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Elizabeth A. Davis

7 Tips For Acing Your MBA Admissions Interview

by Elizabeth Davis Thursday, February 26, 2015

You’re done! You’ve submitted your application to the Wisconsin MBA and now all that’s left to do is…wait. While waiting, according to Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, is the hardest part, this free time does provide prospective students ample opportunity to prepare for the last piece of the admissions process. A few weeks after the application deadline applicants will hear whether they’ve been offered an opportunity to interview for the Wisconsin MBA Class of 2017. The interview is a chance to tie all of the pieces of your application together and tell your story. Here are some insider tips as how to best approach the interview.

1.       1. Review Your Application Materials

I know it sounds like common sense, but reviewing what you’ve written in your application should be the first place you start when preparing for your MBA admissions interview. The admissions committee has studied your application and has had time to prepare questions surrounding your essay, resume, test scores, transcripts, and recommendations. 

2.       2. Treat It Like a Job Interview

Your MBA interview is structured very similarly to a job interview and, as such, you should be preparing for your admissions interview in a comparable fashion. Be prepared to answer questions about your professional experiences, and give examples that support your answers and capabilities. The admissions committee will most likely ask you some questions about your strengths, weaknesses, leadership experiences, and goals. When answering these questions, it’s important to explain the situation you faced, the actions that you took, and the results of your actions. Prepare a few stories in advance that can address these topics.

3.       3. Why an MBA?

During the interview you should be able to explain why pursuing your MBA at this point in your career is essential to your long-term and short-term goals. Being able to answer this question is an essential building block of the admissions interview.  Additionally, the decision to go back to school full-time isn’t one to take lightly, and the admissions committee wants to make sure that you’ve really thought this decision through.

4.       4. Why Wisconsin?

What is it about the Wisconsin MBA that made you apply? How will the specialized model help you advance in your career? It’s important to articulate why you have chosen to apply to our program, and identify what you will add to the community.

5.       5. Be Prepared to Answer Questions about Your Past

While reviewing your application, it’s in your best interest to identify any areas where the admissions committee might have additional questions. Did you have a rough first semester of college? Is your GMAT score not where you want it to be? Did you have a gap in employment? If you already addressed a part of your application in the optional essay- great! The committee will already have an idea of your experience and point of view. That being said, we will probably still address the matter in the interview. Therefore, prepare how you will answer these more personal questions.  

6.       6. Ask questions

The admissions interview is an opportunity for the applicant to discern whether the Wisconsin MBA is the right fit for them. It’s important to use this time to address any last minute questions you may have about the program. As in any job interview, we appreciate and expect your questions to confirm you are engaged in this process.

7.       7. Relax!

The admissions interview is, at its core, a conversation. The admissions team looks at the interview as an opportunity for us to get to know you a little bit better and vice versa. We aren’t trying to increase your stress levels or make you feel anxious. We are excited about getting to know you on a deeper level, and genuinely look forward to hearing your story!

Want further information about how to be successful in the admissions interview? Join Maria Reis, Assistant Director of the Wisconsin MBA, on March 25, 2015, for an information roundtable session on the subject. Please visit our website for more information and to register.