On average, about 50% of applicants are rejected during an MBA interview round. So, congratulations if you’ve been contacted for an interview; nevertheless, the true test begins now.
An interview is a crucial MBA screening stage, during which you will be thoroughly questioned by the interviewers and the admission committee to see if you are a fit for the course and university. Therefore, it is important to prepare for the MBA interview in advance and be ready to answer the questions.
Some Common ‘Why’ Type MBA Questions
The most common MBA interview question is “why MBA” or Why Do you Want to Do MBA. Here, the interviewer wants to know why you wish to pursue an MBA and how it can help you in your career and life. Avoid giving one reason only. Provide the interviewer with multiple reasons to pursue an MBA like:
- To develop a network of future leaders and managers.
- Seek to improve my existing skills, and enter a new domain.
- For career advancement
- To develop leadership skills
The key to acing this question is being genuine and showing the admission committee that you see real value in an MBA program. Another important thing to keep in mind is to be specific. Try and be specific on how an MBA program will help you. Lastly, be confident and keep it brief. Remember, the interview usually lasts for about 30 minutes to an hour, and there will be many other questions the interviewer wants to get into. So prepare it well because a good answer can help you stand out in the interview and increase your selection chances.
Why Do You Want to pursue an MBA from ‘This’ University?
This question is usually asked to check if you are interested in the course and have any knowledge about the college. Share your life experiences and goals and how the institution may assist you in achieving them. Discuss the professors’ teaching styles, career placements, the university’s reputation, and what you expect from the university and course. Again be brief but specific. Researching about the institute and how it stands out will help you connect it to your goals.
Why Do You Want to Pursue an MBA Now?
This is a crucial question and often a follow-up question to why MBA. Here the admission committee wants to connect the dots between your past and your future. So the best way to answer this question is to talk about your past experience, your future goals and how an MBA degree right now can help you bridge the gap.
Remember, when talking about your past experience, while you may need to inform the interviewer about the gaps, avoid being negative or regretful.
Why Should We Select You?
This is a common interview trap in which the interviewers want to discover how confident you are and why are you the best candidate for the school. Mentioning your abilities and how you will contribute to the university is the ideal way to answer such questions. Make sure your response gives them the impression that you are a good investment for the university.
Preparing for the Possible Follow Up Questions
After the interviewee has given their initial response, many interviewers offer follow-up questions. Prepare for possible follow-up questions in the following manner:
- Look for various paths that an answer to an interview question could follow while preparing for it. For instance:
- If you described an occurrence in response to an interview question, the follow-up question could be about that incident.
- The follow-up inquiry could be regarding the source of information if you discuss the university’s placement record.
- In the mock interviews, ask your family and friends to ask multiple follow-up questions.
- Research about general follow-up questions that are frequently asked in an MBA interview. For instance, some of the follow-up questions after you’ve answered Why MBA could be – Why not work and gain a little more experience and then do an MBA? But Why MBA and Not XYZ program?
Tips To Answer ‘Why’ MBA Interview Questions
You’re only one step away from being accepted. Therefore it’s critical that you impress the interviewers. Here are some MBA interview tips to ensure that you make a good impression during the interview.
- Try mentioning your personal experiences to make the answer more personalized and to show your interest in the course.
- Research about the university, as the interviewers would want you to be knowledgeable about the course and university to which you are applying. Look for recent events at the university, as well as the placement record.
- Go through the submitted resume so that you can respond to any questions that interviewers may ask about the work experience and skills listed.
- While mentioning the strengths, give real-life examples of the strengths.
- Include facts about the university’s placement record and overall ranking when answering the ‘Why our university’ question.
- Try to find out what types of applicants the university frequently selects and include those talents and skills in your answer to the reasons for your selection.
[READ: Success Story – How Preparing for Interview Helped an MBA Applicant Get Scholarship in a Top MBA School]
Acing the MBA Interview
Use the following tips to ace an MBA interview:
- Ask Questions: You can use the interview to ask questions about the programme, demonstrating your preparation, curiosity and interest in the university.
- Research Very Well: Make sure you research about the MBA program, the institute and its faculty very well. Go through some of the latest PRs released by the school, as that will help you get an idea of the most recent developments.
- Prepare and Practice well: Interviewers can detect if you’re being honest or just regurgitating sentences right away. Work on mock interviews with your mentors, family members and friends, practising the frequent MBA interview questions.
- Relax and Smile: Treat the interview as a normal conversation in which the interviewer is interested in learning more about you. Keep a smile on your face throughout the interview.
- Keep it Positive: There are many times you may need to highlight your weaknesses or even gaps in your career. Remember to keep the overall tone positive and reflect back on how your career path has been rewarding so far.
Lastly, remember to avoid some common mistakes. Look at this video where I share some common mistakes you must avoid.
MBA interview is a critical part of the admission process, so practice these common ‘Why’ type questions in advance to answer fluently in the interview. Relax, be authentic, and don’t be nervous; that is the best piece of advice to ace an MBA interview.
All the best!