5 Tips For An Admissions Interview
December 21, 2012
Applying to business schools takes significant time and effort; be sure that you are allocating your energies appropriately. Preparation for the interview goes a long way. Understanding the perspectives of the admissions representatives is an essential part of this preparation.
Admissions Interview TipsTo help prepare you for your business school interview, here are five tips from Beth Flye, director of admissions at Kenan-Flagler Business School’s MBA@UNC program:
1. PracticeBefore the interview, candidates should prepare by "practicing, practicing, practicing" with "someone who has gone down the business school route themselves," Flye says. Furthermore, identify key topics that you think the interviewer will ask and try to predict the specific questions that may come out of those broader topics. For example, a common topic is leadership, so the interviewer may ask you questions about your own leadership style or what styles you admire the most. Another standard MBA interview question is "Why do you want to pursue an MBA?" In order to answer this question sufficiently, the candidate needs to really understand the program and make connections to how the specific program will help his or her career in the long run.
2. Don't Hijack The Interview"A candidate should always remember that the interviewer is always the one leading," Flye tells us. She says that some candidates go "on long, verbose monologue answers" and "they're actually trying to put their best foot forward, but they go too far; they try too hard and it gives off the impression that this person is not listening." In other words: Ease off a little! Let the interviewer ask the questions, and answer in a way that’s concise yet thorough.
3. Do Not Ask Generic QuestionsThis leads the interviewer to believe that you are not prepared for the interview or for business school. It's essential to prepare ahead of time and know the ins and outs of the program as well as how it will benefit your career goals. You shouldn’t be asking the interviewer a question that could have been answered by the program’s brochure.
4. Be ConfidentAsking the right questions at the end of an interview can improve your chances for admittance, but only ask questions that show the interviewer that you're a serious candidate. Flye says the worst question to ask is, "How did I do?" or "What are my chances of getting in?" She explains: "The first thing that comes to my mind when candidates ask these questions is, it gives me a sense that they have a lack of self confidence."
5. Be HonestIf you know exactly what your five-year career plan is, you'll likely be able to provide "tight, crisp answers" during your interview, Flye says. But that doesn't mean that someone who's interested in several different areas won't get accepted. "There's nothing wrong with having multiple interests," she explains. "What arouses concern for me is when I think a person doesn't have enough focus." Even if your reason for getting an MBA is solely salary-related, be honest about this and explain what has led you to this decision. Make sure that your goals and the school(s) you choose aligns with those goals, and there shouldn’t be an issue.
This article was written by Social Media Outreach Coordinator Harrison Kratz on behalf of CAREEREALISM-Approved Partner, 2tor -an education technology company that partners with institutions of higher education such as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to deliver one the best MBA programs online, in the world.Photo Credit: Shutterstock