MBA Admissions Interview: 35 Practice MBA Interview Questions [Part I]
Posted by Chioma Isiadinso
Looking for practice MBA interview questions to guide your MBA admission interviews prep? Look no further. Listed below are the first 25 key MBA interview questions that you should be prepared to answer.
Click here for 10 more ways to prepare for your upcoming MBA interview.
25 Practice MBA Interview Questions
As you prepare for the big day, go through each of these questions and list out concrete examples to help prove your points.
Tell me about yourself.
Introduce your personal brand and highlight the professional and personal themes that you want to address.
Why have you decided to apply to business school?
Be clear and concrete. You should be able to outline a practical career trajectory and articulate the advancement you expect from your MBA.
Why does this MBA program appeal to you?
Show that you have done your research. Have three or four very specific reasons and highlight any unique resources that you are particularly interested in.
There are so many qualified applicants. Why should we admit you?
Your personal brand is what differentiates you. Focus on your brand themes when answering this question.
What are your short and long-term goals? How do you plan to use your MBA?
Your short-term goals should be concrete and achievable, and your long-term goals should fit well with your passions and personality.
How will you contribute to our campus?
Mention clubs and leaderships opportunities that you are interested in, and highlight any unique passions that you would bring to the student body.
What is your biggest strength? Your biggest weakness?
Choose your weakness carefully. You want it to be genuine and believable, but not so detrimental that it will hurt your candidacy.
What kind of team member are you? Can you give an example?
Come prepared with several examples of how you have successfully worked in teams.
Tell me about a time where you overcame a particularly difficult challenge at work. How did you add value?
Think of an unusual challenge, and be able to explain it concisely, without getting too lost in the details.
What kind of leader are you? Can you give me an example of a time when provided extraordinary leadership?
Again, have several leadership examples ready to go. Ideally, these will be action-based, with tangible results that you can easily prove.
How would you colleagues describe you?
Highlight both professional and personal characteristics that will give an indicator of what kind of classmate you will be.
How would your supervisor describe you?
Remember that your supervisor, in all likelihood, wrote your recommendation. Your response should dovetail with their comments to paint a genuine picture of what you are like at work.
What are you most looking forward to in business school?
This is a great opportunity to show that you are ready for the challenges of business school and that you have thought about how you can use your time wisely.
What do you like most about your current work?
Showcase your passion. What do you absolutely love about your job?
What has been your most challenging or rewarding academic experience so far?
Again, this is a great opportunity to turn the conversation towards something that you are genuinely passionate about. Think about favorite professors, classes and research projects.
Why did you choose to attend your university?
Don’t give a generic answer here. Focus on concrete reasons, and then highlight how your university experience shaped you.
If you are admitted to our program, what do you think your biggest challenge will be?
Prove that you’re aware of the demands of an MBA. Be candid and then explain how you’ll address your new challenge.
Describe a time where you had to adapt to a different culture.
MBA classes are typically very diverse – show that you’re comfortable working with many different types of people and embracing unfamiliar cultures.
Describe a professional failure and how you overcame it.
Pick a legitimate failure – admissions officials do not expect you to be perfect. Then, focus most of your answer on how you overcame that failure. Always end on a positive note.
What are your hobbies?
Be ready to talk about what you like to do outside of work. Admissions officials want to get to know as a person, not just a worker.
What would your friends say about you?
Use this opportunity to highlight the character traits that you most value in yourself and others.
What do you think about [national or international current event]?
It’s always a good idea to read up on current events before an interview, so that you can converse fluently if called upon. Be careful not to get too political- just express an opinion politely and move on.
If you could change one thing about your professional life, what would it be and why?
Keep your changes within the business realm- perhaps a different industry or team within your firm. You do not want your interviewer wondering why you even entered the business world at all.
What do you want to be known for in life?
This is a pretty broad question; use your personal brand themes to anchor your answer. And above all, be sincere. Canned answers will not get you anywhere.
Do you have any questions for me?
This is your chance to address any concerns that you have about the program. You should have at least 2-3 specific questions prepared.
