Document II | Master Of Business Administration | Leadership & Mentoring

Most likely Interview Qs

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Run me through your resume. What are your major accomplishments at work? How have you displayed leadership at work? Why do you want to do an MBA? Why now? Why this School? How would you differentiate yourself from applicants of a similar profile? What would you add to the diversity of the School? Explain your poor GMAT? What are the latest trends in your industry? Sample MBA Interview Questions

A group of applicants have offered the following as questions asked of them when they interviewed for admission to MBA programs:
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Discuss your career progression. Give examples of how you have demonstrated leadership inside and outside the work environment. What do you want to do (in regard to business function, industry, location)? Why the MBA? Why now? Describe an ethical dilemma faced at work? Describe your career aspirations? What would you do if not accepted? What are your long- and short-term goals? Why? Why are you applying to business school? Why does this school appeal to you? What is an activity you are involved in? Why is it important to you? Talk about experiences you have had at work. Why are you interested in a general MBA program? Why did you choose your undergraduate major? Discuss yourself. What contributions would you make to a group?

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Mention the name of the company first and what is it into. Remember. in which very briefly cover your grades. then state in a line of what your responsibilities include. How do you define success? What would you do if a team member wasn't pulling his own weight? Is there anything you would like to ask me/us? Guidelines to answer typical Interview questions A) Career and Goal – type Questions Career progression/ run through resume Remember you have to run the interviewer through your resume just the way it is presented/submitted to the respective School. avoid technical details. You must follow a descending order so that the interviewer doesnot have to search which part of the resume are you referring to.• • • • • • • • • • • • • Name three words or phrases to describe yourself to others. Project descriptions can be kept to minimal focusing only on team/leadership & other soft skills. as they would be evident from your transcripts. Always start with what you are currently doing and backtrace the progresion. Conclude with a line that summarizes your career experiences so far. How did you choose your job after college? What do you do to relieve stress? It's 2 years post graduation. outcome). “Numbers are powerful”. Give your work profile. what 3 words would your team members use to describe you? Describe a situation where you brought an idea forward. Generally you put in your Education post that. and it failed. Career progression quantifying achievements (clearly indicate names of prestigious clients – if allowed. What is most frustrating at work? How would co-workers describe you? Describe a typical workday. remember to talk about your extracurricular . Have you worked in a team environment? What were your contributions to the effort? Discuss any experience you have had abroad. worth of projects handled.

World-class reputation. Also if you mention names of Clubs. say X. However be realistic and showcase a reasonable plan on what you plan to offer as a Club founder. Social initiatives. Don’t show herd mentality.activities in College. you need to know about the profile of the people and why exactly would you quote them. better know the activities of the Club. give a realistic time frame say 8 to 10 years. do not make generic statements. don’t be afraid to mention the same. . Mention if you have interacted with any current student/alumni of the School. You have to precisely tell them why you have chosen this school. Specify certain electives and relate them to your goals. Why do you need this degree? One common reason is being stymied in your work by a lack of skills that can be gained in their program. Faculty. skills. Why this school? Here you need to give specifics. What inputs did you get from them? Are you particularly interested in studying under a specific Professor? Any professional clubs of interest in particular need to be mentioned. Or you may want to use the MBA as a bridge to the next step. and achievements to date. Also becoming the CEO of a company or opening up one’s own venture. Clearly demonstrate why you need only an MBA degree and not other program. stick to your goals in your Essays. Hence why MBA? Also articulate your long-term goals well. clearly demonstrate your present position. are clichéd answers. Alternatively if you are well versed with some thing and would like to initiate a club related to the activity. Close with the points you have addressed in Additional information section – like Courses/certifications undertaken. Why MBA? A good way to frame this answer is to discuss how the MBA makes sense in light of your background. Interests etc. However note just a mere mention of names of any of these wouldn’t help. curriculum and industry association. However having said this. Potpourri of reasons to choose a school may include (however they should be tailored to the school you choose) Students learn beyond the confines of the classroom. and say where you would like to be in near future say for eg: 2 to 3 years from now.

