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面试必读:7 Essentials to Ace Your MBA Interview  

2016-12-04 02:50:31|  分类: 留学面经分享 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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面试必读:7 Essentials to Ace Your MBA Interview

 


 BY: MALVINA MILLER COMPLAINVILLE, EXPERT COACH AT FORTUNA ADMISSIONS ON FEBRUARY 10, 2016

by Malvina Miller Complainville, Expert Coach at MBA admissions coaching firm Fortuna Admissions, and was an Assistant Director at Harvard Business School. She has worked with many successful applicants to the world’s top business schools, and has featured on Forbes and the FT for advice on MBA interviewing.

 

 

 

Malvina Miller Complainville was an Assistant Director at Harvard Business School. As an Expert Coach at Fortuna Admissions, she has worked with many successful applicants to the world’s top business schools, and has featured on Forbes and the FT for advice on MBA interviewing.  In this article she shares insights to make a winning impression in your interview.

1. Understand the MBA interview landscape
The importance of the MBA interview has never been greater. As business schools reduce the number of essays they require, and the likes of HBS and Stanford now only require two letters of recommendation, there is an increased emphasis on interviewing. Whether face to face or via video, interviews allow admissions to learn more about your desired career path and career goals, and get a sense of your teamwork, leadership and communication skills. Most importantly, they are looking for a good fit with the school.

Among the M7 schools your initial chances of admission are typically between 1 in 10 and 1 in 18. But secure an interview and your chances of acceptance have just improved to about 1 in 2. So if you are invited it is because the school believes in your potential. You now have a great chance of getting in, so take all the time you need to prepare yourself. Even if you feel confident about your interview skills, remember that you may only have a short time to impress so you need to get to the point quickly, focus on the essentials, and know how to adapt to various interview styles.

Candidates should expect to have very different interviews depending on the school they are interviewing with. We are seeing that schools are looking at new interview formats and using a wide range of interview techniques.

For example:

-At HBS you may have a two-on-one formal interview, with one admissions officer actively interviewing, and the other observing.  The interview lasts 30 minutes and is based on your entire application which they have studied in depth before the interview.

-At Stanford GSB you may have an hour-long interview with an alumnus who is doing the interview blind – meaning he or she has only seen your resume. The interviewer will use behavioral questions to get a sense of your leadership and teamwork experience.

-At Kellogg, Yale, and Rotman – in addition to the more traditional interview – you will have a video interview as part of your application, prompting you to spontaneously answer a question with little or no prep time. These recorded interviews require that candidates think on their feet while communicating in a structured and concise manner.

-At Wharton and Michigan Ross you may take part in a Team Based Interview. The school brings a group of applicants together in a room and gives them a problem to work through together. Group interviews allow admissions to observe how candidates operate in a team setting – giving them a sense of how the candidate will perform in a dynamic MBA setting where interaction is extremely important. At Wharton this exercise is followed with a short one-on-one debrief with an admission representative; at Michigan Ross the Team Based Interview is in addition to a traditional interview.

2. Research what type of interview you will have
As the excitement of an interview invitation sinks in, you now need to understand the different interview formats used by each school to prepare appropriately. And you may have to prepare for more than one interview format. At Fortuna Admissions I have worked with clients who had to prepare for a traditional interview, a video interview, and a team based interview all taking place within a ten-day time frame.

Discuss with your coach, and your personal network, and review the school’s website to learn which types of interview questions you can expect to be asked: resume based, behavioral, etc. Find out who will be interviewing you: admissions reps who know your application inside out and will ask you pointed questions based on your experiences (e.g. HBS, MIT Sloan, NYU Stern, LBS); or alumni who will be leading a “blind interview” having had access to just your resume (Stanford GSB, Columbia, Kellogg).

3. Give yourself time to prepare for your interview
Preparation is key, and careful planning for this live component of the application process really is a must. Feeling prepared is the best way to build confidence and will allow you to approach the interview proactively as opposed to reactively.

Practice first on paper, then with video, then with someone putting you through your paces. Videotape yourself answering one question at a time. Short clips will be less painful to watch then long monologues – it will also allow you to save the winning answers in a folder organized by question.

Practice your answers aloud until they feel comfortable and you are not looking for your words or struggling to express yourself. Train yourself to give natural, informative and confident answers. Practice aloud when going through your achievement examples to make sure you can set the scene and get to the point quickly. Practicing aloud will help reduce your chances of rambling, which can be a damaging turn off for interviewers.

 

4. Map out your key selling points and stories
The content you prepare should include at least 5 key selling points to share during the interview. For each selling point you should have a couple of short stories to illustrate your point. Some of our clients find it helpful to map their selling points and stories in a matrix, inserting which questions can be answered with each story.

