Based on the title of this post, you may think that EssaySnark is just being friendly. Oh no, ma cherie. We are talking about interviewing!!! There are so many basic questions that can so thoroughly trip up an unsuspecting (aka unprepared) BSer. Your interview, as you know, is your time to shine. As we’ve been…
Here’s a quick-hit rando assortment of advice, warnings, and some rebuttals to that advice that will give you
fodder for procrastination on ideas for reflection when prepping for your interview. We’ve collected these links over a period of time and rather than trying to distill them into a snarkolicious post of our own, we figured we’d just give you a direct line to the source. These are almost all written for job interviews so adapt where needed.
Hope this is helpful!
- Interviewing? Slow down – and practice becoming more aware of your use of filler words (um, ah, like)
- And a rebuttal to some of that advice about words like “like” (based on gender/generation)
- Great interview tips from HEC alum
- Excellent advice for when you mess up during an interview
- Play-act your interview prep as a rehearsal for your big moment
- Some behavioral questions to practice with – preparing for these types of questions in your interview lets you share more substance
- Language matters in your interview
- Did you REALLY ace the interview?
- A little basic but still worth remembering: Interview etiquette
This post has little to do with Harvard, even though many if not most of you applicants will be Harvard-focused today. This post has everything to do with how you talk about your future post-MBA goals. The reason it has little to do with Harvard is that career goals may or may not come up…
Interview invitations are coming hot and heavy right now – congrats to all of you who’ve landed one so far! Exciting times!
So what do you need to do to get ready?
First of all — the most important advice we can offer — you need to PRACTICE. Please do not underestimate the importance of prep at this stage!
That’s not all you need though.
But no worries, you’re likely to find this one exciting! Because you’ve already gotten the interview and that should give you some spring in your step and some renewed vigor and motivation, and this essay (which hopefully is your last!) likely won’t be quite as grueling an experience.
Or…. maybe not. 🙂
The questions that Booth and MIT ask aren’t that easy, and you need to get those essays done pretty fast. The Harvard one has to get done even faster, with only 24 hours after the interview to submit your Post-Interview Reflection. We touch on the Harvard assignment very briefly in our Harvard MBA Application Guide; it’s only a few pages so we’re not saying you should buy it just for this part since it’s admittedly a bit limited, though in its entirety, it could possibly be helpful as an overall resource for identifying your content for the interview. Same deal with Chicago Booth: We have a section in the Booth MBA Application Guide but it’s more of an overview. If you already have the Booth guide then definitely study it now that you’re in this position of interviewing! But we’re not really recommending that someone pick it up only for insights into how to write the essay itself (still likely valuable overall, we just don’t want to misrepresent how much content there is on this specific piece).
For MIT however, we do go into some depth on the “mission” essay in our MIT Sloan MBA Application Guide so that one can be particularly useful in taking advantage of this important interview-essay opportunity.
(If you had previously purchased one of these guides this season and your subscription expired, you can get it reactivated for cheap – please reach out and Team EssaySnark will help you out.)
And now brand-new to help many of you:
We’ve just launched the Interview Express Essay Review to specifically support those of you writing essays in conjunction with the interview experience at Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan, or Chicago Booth.
The Interview Express Essay Decimator gives you super fast feedback and most important, we read through your full application, and consider your topic in the context of everything else you’ve already presented to your school. You don’t get any feedback on the app itself but we do incorporate the whole pitch into our recommendations about your essay.
We also have the Custom Interview Questions service for any interviews conducted by the admissions committee, where your interviewer has read your entire application before they meet you. This is specifically for HBS but also ideal and optimized for MIT or NYU, and can be useful for other schools like LBS or INSEAD or many others as well (even for blind interviews!). It lets you practice questions specific to you and your own situation. We hear it’s invaluable!
And of course for everyone and anyone going for the interview at any school in the world, the most obvious resource of all: This blahg and all of our posts on interviewing, and our MBA Interviewing Guide which is super cheap and you practically can’t afford NOT to get it!
We wish you great good luck at this stage! You’ve come so far — now just one more big opportunity to impress the adcoms!!! Let us know if we can help and we can’t wait to hear it turns out for you!
Wow! The first month of 2019 is almost over! Can you believe that just four weeks ago you were pulling your hair out in your own personal version of essay h3ll?
Many of you have thrown your hat into the ring for HBS and the Admissions Director of Harvard Business School has already mapped out what is gunna happen this week with Round 2 interview invites and we capture plenty o’ details in the interviewing section of our Harvard MBA info page but let’s offer up the Cliff’s Notes for all of you here. You’re invited to spend time looking at the details over there, including the always-fascinating data on how many folks get in post-interview. (Those ratios are unaffected by the shady HBS data reporting practices we talked about last week.)
Here’s the ultra blunt version of the Rd 2 HBS interview cycle:
1. Most of you will not get an interview invitation today.
2. Most of you will not get an interview invitation on Wednesday.
But we have other news too!
Many of you WILL get interview invites at other Round 2 schools you have tried for.
