How to Ace Your MBA Interview (Virtually)

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15 January 2021

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Opinions expressed by Businessman The contributors are their own.


by: Dr. Kristen Willmott, Director of Graduate School Admission, Top Level Admissions

Interview offers are out and we are firmly in the MBA interview season. When schools like the UCCogo booth now want a 60-second post-interview video response to be presented to them “recently moved to your worldview”, suddenly interviews are a bit more complicated.

Related: Why an MBA Makes You a Better Entrepreneur

Here are my top five key things to be careful as you work to ACE your virtual MBA interview:

1) Practice your answers for “W” questions. Even during virtual interviews, you will be asked important “W” questions in your MBA interviews. Prepare your answers, practice them, listen to their recordings, and then stop you. Do not plan to answer:

Who are you?

what have you done so far?

Where are you coming from?

What is the right time for you to apply and what helped you to reach that decision?

Why our program?

How Have you been affected (by your work, by diversity, by contrasts, by epidemics)?

Related: 7 Essentials to Finding Your Best in Video Conference Calls

2) Be prepared if they try to throw you off. We are already hearing from our clients about this “cuff” closure and asking questions that are political, equality-related, or kovid-connected, and this is a fairly new one in the land of MBA admissions interviews is. Try to be prepared with the answers that you are and relay what you believe, but be professional and aware of all possible interpretations of your reactions. These types of “blind date” questions are not very common in MBA interviews, but they seem to be the new normal.

3) Gain sector-specific knowledge and tap into your network: Use the input and support of your network in your MBA admissions process. Your managers, your colleagues, current graduate students you know, professional affiliations, faculty can reach you, etc.

It’s wise to attend your graduate advisors, past faculty members, influential scholars, and colleagues you know, field conferences and academic seminars – then add your new contacts to your network, and conferences to your resume. Drill down your list of connections, contacts and networks as these may be relevant in your interview.

4) Research faculty and staff in their targeted programs: “Why our program?” Question. Admission Faculty webpage and CV in advance. Many times their curriculum links are included vitae – which are very microscopic in teachers, teaching, research, which are part of conferences, students who preside over projects, which universities they sit in, and more.

For example, suppose you have applied to UChicago Booth’s MBA program and you want to study the difference between human capital and economics. Dr. Rebecca Dizon-Ross would be someone to do research.

  • You will find his May 2020 National Economic Research Bureau website co-written on “Instant Behavioral Change”.
  • And his UCGogo Booth Review video on education asymmetry.
  • And information on his work with Abdul Latif Jamil Poverty Action Lab out of MIT in Cambridge.
  • And his C.V.
  • A solid understanding of her work, her experience, what she teaches, and how she connects Your Interest in the booth is a quick way for UCCogo to foster its connection, evidence of scholarly passion, and connection to the Booth faculty / campus.

5) Know your area and demonstrate the action you take. There is a difference between an academic resume and a professional resume.

Are you active in your field? Do you attend conferences? Are you an invited guest speaker with top colleagues? To what extent are you a leader and change agent in your work?

Now that the Winter and Spring 2021 Annual Area Conferences have become virtual, you do not need a flight or hotel stay to attend. Which you can add to your 2021 calendar and start again?

This April 2021 conference from Sloan may be the one to check out and it is virtual, no travel required. At the very least, it gives you more context when you watch Moneyball As a Day-Stress Post-Sloan MBA interview on Netflix. MIT Sloan Round 1 applicants to hear on December 16Th So their interviews are wrapped up, but round 2 applications are due on 19 JanuaryTh, So there is another batch of video interviews around the corner.

The MBA interview is there to connect you to the school and connect the school to you, so the best thing you can do is to go through the interview process with this in mind – it’s about getting fit , Not that you are a great fit for university. But the program is right for you, right now, as well. The video interview goes both ways, and that’s a good thing.

Related: Virtual Meeting Etiquette Guide for Hosts and Attendees

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