A business college is a university-level institution that confers degrees in business administration or management. Such a college can also be called a business school, or b-school. The steps that are necessary to get into the best business schools are very much like the steps necessary to get into the top undergraduate programs. Non-traditional candidates, including homeschoolers, have been admitted into such esteemed programs as Harvard Business School, the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Wharton School, and MIT Sloan. In the following guest post, Reese Myers shares some tips from her MBA interview experience to help homeschoolers.
If you are applying to b-schools for your MBA, then a big hurdle is the interview. Most candidates are very nervous about the questions and how they should conduct themselves. There are a few common questions that a candidate should reasonably expect. However, remember that most of these questions are actually for your interviewers to gain an insight into your character and personality traits. So, for all the management colleges, these are some of the questions you can expect.
1. Your resume
Your interviewers will ask you to walk them through your resume. Use this chance to focus on some of the valuable and relevant experience that you have already garnered. They want to know whether you have a background that will also serve the purpose of the institute.
A very common question asked in interviews is, “Tell me about yourself.” This is more of a personal question; what works for you, what doesn’t, and so on. The question is to gauge who you are. You can tell them some personal things about yourself, and not just the work experience. Remember not to say too much. Also, whatever you tell them, back it up with examples and anecdotes.
3. Co-workers’ opinions
“How would your co-workers describe you?” This question is to understand what your strengths are. The interviewers want to know whether your skills would be useful. One good way of answering this question is by talking about skills which are relevant both as a student and an employee.
4. Your biggest challenge
If they as you about your greatest failure or the biggest challenge you have faced, then the interviewers want to know about what you have learned and how mature you are. Remember that if you don’t have a big challenge or failure to talk about then your work experience hasn’t been enough to get you into one of the management colleges.
5. Constructive criticism
Your interviewers might ask you about what criticism you have received from your boss. This is one way of asking about your weaknesses. Remember that you should only discuss weaknesses which can be redressed through a couple of years at b-school. Don’t go on about fatal personality flaws which can never go away.
6. Your definition of leadership
If you are asked to define the qualities of a leader, they want to know what your personal style of leadership is. Again, back up your definition with examples from a leader you admire.
7. An experience outside your comfort zone
This question is to clarify whether you function well under stress or adverse conditions. Business schools like people who can hold up under pressure and are prepared to take crucial risks and decisions. Tell them stories from your work experience to demonstrate that you have the potential for such.
8. Reasons for pursuing an MBA
Don’t just talk about the amount of money that you want to earn. Go deep within yourself and find out other reasons for wanting this degree. The more you introspect, the more unique an answer will emerge. That is what the school is looking for.
9. Your contributions to the class
This is a good opportunity to discuss the different abilities that you bring to the group. Again, you need to highlight your strengths, tailored to be relevant to your colleagues and later, your classmates. Even a skill that you consider mundane or common could be of use to the group. So mention these to the interviewers as well.
About the Author: Reese Myers is an interviewer for a reputed B-school. She has interviewed thousands of prospective candidates for the MBA course in management colleges in Mumbai. Reese loves to go for long walks with her dog.