Please prepare your answers to these 10 questions for your first mock interview training with Vince
- SELF-INTRODUCTION: Walk me through your resume since university (Strategy - emphasize the choices you have made that led you to your current position) OR Tell me about yourself (quick "snapshot" of your professional and personal life)
- STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES: What are your three greatest strengths and three greatest weaknesses? (Strategy: try to show a range of hard and soft skills)
- TEAMWORK: Tell us about a time that you had to work on a team that did not get along. What happened? What role did you take? What was the result? Based on that example, what would you do if your MBA study team members were not getting along with each other?
- GOALS: What are your short and/or long-term goals? (Strategy: also practice answering if asked in general about your goals w/o the interviewer specifying short or long-term)
- WHY MBA: Why do you need an MBA? (Strategy: give three reasons, balancing hard and soft skills)
- WHY NOW? (Strategy: balance external "pull" and internal "push" factors)
- WHY SCHOOL X? (Strategy: rank your top three reasons PLUS be prepared to discuss "Why School X" in comparison to where else you applied)
- POTENTIAL CONTRIBUTIONS: (Strategy: brainstorm how you can add unique value in classes, study groups, special programs, student clubs, and as an alumni member)
- ONE LAST THING ABOUT YOU: If interviewer says, "Tell me something else about you that you want me to know", you might repeat your fit with their school. On the other hand, if she says, "Surprise me", you might consider mentioning an unusual hobby or "fun fact" that your interviewer would not otherwise guess)
- Q and A: Ask your interviewer three good questions (Strategy: blend fact-based "closed" questions and more subjective "open-ended" questions* to get your interviewer talking about her passion for the school)
*By definition, open-ended questions require full, multiple-word responses (as opposed to fact-based or "yes/no" answers). Open-ended questions generally encourage opinions, elaboration and discussion.
How to Practice The Core 10
I do not encourage you write a full script. (Any significant hours spent writing at this stage is a waste of time!)
Instead, write bullet points.
Use PAR for behavioral (event-based) questions.
PAR stands for Problem-Action-Results; in other words, first you state the problem that existed in your workplace, then you describe what you did about it, and finally you point out the beneficial results.
Here’s an example: “Transformed a disorganized, inefficient warehouse into a smooth-running operation by totally redesigning the layout; this saved the company thousands of dollars in recovered stock.”
Another example: “Improved an engineering company’s obsolete filing system by developing a simple but sophisticated functional-coding system. This saved time and money by recovering valuable, previously lost, project records.”
More templates and tips here
For every hour you spend practicing with Vince or any other mentor / counselor, you should practice 10 hours by yourself.
Use my "mirror method"
Best of luck!
-Updated by Vince on 14 March 2012
I am a graduate admissions consultant who works with clients worldwide
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