An interesting aspect of an MBA interview is that it frequently resembles a job interview, as both are designed to determine a candidate’s suitability based on their background, education, and work experience. Indeed, many of the interview tips for acing an MBA interview also apply to acing a job interview. Regardless of one’s level of experience, it is quite common to feel nervous during any interview, whether for a job or admission to a Masters degree programme. This is why we’ve compiled a list of five interview tips to assist you in acing the process.
Interview Tip #1: This is not an interview, but a conversation.
The first and most critical step is to reframe the entire process as a conversation rather than an interview.
An interviewer is attempting to learn more about you; your personality, your unique experiences, and your career goals, for example. Therefore, as corny as it may sound, the best advice is to simply be yourself. One trick is to imagine yourself answering the same questions in a serious discussion with a close friend, or to have a close friend conduct a mock interview with you. Maintain your composure and keep your responses succinct, honest, and thoughtful so that the interviewer receives the best, most professional version of yourself.
Interview Tip #2: It’s acceptable to be ignorant.
What if you’re asked a question for which you have no answer? In these instances, it is preferable to admit your ignorance than to confidently provide an incorrect answer. If you choose to guess, inform the interviewer that you are unaware of the answer but will attempt to provide one based on your experience and current level of comprehension.
Certain interviewers purposefully include difficult questions that fall outside the candidate’s range of experience and knowledge in order to gauge their response. This is also a frequently employed strategy by businesses when recruiting for management-level positions. An MBA programme is designed to assist working professionals in developing a deeper understanding of their chosen role or industry, as well as learning about the business units that support an organization’s function and growth. It is reasonable to expect that a candidate will not know everything, and their response to a difficult question demonstrates their preferred method of problem solving; Is it Lateral Thinking? Is it decision-making following the gathering of additional information? Is it delegation to a more knowledgeable individual? Given that MBA programmes place a premium on problem solving and theory application for assignments, difficult questions can serve as a good indicator of a candidate’s coursework style. It’s a good indicator of a candidate’s reaction to novel situations and a predictor of their leadership style during job interviews.
#3 Interview Tip: When it comes to work experience, it’s all about why, not where.
A minimum of two years of work experience is required for an MBA candidate, which is used to assess a candidate’s maturity, skills, and creativity. As a result, the emphasis is not on the location of your employment, but rather on why you chose to work there, what you learned in the role, and what significant work experiences shaped your personal professional and management style. Essentially, it’s about emphasising your impact on the organisation and the organization’s impact on you. Additionally, this is an excellent job interview tip.
Expand on your responsibilities at various levels, roles, and companies during the interview by providing examples of analytical thinking, problem solving, and even mistakes that helped you grow. When discussing career transitions between companies, industries, or roles, provide justifications for the various career paths. If you chose entrepreneurship, you must still demonstrate that the term’self-employed’ is not a euphemism for ‘unemployed’; you must demonstrate how you identified a market need for your product or service, your strategic thinking, and your overall management of your enterprise.
Interview Tip #4: Demonstrating is more effective than telling
A straightforward but effective MBA interview tip – which is also beneficial for improving employment prospects – is to develop a portfolio of work highlighting your career accomplishments.
In today’s digital world, online MBA programmes, distance learning MBA programmes, and part-time MBA programmes have exploded in popularity due to the flexibility they offer working professionals seeking to earn a Masters degree without having to leave their current job or halt their career progression. While a physical portfolio is beneficial, it is critical to develop a digital portfolio that can be easily sent to an interviewer regardless of location. Having your own website is a popular method of developing a digital portfolio. Given that an MBA enhances a candidate’s global job prospects, it’s always a good idea to be open to applying for international job opportunities in addition to local ones.
Interview Tip #5: Have THE ANSWER prepared.
The inevitable question of any interview, whether it is for an MBA or a job, is “Why choose us?”
Universities and businesses alike place a high premium on this response, with it playing a critical role in determining acceptance. To begin, conduct your own research on the programme or organisation, utilising it to craft a strong and persuasive response. This demonstrates that your choice was made after careful consideration, endowing it with greater weight. Additionally, you can use the research to generate questions to ask the interviewer in turn.
Making a choice
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