Helpful Advice for Your Business School Interview

November 8, 2012

General

A hot topic currently on MBA blogs all over the place is advice for a business school interview. Applicants are everywhere are wondering what they should wear, what they should say, what questions they should ask. Aringo, in a post over at The GMAT Club, has compiled several of the key pieces of advice for your business school interview.

Rule Number 1: Dress To Impress

Make sure you follow the dress code. “For on-campus interviews, business attire is recommended and often required. Business attire includes a suit, tie and black dress shoes (thin-soled, with black socks). Business casual dress usually includes khaki pants, a button-down shirt and black shoes. In the winter, a sweater may be worn over the shirt. Some candidates prefer adding a tie and/or jacket.”

Rule 2: Be like a Boy Scout—Prepared

Preparation for your business school interview is key. Aringo says, “Good preparation is the key to success at admissions interviews. Discussion groups, students, alumni, books and admissions counselors can all be helpful in learning as much as possible about the school’s methods and approach towards interviews.”

For the interview itself, they offer 8 basic tips:

  1. Obvious but important – be on time! If you are late, apolo1. Obvious but important – be on time! If you are late, apologize.
  2. Turn off your cell phone and any other mobile device before the interview.
  3. A common mistake is giving long-winded answers to questions. Speak briefly and to the point.
  4. Be positive. Try to avoid words such as “no”, “impossible”, “isn’t” etc. Almost any message can also be phrased in a positive manner.
  5. Truth wins. The more honest you are, the stronger impression you will make – not only in what you say but in giving an impression of confidence and calm.
  6. Strengthen your answers by offering specific examples.
  7. Be prepared to answer the three basic questions: Why MBA? Why at our school? Why now?
  8. On-campus interviews are sometimes preferable – it depends on your abilities and which school you applied to. Carefully consider the choice of on-campus vs. off-campus interview according to your situation.

Another article over at Beat the GMAT by Jenna Goudreau gives general interview advice for millennials that still seems to apply in many ways to the business school interview. Goudreau, who is on the Forbes staff, talks about the importance of appropriate interview attire, asking smart questions to show you are truly interested, and monitoring what you post on social media channels.

Your business school interview will of course be daunting, and you should absolutely prepare in whatever way gives you the most confidence and knowledge to ace your interview for your Washington DC MBA. Of course, it is always possible to over prepare—Aringo says, “In our experience, those candidates who devote tens of hours to preparation are those who do the best on interviews.” Don’t forget that the interview can also be fun, and a great way for you to gain knowledge and insight, as well.

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