One of the most nerve racking parts of the application process is the interview. Whether in person, or over webcam, it’s easy to feel put on the spot. But really, all the interview is a way for someone from the admissions team to get to know you as a person, not just a name on a page.
Here are 7 steps to make sure you do the interview just right:
1 • Get to know your audience
Otherwise known as “Socially Acceptable Cyber Stalking”. All jokes aside, it’s important to know who you are interviewing with. Getting to know their interests and their background will help you to stand out. If you both have something in common, use it to your advantage! If the interviewer feels a connection with you, they are more likely to support you during the admission process.
2 • Look Sharp, Be Confident and Wear Blue
You know the phrase: Dress for success. Even if it is a Skype interview. Don’t think that this is vain. More often than not, if you take pride in the way that you look, interviewers will translate that into someone who will take pride in their work as well.
A good dose of confidence will be your best accessory. Speak clearly, keep eye contact and always bring a positive attitude to everything you say.
Wear something blue. According to a study by CareerBuilder.com, the colour blue was the most recommended colour by employers. It’s associated with leadership and being a team player. Two qualities business schools like MIP really value.
3 • How can the MBA help you?
Why is it that you want to do an MBA? Why this particular program over others? What is it that you want to achieve in your career and how can the MBA help you? You’ve answered these questions in your written application, but now is your chance to say this face to face.
4 • How can YOU help the MBA?
Don’t be afraid to sell yourself. What about you? What qualities do you have that you can add to the MBA program? Remember to be confident but don’t be cocky; arrogance never works, no matter the situation.
5 • Be Honest
If you are unsure, or don’t know the answer to the interviewer’s questions, be honest. You’ll be asked what your weaknesses are, and it’s never a good idea to lie. In my case, quantitative skills were not my strong suit. I was up front about it when asked, but made sure to be positive about wanting to improve this flaw, and that MIP was the best place for me to do so.
6 • Ask Questions
Before the interview, come up with a list of questions to ask. But don’t keep it to just about the MBA. The interviewer is someone who works at the school where you want to be. Ask them about how they came to work for the programme. What are the aspects about the school that appealed to them? It makes the interview more personal and they will be happy to answer questions about themselves for a change.
7 • Follow-up with a Thank You
As with any good interview, you’re going to want to follow up. After the interview, send an email, thanking the interviewer for their time. It demonstrates that you are aware of the time and effort taken by this member of the admissions team.
Good manners will get you everywhere.