. Now that you know where to look, let's talk about what you're looking for, and let's use Stanford as an example.
Before I share a few examples, however, an important disclaimer. I won't be creating a comprehensive or definitive list of Stanford's Fit Qualities – we'll just examine a handful of possible qualities so that I can show you how it's done. Here are three quotes I found on Stanford's admissions website.
Three quotes are far from definitive but now I have some important signals about three possible Fit Qualities. Intellectual Vitality, Other-Oriented, and what I'll call Legacy Leadership.
In the next slide, we'll talk about the importance of defining each Fit Quality clearly.
Compiling a list of possible Fit Qualities is a big step forward, but you'll want to do some more detective work to define each quality.
The best sources for your definitions of the valued qualities are again: admissions officers, current students, professors, and alumni.
Let's look at some additional evidence I gathered to define the three fit qualities I've identified so far.
I found a definition of intellectual vitality in another part of the admission website. (Read Definition)
A quote from an admission officer gave me some additional insight on the term "other- oriented
For "Legacy Leadership I found a number of references to leadership that makes and impact and leaves a legacy.
I want to remind you that you are only seeing a small sample of my investigative work. I will have collected other qualities, other quotes, and definitions along the way. It's important to generate plenty of evidence so that you can weigh that evidence to create a definitive list of Fit Qualities and so that you can rank those Fit qualities in order of importance, which is what we'll do next using our trusty Fit Matrix.
What you want to do once you've gathered sufficient evidence, is to take a step back from your research about Fit Qualities and weigh the evidence to ensure that each quality on your list is important and then rank them from highest importance to least importance, based on the quantity and quality of your evidence.
Quantity of evidence matters – If you've heard one admissions officer mention intellectual vitality in her speech, it doesn't mean that it's a Fit Quality. But if you've heard intellectual vitality mentioned two or three times by a few different sources then you're almost certainly on the right track and the quality should make it on your list.
Quality of evidence will also shape you're ranking and that includes considering the sources. If six friends of yours who go to Stanford have told you that Global Work Experience is important, it should certainly be on your Fit List. But if Derek Bolton, the Director of Admissions, stressed Legacy Leadership in the information session you attended then you'd want to rank it more highly than Global Work Experience on your Fit Matrix.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to your judgment, but at least your judgment will be backed up by plenty of evidence.
For the purposes of our Stanford example, I've placed some qualities on the matrix and ranked them. Again, these rankings are for discussion purposes only; you'll need to do your own research if you happen to preparing for a Stanford interview.
Once I've filled out the first column of my Fit matrix, mystery one is solved. I now know what qualities constitute Fit with Stanford and I've ranked them from most important to least important using the quantity and quality of the evidence I've gathered.
If you make it this far in your detective work, you've already left a substantial portion of the competition in the dust by identifying, defining, and prioritizing the program's Fit Qualities.
But what's missing from this matrix. What's missing is you. You're now ready to answer the second question in our mystery story:
Which Fit Qualities Should I feature in the interview?
As I said earlier, the Fit Qualities you should feature during your interview are the qualities in the upper right hand corner of your Fit Matrix. In the next step in your detective work, you are going to decide which qualities belong in that upper right-hand box by generating evidence that you possess those qualities. The evidence will be examples and stories from your life in which you demonstrated those Fit Qualities.
That should make intuitive sense to you. The more stories you can come up with that feature a particular quality, the easier it'll be for you to convince an interviewer that you possess those qualities.
Simply claiming you possess the school's Fit Qualities is unconvincing, not to mention awkward. Imagine saying in an interview, "Accept me because I am intellectually vital."
Take my word for it, that wont' go over well in an interview. In fact, you want to avoid buzz words altogether -- including the one's on your own FIT list. If you whip out the term "intellectual vitality in your Stanford interview you aren't going to impress your interviewer; in fact, you'll probably get a funny look.
You'll probably identify a number of Fit Qualities, but you'll need to concentrate on the most important ones. In this next series of slides, I'm going to show you how narrow down your list of Fit Qualities, allowing you to emphasize the one's you possess in abundance.
In essence, what you'll do is use your Fit Qualities to search for stories and then let the quantity and quality of the stories you come up with determine which qualities you want to concentrate on during our interview.