Why not 2 years back why not 2 years hence. This would require an honest self-introspection. might want to understand certain situations that you have faced either personally or professionally and your reaction to the same. Simulations and guest lectures. Participants with significant professional experience gives you the opportunity to interact with a group of high caliber leaders. Make it more personalized by relating these to your goals and how these will help you achieve them. Why now? The reasons that you give should sound realistic. Making it more case specific will go a long way to tell the School how genuine your interest in the program is. Live case discussions. Conventional methods of class lectures and case studies. Regular interactions with alumni and industry experts. Integrated and thematic approach towards management. Any accreditation to the school. Focus on organizational visits. ________________________________________________________________________ B) Situation-based Questions B-schools after getting an understanding of your brief profile and career objectives. Note: Any kind of general statements would not impress the interviewer. When confronted with such Questions follow the STAR approach: . Note: Do not use all the above criteria’s to choose the school. Why do you think professionally and personally it is the right time now for you to pursue your MBA? Why considering your academic and professional background do you need an MBA now. and you need to appear genuine and interesting. Experiential feedback. Remember: The interviewers may have lined up interviews at a stretch.Faculty’s themselves are practicing Consultants and Business professionals.

What did you do to recover from the failure? Have you handled a similar situation successfully? Bring evidence. how you handled it and what you learnt in retrospect. Don't tell what you might do. key to answering this question is candor and authenticity. Note: Do not get into project details. Leadership example Choose an instance that clearly depicts your leadership skills. tell what you did. You must describe a specific event or situation. promotions. Then discuss your reaction when you realized that you had made a BIG mistake. describe what you did -. to prove that you really changed your ways and turned failure into success.not the efforts of the team. Action you took Describe the action you took and be sure to keep the focus on you. This situation can be from a previous job.Situation or Task Describe the situation that you were in or the task that you needed to accomplish. As indicated above. like better grades. not a generalized description of what you have done in the past. Even if you are discussing a group project or effort. or increasing responsibility. Be sure to give enough detail for the interviewer to understand. . Results you achieved What happened? How did the event end? What did you accomplish? What did you learn? Team failure/crisis situation Talk about a situation when you did really blow it? What did you learn from the experience? How have you changed as a result? Open by describing the situation and giving a brief picture of the scene or background. basically a team scenario and how you led it efficiently. The key with this question is to share a legitimate story that highlights the ways in which your failure might have been a valuable learning experience. what matters here is what the failure was. Your answer should bring out your leadership/ managerial ability clearly. from a volunteer experience. or any relevant event.

Personal.Students learn as much from their interaction with each other as from the formal curriculum that is taught in the classroom. They don’t want people who are just from one field. ________________________________________________________________________ Contribution to the school/ OR diversity you bring in This Q basically tries to gauge at how diverse you are and how you can contribute to the School’s culture and community. If you have had an early progression in career. do mention the same. or if you are from Marketing background and have undertaken certain Finance certifications. Specifically name the Clubs and highlight your contributions… may be you can initiate . The school through its clubs also organizes several social events of which you may wish to be part of. Quantify results wherever possible. You can highlight any languages learnt. Schools are looking for an interesting learning environment. If you come from a small firm or from an unknown firm you probably got more cross-functional exposure or more leadership roles. if it really is unusual. Schools encourage involvement in out of class extracurricular activities through clubs where students are involved in organizing events and activities. adaptability and ability to deal with people from diverse backgrounds. challenges faced… how you faced them/dealt with them. and introduce information that will help you stand out from the applicant pool. Mention the same. How would you contribute . Focus on bringing that out by educating the interviewer about your company or your industry.1) Professionally 2) Personally Professional– Talk about work interactions with clients from different geographical locations and your learning’s/initiatives with respect to cross-cultural sensitivity. Understand it is your leadership stint so your actions/thought process/communication/decision making/delegation/listening skills/interpersonal skills/crisis management/motivation/rapport building/strategies developed/ team conflicts/ team size… should be visible precisely. Student involvement is also encouraged in several other administrative aspects of running the school.Stress more on “I” rather than “We”. This response is a great place to showcase specific knowledge of the School’s culture. Highlight the efforts you took.

Admit that you have a weak area.Find out 2 or 3 key strengths that you make the person you are today and you feel have been important to your professional success so far. would work less. It's never a good idea to avoid questions about failure or weaknesses . If you rate yourself low on any one of the skills. It means once identified a weak area. Even worse is to present a strength/ disguised as a weakness/failure! Best way to handle this is to be honest about yourself. ________________________________________________________________________ Strengths and weaknesses In this question. which currently does not prevail at the school campus…Being specific as much as possible. B-schools rarely refer to weaknesses as “Weaknesses”.” There is a noticeable difference. Also make sure not to select a weakness that can go against you and prove highly risky. they would rather refer to it as “Areas of Improvement. project it as an improvement area and talk about concrete steps you have taken or plan to take to overcome it. Typical Strengths include: Leadership Risk taking Proactive Systematic Courageous and calculated Time management .since most interviewers can see right through this sort of thing. it no longer remains a weak area it turns into an area of development. it is highly important that you also showcase what steps you have taken so far to improve upon it. but are genuinely trying to work upon it. Illustrate each of them with examples. Strengths need include soft skills. Strengths .Mind you. For example: Saying poor communication skills or poor client-management skills.a club of your interest. Remember you are applying to an MBA program and hence saying your technical skills are your biggest strength. is the key. Showcase your personality. So for any weak area that you identify. Weaknesses . It should not appear like a list of qualities. you need to come across as a person.

