How to handle your admission interview
Admissions Barbara Barkhausen, December 5 2015 / 12-10-2015
If you are invited to an interview at the business school you applied to, an offer of a place is realistic. But the interview can still make or break a successful application, so good preparation is key.
The school invites prospective students to get a feeling for their personality as well as their skill set and also wants to see if a student is a good fit for the respective school.
Top tips for an MBA interview
The 30- to 45 minute long meeting will usually include an admissions officer as well as an alumnus or a current second year MBA student. To prepare well, students should think through how to answer some personal questions about their CV, strengths and weaknesses, career decisions, why they want an MBA and why at the respective school. It helps to practice with a friend upfront and to know what personal information you are prepared to share. Answers should be precise and not too drawn out and if also helps to prepare some questions of your own that the school website might not answer. Last but not least: Do wear business attire, arrive early, be polite and enthusiastic and send a thankyou-note with a specific example of what you appreciated.
Evaluation of the interview
US-based MBA consulting firm Fortuna Admissions also has some helpful advice on their blog about what is evaluated during an MBA admissions interview. According to them, the interviewer will likely complete a formal interview report after the meeting and will assess students on academic potential to make sure students can handle the workload. They will also dig deep to see if a student will add value to classroom discussions. Career goals, self-awareness and an interviewee’s potential for future professional leadership will also be evaluated. Another part is also how likeable and therefore employable a person comes across. According to Fortuna Admissions MBA, schools keep track of their employability statistics (and this impacts MBA rankings), so Admissions departments are looking to admit candidates who appear highly hireable to recruiters.
“Schools evaluate your EQ as much as your IQ and they want to make sure you are someone who will work well with others and bring out the best in your classmates,” write the admission experts. Being able to work in a team, being polite, friendly and enthusiastic with your class mates – that’s what the schools are after.
Where to get information
QS TopMBA.com has compiled information on how most students search for information about their prospective school and has found that the official business school websites are the number one resource for MBA applicants, followed by media rankings, third-party business school websites, forums & chatrooms and social media (Facebook and LinkedIn are the most-widely utilized social media networks). 64 per cent of candidates employ a mixture of online and offline resources in their business school research, while 31per cent only use online.
Find full reports here:
Fortuna admissions blog - What are you being evaluated on during your MBA admissions interview?