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Experience, professional and non-standard applicants

The below are questions and indicators of applicants who have a non-standard (experienced based)
or who do not quite meet the existing degree classification criteria but have more experience. Ideally
professional qualifications should grant an understanding of higher level capabilities and present a
line of enquiry for those with non-standard backgrounds.
It should be noted that potentially someone who has been working in a large firm may have a very
narrow experience level and little wider responsibility despite several years of service. Someone
working in a small business or entrepreneurship arena may have a very diverse background and levels
of responsibility within a short period of time. Sometimes applicants may be “stuck” in a low
responsibility or constrained job, however their outside life may demonstrate the required attributes,
e.g. are they the captain for the archery team, or treasurer for their hiking society, or have some
managerial responsibility for the local charity they volunteer at. Each case is different but the
following will give some indication of what we’re looking for:
 = We’re looking for
 = Warning flags

Core Experience Questions

o What progression of responsibilities have you had in your career?

 Speed and variety of progression and responsibilities for wider experience, if early
career perhaps they’re responsible for items outside of their role?
 in the same job for several years. little variety of work or responsibility, little
aptitude for pushing outside their comfort zone
o What people management experience do you have? How do you work in teams?
 Ideal some level of line or team management/leadership especially those coming
from a project -led background, they should be collaborative
 No experience of people management or very limited, and little team experience.
o Do you deal with budgeting or finance within your role? Deal with higher level maths?
 Direct responsibility for budgets, making sure income streams (including the till)
correspond to outgoings etc. Those from wider backgrounds may not have this
experience, but ideally, we’re looking for people who have good maths skills, e.g.
from science backgrounds. Ideally knowledge of using equations.
 Low maths skills, and little exposure to monetary components of organisation
o Tell me about how you use data and information in your role
 Ideally, they should collect and analyse data, ideally with some indication of critical
thinking about how the data is used, collected etc
 A data provider but with no thought about the quality of the data or how it is used.
o How do you approach problems and analysis? – what examples from your experience do you
have? How do you find out information to help you make decisions?
 We’re looking for people who can be systematic in finding information, analysis and
problem solving.
 People who don’t seem to do much problem solving or seem to have little idea
about how to approach these areas.
o What experience do you have of presenting information to or communicating with different
stakeholders? Orally? Reports or similar?
 Ideally they should have experience of presenting to superiors or clients, but also
potentially to supply chain members etc. Those in customer experience positions
may have little direct presentation capabilities, but they may have excellent
examples of communicating with customers
 Little connection or presentation within stakeholder groups.
o What international experience do you have?
 Working in a multinational should present multiple exposures in project teams and
supply chain.
 Have only worked in a small area, with little knowledge or exposure of the outside
world or people with different backgrounds.
o What one capability of yours do you think you particularly reflects what can bring to the NBS
Online MBA Learning Community and Alumni?
 Often a good indicator of what they think they’re best at – for nervous interviewees
this question can be moved forward as it helps them focus.
o What IT experience and facilities do you have?
 Beyond meeting the minimum technical standards, we’re looking for people who
potentially can mediate through technology, and have experience of different
technologies, e.g. HR systems databases etc.
 If they’re only working with basic IT then there’s likely to be an issue for some of the
assignments and wider business systems experiences.

NTU Graduate Attributes for Comparison

Nota Bene – these are provided to show the anticipated attributes a NTU graduate will possess, as a
comparison. Not all universities will aim for all of these, but these should give you an indication of
the aimed “direction of travel” for NTU graduates.
1. Extensive knowledge of a profession or discipline(s), including relevant professional
knowledge and skills, and informed respect for the principles, values and ethics of their
chosen profession or discipline.
2. Ability to express themselves with confidence, both orally and in writing.
3. Good analytical, problem-solving, and numerical skills.
4. Good visual presentational skills relevant to their profession or discipline.
5. Proficiency in the use of all major technology and software relevant to their profession or
6. Capacity for independent critical thought, rational inquiry and self-directed learning.
Proficiency in finding, evaluating, and managing information.
7. Ability to plan work and to use time effectively.
8. Ability and confidence to work effectively and collaboratively in teams.
9. Leadership capacity, including a willingness to engage in constructive public discourse, and
to accept social and civic responsibility.
10. International awareness and openness to the world, based on understanding and
appreciation of social and cultural diversity and respect for individual human rights and
11. Intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm for lifelong learning.