If you received an invitation for an MBA admissions interview, it means the school liked your application. You got to the next round in the admissions process – congratulations! Now it is time to prepare for the interview and to understand its role.
In her webinar for UnimyPrep, Petia Whitmore reveals the most important details and some little-known tips about this part of the admission process. As the founder of My MBA Path and former Dean of Graduate Admissions from Babson College (US), Petia has invaluable experience in advising MBA seekers from around the world and helping them ace their business school application.
Petia starts by explaining that the purpose of the interview is for the admissions committee to assess your interpersonal and communication skills. To make the right impression, you will need to pay attention to two essential factors: preparation and research.
Types of MBA admission interviews
In terms of the format, interviews can be blind or comprehensive, Petia notes. A blind interview means that the person interviewing you will not have read your entire application. In a comprehensive interview, on the other hand, the interviewer will already know your application and will be interested in asking you about things you said and examples you used in your submitted documents.
Most MBA admissions interviews are individual, which means you will talk to your interviewer one-to-one. A small number of business schools prefer to conduct group interviews. One such example is the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (US).
Petia also adds that a standard interview will be behavioral in nature. This means that the interviewer may ask questions along the lines of “Tell me about a time when you overcame a challenge at work”. Their purpose is to give the interviewer an idea of your behavior patterns in your professional life.
Would you like to find out who might end up interviewing you? Watch the full webinar recording for more insights.
How to prepare
One essential aspect to consider is what Petia calls “your story”. The very first question the interviewer will ask will be something along the lines of “Tell me about yourself” or “Walk me through your resume”. In this case, you need to focus on no more than 3-4 key messages about you.
Try not think of the interview as a stressful encounter in which someone will be grilling you with questions. On the contrary, this is a happy occasion and a great opportunity for you! The interviewer will be on your side and will want you to succeed as well.
What about the time? Spend no more than 3-4 minutes to answer a question. Keep your answers tight and on topic. You could also take cues from your interviewer. Sometimes they might tell you what they expect from your answer.
Finally, you will have to think of the way you present yourself, even if your interview is conducted in an online setting. Consider what is seen in the background after you decide where to position your computer camera. Make sure your appearance is professional too. Dress appropriately, take care of your hairstyle, and avoid heavy makeup. Let your story truly shine rather than your appearance.
In the second half of the webinar, Petia goes on to share and elaborate on some example questions commonly asked during MBA admissions interviews. Learn more by watching the full recording.
About the speaker
Petia Whitmore is a former Dean of Graduate Admissions from Babson College (US) and an MBA herself. Over the years, she has interviewed hundreds of MBA candidates. As the founder of My MBA Path, which offers admissions consulting services for every stage of the MBA application process, she is now on a mission to create MBA success stories, one candidate at a time.
Now you can get a free 15-minute consultation with My MBA Path to plan your next steps!