Scott Edinburgh
September 19, 2019

Acing The MBA Interview

If you have already received an invitation to interview at your target MBA program(s), congratulations! The time and energy you put into your applications has gotten you to this point, but do not relax your efforts just yet.

The MBA interview is an incredibly important component of the application process, and it is critical that you put in the work to prepare for this experience. In addition to practicing, you will want to research each school in detail, know your resume from top to bottom and be ready to clearly explain your goals and why you want an MBA.

Wondering where to begin? Personal MBA Coach is well versed in the intricacies of the MBA interview process. Below, get some of our top tips to ensure that you are ready to ace your MBA interview(s).

Should you want additional support, our team of former M7 interviewers conduct mock interviews every year for all of the top business schools. Clients who use our MBA interview preparation services see a 70-85% conversion rate!

1. Prepare your stories.

Do your research to determine the questions that each business school most commonly asks. This will give you the opportunity to start preparing your stories ahead of time. We find that bulleting is most effective here. This way you can note the skills you want to highlight and will be prepared to pivot your stories as needed.

You should be able to adapt four to five stories to cover most top questions. For instance, a story about stepping up in the office could be applicable to a question about a time you had an innovative idea OR a question about a time you helped a coworker. Try to assign your stories to possible questions in advance.

Avoid spending too much time setting up the scene. Instead, stick to the main steps you took and how you excelled in each example. It can be helpful to break your stories down into situations, actions, and results.

2. Research each school’s interview process.

Each business school treats the interview process differently. While Wharton’s group interview is the most distinct, tactics for individual interviews vary as well.

Though fit is always important, some schools will direct their focus more to certain components of your application and background. Through Personal MBA Coach’s interview preparation services, we will provide you with a school-specific guide to help highlight some of these differences. This guide not only contains the latest questions that will be asked but also the kinds of answers schools are looking for and the best way to articulate them.

3. Demonstrate school-specific interests and knowledge.

Knowing, and being able to explain, why you want to attend a particular program is a pivotal part of the MBA interview. Be sure that you are prepared to talk about the aspects that drew you to each school, particularly in terms of the program’s culture.

You should demonstrate a clear understanding of the program and be ready to discuss how you will add value on campus. Business schools want to know how you will make your unique mark!

4. Clearly articulate your MBA goals.

Be prepared to clearly and concisely explain what you hope to accomplish in your career, why you are interested in this path, and how you will be successful. Prepare specific examples that you can use to back up these plans. If you need help articulating your MBA goals, check out Personal MBA Coach’s blog here.

As you share these goals, make sure you are expressing excitement. Since you do not have the nonverbal cues that you would have in person, you want to make sure you are enthusiastic during virtual interviews.

5. Treat the virtual MBA interview like an in-person interview.

Although a virtual interview has its differences, much remains the same. Dress like you are going to an in-person interview and, of course, be on time! Try to ask only positive questions and enjoy the process. Remember that your background got you this far, so be yourself and relax.

As with any interview, practice and planning are key! Personal MBA Coach has former M7 interviewers lined up to do mock interviews with you. Plus, mock interview support is included with all Personal MBA Coach Comprehensive Packages.

Our clients have told us this is one of the most worthwhile steps they have taken to enhance their candidacy, helping them build the confidence they need to excel in the MBA interview.

  • I utilized the mock interviews, which were definitely a game-changer for me. Post mock interview feedback was again constructive and candid and was a great way to practice that I wouldn’t have done on my own. Mocks gave me a lot more confidence going into the real interviews. – Chicago Booth Admit
  • I can say honestly that without this interview preparation, I would not have been ready for the depth of questions I was asked in my actual interview. This package was a critical part of my preparation and allowed me to go into the interview feeling confident and prepared. – MIT Sloan Admit
  • One of Scott’s associates who is an ex-Kellogg interviewer took my mock interview. Her feedback on the mock interview was very helpful and she gave detailed question-by-question feedback. She also coached me on how to answer the questions. My confidence post the mock interview increased tremendously. – Dartmouth Tuck Admit

About Personal MBA Coach:

Founded by a Wharton MBA and MIT Sloan graduate who sits on the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants Board of Directors, Personal MBA Coach has been guiding clients for 14 years and is consistently ranked #1 or #2, currently holding the #1 ranking in the US on Poets&Quants.

We help clients with all aspects of the MBA application process including early planning, GMAT/GRE/EA tutoring, application strategy, school selection, essay editing and mock interviews. Our team includes a former M7 admissions director and former M7 admissions interviewers.

Last year, our clients earned more than $6M in scholarships!