If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably already submitted your b-school applications and received interview offers. Congratulations! You’ve passed the first, and most difficult, stage of the business school application process. Making it to the interview stage means the school is interested in learning more about you because they believe you are potentially a good fit for the program. So give yourself a pat on the back and follow these tips to present your best self during your interview.
1. Know Thyself
It’s important to present yourself in an authentic manner because it demonstrates that you are self-aware and understand your personal strengths and weaknesses. Nobody is perfect, so you shouldn’t act as if you are during your interview. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should play down your real accomplishments. Talk about your accomplishments in a way that proves to the interviewer that you are extremely competent and have potential (because you really do!).
The end goal is to convince the admissions committee that they want you to represent the school after you graduate and move on to do even greater things. After the interview, they should feel as if they need to accept you because you would contribute a lot to their name and their program. Explaining how the MBA program can help you achieve your personal goals in an authentic manner is key to acing the MBA interview.
2. Practice Makes Perfect
You should never go into an interview unprepared. Cover the basics: make a list of questions they’re likely to ask and formulate a response to each question. Practice saying your answers out loud so you’re not struggling to put together sentences during the real interview. Get a friend to role play as the interviewer and ask for their feedback on your performance. Be sure to have a few stories in mind to use when you need to explain your passion for a certain industry or decision to attend business school. These stories should sound authentic, not forced, which is something a trusted friend can point out to you.
3. Familiarize Yourself with the MBA Program
During your preparation, you should be cognizant of making your responses relevant to the school and their program. One-size-fits-all answers will not impress admissions committees and can hurt your chances of acceptance. Be sure to read any information about the MBA program carefully so you can bring up key features of the school’s program during the interview. Not only will it help you provide strong responses, but you’ll also remind yourself why you applied to those schools in the first place. Revisiting your application essay can help you construct a thoughtful, compelling response to the question “Why do you want to attend this school?”
4. Dress to Impress
A business school interview is a formal interview and you need to dress the part. First impressions are critical and wearing a suit indicates you are serious about your decision to get an MBA degree. So whether or not you wear suits on a daily basis, you need to go get it dry cleaned so it’s fresh and not wrinkled during one of the most important interviews of your life.
Hopefully these 4 tips help you better prepare for your business school interview. If you’re interested in reading more b-school admissions advice, be sure to follow our Facebook page and Twitter account!