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Be confident for Your MBA interview

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It’s interview season for MBA applicants, and this part of the application process can be quite unpredictable. Each interviewer is unique, and even the same person might react differently based on their mood that day. If you’re one of the lucky ones invited for an interview in the first round of applications
The purpose of the interview can vary depending on the program. If you can, talk to people in your network who have gone to or are currently in the school. They can give you valuable insights. Most MBA programs let you choose between interviewing on campus or with an alumnus in your area. Base your decision on your own needs, not just how it might look to the admissions committee.
Feeling nervous about your MBA interview is completely normal, but with the right preparation and mindset, you can increase your chances of success. Here are some tips to help you manage your nervousness and perform well during your MBA interview:

  • Thoroughly Research the School: Thoroughly researching the school involves delving into various aspects of the MBA program to gain a comprehensive understanding. Explore its core values, the atmosphere it fosters, the professors who lead, and the opportunities it presents. This effort goes beyond just proving your interest; it empowers you to customize your responses to resonate with the program’s objectives. For instance, if a program emphasizes innovation and entrepreneurship, your research might uncover specific initiatives or courses that focus on these areas. During the interview, you can then reference these findings while discussing your own aspirations and experiences related to innovation. Likewise, if the school values community engagement, you could learn about student clubs, volunteer projects, or events that reflect this commitment. Mentioning these details in your interview demonstrates your alignment with the program’s culture and the potential contributions you can make.
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  • Prepare Your Answers: Preparing your answers involves anticipating commonly asked MBA interview questions, like “Tell me about yourself,” “Why do you want an MBA?” and “What are your short-term and long-term goals?” Crafting your responses with a clear structure enhances your ability to convey your ideas effectively. 
  1. “Tell me about yourself”: Begin with a succinct introduction highlighting your academic background and professional experience. Transition into your key strengths and accomplishments that align with the MBA program’s values. Conclude by mentioning your motivation for pursuing an MBA and your enthusiasm for contributing to the program’s community. Example: “I hold a degree in engineering and have worked as a project manager for three years. During this time, I successfully led cross-functional teams, improving project efficiency by 20%. I’m drawn to the MBA program to enhance my leadership skills and leverage my engineering background for innovative problem-solving within a business context. I look forward to collaborating with fellow students to drive impactful change.”
  2. “Why do you want an MBA?”: Begin by explaining how your current experience has prepared you, followed by specific skills you aim to acquire through an MBA. Highlight the program’s unique attributes that align with your goals, such as faculty expertise or experiential learning opportunities. Example: “While working in marketing, I’ve gained insights into consumer behavior, but I recognize the need for a broader strategic perspective. Pursuing an MBA will equip me with analytical and leadership skills to develop comprehensive marketing strategies. The program’s strong emphasis on experiential learning, particularly through consulting projects, aligns perfectly with my goal of applying classroom knowledge in real-world scenarios.”
  3. “What are your short-term and long-term goals?”.Outline your immediate post-MBA plans, emphasizing how they leverage the skills gained during the program. For long-term goals, describe how your aspirations align with the school’s values and how you aim to make a lasting impact in your chosen field.Example: “In the short term, I aim to transition from my technical role into a product management position, where I can bridge my engineering expertise with business strategy. In the long term, I aspire to lead a technology company that develops sustainable solutions for urban challenges. The MBA program’s emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship aligns with my vision of creating positive change through technology-driven ventures.”.
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  • Be Ready to Discuss Resume : Being ready to discuss your resume involves being prepared to provide detailed explanations about the experiences, accomplishments, and skills you’ve listed. This readiness helps you demonstrate how these aspects of your background connect to your aspirations for pursuing an MBA. Let’s say your resume includes an internship where you led a team in launching a new product. In the interview, you could elaborate on this experience by discussing the challenges you faced, the strategies you employed, and the results you achieved. Emphasize the leadership skills you developed and how they align with your goal of taking on greater managerial responsibilities after earning your MBA. Additionally, if your resume showcases involvement in a social impact initiative, you could explain how this experience reflects your commitment to making a positive difference in the world. Discussing how the MBA program’s emphasis on responsible leadership aligns with your desire to expand your impact on social issues can demonstrate your alignment with the program’s values.
  • Showcase Leadership and Teamwork: MBA programs often seek candidates with strong leadership and teamwork skills. Be prepared to discuss instances where you’ve demonstrated these qualities.Highlighting your leadership and teamwork skills is important for MBA interviews, as these qualities are highly valued by programs. Prepare to talk about situations where you’ve displayed these abilities effectively.
  • Prepare Questions to Ask: Have thoughtful questions ready to ask the interviewer. This demonstrates your interest in the program and shows that you’ve done your research.Consider asking about the experiential learning opportunities within the MBA program. You could inquire about specific projects or internships that have allowed students to apply classroom knowledge in real-world situations. This demonstrates that you’re eager to understand how the program bridges theory and practice, and it also shows you’ve researched the program’s unique offerings. You might also ask about the alumni network’s role in supporting students’ career goals. Inquiring about alumni involvement and networking events illustrates your forward-thinking approach to leveraging the program’s resources for your future success. Furthermore, you could inquire about the school’s approach to diversity and inclusion, showcasing your commitment to being part of an inclusive learning environment and highlighting your awareness of the program’s values.
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  • Practice Good Body Language: Maintain eye contact, offer a firm handshake, and sit up straight. Good body language can convey confidence and professionalism.
  • Manage Nervousness: Practice deep breathing techniques to calm your nerves before the interview. Remember that it’s okay to take a moment to gather your thoughts before answering a question.
  • Dress Appropriately. Choose professional attire that reflects your seriousness about the interview and the program.
  • Arrive Early: Plan to arrive at the interview location early to avoid any last-minute stress. This also gives you a chance to compose yourself before the interview.
  • Stay Authentic: While you should be prepared, avoid sounding rehearsed or robotic. Let your genuine enthusiasm and personality shine through.
  • Send a thank-you email after the interview to express your gratitude for the opportunity and reiterate your interest in the program.


Remember that an interview is also an opportunity for you to assess whether the program is the right fit for you. Approach the interview as a two-way conversation, and be confident in the value you bring to the table. With diligent preparation, you can overcome nervousness and leave a positive impression on the interviewers.
By treating the interview as a two-way street and showing how your skills and aspirations align with the program, you’re not just a nervous interviewee but an engaged potential student who’s confident about their place in the program.

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