Your key selling points and stories should relate to your strengths, your contribution to the school, your personality or soft skills (leadership potential, teamwork skills), and your career goals. Your stories should consist of behavioral examples that illustrate the key selling point, and should be shared with honesty and humility. Take the time to reflect on how a key selling point will benefit the MBA community, how it will help you reach your career goals, and how it fits with the school’s core values.

When mapping out your stories, use a technique such as SARL to make sure you don’t forget any pieces of the story. Keep your points concise. Your worst enemy is digressing – you will lose your interviewer’s attention and waste precious interview minutes that could have been used making a case for yourself.

You should be able to talk without hesitation about why you are pursuing an MBA, why you are interested in this school, and what your career goals are. You’ll want to be ready to speak about how you will contribute to the community, and you’ll want to have examples of your leadership and teamwork. Be ready to give a two minute answer to “tell me about yourself”, or “walk me through your resume”.

It is a good idea to read the Economist, the Wall Street Journal, the FT or The New York Times on a regular basis before your interview so that you can show that you are informed about the business world and macroeconomics when you answer these types of questions.

5. Know how to approach tough questions
You should anticipate questions on any weak areas in your application. Expect to be quizzed on anything you bring up, so don’t bring up topics voluntarily that you’d rather not discuss in detail. Similarly be ready to talk about any hobbies listed on your resume.

With many tough questions the key is to present yourself in a positive light by focusing on your growth, whilst showing honesty and humility. Don’t dwell on how a certain tough situation in your career did not go the way you had planned, instead focus on what you learned and how you grew from this situation. An MBA program is an opportunity for you to grow and stretch yourself, showing how you have stretched yourself in the past can become a success story.

For weakness questions, frame your weaknesses in a way that allows a demonstration of your personal growth. Show that you have the courage to own your failure or weakness. Describe what actions you have taken to work on this weakness. Provide an example of a success following this growth.

For questions related to leaving an industry, the focus can be on how your new career goals will allow you to go deeper in areas that may presently be lacking in your current industry.
For failure questions and difficult management questions, focus on the lessons learned, and how these lessons positively impacted your leadership style.

Questions on your decision to pursue an MBA are an opportunity to show how much thought you have given to how this MBA will help you reach your goals in a way that would not be possible without it.Pay attention to follow up questions – sometimes follow up questions help delve deeper into a topic – but they can also be a second chance offered to a candidate who did not really answer the first question correctly. If you are not certain what the interviewer is asking you, pause and reword the question back to the interviewer asking if you understood correctly. This will ensure that you don’t misunderstand the question twice.

What if you gave a bad answer? Do not lose confidence. Take a breath, keep going and at the end of the interview ask to clarify your answer to the earlier question. This shows confidence and most interviewers will let you do this.

Even with the best preparation, you will likely get a question that you hadn’t anticipated. Take a deep breath, take the time to think before you speak, show a logical thought process and conclude your answer succinctly.

6. Be ready with questions for your interviewers
Before your interview you should prepare meaningful questions that you can ask at the end of the interview. If you are given the name of your interviewer ahead of time, do your research – look him/her up on LinkedIn for example. Taking into account the interviewer’s profile will help you tailor your questions accordingly. For admission representatives, you might ask questions specific to the strengths of the school community, or logistical questions about support for families and spouses. For alumni, you could ask questions specific to their own experience at the school and their career path after the MBA.

7. Stay grounded
Be respectful and pleasant with everyone you interact with – this including school staff when you walk into the campus building; or if your interview is with an alumnus in a place of work or public place, the office or café staff. A good interviewer will pay attention to how you behave in your general surroundings.

Try to approach the interview as a conversation. Keep the general tone calm, stay away from emotional statements; you want to come across as a grounded, personable, and thoughtful candidate.

During your interview you want the interviewer to feel this is your first choice of school. You may not be directly asked why you have chosen this school, but you can use the conclusion time of your interview, when your interviewer asks ‘anything else I should know’ to emphasize your excitement about the school, show your knowledge of the school programs, and mention contacts you have had with the school community. Be prepared to talk about what you will contribute to the school community, and emphasize how the school is a good match for your professional goals.

In closing, I want to re-iterate: if you are invited to interview it is because the school believes you have the potential. You really do have a chance of getting in. So prepare your key selling points and stories ahead of time, and go into the room feeling confident that they wanted you there, and enthusiastic about the prospect of joining the school’s community.

Good luck.

 

 

以上内容摘自:

http://poetsandquants.com/2016/02/10/seven-essentials-to-ace-your-mba-interview/ 

 

 

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