As with solving mystery question #1, it is possible to rely on your intuition to choose the qualities you want to emphasize. But my experiences helping my client prepare for interviews suggests that their intuition operates much more effectively when supported by evidence. If you follow the process I'm going to share with you, you'll make better choices and have more confidence in the choices you make.
There are three steps in the process:
1. Searching for Fit Stories;
2. Outlining Potential Fit Stories; and
3. Evaluating the Evidence to Complete your Fit Matrix.
The first step to answering question two in our mystery is to Search for Fit Stories. To me, searching for stories is a lot like searching for information on the web; so I'm going to use a search engine analogy to describe to you how it's done.
You probably remember from your experience brainstorming essay topics that choosing the right stories can be tricky.
To improve upon that process for your interview preparation, I'm going to show you how to use your definitions of the Fit Qualities to create "search terms that will help you identify your best stories
At this point, the hard work you've done creating your Fit List and defining each Fit Quality will start to pay off. You're going to that information to build your search phrases-- what we'll call "Story Search Terms."
I think an example will help.
Intellectual Vitality was on my Fit Quality list for Stanford. I'll try to feed the term "Intellectual Vitality" into my story search engine.
When was I intellectually vital?
I don't know about you but when I feed the phrase "Intellectual Vitality" into my story search engine and press search, I don't get many hits -- I get one of those depressing blank Google search pages. Or one of those snarky, little messages -- did you mean "Intelligence vitamins?"
My story search engine operates just like Google -- the more refined and exact my search terms are the higher the chances I'll hit what I'm are looking for.
So Intellectual Vitality -- at least for me -- isn't the right story search term.
But if I review my operating definition of what intellectual vitality means it's a bit more helpful –
I'll paraphrase the definition on the screen that I found when I was building my Fit Qualities list -- "a person so intellectually alive that they inspire other people to learn and contribute to other people's learning.
From that operating definition of intellectual vitality, I create some phrases to spur my memory.
I ask myself -- When have I done that in the past? When have I....
...sparked a lively discussion and took it further
...spurred other people to think and learn more
...or been so fascinated by a topic I wanted to master it and then teach others
Those are going to be my "story search terms."
Once I have my search terms, I can start "brain-searching" for intellectual vitality stories. I'll be guiding my imagination and memory with the story search terms I've developed. Meanwhile, my competition is going to be trying to come up with any and every story they can think of about any and every quality an MBA interviewer might be interested in. I hope you're staring to see how you'll be much better prepared if follow the MBA Prep School process.
Let's continue with the example.
So with the improved story search terms at the top of the screen, here's what I come up with -- Let's call them "Story Hits
-- My marketing thesis on new product development with Nike
-- The World Leader biography book club I started
-- and The research I did on software R&D spending and the model I built to allocate my employer's annual R&D budget
Now you're starting to see the power of turning your fit qualities into story search terms. I realize that we're all different, but at least for me, it just doesn't work as well if I sit back and ask...
What stories can I tell that will prove I fit?
Or even the more specifically. What stories can I tell that prove I possess intellectual vitality?
Those just don't generate many story hits for me. But when I ask myself "When have I been so fascinated by a topic that I want to master it and then teach it others...?. Bingo -- things start jumping to mind.
For me at least, the discipline of following each step in the process produced some much more promising results.
Can you see that once you've gone through this process for all the school's Fit Qualities that you'll be one step closer to solving the second question in our mystery about "What Fit Qualities to feature in your interview?
What if instead of 3 stories for intellectual vitality, I came up with 10? Well, in that case, there's a very good chance that Intellectual Vitality is going to make the list of Fit Qualities I emphasize in my interview.
Alternatively, what if, even with great story search terms on say negotiating abilities, my search page still comes up blank? Well, then that quality is probably not going to make it in to my top three.
In order to complete your Fit Matrix though, the sheer number of story hits generated isn't sufficient. As with a search engine, the hits are ranked on both the quantity and quality of evidence. So we're not quite ready to solve the mystery yet. To properly assess the quality of my potential stories, I'm going to need more to work with than just a phrase like:
"My marketing thesis on new product development with Nike"
I'm going to need to outline my story hits so that I can properly determine if they'll turn out to be "hit stories.
