Practical Advice When Prepping For MBA Interviews
Interviews are a critical aspect of the MBA application process. They provide a chance for the interviewer (either an Admissions Officer or an alum) to learn more about you and your motivations for pursuing an MBA. Some MBA programs strive to offer all applicants an interview, while others extend interviews by invitation only. Regardless, interviewing for a spot at an MBA program is an invaluable opportunity to share your story as well as what you will bring to your class. As a result, here is some practical advice to keep in mind when prepping for MBA interviews.
Don't wait until the last minute to start prepping
Unfortunately, many candidates do not invest much time when it comes to prepping for their interviews, believing that they can “wing it.” While some applicants will get away with this, a majority won’t. Maximizing your performance during an interview requires clarity of thought – for instance, what stories/examples should definitely come through? Why are you interested in that MBA program and how can you demonstrate fit? What do you want the interviewer to take away from their conversation with you? What are some thoughtful questions that you can ask the interviewer? Note that it is tough to think of responses to all of this “on the fly.” Therefore, the more time that you allocate towards prepping for your interviews, the less stressful and more enjoyable the process will be.
Practice out loud
When prepping, many candidates will note down bullet point responses to potential questions and leave it at that; however, that is not enough. Why? Because speaking responses out loud is very different from writing points down. By practicing your answers verbally, such as in front of a mirror or with a family member/friend, you will be able to strengthen your delivery, and in doing so, iron out any kinks in your responses. Therefore, on the actual day of the interview, you will be more confident – your responses will be smoother, more impactful, and will capture everything that you seek to convey (note, though, that you don’t want to sound too scripted). While you won’t know every question that will be thrown your way, you will have already practiced the most common ones that tend to arise multiple times, and in doing so, increase your chances of doing well in your interview.
Be aware of your body language and demeanor
Many candidates place a lot of emphasis on what they will say during interview discussions; there tends to be less of a focus on their body language and demeanor. However, body language can be just as important as actual spoken words during an interview. As a result, when practicing, try to pay attention to your body language. For instance, for virtual interviews, are you looking at the screen most of the time instead of the camera? Note that the camera will give more of a feeling of eye contact, so try to be conscious of looking there (and maybe stick a post-it note by the camera to remind yourself of that, if necessary)! For in-person interviews, how are you coming across? For example, are you giving off a feeling of being approachable? Or is your manner stiff? Ask people whom you practice with to give you an assessment of that as well.
Interview prep can go a long way towards helping you to clinch an admittance from an MBA program. Click here to learn how we can help you prep for interviews!
About Ivy Groupe:
Ivy Groupe is a boutique MBA admissions consulting company founded by Shaifali Aggarwal, who has been recognized as a top MBA admissions consultant by Business Insider and Poets & Quants. She received her MBA from Harvard Business School and undergraduate degree from Princeton University. Shaifali’s philosophy focuses on authenticity and storytelling to help clients craft compelling and differentiated applications that stand out. With this approach, Shaifali’s clients have gained admission to top-tier MBA programs such as Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Kellogg, MIT, Columbia, Booth, Tuck, and Yale, among others.
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