Interview season is here for Round 2 MBA applicants, and we thought you'd benefit from these helpful tips from Stacy Blackman of Stacy Blackman Consulting about how to answer three of the most common interview questions you're likely to encounter.
Our first piece of advice: don’t go on and on. It’s easy to do when you’ve been asked such an open-ended question, so make sure you practice your response out loud a few times. There’s no need to recite your life story — talking about where you were born, your family, or your childhood is not what they’re looking for here.
We recommend approaching this question as if they’d asked you to walk them through your resume: quickly summarize the highlights of your college years and then move on to your professional career. Explain why you took the roles you did, what your main responsibilities were, and what you enjoyed or took away from each position. If you’ve stayed at the same company for several years, you could talk about how your responsibilities have increased over time.
If you haven’t discussed your short- and long-term career goals by the time you are asked this question, you could begin your response by briefly explaining what you’re hoping to do after graduation. Then you can state the specific skills and knowledge you’ll need to be successful in the future — and how School X can help you fill those gaps.
You should be prepared to mention school-specific examples of courses, clubs, and other aspects of the curriculum that fit with your career goals. In short, do your homework and refresh your memory of School X’s program before your interview!
The worst thing you could say in response to this question is “Nope, we’re good.” Even if you’ve had an hour-long discussion that covered everything under the sun and you’re feeling confident about how things have gone, you still should take this opportunity to reiterate why you’re excited about the program and why you’d be an asset to the incoming class.
And, of course, if there’s something specific about your candidacy that you feel could improve your odds and you haven’t been able to discuss it up to this point, now’s the time to do so.
Our parting advice: be yourself. You want the adcom to admit you for who you really are, right?
Join our e-mail list to receive the latest news, tips, and test-taking strategies for your exam. Don't worry, your information will not be shared. Just high-quality content delivered straight to your inbox to empower you to a higher score, guaranteed!