Way back in the 2008 Presidential Primary debates, then-candidate Barack Obama told Hilary Clinton that she was “likeable enough.” That’s what we call a backhanded compliment. But he was pointing to something important, something that you need to be aware of as you now embark on the ever-stressful process of interviewing at bschool.
There’s lots of critical aspects you need to keep in mind as you begin to prepare for your interviews… the first one being that you need to prepare. So many people go into it without a plan. They think they can just wing it. That’s so messed up dude. You worked hard on those essays and you lined up your recommendations and you submitted that puppy, and now you’re going to fritter away this opportunity to impress the interviewer because you think you can wing it? No. You must get ready. You must practice. (EssaySnark can help with that of course – we have lots of interview prep support resources.)
Beyond the material that you need to develop, and the time spent rehearsing it, you should also be aware that interviewers are looking for personality traits. Soft skills. Ability to communicate, and show an interest in another person. All these things we lump together as “EQ”, or emotional intelligence.
This article on Business Insider about such soft skills and how they can be the determining factor in the interview is worth reading.
And in case you were too young to be paying attention to politics at the time, here’s the moment from the debates we mentioned at the top:
In that context, it doesn’t seem so bad that Obama interjected his little comment, but he was completely eviscerated in the media thereafter for being a pompous a$$. He obviously recovered and the world does sorta like the guy (mostly).
The moral of this story? Don’t be like that guy. Skip the flip comments in your interview. Don’t criticize your former boss or colleagues. Pay attention to how you will be received by your audience. Be nice.