9 MBA Interview Tips: Preparing for Success

MBA interview preparation tips

Doing MBA interview prep can be a bit overwhelming. From what to say to how to dress, there are a number of factors that contribute to a successful interview. Below we have given you eight MBA interview tips that will help you to be confident from the moment you walk in the door.

1. Prepare Your Responses Ahead of Time

Just as you would with any interview, whether for a job or for an admissions process, you should prepare what you want to say beforehand. Assemble a list of questions that MBA interviewers typically ask, and make sure that you are able to come up with an answer to each question that is articulate and showcases your strengths.

2. Know the Program

Before going into your interview, you should know the specifics about the MBA program, from the school environment to the curriculum and academic requirements. Not only is it useful to be aware of what you are getting yourself into prior to enrolling, but your interviewer may even ask you specific questions pertaining to the program.

3. Research Your Interviewer

You will want to make sure you know who the person conducting your interview will be. If it is an admissions offer, be sure to discuss the highlights of your accomplishments. If it is a current student, the tone will be more collegial and you can focus on what you think you will bring to campus. If it is an alumnus, learn what you can about your specific interviewer so that you can tailor your responses to their interests when possible.

4. Practice with a Mock Interview

Practice makes perfect when it comes to MBA interview preparation. You want to make sure to sound as natural, as confident, and as full of information as possible, and this can be difficult to do on the fly. Try to practice with someone who be able to give you helpful feedback. Also, have your mock interviewer throw out a few “surprise” questions so that you have the opportunity to give some answers off the cuff.

5. Keep Your Answers to the Point

Keep answers to one or two minutes, which is enough to convey a clear message. If the interviewer wants to know more, he or she will ask for additional information. This rule of thumb will help to make sure that you do not ramble or get off course in the interview.

6. Ask Smart Questions

Asking questions gives you an opportunity to make a good impression and learn more about the program. Prepare specific questions beforehand, such as, “In your opinion, what sets the school apart?” or “How have you benefited from attending this specific school?” Do not be afraid to ask questions or to ask for clarification of things that come up in the interview. Also, you can end your interview by asking if there is anything else that you can further address regarding your application.

7. Dress for Success

It is always important in any interview setting to dress professionally. Neutral suits are typically a good choice. Women can wear either pant or skirt suits that fall at or below the knee. Men should always wear a tie. Make sure that whatever you choose to wear fits well, and keep accessories simple.

8. Act Professional

Professionalism is apparent from the moment you walk in the door so be sure to make good eye contact and start out with a firm handshake. Do not be late, avoid slang, and minimize the use of filler words like “um” or “like” throughout the course of the interview. Follow up on your interview by sending a thank you note—handwritten and in the mail whenever possible.

9. Be Confident

Business schools want to accept confident students who will become successful professionals. Start preparing in advance and a natural amount of confidence will come just from knowing what to expect when you walk in the door. During your interview, focus on your strengths in order to keep from getting too nervous and remember that you are interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing you.

As you can see, doing MBA interview prep does not have to be a daunting or overwhelming process. By following our MBA interview tips, thoughtfully considering what you want to communicate, and practicing what you want to get across in advance, you can walk out of your MBA interview feeling accomplished and confident.