3 Ways to Prepare for Your MBA Admissions Interview

Now that top-ranked business schools have started to send interview invitations to Round 1 applicants, the conversation has turned to exactly how applicants can prepare themselves for this rite of passage. While business schools rarely try to make the interview a stressful process, applicants can’t help but worry about the pressure they will face in the 30 to 60 minutes they spend face-to-face with tan interviewer.

If you’re one of these folks, or if you simply want to prepare now for an interview invite that will hopefully be coming soon, we bring you the top three ways you can best prep for the business school interview:

Have an airtight 1-3 minute review of your career to date.
A popular question in interviews is a version of “walk me through your resume”. While there are several different ways to answer this question, working chronologically helps you hit on career transitions, promotions and other pivotal moments easily. If strangers were to look at your resume, what might they call out the most often? Think about the positives and potential negatives. Does a particularly notable project stand out? A major promotion? A time lapse in work experience? Make sure to include these stories in your review.

Practice crafting straightforward and succinct answers to questions about different parts of your resume.
Treat the length of your interview like the length of an application essay; the more space you waste, the less time you have to share valuable information that supports your candidacy. Your interview will fly by, so make sure you nail down explanations for things that typically make you ramble. Try to minimize the ramble as much as possible!

Think of 2-3 questions that really demonstrate your interest in the school.
While you don’t necessarily know what questions the interviewer will ask, he or she will almost certainly leave time at the end for you to ask questions. Prove that you’ve done your research and have spent time reviewing the curriculum, extracurricular opportunities, etc.

Lastly, I’d like to emphasize the importance of likeability and fit. Mostly, this means you should be yourself! Throughout your 20-45 minute interview (the length may vary by school), your interviewer will assess your interpersonal and behavioral skills. Written essays are one dimensional, and the interview’s in-person experience allows admissions officers to see you come to life. Make eye contact, and insert a smile here and there. When the interviewer gets airtime, pay attention and be a good listener. Act professionally at all times, but do not be afraid to show a bit of your personality. It’ll make the conversation a lot for interesting for both you and your interviewer.

Today’s post comes from Veritas Prep MBA admissions consultant Lauren Thaler. Lauren received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Brown University and started working for The Advisory Board Company in Washington D.C. shortly after graduation. She worked in Business Development, Account Management and Marketing, and Business Intelligence Delivery. After a few years she decided to go to Wharton to pursue her MBA, and has since worked with dozens of business school applicants and founded her own business, Punchwell Press.