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Journey to my MBA

Friday, September 15, 2006

What to expect at an Interview: From the perspective of the Interviewer

If you're going to have an interview, I think you should review this. It's GOLD. It's a general document that you'll pretty much see as the standard operating Interview practices of the top 20 MBA Schools.. if not the top 100 Business Schools. Perhaps you're nervous on what to expect. Relax! Interviewers have guidelines too. And this is it. I haven't included questions because you can get that from Clearadmit and in their wiki and interview database respectively.

At some point, I may end up removing this unwillingly (if you know what I mean), so I suggest you archive this locally as soon as you see it. By the way, I will not be responding to questions about interviewing or this Blog entry. I did not create this document and I do not profess to be a Business School interview expert.

Goal of the Interview from an Interviewer perspective?

Recruit the best candidates who are:
•Bright and Motivated
•Well-Rounded individuals focused on Teamwork and Community
•Interested in giving back to the school
•Have a clear understanding why they want to come to XXXX Business School

Informational and Evaluative
•Admissions Committee learns more about the applicant.
•Applicant learns more about XXX Business School

Interviewer Role
•Opportunity to market key attributes of XXX Business School
•Share your positive XXX Business School experiences and enthusiasm for the program
•Answer questions
•Reiterate the admissions process and requirements
•Refer them to other sources

Interviewer Evaluative Role
•To help the Admissions Committee assess
–personal qualities
–professional and personal accomplishments
–fit with the XXX Business School
•Complete a written report of impressions

Focus on Key Areas
•Academic background
•Professional work experience
•Motivation for attending XXX Business School

Academic Background
•School attended and why that particular school was chosen
•Major and why it was chosen
•Community Service / Extra-curricular activities

Professional Work Experience
•Types of positions held
•Length of stay at company(s)
•Address any gaps in the resume
•Career progression
•Leadership/management experience
•Teamwork experience

Motivation for our Business School
•Does the applicant have realistic expectations of an MBA?
•Does the applicant appear to have a good understanding and sincere interest in our Business School?

Interviewer Style
•Probe, but don’t try to make the applicant uncomfortable
•Be relaxed and informal; it should not be administered like a test
•Review the interviewing guide for suggested techniques and questions

Post-Interview Contact
•At your discretion
•Refer to admissions office if “waitlisted”
(International Programs Office if IMBA)
•Refer to admissions office if “denied”
(International Programs Office if IMBA)
•Call to congratulate if “admitted”

Do’s and Don’ts
•Do respond quickly to arrange the interview with the candidate
•Do develop your own style, but make sure it is non-threatening
•Do allow enough time for them to ask you questions about the school (usually 15 minutes)
•Do familiarize yourself with the application requirements and deadlines
•Do send in your interview report within 48 hours

Do’s and Don’ts
•Don’t interview anyone you know
•Don’t conduct interviews at home
•Don’t try to stump the candidate – this is a conversation, not an interrogation
•Don’t ask questions about age, ethnic origin, personal finances, sexual orientation, religious affiliations, marital status, children, and disabilities – it is illegal for you to bring up these topics
•Don’t use the interview as an opportunity to get a “foot in the door” of a company that the candidate works for.

Do’s and Don’ts
•Don’t speak negatively about our Business School or any other business school
•Don’t suggest what the candidate’s chances are for admission
•Don’t discuss applicants or interviews with anyone; confidentiality is critical
•Don’t hesitate to tell a candidate “I don’t know.” Let them know that they can follow up with the admissions office if they have any questions
•Don’t ask the candidate out on a date!

An Interview is Successful If:
•The candidate is left with a positive impression of the school.
•The interviewer has been able to offer information about our Business School and/or refer the candidate to another source for information
•The candidate is treated fairly and given the opportunity to express their accomplishments, interests, and goals
•The interviewer has been able to gather enough information to offer their insights and a recommendation to the admissions committee


Blogger mba_salsera said...

This was an awesome post! Thanks for sharing! It couldn't have come at a better time for me...I have a few interviews scheduled coming up soon.

12:29 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Thanks for posting this, what a great way to think about being interviewed. I'm getting ready to interview with one of the best International Business Schools for their MBA program. I'm really nervous about interviewing with Thunderbird School of Global Management because they are such a reputable school and I don't want to mess anything up, as I really want to earn an MBA from Thunderbird. Thanks again for your point of view, I know it will help!

11:34 AM  

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