1. Why are you a good fit with the program?
Seems obvious, but certainly a question which you can universally expect in one form or another. Schools want to see that you have done your due diligence on their program and can articulate how it’s a good match with your career goals and learning style. Having some legitimate passion about the program will communicate you are serious an not just using the opportunity as a safety school.
2. How are you involved in your community?
If you are involved and engaged in your local community, odds are you will get plugged into theirs and also become an alumnus or alumna who is engaged thereafter! Tell stories!
3. How do you handle leadership outside the office differently than inside the office?
This one doesn’t come up often, but has come up before. They are looking for deeper insight into your leadership style, something that may not be evident from the typical work challenges, and can certainly tie into the previous question. Another good leadership question to ask yourself in preparation is “How do you lead when you are not in charge?” and “Describe your leadership style.”
4. What makes you a better choice for a slot than someone else from your industry?
While this may not be a question which is asked specifically, know that all schools are asking themselves this question about you behind the scenes, so guess what? You need to answer it for them whether they ask it or not! Have some solid reasons why you are a better choice than the next candidate and work those things into your answers somehow.
5. If you could do anything and time and money wasn’t an issue what would you choose to do?
This can be a bit of a trick question, but know that they are not trying to trap you into a pickle about “why aren’t you doing that, then?” They are just trying to get to know you, so indulge their opportunity to dream a little. This is also a good chance to reveal your personality, likes/dislikes and your fun side. They are not looking for anything specific and actually not even looking for something which reflects your core career goals. In the end, they want well rounded students who are not afraid to take a calculated risk, so let you guard down and show that you are a real person and not a business robot.
In part four of this five part series on interviewing, I will discuss some of the tougher questions you may potentially encounter.
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Scott Bryant has over 25 years of professional post undergraduate experience in the entertainment industry as well as on Wall Street with Goldman Sachs. He served on the admissions committee at the Fuqua School of Business where he received his MBA and now works part time in retirement for a top tier business school. He has been consulting with Veritas Prep clients for the past six admissions seasons.