The MBA admissions interview is the final hurdle in the MBA admissions process. About 30-60% of MBA candidates receive an offer after interviewing.
So, while the odds are certainly better than before the interview, your post-interview chances are from certain. Do all that you can to prepare for every eventuality.
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There are a handful of business school essay questions that seem to capture the heart and imagination of many an MBA program.
It seems that, across the board, admissions committees feel these queries offer the best insight into the minds of their applicants. You are likely to see a version of one or more of these common MBA essay questions on your b-school application. These tips will help you craft the perfect answer.
1. Describe your specific career aspirations and your reason for pursuing an MBA.
This may be the most important essay question you tackle. You must convince the admissions committee that you deserve one of their few, cherished spots. Reference your background, skills, and career aspirations, demonstrating how this degree is a bridge to the next step in your professional life. Be sure to speak to how this particular program will help you realize your potential.
It's okay to present modest goals. Deepening your expertise and broadening your perspective are solid reasons for pursuing this degree. If you aspire to lofty goals, like becoming a CEO or starting your own company, be careful to detail a sensible (read: realistic), pragmatic plan.
2. What are your principal interests outside of work or school? What leisure and/or community activities do you particularly enjoy?
There's more to b-school than the library. The best programs buzz with the energy of a student body that is talented and creative and bursting with personality. These students are not just about case studies and careers. Describe how you will be a unique addition to the business school community.
B-school is also a very social experience. Much of the work is done in groups. Weekends are full of social gatherings or immersion experiences, and the networking you do here will impact the rest of your career. Communicate that people, not just your job, are an important part of your life.
3. Who do you most admire?
The admissions committee wants to know the qualities, attributes and strengths you value in others and hope to embrace. Drive, discipline and vision are fine examples but try and look beyond these conventional characteristics. Tell a story and provide specific examples. If you choose someone famous (which is fine), remember that you risk being one of many in the pile. Instead, consider a current boss, business associate, or friend. Know that your choice of person is less important than what you say about him or her.
4. Describe a situation in which you led a team. What challenges did you face, and how did you overcome them?
The committee isn't looking to see how you saved the team through your heroic efforts (so put yourself on ego alert). They want to see how you helped foster an environment in which everyone contributes, illustrating that the sum is greater than its parts. B-schools like leaders, but they like leaders who can help everyone get along and arrive at a collaborative solution.
You should shift gears for this question. Almost the entire application process thus far has asked you to showcase "me-me-me." Now the focus of your story needs to be on the "we" and how you made the "we" happen.
5. Our business school is a diverse environment. How will your experiences contribute to this?
This essay gets at two concerns for the admissions committee: (1) how will you enrich the student body at this school and (2) what is your attitude toward others' diverse backgrounds?
Diversity comes in many shapes. If a grandparent or relative is an immigrant to this country, you can discuss the impact of his or her values on your life. Perhaps you are the first individual in your family to attend college or graduate school. Maybe you are involved in a meaningful or unusual extracurricular activity. Whatever you choose to write, it's vital that you discuss how it contributes to your unique perspective.
6. Describe a personal achievement that has had a significant impact on your life.
Don't pull your hair out just because you haven't founded a successful start-up or swum across the English Channel. Smaller accomplishments with a lot of personal significance are just fine if they demonstrate character, sacrifice, humility, dedication, or perseverance. A good essay describes how you reached a personal objective and what that meant to you. Maybe you didn't lead a sports team to a victory. Maybe the victory was that you made it onto the team .
7. Discuss a non-academic personal failure. What did you learn from the experience?
Many applicants make the mistake of answering this question with a failure that is really a positive. Or they never really answer the question, fearful that any admission of failure will throw their whole candidacy into jeopardy. Don't get crafty. You should answer with a genuine mistake that the committee will recognize as authentic.
Write about a failure that had some high stakes for you. Demonstrate what you learned from your mistake and how it helped you mature. This is a chance to show b-schools your ability to be honest, show accountability, and face your failures head-on.
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