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Admissions interviews, wherever applicable, are a vital part of the study abroad application process. While not all MS or MA programs require admissions interviews, it would be super rare for an MBA program not to have one. Your MBA interview is the final and, by a mile, the most important step in your application process.

In this Blog:

What is the Purpose of an MBA Interview/Admissions Interviews?

Admissions committees use interviews to get a better sense of who you are as an individual. It may sound like a cliche, but it’s true. In an interview, you have the chance to talk about yourself, your academic achievements and professional experience, as well as convey any information that you want to shed light on (or something your application didn’t cover). Admissions interviews are also an excellent opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the program and university you’re applying to. Face-to-face interactions are the best way for admissions officers to get a better idea about their applicants, and for you to personally demonstrate what you stand for and what your goals are. In a typical MBA interview, you won’t be asked anything esoteric or overly technical–it’s more to do with getting to know you better. So, you must put your best foot forward in terms of how you answer and how you present yourself. On that note…

How You Should Present Yourself in an MBA Interview

Many students get worked up about the little things while in the midst of their MBA interview preparation. To which we say–fair enough! Interviews can be really daunting. But there’s no need to worry so much. Let’s go over some basic stuff first: 

  • Dress smartly! You don’t want to be in lounge pants and a baggy tee when speaking to admissions officers. This may be obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people take this lightly. Make sure you look fresh and neat. Remember: the first impression is the last impression! This is especially true for interviews, and you can very well imagine why. 
  • Secondly, when speaking to admissions officers, your language should be professional. This should be fairly intuitive, but it’s important to keep in mind. Make sure you provide complete information and don’t under-explain. At the same time, over-explaining is a no-no! Say only as much as needs to be said. Speak in a clear and concise manner. Your nerves may be getting the better of you, but try to remain calm and collected. There’s nothing to worry about! Have a positive mindset. Smile!

Once you’ve got the basics down, the thing that will really carry your interview is your confidence! While you don’t need to be a public speaker or debater to do well in an interview, confidence is key. Now that you know how to go about presenting yourself, let’s look at some MBA admission interview questions!

Start Your MBA Interview Preparation With Jamboree Today!

MBA Interview Preparation: Common MBA Admission Interview Questions

MBA admission interview questions will naturally differ from institution to institution, but there are some questions that are typically asked in most interviews. Let’s take a look at some of these and how to go about answering them:

  1. “Tell us about yourself”
  2. The most common question of them all, and a fitting opener at that! This question allows you to ease into the interview and introduce yourself. As you may already know, this is where you have to give information about your educational and professional history. Quickly go over where you did your undergrad (and any other degrees) from, and give a brief overview of your work experience, if applicable. There’s no need to give admissions officers a detailed account of your life in response to this question, but consider slipping in something unique and memorable that will help you stand out from the hundreds of generic responses your interviewers have already heard from other applicants.

  3. “Why do you want to pursue an MBA/this course?”
  4. Though seemingly simple, answering this question can be a bit tricky. Explain your reasons and ambitions, tell the admissions committee why you’re interested in the program you’re applying to, but be realistic: you can’t go around saying you want to be the CEO of an MNC right after your MBA, for instance. At the same time, don’t downplay your goals. University admissions committees are looking for ambitious and driven students, so make sure they know you dream a little and want to do well out there. 

    Also Read: Top STEM MBA Programs in US – Jamboree

  5. “Why are you a good fit for this university?”
  6. You don’t have to market yourself while you answer this question, but you do want to make sure you say the right thing. Why do admissions committees ask this question so often? For starters, they want to see how much you know. That is, they want to know if you did your research. One metric for identifying serious candidates is how serious they are about the university they are applying to. Thus, it’s in your best interest to have done your homework. Secondly, they want to know that you’ll make worthwhile contributions to the university and the student community.

  7. “Why is this university a good fit for you?”
  8. Here, take a moment to talk about your knowledge of the program and school you’re applying to, and how their specific features will be of help to you. For example, you can mention a professor whose modules and method of instruction interest you. Or how the university’s state-of-the-art technological facilities and libraries can benefit you. Feel free to also mention a conversation you had with someone who recommended the program/university to you (admissions committees love praise!). As always, make sure you don’t overdo it. It shouldn’t sound like you memorized information about the program or university specifically to answer this question. Work your facts into your answers organically. If you know something about the university, but it doesn’t apply to your particular case and is irrelevant with respect to your answer to this question, avoid mentioning it. This comes across as you showing off. Keep it natural and flowing!

  9. “Tell me about a time when you overcame a challenge/succeeded/failed”
  10. This is an important class of questions, as this is where you talk about what you’re like in a professional environment. Let’s get this out of the way immediately: don’t fabricate information! It’s never a good idea in any setting, and interviewers especially have a very good ear when it comes to made up stuff, owing to years of experience interviewing people. Here’s how you should answer these questions:

When you overcame a challenge:

Interviewers want to know that you can find your way out of a messy situation, especially when there are things at stake. Tell them all aspects: the good, the bad, and the ugly, of overcoming a challenge you’ve faced in the past. They know what it’s like and are looking to hear an honest, realistic account of when you faced a similar situation. While you should openly talk about your particular role and how important a part you played in overcoming the challenge, there’s no need to portray yourself as a hero; stay grounded and talk about what you’ve learned from your experience.

When you succeeded:

Again, there’s no need to downplay your achievements while telling admissions officers about a time you succeeded. This is a great opportunity to discuss how you led a team to success, if applicable in your case. Admissions officers are looking to understand how well you do in dynamic environments and want to hear about instances involving teamwork. Working with other people builds various professional and interpersonal skills such as patience, empathy, perseverance, and diligence. These are all plusses! Talk about them heartily (but within reason).

When you failed:

Don’t be afraid to tell your interviewers about a time you failed. This is an important question, and it is imperative that you answer honestly. You don’t have to beat around the bush. Even if it’s difficult to talk about, tell them about a time you failed at something important to you. Admissions interviewers want to see humility and self-awareness. Wins and successes are very important, but so are failures. Show admissions committees that you have learned from the times you’ve stumbled.

Read More: How to ace the MBA interview for admissions 2020-21 – Jamboree

All in all:

  • Dress well and look sharp
  • Smile and speak with confidence
  • Answer honestly!
  • Be humble
  • Maintain your composure: try not to be nervous!
  • Ask questions!
  • Be polite throughout and thank your interviewers for their time and the opportunity

Learn More About Admissions Interviews by Talking to Our Experts!

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