Dawna Levenson, Director of Admissions at the prestigious MIT Sloan School of Management (US), reveals what it takes to ace the in-person interview during the application for their MBA program.

Interviews are one of the required steps in the MIT Sloan evaluation process and they are by invitation only. When you receive your interview invitation, you will also be asked to submit an additional 250-word essay about the school’s mission statement. You will be reminded what the mission statement is and then you will have to write about how your experience and your goals align with the mission of MIT Sloan.

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Ms. Levenson says that when she thinks about the interview process, she thinks of it in three components. The first step is really asking you any questions that the MBA AdCom might have about your application. For example, there may be some gaps in employment, gaps in education, or other questions they might have. The idea is to clarify those and move on to the next step.

The second set of questions are the so-called behavioral questions. The admissions directors will ask you to reflect on something that has happened in the past. For example, it could be related to a time when you were part of a team working on a project and the project started to go wrong. How did you recognize that and how did you turn it around?

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The third part is the one that is the most important, according to Ms. Levenson. This is your opportunity to ask questions. These should be questions that are not easily found on the school website, questions that are personal to you, or ones that demonstrate real interest in learning about the MBA program at hand.

As with the written part of the application, the evaluation is an opportunity for the school’s admissions directors to get to know you and for you to get to know them.