But before we leave our search results, I do want to quickly draw your attention to the 2nd story hit on the screen about the world leader biography book club I started. This is a personal rather than professional story.
My point is-- Don't "filter" your search results by professional stories only. Sharing a story from your world outside of work can help you to paint a picture of yourself as a well-rounded individual.
Okay -- so let's start outlining our potential Fit Stories.
Let me say right away that you don't have to outline every single one of your story hits. You're welcome too, but I'm guessing you'll be able to winnow down your list of stories to some of the top contenders without the need of an outline. By the same token, don't be too hasty in taking stories out of the running.
I want to share a powerful framework that will allow you to outline your potential stories in enough detail to assess their quality. It's called the STAR Framework.
STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, and Result.
Let's take a look at the 4 elements in the STAR framework. To show you how to use it. I'm going to do a STAR outline of my story hit titled:
"My marketing thesis on new product development with Nike."
The S in STAR stands for Situation
This is the time and place and context of the story -- you can think of it as the setting but it might also includes the challenge or conflict you faced. In essence this is the set-up of the story.
Using my Nike marketing thesis example, the Situation was that during my "Senior year in college, I was interested in product development and design, and I convinced Nike to sponsor a thesis project which would combine a team of marketing and industrial design students and task the team with co-designing a pair of sneakers for Nike."
The T in STAR stands for Task.
The Task is your role in the story -- and often takes the form of a goal or objective statement.
In my Nike example, my Task was:
To assemble the team and get them to work cooperatively and design a pair of sneakers
If it's not immediately clear from the situation you might want to describe why a positive outcome matters to you and/or to others in the story – these are sometimes called the "stakes of the story.
In my example, this is a story about my senior marketing thesis so whether or not I would succeed and graduate was what was at stake in the story.
The next step in the STAR outline is Action.
Action is what you did to resolve the conflict/fulfill your role/and achieve your objective or goal.
I'm not going to go into all of the action in my Nike story for outlining purposes. I'll just record some specifics about what I did. This is an important moment in testing the quality of the story -- If there's not enough action then the story simply won't work and should probably be filtered out of your hit list. In this case, it appears there is plenty of action in my Nike story.
Now we're ready to summarize Results.
Results are the impact of your actions and final resolution of the complication. Evidence of results is almost as important as action when you're judging the quality of your story – a positive outcome and happy ending will make the story that much more powerful.
In my Nike Story, we delivered our marketing plans and sneaker design for a skateboard shoe. Another result is what I learned from the project.
When we put our STAR building blocks together we have a complete outline.
Voila. I've turned the STORY HIT -- my marketing thesis on new product development with Nike -- into a STAR.
The setting of the story, my goal, what I did, and how things turned out are now filled in and I can assess the quality of this story.
Once I have created STARs for my other Story Hits – then I'm ready to evaluate the evidence and solve mystery question #2. What Fit Qualities should I feature?
Once you've outlined your story hits, you have the evidence you need to complete your Fit Matrix.
You probably started with some initial intuitions about which qualities would make it to the top right hand corner; now you have the evidence to validate your gut-instinct.
Let's return to our Stanford example. By putting the evidence I collected about Stanford's Fit qualities together with the Fit stories I generated, I can place qualities on the matrix and select my top fit qualities.
I want to remind you that this is not just a numbers game where you tally up the number of times a Fit Quality is mentioned and cross reference that to the number of Story Hits you have for each Fit quality.
The number of story hits for a Fit Quality matters, but judgment is needed because the quality of the evidence always outweighs the quantity. I might have five stories about deal making skills but one intellectual vitality story like the Nike story that I know will blow my interviewer away. I'll let that killer story push intellectual vitality into the top-right hand corner.
Similarly, if I'm an ace software engineer and have load of great coding stories, but I can't find any evidence that the program values this other than the one software engineer I talked to during my campus visit, then software coding expertise shouldn't make it into the upper right hand corner.
What if you go through this exercise and the upper-right hand corner of the matrix ends up being blank?
