Getting the MBA Edge: Step 7 – The Interview

Getting MBA Edge Step 7 - Interviews

(This 7-step MBA Admissions series is produced by Fortuna Admissions, a team of former Directors of Admissions from Wharton, INSEAD, Chicago Booth, London Business School, IE and UC Berkeley Haas).

Interviewing is a lot like dancing. You should probably dress up for it, learn the steps beforehand, and know who is “leading” during the dance itself. Here’s our tip: YOU are NOT the leader. One of the biggest complaints we’ve read in interview reports over the years is that the applicant did not know when to stop answering a particular question, or tried to steer the conversation into topics that they wanted to discuss, or simply did not get any of the verbal/non verbal interviewer cues. So while you should go into your interview being comfortable with “your story” without being over-rehearsed, you need to follow the lead from the person sitting across the table from you! The most uncomfortable interviews are when the applicant has an agenda, and is hell-bent on following that script. It can turn a perfectly enjoyable discussion into one that can’t end quickly enough.

While it may seem that going through interview questions beforehand is a waste of time, since you know yourself pretty well by this point in your life, you will want to work with an experienced Fortuna Admissions interviewer and practice the kinds of common interview questions. Under no circumstances do you want to go into your school interview cold, being surprised by how the conversation goes, and not able to think on your feet. A few “dress rehearsals” in which you get your story straight, and become comfortable sharing that story, will help you immeasurably.

Fortuna’s Interview Experts will brief you on what to expect, and then conduct two mock interviews via Skype, providing feedback and coaching to enhance performance. Our goal is to make you an interview ready, not over rehearsed candidate, who can speak with confidence, reflect on past experiences and clearly convey your future potential. The Fortuna team have conducted thousands of real admissions interviews worldwide and can provide you with invaluable insights and coaching, to enable you to make the best possible impression during that crucial interview.

Don’t forget to take a pause before answering each question, so that you can gather your thoughts to present them in an orderly fashion. Take a bottle or glass of water with you so that you can sip it if you need to. Do not, under any circumstances, fidget with your resume, your pen, or your hair! In fact, while it is comforting to have your resume with you, and you will have copies to give to your interviewer, we suggest not referring to it during the conversation. It can become almost like a life buoy, and the interviewer really wants to see you make eye contact, not bobbing up and down to refresh your memory. It’s your life story after all; you should be familiar with it by now!

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