The following five interview questions are perhaps the most important.
1. Walk me through your résumé.
The real trick with answering this open-ended question is to gauge how much detail is too much. Imposing a structure can help.
- It's best to be quite short
- Ask the interviewer where (s)he would like you to start.
- Develop a two- to three-minute run-through, beginning with where you grew up and went to college, what you studied and perhaps something you enjoy outside of work. Then move into a concise overview of your work experience, beginning with your first job and continuing to present day, making sure to explain why you made the choices you did and what you learned in each major role.
- This kind of high-level overview gives your interviewer the opportunity to ask for more detail about specific points if (s)he wants to. Brown says.
2. What are your career goals?
- You will already have a well-honed response to this question, developed and refined as part of the process of writing your application essays.
- However, be prepared to answer this from several points of view. Don't memorize a scrip.
- The adcon wants to know how focused you are on the MBA and whether you are in a position to take advantage of the resources business school offers or at risk of getting overwhelmed
- Present a very clear post-MBA goal. Schools prefer to admit students who can explain exactly what kind of job they want to pursue beyond graduation and articulate how it will set them up to obtain their long-term career objectives
- Schools are also looking, with this question, to see if your goals make sense and are feasible in light of your past experiences; are you able to articulate a clear path and plan?
3. Why X school?
- Here, schools want to see if you have really done your research on their program and whether you are a good fit with their culture.
You should have a FOUR-pronged approach to make a truly compelling case for your interest in a given school
(a) Start with academics, naming specific courses and professors that you are interested in.
(b) Second, mention specific clubs, conferences and other special programs that will help position you for your career goals.
(c) Even better, show how you would contribute to the school community, such as by organizing an event to share specific knowledge you bring with your future classmates
(d) Show that you have a good understanding of the school’s community, culture, class size and location and have thought about how these fit with your personality, goals and background.
4. Give us an example of a time you took a leadership role.
- This question can be put in several ways: sometimes you’ll be asked directly about your most notable leadership experience and other times you’ll be invited to describe your general leadership style.
- It’s important to keep a few basic principles about leadership in mind. A leader is someone who has a strong vision or point of view and is able to see things others are not.
- A leader must also have excellent communication skills.
- Choose an example that demonstrates these points.
- An ideal leadership example will describe a time when you negotiated with and persuaded key stakeholders, such as clients or a supervisor, to buy into your vision and then delegated the work and managed colleagues or juniors.
- If you encountered obstacles along the way, share how you dealt with them.
- If possible, you should also show success through quantified results.
- As important as a successful outcome is demonstrating how you drew on the help of others where necessary.
5. Tell us about a time you failed.
- This is a favorite question for those who appear to be ‘rock stars’ on paper.
- Everyone makes mistakes.
- You can show humility as well as your capacity to learn and grow
- The best answer to this type of question ends with a more recent experience where you took the lesson you learned from the failure and put it into play, affecting a better outcome.