Submitted by Deirdre M. Kane, director of MBA Admissions, Full-Time Program, University of Georgia
Being invited to interview with a program is the next step and this is your opportunity to shine, so you need to be well-prepared. For most schools, the interview can make or break their decision to accept or reject you. So, before the anxiety sets in, focus on being prepared. Here are a few things you can do to create a positive interview experience. Basically, do your research, review, and practice.
Do Your Research
Just as each MBA program is different, each MBA interview will be different. It is important to familiarize yourself with the types of questions you may be asked (will you be asked about your past experiences or about your goals?). Also, some schools utilize alumni or students for interviews and you should find out who you can expect to be meeting with. To find out this information, follow any instructions each school sends, visit the school’s admissions website and its blogs to ferret out as much information as possible about their methods and process. Don’t worry – we like to be as transparent as possible, so if you are unsure, contact the school to ask. And don’t forget the other research: about the program you want to attend, so that you can explain to an interviewer why that school is a good fit for you. What do you want to learn from that program specifically? What do you think your contribution to that program will be during your two years?
Reflect and Review
Next, review your application materials so that you can easily recall what you have already shared with each school. Some programs may ask you to talk about stories NOT on your application, so you don’t want to be caught repeating yourself! It is also important to demonstrate to your interviewer that you know what is on your resume and in your essays. You want to be able to articulate your goals, discuss your professional experiences, and demonstrate your self-awareness. After all, it is your story you are telling. Lastly, write out answers to practice questions and then…
Practice, Practice, Practice
There are three ways to practice your stories. Put on your suit and find a friend to mock interview you and provide you with feedback. Videotape yourself and watch the playback to find ways to improve your presentation. Or, the easiest, tell it to the mirror. Over and over, until you are comfortable saying it all. Most importantly, you want to go into that interview room feeling totally comfortable with yourself and what you have to say. Practicing will help reduce nervousness and anxiety and build your confidence. You will have 30-45 minutes, at the most, to impress your interviewer. Make the most of that time!