The MBA interview is a crucial part of the application process. MBA interview questions, just like the application essays, are the best opportunity to reveal your potential contribution to the MBA class.
Furthermore, your performance at the admissions interview can help you win a scholarship award. Find below the answers to the most commonly asked questions about the MBA admissions interview.
What is the “typical” MBA interview?
Interviews vary from school to school. The absolute minimum length is 20 minutes, while the maximum can be up to 8 hours (an MBA assessment day). Normally an interview takes between 40 and 60 minutes.
The interview may be conducted by a committee or by a single interviewer. The people who are likely to interview you are the director of admissions, the director of the MBA programme, a faculty member, a current student or an alumnus or even the career services director.
There are also group interviews. In these cases, you will not be the only applicant interviewed. You may be in a group with one or several of your competitors. Some of the interview questions in this format may even require interaction between all the interviewed applicants.
Interviews may be conducted face-to-face, on the phone or online via Skype or other platforms, with or without video.
Which are the “typical” MBA interview questions?
Some of the interview questions used by almost any business school are:
How will an MBA help you reach your goals?
How will our MBA help you reach your goals?
Tell us about a difficult situation, how you coped and what lessons you learnt?
How will you contribute to our MBA class? Present yourself.
Do you have any questions that you would like to ask us?
MBA Interview questions are not always limited to a questionnaire which the interviewer follows. Interview questions may also depend on your performance during the interview, as well as on what you wrote in the application form, your essays and the resume/CV, or even arise given what has been shared in the recommendation letters by your referees.
How do face-to-face and distance interviews differ?
Your mind set should be the same for both interviews. The differences are related to the medium chosen for the interview:
The distance interviews such as those done on the phone, Skype, etc. are usually conducted by one interviewer. In a face-to-face interview you could be sitting in front of a committee or even among several other applicants (group interview).
Video interviews are usually a bit easier for most applicants than interviews on the phone or other platforms without video contact. It makes a significant difference when you can actually see the interviewer and read his/her body language. However, you should still think about your non-verbal presentation just as during a face-to-face interview. You are also responsible for arranging your setting in the best way for an MBA interview.
The telephone interview is usually the most challenging for most applicants primarily because of the lack of visual contact. Issues with the connection, clarity of articulation, different accents of the speakers are usually aggravated during a phone interview. So you should prepare well and practice in advance.
When to start your interview preparation?
There are many tiny details to consider related to the MBA admissions interview. It helps a lot for the interview if you have selected your business schools really carefully and worked thoroughly on the application package. However, you need to prepare and drill for each interview.
Start the interview preparation right after you submit your application. Some of the interview invitations will come through giving a very short notice and you will not have much time to prepare.