MBA Interview Preparation

MBA Interview Preparation

Almost all top business schools require an MBA interview from every applicant they will eventually admit. This interview gives admissions committees the opportunity to assess your career focus, communication skills, sociability, and gravitas and to determine whether you are who you say you are. The MBA interview complements the other MBA Application Components.

Your MBAPrepAdvantage Interview Preparation Service includes a Skype mock interview that optimally prepares you for both the actual content of the MBA interview and for using optimal body language. We review your “elevator pitch” and examine your capacity to handle wide-ranging questions about your career goals, strengths/weaknesses, leadership skills, managerial potential, etc. We also give you oddball questions designed to test your composure and ability to think on your feet.

MBA Interview Formats

Additionally, we prepare you for whether an admissions officer, student or alumnus interviews you and for the various MBA interview formats used by different business school (which often reveals valuable insight about how these schools evaluate applicants). An MIT Sloan MBA interview will ask emphasizes behavioral questions, which focus on your actions in past events rather than hypothetical situations. Questions often begin with “Tell me about a time …” This emphasis on behavioral questions is consistent with the competency-model used by MIT Sloan to evaluate applicants. Wharton conducts its MBA interview in two parts, consisting of a team-based discussion and then a standard one-on-one conversation. While most business schools conduct these interviews blind (i.e. your interviewer will have not first read your application), HBS is an exception. You can expect your interviewer to probe deeper into different areas of your overall profile after having first read your application.

MBA Interview Policy Comparison (2015)

School Name Scheduled Blind Focus Length Interviewer Location Additional
HBS No (Invitation) No Application 30 min Admissions On Campus Post Interview Reflection
Off Campus ~50% Admitted
MIT Sloan No (Invitation) Yes Behavior event-based interview (BEI)"The MIT Sloan MBA Admissions Committee conducts Behavioral event-based interviews. The concept behind the Behavioral event-based interview (BEI) is that past behavior is a reliable indicator of the future response in a similar situation. The BEI is different from traditional screening interviews: (1) The interview will be a structured process that will concentrate on areas that are important to the interviewer, rather than allowing you to concentrate on areas that you may feel are important. (2) Instead of asking how you would behave in a particular situation, the interviewer will ask how you did behave. (3) Expect your interviewer to question and probe your answers. (4) The interviewer will ask you to provide details and will not allow you to theorize or generalize about several events. (5) You may not get a chance to deliver any prepared stories. (6) Most interviewers will be taking copious notes throughout the interview." 30-45 min Admissions On Campus Short Answer"A short-answer question will be asked of those invited to interview: The mission of the MIT Sloan School of Management is to develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world and to generate ideas that advance management practice. Please share with us something about your past that aligns with this mission. (250 words or fewer). Details for submitting your essay will be included in the interview invitation."
Off Campus
Northwestern Kellogg YesKellogg asks "all applicants to indicate their preference for an on-campus or off-campus interview in their application. All interviews are considered equally, regardless of the format. Please note all interview request locations are final." Yes Criteria"The interview provides an opportunity for you to learn more about our program. It also allows the Admissions Committee to further evaluate your interpersonal and communication skills, career focus and motivations for the Kellogg MBA." 30-45 min Admissions On Campus"On-campus interviews may be scheduled after you submit a completed application. Interview slots are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. Schedule your interview as soon as possible to secure your desired date. Interviews are conducted Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and select Saturdays. On-campus interviews typically last 30-45 min."
Alumni Off Campus"If you request an off-campus interview, you will be notified of your assignment or waiver via email within four to six weeks from the application deadline. Off-campus interviews are conducted by members of Kellogg’s Alumni Admissions Organization."
Admissions Phone or Skype"If your interview is waived, the admissions committee may contact you to schedule a phone or Skype interview. If you receive a waiver, you may not request a phone or Skype interview."
Stanford GSB No (Invitation) Yes Behavior event-based interview (BEI)"The interview focuses on past actions rather than on hypothetical situations. The primary questions revolve around attitudes, behaviors, and skills that we believe are key to good citizenship in the Stanford community and vital to high-impact leadership post-MBA. We ask you to reflect on your personal and professional experiences, what you’ve learned about yourself, and how best to lead people and manage situations. Take advantage of this opportunity to think about the people, situations, and events that have shaped you. We do not provide interview feedback." 45 min Admissions On Campus ~1000 applicants interviewed
Alumni Off Campus
Wharton No (Invitation) Yes Team-based discussion 45 min Admissions On Campus
Individual 15 min Alumni Select Major Cities

MBA Interview Content

  • Have you prepared a 2-3 minute “branding message” or “elevator pitch” that quickly summarizes your background in a manner compelling to the listener without bogging down in any one particular area?
  • Are you prepared to answer expected commonly asked questions?
    • Why do you want an MBA?
    • What are your short-term and long-term career goals?
    • Tell me about a time you made an impact?
  • Are you prepared to handle the different interview formats that vary per school?
  • Do you know how to avoid “red flags” that could torpedo your interview?
    • These red flags are usually revealed in answering questions related to professional and personal failures, workplace conflicts, difficult circumstances, etc.
  • Do you know what type of questions to ask your interview in order to build a positive impression?

MBA Interview Delivery

We use Skype for all mock MBA Interviews to effectively coach you on using optimal body language.

  • Are you maintaining an appropriate level of eye contact?
  • Are you conveying confidence in your body posture?
  • Do your facial expressions and reveal positive emotions?
  • Do your hand gestures complement your content rather than distract from it?

To discover more about how MBAPrepAdvantage’s MBA Interview Preparation and other services can help you gain admittance into your top MBA program, visit our Business School Consulting Services and Fees page.