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留学面经:Understanding the MBA Admissions Interview (Part 2 of 4)  

2016-12-01 04:22:33|  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 2 of 4)

 

  

This is the second in a four-part series on the MBA admissions interview that we produced last season, and are releasing again for this season. 

 

Okay—now that you’re clear on open interviews and interviews by invitation, let’s get into some of the finer points. What’s this about blind versus non-blind interviews, you ask? Some schools believe strongly in the notion of blind interviews, which means that your interviewer will know nothing about you in advance of the interview other than what appears on the résumé you give them.

Schools that fall firmly into this camp include Yale School of Management (SOM), Columbia Business School and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. We should note that at UVA’s Darden School, the MBA admissions interview is truly blind, meaning the interviewer will not have read or reviewed either your application or your résumé. “It is our policy to conduct blind interviews, so there is no need to send or bring in your résumé for the interview,” reads the Darden website. In general, though, most business schools who conduct blind interviews intend that to mean that the interviewer has access to a résumé and nothing more.

“We use blind interviews—that is, based on the résumé only, with the interviewer not seeing any other part of the candidate’s application—to allow the interviewer to give us as independent an assessment of the candidate as possible, without being influenced by the academic record, GMAT score, essay, etc.,” says Yale SOM’s Bruce Delmonico, who leads admission for the New Haven school.

Blind interviews offer applicants both advantages and disadvantages, admissions experts say. “I’ve always liked blind interviews because the applicant gets a bit of clean slate,” says Graham Richmond, who co-founded Clear Admit before launching his own consulting firm advising leading business school admissions teams. There’s no bias that might come with the interviewer having seen grades, scores, recommendation letters or the like, he adds.

“That said, this doesn’t mean a blind interview gives candidates open license to reinvent their candidacy,” Richmond cautions. “The interview should be consistent with the written application that is ultimately submitted.”

From the school’s perspective, blind interviews also make it feasible to draw from a larger group of interviewers—including alumni and second-year students. A blind interview doesn’t require that these interviewers be fully versed in a candidate’s full application or be trained to limit biases that could result from having this fuller view before the interview.

Alex Brown, who worked in admissions at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School for many years, views blind interviews as “additive” in that they represent an additional data point like essays or recommendation letters. Non-blind interviews, in contrast, Brown views as “iterative.” “These give the adcom the opportunity to dive deeper into the applicant,” he says.

 

Stanford GSB Conducts Some Blind, Some Non-Blind Interviews
At Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB), whether your interview will be blind or non-blind depends on who does the interviewing. “The only information about you that your alumni interviewer will have is your resume, which you will send directly to him/her,” wrote Derrick Bolton, previous Stanford GSB Assistant Dean for MBA Admissions on the school website. “We will not provide your alumni interviewer with your application, nor will we use your application to identify specific areas for your alumni interviewer to probe,” he continues, adding that Stanford believes the bias that could result from such guidance to alumni could outweigh potential benefit from an evaluation standpoint.

Stanford gives its alumni interviewers a structure and topics to address with applicants, although it trusts the interviewers’ judgment in terms of pursuing topics more deeply that might be of particular relevance for an individual applicant, Bolton continues.

But some interviews at Stanford GSB are conducted by members of the admissions staff, in which case the interviewer will have reviewed a candidate’s complete application before the interview, according to Bolton. “As such, he or she may conduct an interview that reflects this knowledge of your application,” Bolton wrote.

Richmond notes that the “clean slate” provided by the blind interview format can actually pose a challenge for some applicants. “A blind interview requires applicants to start from scratch, which is often a difficult task if you’ve just poured your heart and soul into a lengthy application,” he says. The non-blind format can also allow for a more productive—“meaty”—conversation to some extent, he adds.

 

Résumé-Based Interviews: The Basics
Many blind interviews—by their nature—tend to be largely résumé-based since that’s the only information the interviewers have to go on. Often, an interviewer will ask you to walk him or her through your résumé, leaving it to you to highlight what you deem most important.

Richmond offers some cogent tips for approaching a résumé-based interview, beginning with knowing your résumé well enough that you don’t need to look at it constantly. “Practice the résumé walk-through extensively,” he advises.

“It’s easy to think you know your story and then find yourself rambling through it in the interview—wasting valuable minutes that could be devoted to more in-depth conversation,” he says. In his years spent working as an admissions consultant, Richmond recalls seeing strong candidates falter when walking through the résumé, taking too long, losing the interviewer in jargon and the like. Don’t let this be you.

While a little late in the game for applicants who have already submitted their résumés as part of their application, Richmond also offers some guidance on how to prepare a résumé that best lend itself to a résumé-based interview. “In essence, your résumé should be a really compelling and concise summary of your experience to date, which for 99 percent of candidates will mean a single page,” he says. (Consult Clear Admit’s Resume Guide for more details and best practices.)

