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留学面经:Understanding the MBA Admissions Interview (Part 1 of 4)  

2016-12-01 04:20:41|  分类: 留学面经分享 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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留学面经:Understanding the MBA Admissions Interview (Part 1 of 4)

 

 

With Harvard Business School (HBS) slated to issue its final batch of Round 1 interview invitations on Wednesday, the MBA admissions world is buzzing about one thing: INTERVIEWS. HBS, of course, is not alone. At Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, which features applicant-initiated interviews, hopeful candidates have been traipsing back and forth to Hanover already for several weeks.

With so much interview anxiety in the air—and knowing that it only stands to build from here—we’ve decided to devote this week at Clear Admit to all things interview, introducing a series we ran during the last admissions cycle. We’re getting the ball rolling with the first part of a multi-part series, which we like to think of as an MBA Admissions Interview Primer of sorts. In it, we’ll unpack the different types of interviews—open, invited, blind, non-blind,  resume-based, behavioral-based, team-based, etc.—and take a look at why particular schools choose the interview variations they do. Along the way, we’ll offer some tips for how best to prepare for each and explore a few of the more interesting wrinkles in the world of MBA interviews.

When all is said and done, you still may not feel fully ready to ace that HBS interview, but you’ll have a much firmer grasp on the MBA interview landscape as a whole, which we hope will better prepare you for interviews at all of your target schools.

 

Open Interviews Versus Invited Interviews

We mentioned in the intro that Tuck has something called applicant-initiated interviews. Also known as open interviews, they are what they sound like. At Tuck and a handful of other schools—Kellogg’s Northwestern School of Management, Emory’s Goizuieta School, Duke’s Fuqua School and UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, for example—applicants do indeed get to choose to interview. There’s no need to wait—or stress over—receiving an interview invitation. Just schedule a date, pack your bags and go.

“At Tuck every applicant has the opportunity to visit campus, not only for an interview but to sit in on a class with a current student, attend an information session with an admissions officer, take a student-led tour and have lunch with current students,” says Tuck Admissions Director Dawna Clarke. “We want to make Tuck accessible to all applicants who are interested in seeing it firsthand.”

Other schools, of course, also make their campuses, classrooms and students accessible to prospective applicants who want a firsthand glimpse. But far fewer schools offer the opportunity to interview to any prospective applicant who so chooses.

“Ultimately we have the open interview policy at Tuck to meet as many prospective students as we can,” Clarke says. “We do this because it is difficult to make judgements strictly based on a written application.” After all, what if an absolutely phenomenal applicant—for one reason or another—just didn’t fully come to life on paper? Without an open interview policy, that applicant would quite likely end up in the deny pile.

“To have that personal interaction is very valuable to us,” Clarke says. “And while it is not required, we want to provide the opportunity to everyone who applies.”

Of course, the opportunity to initiate your own interview at Tuck, Goizueta, Fuqua or Kenan-Flagler only lasts until the open-interview period ends at a given school or capacity is met. Each school then switches to invitation-only interviews, in which selected candidates are invited to interview.

At Kellogg, offering interviews to any applicant who wants one has been a longstanding philosophy, says Beth Tidmarsh, director of admissions for full-time MBA programs. “We really want to evaluate the whole person, and the application process is holistic. We still seek to interview everyone who applies—as many as we can,” she says. Acknowledging that not all candidates can travel to Evanston for on-campus interviews. Tidmarsh adds that her team also uses alumni interviewers around the world. “We will match candidates in their home locations to conduct interviews with alumni.”

It is interesting to note that Kellogg’s open invitation offer is only for those who do apply. The other schools mentioned in fact allow anyone to interview, even before submitting an application. The latter policy allows schools to potentially cast an even wider net in the applicant pool, although it is obviously more resource intensive, especially given that some of those who interview may ultimately not decide to apply.

 

“We Do Not Have The Capacity”

At most top schools, though, to even offer a period of open interview opportunities just isn’t possible. “We have not considered applicant-initiated interviews for the simple reason that we do not have the capacity to do that,” says Yale SOM Admissions Director Bruce DelMonico. “We can only accommodate a certain number of interviews each application season and aren’t in the position to take on any more.”

The lucky few schools who do seem to manage applicant-initiated interviews don’t have to contend with fear of missing out (FOMO) on applicants whose written applications fail to adequately convey what an essential part of the incoming class they represent.

