The application is in, the references are solid, but there is one big hurdle still left to clear, and that is the admissions interview. Applying to business school can be a nerve-wracking prospect, but candidates can do plenty of things to prepare themselves in advance.
Find Out the Type of Interview To Expect
Business schools interview candidates in one of three different ways. In the blind interview, the interviewer knows nothing about the candidate. For a near-blind interview, the interviewer does have a resume but no other information about the candidate. The invitation-only interview is the one that comes after applicants have been screened and is not offered to all candidates. This interviewer will know a good deal about the candidate prior to the interview. If you are able to find out ahead of time what type of interview the institution does, you will have a better sense of what types of questions you might be asked and can better prepare for the interview.
The more consideration you give your answers ahead of time the better prepared you will be for anything the interviewer may toss out. You should try to move beyond the obvious questions and answers as well as being ready to talk about yourself and your plans in a way that is fresh and engaging. It may help to think of yourself as needing to “sell” the interviewer a message or a story about yourself; you may even find it helpful to think of yourself during the interview as playing a role in order to remain composed.
As important as having good answers is having a few good questions to ask the interviewer. These should not be generic and should demonstrate your knowledge of and interest in the institution as well as clear goals for your own education and career. You should also keep in mind that the opportunity to ask questions is for your own benefit as well. You don’t want to just get into any school. You want it to be a school that aligns with your own interests and career plans, so be sure to frame thoughtful questions that get you the answers that you need.
Practice in front of a mirror, with a friend or filming yourself; do all three if possible. Filming yourself can be particularly helpful in identifying any nervous tics of movement or speech. If you can role play with someone who has business school experience you’ll be in even better shape.
Admissions interview are a crucial step of the application process for business school, and considerable advance preparation is necessary to shine at this stage. However, by researching the school ahead of time, thinking about your reasons for attending and practicing for your interview, you’ll be ready to talk your way into the business school of your choice.