Of course, the résumé you submit as part of your application needs to be well crafted no matter what kind of interview you might have since it’s a key component of your overall file, Richmond points out. “That said, for the interview, the résumé you send or bring to your interviewer doesn’t have to be identical to the one you submitted with your application,” he adds. “It there are new developments you wish to include or minor improvements you with to make in advance of the interview, that’s fine,” Richmond counsels.

Brown adds, “When I was interviewing at Wharton, I always appreciated the candidate who had her professional summary and long-term goals articulated at the beginning of the résumé. It can help guide the interviewer through the rest of the résumé.”

 

Non-Blind Interviews at Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan
Unlike Yale SOM, Chicago Booth and, in large part, Stanford GSB, some schools prefer that their MBA admissions interviews be conducted by someone who is already quite familiar with a candidate’s complete file. Harvard Business School (HBS) and MIT Sloan School of Management come to mind immediately in this area.

The HBS website reads: “Interviews are 30 minutes and are conducted by an MBA Admissions Board member who has reviewed your application. Your interview will be tailored to you and is designed for us to learn more about you in the context of a conversation.”

This supports both Brown’s point, that non-blind interviews are “iterative” and Richmond’s suggestion that they can sometimes lead to more in-depth “meaty” conversations.

“It’s a question of whether a school is seeking a broad and consistent view of the applicant via all the ‘media’ the school offers in the application process, or whether the school is seeking to delve more deeply into specific areas, once the other aspects of the application are submitted,” Brown adds. “Quite frankly, it is easier for a school to use a blind interview, but that does not mean it is always the best method.”

 

Understanding Behavioral Event Interviews (BEI)
Just as non-blind interviews can be more comprehensive and delve deeper into applicants’ candidacies than traditional blind, résumé-based interviews, they also often incorporate questions that stray more from a recap of or drill down into your résumé. These are known as behavior-based or behavioral event interviews (BEI).

Although, to be fair, many schools actually combine elements of both. Yale SOM is one such example. “Ours is a blind, résumé-based interview that covers several areas,” Yale SOM’s Delmonico says, adding that it does include a few behavioral-based questions as part of the process. “We’ve always used behavioral questions to get a sense of how an applicant would handle various situations. Those kinds of questions have been validated as being predictive of professional performance, which is why we include them,” he says.

Stanford GSB, too, views past behavior as a reliable predictor of future behavior and tailors its interviews accordingly, whether blind or non-blind. During Bolton’s tenure at Stanford GSB, he wrote: “Because the Committee on Admissions believes that previous behavior is often a good predictor of future conduct, the interview focuses on past actions rather than hypothetical situations.” Stanford’s primary questions, therefore, revolve around behaviors, skills and attitudes the school thinks will help ensure a good fit between a candidate and the Stanford community, he adds.

Perhaps nowhere is the non-blind Behavioral-Event Interview (BEI) more prominent than at MIT Sloan School of Management. At Sloan, interviewers may break the ice with a few questions about your background, but in short order they’ll get down to the business at hand: in-depth behavioral questions designed more to get at your personality and communications skills than to go over points included in your résumé or having to do with your career goals or interest in the MBA.

On its website, MIT Sloan ticks off several ways it sees the BEI interview as different from more traditional interview formats. First, it will be a structured process concentrated on areas important to the interviewer—rather than on areas that you may feel are important. “Instead of asking how you would behave in a particular situation, the interviewer will ask how you did behave,” the website continues. Interviewers will question and probe your answers, ask you to provide details, and discourage you from theorizing or generalizing about multiple events. “You may not get a chance to deliver any prepared stories,” the school adds.

So, what’s the best way to prepare for a behavior-based interview at MIT Sloan—or for behavior-based questions at schools that may otherwise lean more toward resume-based interviews?

 

Richmond offers the following tips:

  • Know the types of behavioral questions the school typically uses and be sure to select a host of stories or anecdotes to share accordingly.
  • Use the STAR (Situation/Task/Action/Result), PAR (Problem/Action/Result) or CAR (Context/Action/Result) method to outline your responses and stay on track (see below).
  • Listen to your interviewer’s follow-on questions and be sure to go with the flow (rather than forcing a rehearsed message).
  • Be sure to touch on what you thought, felt, said and did in key instances.

We hope this second in our series of interview pieces helps you have a better sense of what to expect on interview day and how to prepare. In our final installment, we’ll tackle some of the newer interview permutations, including the team-based exercise, pre- and post- interview essays, and some other interesting wrinkles schools have started to throw into the mix over the past handful of years. Don’t miss it!

 

 

以上内容摘自:

http://www.clearadmit.com/2016/10/understanding-mba-admissions-interview-part-2/

 

 

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