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The Interview

Increasingly, schools use the interview as a part of the admissions process. The policies differ from school to school:

  • Obligatory for all applicants (eg: Kellogg)

  • On invitation: after studying the applications, the school invites some applicants to interview (eg: Harvard, Columbia, and now Wharton)

  • No interview in the admissions process, which is done only by written application (eg; Stanford).

Interviews last between 30 minutes and one hour The majority of schools offer the possibility of having the interview conducted by a member of the admissions committee (at the school or at presentation tours organized by the schools in the principal cities across the world) or with former students specially selected for this purpose.

There are numerous reasons to explain the growing importance of interviews in the admissions process. First of all, it's an excellent opportunity to test your 'soft skills', which are becoming more and more important in the business world. These 'soft skills' consist of your aptitude to communicate, your charisma and your strength of character. In your application, these elements appear only implicitly; in an interview, on the other hand, these qualities become more evident.

Another reason for the expanding use of interviews lies in the fact that the schools are seeking more and more to sell themselves to certain applicants. Each school seeks to attract the best applicants because it is they who will later carry the reputation of the school. Competition is therefore intense and the schools use the interview to show themselves in the best light to the best applicants.

  • Discuss your career progression.

  • Give examples of how you have demonstrated leadership inside and outside the work environment.

  • What do you want to do (in regard to business function, industry, location)?

  • Why the MBA? Why now?

  • Describe an ethical dilemma faced at work.

  • Describe your career aspirations.

  • What would you do if not accepted?

  • What are your long- and short-term goals? Why?

  • Why are you applying to business school?

  • Why does this school appeal to you?

  • What is an activity you are involved in? Why is it important to you?

  • Talk bout experiences you have had at work.

  • Why are you interested in a general MBA program?

  • Why did you choose your undergraduate major?

  • Discuss yourself.

  • What contributions would you make to a group?

  • Name three words or phrases to describe yourself to others.

  • What is most frustrating at work?

  • How would co-workers describe you?

  • Describe a typical work day.

  • Have you worked in a team environment? What were your contributions to the effort?

  • Discuss any experience you have had abroad.

  • How did you choose your job after college?

  • What do you do to relieve stress?

  • It's two years after graduation. What three words would your team members use to describe you?

  • Describe a situation where you brought an idea forward, and it failed.

  • How do you define success?

  • What would you do if a team member wasn't pulling his own weight?

  • Is there anything you would like to ask me/us?

 

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