Interview basics for MBA Admissions

Business schools have various ways to assess students during the admission process. GMAT scores, personal statements, work experience – each institution has different requirements, standards, and expectations. All the schools vary greatly in their admission process but some of them are common.

Although the preparation is in the hands of the candidate most schools provide their candidates with some opportunity to meet with officials. Some institutions create conferences that are invitation-only. Others like to meet with each applicant, individually. Regardless of the school’s method, most MBA-bound students must partake in a personal interview with a representative.

Such sessions like GDPI are two way. They not only help you to know about the college but also helps the officials to assess the applicants individually as well as in group. Regardless of the school’s method, most MBA-bound students must partake in a personal interview with a representative.

In our earlier articles, we have talked about Group Discussion. This articles presents some tips on Personal Interview. It may be 30-60 minutes session with an interviewer or more than one panel members. Even though the interview can be nerve-wracking, the opportunity to meet a representative face-to-face is very advantageous. Through a personal conference, you can fully convey your personality and business perspective. After all, you are more than just a candidate number; you extend beyond a written application. As a prospective MBA student, you can also pose questions to the representative about the school and clear your doubts.

Interview is not the only determinant but it is a deciding factor towards your admission. it will not singlehandedly determine your admissions status. But, it can give you a great edge. As you prepare for the interview, keep these tips in mind.

Personal Appearance 

  • When it comes to an interview, personal appearance is absolutely essential. Your image is important because it creates the interviewer’s first impression of you. Facial expressions, clothing, body language, attitude – everything is fair game.
  • Naturally, you want the representative to see you as a bright and capable candidate.
  • So dress for success. The interview is professional and serious — your clothes and shoes should also be formal and modest. A proper, business suit is the best way to go. Additionally, girls should ensure that their attire is not revealing in any way, as this can poorly reflect upon them.
  • Manage skin, hair, and nails. Yes, even these minor details count. Women should wear minimal makeup. Hair should always be groomed. Make sure your hands are clean and well-kept. Dirty fingernails look vulgar and distasteful. Chapstick is also important: dried, peeling lips are unattractive.
  • Smile during the interview. A smiling person seems warm, and optimistic; representatives look for these positive attributes in their candidates.
  • Do not ever chew gum. Gum is careless, distracting, and disrespectful – it will not bode well for you.
  • When speaking to the interviewer, be aware of your body language and posture. Do not fidget, or appear distracted. Lean forward, nod frequently, and maintain eye-contact. You want to look enthusiastic and attentive; these qualities will best convey your interest in the MBA program.


  • In the interview, you need to prove that you are thoughtful and organized. So come well-prepared to the conference:
  • Practice answers for typical interview questions. How will an MBA allow you to fulfill your career goals? What can this particular program offer you? While you should think deeply about these questions, you should not memorize answers to them. Your conversation must be natural, not scripted.
  • Come up with 3-5 particular questions you have for the interviewer about the business school. Make sure to ask questions that are not easily available on the school website or brochure. Specific enquiries will show the representative that you are serious about the program, and personally invested in your future.
  • Do not begin your preparations at the last minute. If you start earlier, you will feel more comfortable during the interview. 

The Conversation 

  • Of course, the interview itself is the most important factor to consider:
  • Do not show up late to the meeting. Tardiness conveys carelessness, and a lack of interest. Try to arrive 10 minutes early. Make sure you know the directions to the location ahead of time.
  • Turn off your cell phone. You should not receive any calls during the interview – a ringing cell phone is disruptive and rude.
  • When you meet the interviewer, shake their hand firmly, and greet them by their title and last name. Pronounce their name correctly – this will show the representative that you are conscientious. Wait to be offered a seat, before sitting down.
  • During your conversation, emphasize your past work experience, business potential, and future career goals. Try to highlight details that are not apparent in your application.
  • Engage your interviewer, and speak confidently. But, do not come across as self-proud; representatives are turned off by arrogant candidates.
  • Do not give yes or no answers. State your ideas, and then elaborate, using anecdotes or other examples. Asian applicants are modest in mannerism, and often have trouble doing this. Try practicing interviews with family and friends, and get into the habit of explain yourself in greater detail.
  • Make sure you ask pertinent questions about the business school. Specific questions will prove your desire to attend the MBA program.
  • Do not use slang, or informal language. Try to speak formally and eloquently. Do not sound rehearsed; the conversation should be fluid, and natural.
  • At the end of the interview, reiterate your interest in the business school. Thank the interviewer for their time and consideration. Do not forget their name!
  • After the conference, promptly send a thank you letter to the representative. This simple gesture will be well received.

Finally – take a deep breath, relax, and be yourself.

You are intelligent, capable, and interesting.

If you dress smart, and speak well, the interviewer will definitely think highly of you.



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