Just because you got those RD 1 apps submitted, don’t think that you get to go on a mental vacation now.
You should be using this time to get ready for your interview.
Many people have actually already had their MBA interviews – in which case, we hope that this post does not make you worried. If you took advantage of the Duke Open Interview option, or if you’re applying to Tuck or Kellogg or UNC who interview everybody (within certain parameters) then maybe you’ve already gone through this process. You probably still have a few ahead of you, depending of course on which schools you’ve applied to and what their interview policies are.
We have a gazillion resources available here to help you understand expectations for the MBA interview, and today we’re going to point you to this post from U.S. News about common job interview mistakes . That list would be amusing if they weren’t actually disturbing. (PDF version is here in case that link goes bad in future.)
The mistakes that they point out, and other mainstream job interview tips and tricks, are not all translatable to the bschool interview process (“#50 Failing to ask for the job” obviously is not relevant – and no, you should NOT ask your bschool interviewer to admit you!) – but many are very on-key. It’s not clear if #1 in this list is intended to be “the worst” or #50 is, but they’re all worth reviewing.
#9. Wearing sunglasses.
#10. Wearing a Bluetooth earpiece.
#44. Being too familiar and jokey. [This can often happen with student interviewers.] #28. Bringing along a friend, or your mother.
Apparently in the age of helicopter parents, that last thing actually happens on job interviews now.
Interview mistakes that we often see bschool applicants make? Or even more often, hear about from MBA admissions directors?
#11. Failing to research [the school] in advance.
#12. Failing to demonstrate enthusiasm.
#20. Asking no questions at all.
#21. Being unprepared to answer the standard questions.
#22. Failing to listen carefully to what the interviewer is saying.
#23. Talking more than half the time.
So basically, almost all of them.
Tuck has been offering some truly awesome admissions advice on their blog this year and one post you should definitely check out – regardless of whether you’re applying there or not – is this one on Interview Dos and Don’ts .
Our MBA Interview Guide doesn’t focus on these mistakes so much – though we do go over some common ones. Instead, it maps out a strategy for you to develop your material and gives some important advice on how to PRACTICE. There are also lists of common MBA interview questions, and it guides you towards what to expect from different types of interviewing standards at different schools.
Getting your apps submitted is a major milestone now behind you. Getting ready for the next important step – the interview – is a smart way to spend all that time you’ve apparently got on your hands now. Good luck with it, Brave Supplicant!!