“This is wishful thinking, but I would love to be able to meet every candidate,” said David Simpson, admissions director for London Business School’s MBA program, when asked what one thing he would change about the application process if he could. “I know for a fact that every year we are bound to miss out on some great people that we turn down who could have been in the class,” he said. “You miss that when you don’t meet everyone.”

 

If a School Offers Open Interviews, You’d Do Well to Sign Up

For schools that do offer open interviews, though, you’d do well to take them up on it. Julie Barefoot, associate dean of MBA admissions at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, claims those who do not make use of the open interview period at her school are not at a disadvantage—they will still be invited to interview later in the process if the admissions committee wants to learn more about them. (The same is true at Tuck, Kenan-Flagler and Fuqua.) Ah, but if the admissions committee, based on the written application alone, decides not to bother with an interview, that is a candidate who has missed an opportunity to make her case in person for why she belongs in that MBA program.

Barefoot doesn’t make that point, but she does make another: “There is an advantage to interviewing in the open period because it shows us that they are really interested,” she points out. For this reason, “if they can, candidates should interview in the open period,” she advises.

Tuck’s Clarke, in a video on the school’s website, notes that applicants who choose not to take advantage of the open interview period but who offer a reasonable explanation as to why will be evaluated for an invitational interview. “We encourage people who are able to come and take advantage of the open interview policy but we don’t want you to be deterred from applying if you are not able to take advantage of that opportunity because we do have the invitational option available.”

“There is really no scenario where taking advantage of the open interview policy can hurt a candidate,” says Alex Brown, who worked in admissions at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School for several years. “Obviously the opposite is true,” he continues. “Those who choose to participate in an interview before applying are signaling to the admissions committee that they are fully committed to the process—showing the appropriate initiative and interest in the school.” Schools will evaluate candidates, in part, on fit for the school, so this initiative can dial into that, he adds. (Wharton switched from open interviews to interviews by invitation during the time that Brown worked there, due to resource constraints).

 

Graham Richmond, cofounder of Clear Admit, concurs. “You should really make the effort to get a spot—after all, you shouldn’t apply if you aren’t excited about the school or wouldn’t be happy to attend,” he says. “I can’t think of a scenario in which you would purposely not sign up, unless geography or work travel gets in the way, in which case you should talk to the Admissions Committee to explain and perhaps seek a solution.”

Both Tuck and Goizueta feature smaller applicant pools than the likes of HBS, Wharton or Stanford, making it more feasible for them to accommodate applicant-initiated interviews. Tuck, for its part, also leans on second-year students—called admissions associates—to conduct the majority of its interviews, which further increases the resources it has available for interviews.

But at Kellogg, it’s not really possible for every applicant to get an interview, despite the best intentions of the admissions committee. Fine print on the Kellogg website reveals, “Due to the high demand for interviews and limited availability of interviewers, you may receive an interview waiver. Waivers will not have a negative impact on your candidacy. If your interview is waived, the admissions committee may contact you to schedule a phone or Skype interview. If you receive a waiver, you may not request a phone or Skype interview.”

It pays to apply to Kellogg as soon as you are ready in hopes of securing an interview spot while they last, Richmond advises. At the same time, don’t be overly concerned if there aren’t any left by the time you apply, he adds, saying, “Candidates who are competitive will ultimately be invited.”

On the other hand, if you are a weaker candidate or have an issue in your file—like low test scores, for example—it’s prudent to get your application in as soon as possible and get a spot, Richmond counsels. “This is especially true in the case of applicants who think they will do well in person and that an interview might push their candidacy over the hump,” he says.

 

Interviews by Invitation

The interview allows MBA admissions committees to move beyond the restraints of the written application and letters of recommendation to focus on things they can only learn about a person when they meet them—oral communication skills, emotional intelligence, maturity, presence and self-awareness, for starters. Most admissions committees at leading business schools agree that to make a fully informed admission decision without the greater insight into a candidate that an interview provides is difficult—if not impossible.

This is why all leading business schools require an interview as part of the application process. Few leading programs can support an open interview policy, which has led most other top business school programs to offer interviews by invitation only. Stay tuned for the next post in our series, which will take a closer look at the different interview formats these various schools employ.

 

以上内容摘自:

http://www.clearadmit.com/2016/10/understanding-mba-admissions-interview-part-1/

 

 

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