We already cautioned you on 10 Things Not to Do in Your MBA Interview and today’s advice is perhaps more universal. It’s about the things that people do in high-stress situations, including basically any type of presentation or even just when having the floor in a meeting with colleagues and seniors.
Some of these things you may not even know that you do. Some are like those verbal tics that you might observe when someone is speaking. They tend to be more pronounced when you’re nervous, or unprepared.
Not everyone will notice if you do them — but some people are hypersensitive when they are exposed to these habits. For the hypersensitive type, if you do these things in your interview, your interviewer might be unreasonably annoyed. Not your fault if they are, but anything you can do to make your interview come across as professional and polished will end up in your favor.
Here’s one habit we see lots of times, predominantly in younger people though not exlusively. It’s called up-speak, where every sentence ends with a question mark. This is a brief overview of the issue which offers advice on how to change it.
Verbal tics are those filler words (um, ah, like) that we use when we don’t really know what to say. One way to help with this is starting now — today — slow down your speech when you’re talking to people. Listen for the words that you use, and the way that you use them.
Here’s more tips to build awareness of speech patterns which is really the key to all of this.
This video has an interesting perspective that captures a lot of these points:
Want to read more? Here’s a bunch of other resources to help you build this self-awareness and feel more confident when you’re communicating verbally.
The best antidote to protect yourself from these issues is to be prepared when you go into the interview, to practice through enough mock interviews that you are confident on your content, to get enough sleep the night before, and leave enough time to get to the venue where your interview is being held so you’re not rushed or hyperventilating because you’re so late, and to remember to breathe. Your interviewer is more likely than not going to be friendly and they typically are genuinely interested in meeting you and learning more about who you are and why you’re interested in an MBA from their school. We’re not going to try and tell you to relax, since that’s a fairly ridiculous thing to advise. But if you’ve done the groundwork and you know why you’re there, and what you have to offer as a candidate, the interview itself should not be overly traumatic of an experience.
We wish you all the luck in the world, BSer! Can’t wait to hear how it goes!!!!