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Published on March 30th, 2013 | by KelliCooper

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Tips for Acing Your MBA Admissions Interview

If you are preparing for your MBA admissions interview, it means you cleared the initial hurdle and you have a real shot at getting into your desired schools. You look good on paper and now the school wants to see you in the flesh to get a more rounded picture of who you really are. This process can be a  bit nerve-wracking as this aspect of the application process can truly make or break you. Here are some tips for preparing for this all-important interview.

Prepare

While you cannot know for sure what the interviewers are going to ask, there are some key points that they are likely to hit on, and you want to make sure you have well-thought out, confident answers for questions regarding achievements, challenges you have overcome, career plans, why you want an MBA and why you want it from this particular school. Review your application thoroughly to pinpoint areas where the school is likely to want elaboration—for example, why did you make a particular career change or why you did not get a recommendation from your last job? You also want to think of five key points you want to make sure you address during the interview—your strongest selling points; this way, you will not be kicking yourself after for not brining something up because the interviewer did not happen to ask a specific question directly related to the point.

You can find many forums, message boards,etc…where people share their MBA interview experiences—reviewing these sites can be very helpful in knowing what type of questions you may expect and the general  interview process.

Maintain Good Eye Contact

Failure to maintain eye contact can indicate a number of things, none of which are good for trying to get accepted into a competitive MBA program—it can be perceived as a lack of confidence or trying to hide something, according to one MBA admissions dean from one of the top business schools in the country. MBA programs are looking to develop future business leaders, and key ingredients in the equation are trust and confidence.

Use the STAR Method for Answering Questions Effectively

MBA admissions officers are looking for very specific information when asking ‘’situational questions’’ such as describing a time you led a team or how you handled a particular challenge at your job. It can be all too easy to ramble on or get off course with the answer; this is where the STAR method comes in. It stands for situation, task, action, result and these are the four points to hit on when answering the question.  Including all four points ensures a complete answer and helps you organize your thoughts in a coherent way.

Prepare Questions of Your Own

Perception is everything and a MBA candidate who has zero questions during the admissions interview may be seen as having a lack of interest or being ill-prepared . So do not blow it at the end by saying you do not have any questions; you also want to avoid asking questions that you could have easily found out elsewhere. Prepare at least five solid questions; inquire more about the curriculum and internships in your area of interest and how the faculty and staff interact; your questions should show you did extensive research about the school. You may also inquire about special interests and how the school can help you pursue them or about an area of faculty research.

Ryan Biddulph blogs about all things business from how to pick an MBA major to how to start your own company; if you are interested in pursuing your business education online, he suggests visiting http://www.onlinebusinessprograms.net/ for more information.

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