This will typically come AFTER you go through a massive emotional upheaval this week over Harvard.
It’s an unfortunate artifact of the Harvard process that their invites come before most other schools.
If Round 2 was your first apps, then this may hit you particularly hard. If you already tried at other places in Round 1 (especially if you made it in at one or more of those, and your Rd 2 HBS app was an attempt to trade up) then it’s not likely to be quite so debilitating. You’ve been round this roller coaster before. You know how it works.
But yeah. The rejection from any school stings, and it can especially sting if you’re a well-qualified candidate who deserves to make it in somewhere good, and you’ve not yet experienced the crushing blow of an app that’s rejected.
So. Today is simply to help you try to manage expectations.
We’ve written about all of this before, and these posts from the ‘snarchives may be worth spending time on today:
How Harvard’s interview invitations work (2017 Rd 1 edition but largely the same as today)
- The major problem with the way Harvard Business School manages admissions.
- HBS Mid-Cycle Decisions and the Moods of a BSer
And optimistically we’ll also post this. ‘Cuz you know just in case. 🙂
Oh yeah also: If you’re in the Further Consideration bucket from Round 1, you’re gunna get movement on that app this week! Fingers crossed all of you FC’ed folks get the invite!!!
And, if you land the golden ticket, we’ve got a perfect tool to help you get ready! Custom interview questions developed just for you and your personal interview prep process! Our interviewing guide might also come in handy.
If you get the invite, we do hope you’ll share the news! Please update your School Targets in My SnarkCenter to let us know.
A bad interview experience is understandably very stressful, and if this happens to you, you may be wondering if you should contact the MBA admissions office about it. If you have a legitimate issue with your interview, then you need to alert the adcom about it right away. If you don’t – if you wait…
You may think that some of the suggestions we’ve been making recently for your MBA interview are trivial — like, wear good shoes. You’re likely of two camps: You either don’t need to be told that (because you already know!) or you think such advice is ridiculous (because, what do your SHOES matter??). However, our…
We were helping someone with their interview prep for a top school recently and after going through their performance in the mock interview, they came back with some comments: Hi ES, Where would I be without you? Thank you so much for this detailed feedback. I’m happy I took your help, though I wish I…
This goes for men and women alike — and no, don’t worry, we’re not gonna turn into FashionSnark on you.
But these things matter. The impression you create in the world depends in large part on the presentation.
This is an interesting quote — from a 2016 Business Insider article on interviewing :
“Research shows that 80% of hiring executives say shoes are ‘extremely important’ in creating the right impression in work environments, but only 51% of young men even wear appropriate shoes to an interview.”
We cover the perennial “what to wear?!?” question in our MBA Interviewing Guide and you should really be picking that up anyway so that you understand exactly how to prepare for this important opportunity.
They say that the clothes make the man (or woman) but we’d go so far as to say that the shoes do.
Call us old school but we really go conservative when it comes to the interview. Not only should you wear a suit, and iron your shirt, but you should pay attention to things like jewelry and yes, definitely to shoes.
For men and women both, no sandals for interviews. No open-toed shoes.
For women, usually a pump with a slight heel is ideal. For men, dress shoes. They can be Oxfords or brogues or whatever style you prefer. No suede. No boat shoes. Polished loafers might be fine.
If it’s something you might wear to a non-black-tie wedding then you’re probably in the general ballpark.
You don’t have to go shopping for fancy new clothes for your bschool interview — though if you are scratching your head at these suggestions and pondering an empty closet, you may want to. You’ve got some disposable income for this now. When it comes time for interviewing during your MBA recruiting process, you will also want to dress professionally and more conservatively, and if you don’t have those clothes available today, you’d be better off going shopping and building out the basics now. You aren’t going to have the money to buy them when you’re a student.
Even if you got away with interviewing for your current job in a hoodie and sneakers, that’s not the impression you want to construct for your MBA interview. Take this part seriously. Give a nod to tradition. It may be one of the few times where you need to dress up for business anymore — but if you’re saying you want to be a leader in the future and you want to set an example and have others see that you’re taking that role seriously, then it’s likely you’ll be doing so in a suit. May as well start dressing the part now, don’t you think?
Last year we shared with you the journey of one Brave Supplicant who was reapplying to top U.S. schools. This came in the form of audio posts where he recapped what he did differently and how his approach changed after not making it in the first time.
In case you missed it (which most of you did since you weren’t applying to bschool last year!) you can get caught up with his story:
Episode 2: Progress in Round 1!!
Today – finally!!! – we are sharing the last installment.
Episode 3: Interviewing
He talks about “Round 2 interviewing” at the end because he recorded this in January; we held off on posting till now because we knew that there would be lots of you BSers coming up in Round 1 who would benefit!!
Disclaimer: The content produced for this series was provided as a contribution to the EssaySnark blahg in exchange for free EssaySnark consulting services. In creating these submissions, EssaySnark offered some ideas of what to present, however the BSer created this on his own. All opinion, advice, and ideas are his own (though obviously we believe he has good ones, or we wouldn’t have invited him to share!).