That's actually very valuable information. The Fit Matrix can help you with school selection too. The schools want to admit students that fit. Equally, you want to go to a school where you will fit. If you find out the school values analytical decision making and quant jocks the most and your forte is emotional intelligence and intuitive decision making -- then you might not be very happy at that particular school.
So we're in the home stretch now, but there's still a bit further to go. We have to answer the third and final question in our mystery story:
How do I prove I fit?
As in most good mysteries, the climax is when all of the clues come together and the mystery is solved.
The answer to proving you fit are your stories -- your Fit Stories.
The stories you tell during your interview -- taken together "your story" -- are the secret to proving you Fit.
A story is always more engaging, more memorable, and ultimately more convincing than a list of claims. Instead of telling your interviewer "I am intellectually vital You can show that you are by telling a a story that highlights your intellectual vitality – such as the Nike story we outlined a moment ago.
The good news is that once you've completed steps 1 and 2 in this lecture, you have an entire arsenal of possible stories outlined that features the qualities that you've determined the school values most. .
Now all you have to do is write Your Fit Stories, choose the best of the best, and match them to the Frequently asked interview questions.
First. I'll give you a set of content building blocks to help you write those Fit Stories.
The first principle they teach you in a creative writing course is that a good story has a beginning, middle, and end.
I'm going to introduce the building blocks for those three parts of your story, define them briefly, and show you an example.
The beginning of your story should include a Hook and a lead.
A hook is what it sounds like: an opening that engages your interviewer and builds interest in hearing your story. The best hooks are unexpected and build anticipation.
The next building block is the Lead -- we talked about leads in the 201 lecture. For the qualifying questions, the lead was the direct answer to the interviewer's question and served as an outline of the body of your answer.
Your stories should have leads too. A story lead summarize what the story is about and why you are telling it.
You have only a few seconds to capture your interviewer's attention – So Don't "bury your lead -. the lead gets your interviewer on board and silences that internal voice that's wondering – "is this story going to answer my question?
With our listener hooked and on board we're ready to tell our story. The middle, or body of the story, should follow your STAR outline -- Situation - Task - Action - Result. We just talked about the STAR framework so I'll just make a few suggestions you'll want to keep in mind while writing out the story.
In regards to situation and task, everything leading up to the action in the story is set-up and you want to get through that set-up as quickly as possible so that you can concentrate on action. Action is what interviewer's are interested in -- not exposition. On balance "action should take up about 75% of every story you tell.
When it comes to action, the more specific you can be the better. Generic action statements such as I assembled the team, got them focused, and we achieved our goal aren't specific enough. Try to focus on the things that you did that were creative, clever, and even unexpected.
Regarding results, if your story doesn't pay off it may not fly. That's not the same thing as saying that you have to achieve the desired outcome. The pay off might be the lessons your learned or how you grew from the experience as I'll discuss in the next slide.
All good stories must come to an end. At the end of the story, you' should echo your lead and offer some key takeaways.
Story conclusions are a little different than the conclusions at the end of your responses to the qualifying questions. In some ways, the results are the end of the story, but I think the most powerful stories end with a few Key Takeaways – what you took away from the experience but also what you want your interviewer to "takeaway" from your answer. Sharing what you learned and the universal lessons you drew from the experience can turn a good story into a great story.
For example, in the Nike story I will cover in a moment, I end my story with what I learned about adapting to team members who were different than me -- the design students.
Before you write your Fit Story it's a good idea to review the definition and story search terms for Fit quality or qualities that you want to feature with that story. Doing so will prime your imagination so that you can shape the story so that it emphasize those qualities, which after all is your whole goal for telling that story in the first place.
For example, you may remember that I came up with the Nike story when I was searching for a story to feature Stanford's fit quality: intellectual vitality. I was looking for stories where I had shared knowledge with others and inspired them to learn. That's important to keep in mind while I'm writing my story. You might say that will be the theme or overarching message of this story.
Let's listen to how my story outline came together into a complete story that follows the structure we've just talked about. In the right hand margin, you'll see how the parts of the story correspond to the building blocks we've just discussed.
You only need rough drafts for the purposes of identifying your best Fit Stories. You'll polish your best stories and your delivery later. To select your best stories you want to look at your rough drafts and ask the following questions about each one:
-- Does the story provide evidence of the fit quality or qualities I want to feature?
