Monday, November 30, 2009

Interview Season

By now, you should receive an email or call for Admission interview, if you have submitted your MBA application. What should you do next?

Review. Reread your application forms (I hope you have printed or PDFed a copy before you click the "Submit" button, application essays and resume(s). It is important you know what you have written to each school. Typically, each candidate would submit 2-3 applications to his/her "favorite" business schools and receive calls/emails for personal interview around the same time. When that happens, you don't want to be caught off guard saying things that were meant for School A to School B.

Rehearse. Now, talk to your mentor or recommender and ask him/her to do a mock interview with you. It is good that you have someone experienced in conducting interviews or have attended business school to ask you some of the typical questions. Each school has their unique set of questions but most of them should cover the followings:

a. Tell me/us about yourself.
b. Tell me/us about your career progression.
c. What did you choose our school and/or our MBA instead of doing in your own country?
d. Why Country X?
e. Why do you need an International MBA?
f. Share with me/us your international working experiences.
g. Why did you choose to do your undergraduate in this school and/or country?
h. If you are not admitted, what would you do?

The above list is not exhaustive. I am sure my fellow GMATers and readers can share more. For some schools, you are thrown more challenging questions or even do a 5- or 10-minute presentation.

Receptive. As a potential business graduate, you must be aware of the events around you - in your country and more so, around the world. Thus, you must read well and able to articulate your opinions/ideas. What are the common themes these days? Global warming, corporate social responsibility and sustainability, financial crisis, corporate ethics, etc. Some schools are strong in a particular area; so, expect some questions that are aligned with the school's current focus.

Now, the final question in most applicants' mind is: Should I do a telephone/video conferencing interview or visit the school? Depends on your budget and your confidence. If you really want to get into that school and have confidence of getting in (after all, you have been called for interview; those not necessary the interview means a likely acceptance), please make that small "investment". Show your sincerity and eagerness. Demonstrate to the Admissions Committee that you have what it takes and a worthy candidate. It is hard to sell yourself to the Admissions Committee over the phone. Body language and your voice play a part in projecting your enthusiasm. It's easier to convince the other party when you meet face-to-face. The same goes for interview with a local alumni.

I wish you all the best in your MBA admission.

Jimmy Low


Anonymous said...

hello, Are there such things as GMAT institutes providing the exam and preparation ? My research so far shows that these are 2 separate enterprises.

mytrainmaster said...

Yes, there are a few GMAT institutes offering GMAT preparation classes. In KL/PJ, I know of two such institutes. One is KL Princeton Review located opposite The Weld, Jalan Raja Chulan and another is GMAT-Zone located at Taman Tun Dr. Ismail.

ICON+ has a centre in Singapore but they might consider offering in KL if the number of students justifies.