-- Am I the central player in the story versus supporting cast?
-- Can the story be told briefly with a clear beginning, middle, and end?
-- Is the story easy to understand without a great deal of background or technical knowledge?
-- Did the experience occur recently?
Let's run my Nike Story through these testing criteria and see how it does.
1. Does it feature the Fit Quality?
So I wanted to tell a story about begin intellectually vital and contributing to the learning and growth of others.
I think my Nike Story does the trick. I went beyond what was expected academically by setting up a field study project to design a pair of sneakers for Nike. Furthermore, by doing so, my whole team benefitted from the experience and learned new skills that will be very valuable for them in their future careers. I'd say this story features my intellectual vitality really well.
One other note – you certainly want to cover more than one fit quality with a story. The Nike Field study story, for example, doesn't just feature intellectual vitality -- it can also show that I'm other oriented, creative, and an experienced team leader.
2. Am I the central player in the story?
That's a fairly straight forward answer -- there are team members in the Nike Story but I'm leading the team.
3. Is it brief?
I'll have to work on that one but I think I can get it down to about sixty seconds.
4. Does it require a lot of Background/Technical Knowledge to understand?
Your stories shouldn't require any special knowledge or technical background to understand. Moreover, you want to avoid using industry jargon, consulting-ese, and i-banker lingo.
In my story, people know Nike and what sneakers are and even that industrial designers might not automatically play nice with business -types. I'd say it's a fairly accessible story.
5. Is it Recent?
It's best if the stories you tell happened within the last 3 years. There is some leeway on this unless your interviewer specifies the appropriate time frame. Just bear in mind, that the longer ago it was the bigger the story needs to be.
Once you have compiled a library of great stories that you want to tell, you have to find opportunities to tell them. Your final step is to match your best stories to frequently asked questions.
The interview questions you are looking for on the transcripts are referred to as behavioral questions. We talked about these in the first lecture. They don't sound like questions at all; they sound more like an invitation to tell a story, which is exactly what they are. Examples include:
– Tell me about a time you lead a team
– Or Tell me about an accomplishment you're proud of ...
– Or When have you made a lasting impact on an organization.
In searching the interview transcript question, I identified a few different opportunities to tell my Nike Story:
– Tell me about an experience you had leading a team?
– Tell me about a time you did something innovative.
Less direct questions that also open the door to that story include:
– Tell me about a time you had to work with people different than yourself?
– And even What was your favorite course in college?
Let's take a moment to reflect on how far we've come. I'm hoping you can see the value of the steps in the process I've just taught you. Because of all the ground work I did to come up with a story, such as my Nike Story, I now have a library of possible stories to tell that feature the qualities that I know Stanford values.
I ask you consider how likely is it that a story like the Nike one would have jumped to mind if I'd simply gone through the interview transcripts and tried to brainstorm answer to a general question like "Tell me about an experience leading a team?"
Because I will have a number of great FIT stories at my fingertips, I don't have to tell my interviewer that I possess Stanford's Fit Qualities. I can convince him or her that I fit I by telling a collection of stories that prove I do!
Let's review what we've learned in the 301 lecture. You're an old hand with the STAR framework by now so why don't we use it to write the prologue of our mystery story?
The situation you must prepare for is one of the most important interviews or your life.
Your task is to Prove You Fit.
The actions I recommended in this lecture are to:
– Gather evidence and create a Fit List for the program;
– Use story search terms to identify Fit Stories; and
– Write Fit Stories and select the best ones
The results you are aiming for are to perfect your delivery, prove you fit, and earn an acceptance letter.
If you do the work in all three lectures, you will be ready to represent who you are -- the best of who you are. You will be able to focus your answers on the qualifications and qualities that admissions officers are interested in hearing about on interview day.
I began this lecture by telling you that proving you fit is about knowing what qualities the program values most and using that knowledge to select and shape the stories you tell during your interview. That, in a nut shell is what we have been talking about in this course.
Good luck on your interviews from all of us at MBA Prep School and prepare to be accepted!
Reference: Lecture Slides and Speaker Notes