Restrict to 2 or maximum 3. in that one year. you still need to stress on why the particular school you are interviewing with is a tailor made fit for you and the only apt option that you would like to choose amongst schools applied. Hence it is not a good idea to say that you haven't applied to any other school. For example: You select one school very highly ranked and one that doesn’t at all appear in the rankings. one a two-year program and the other a one-year program. Do not give a laundry list of schools even if you have applied to so many. What would you do if not accepted? This is a question that will check if you have a back up plan ready. one well known for Marketing and the other well known for Finance. what would be the changes in your work profile. it would obviously raise eyebrows. . Then say. Make sure the one’s you select show some reasonable semblance. Showcase. in case you don’t make it. you would continue to work and re-apply the next year. however if you cannot make it this year. First set a confident tone that you would get in to the School. May be getting more hands on experience. Having said this.Punctuality Communication Interpersonal skills Analytical skills Curiosity to learn Motivator Ability to take initiatives Negotiation skills Out of box thinking Diplomatic rather than direct Typical Weaknesses include: Workaholic Hesitate in saying “NO” Time management Non-assertive ________________________________________________________________________ Which other schools are you applying to? It is obvious to a B-school that an applicant would apply to at least 2 to 3 other colleges.

since obviously it reflects on your poor study of the School specifics and shows your shallow research on the school. Also strictly avoid asking questions related to financial aid. avoid the needy answer: “I’m looking for job. In addition. Do you have a 30second elevator pitch prepared on how to convince him to take you? People work up a sweat when asked to answer this question! And if you are between jobs.” Create Scenarios about What You Do . next year.guaranteed. It was unbelievable what happened!” This tale of woe is definitely not the right story. as applicable. But it’s a question you’re going to be asked . scholarship. the question “what do you do?” is even more anxiety-laden. What Not to Say in an Elevator Pitch . alumni network in India and globally etc.“Well. Say how the added year is going to add value to your profile and give more muscle to strengthen your application. Note: One should be sensible not to ask questions already available on the website. _____________________________________________________________________ You are in an elevator with the CEO of the firm you would like to work with. In the end demonstrate your keenness to attend the school. It was an amazing learning experience. if you are a marketing person and would gain some finance basic knowledge by enrolling yourself into a short-term program that would help.different role/ company/ industry. ‘I just spent 5 incredible years with Global Networks as IT specialist. if not this year. If you plan to pursue any additional value added courses. Do you have any Questions for us? Or would you like to ask anything? Usually students ask for any doubts they may have about the program/curriculum. and salary.” Also. not a victim. you are a champion. exchange programs. actually I’m unemployed. for example. and now I am looking forward to applying my experience to a new opportunity. placements.’ Tell this as a quick upbeat story about yourself. one can usually also ask queries related to campus/student life.” Worse yet is the dreaded war story: “I worked for company XYZ for 8 years and was emptied out last month. “Why not say. Remember.

though the group is often told to start right away. . Please remember that these people are experts with a lot of experience and can be counted upon to observe all details. with or without a table. Candidates may be seated in a circle or in a rectangular arrangement. though it usually does not occur. Practice your positive responses. Actually write out your answers. Common methodology . What’s the most important thing? Make a memorable impression.Create a number of scenarios for how you will respond to “what do you do?” One size does not fit all. Do not paint the mental picture of being someone who is sitting around waiting for the phone to ring. you are making the right impression. If you have been taking specific courses to upgrade your skills or if you’ve committed some of your time to rewarding volunteer work while looking for paid work.” “There are amazing opportunities out there. By being genuinely interested in their firm or industry. does it sound authentic? Is it something that you would really say? Project Positivity Even if your job search is challenging. Short note on GD Some schools ask for Group Discussions as part of the Interview process. project a positive attitude: “I’ve met some wonderful people. The evaluation is done by one or two experts. The key thing is. It will force a reality check when you see it in black and white. A conclusion or consensus may be asked for. though in some cases. even if the GD is chaotic. For a topic-based GD. keep the conversation focused on the other person. 2-3 minutes of thinking time may be given. one of these folks might help you realize your dream job. Arrangements may be prefixed or there may be free seating. It lasts for 10-15 minutes. usually professors from the B-School itself. share that information. it may go up to 16 people.Normally 8-10 students are taken as a group. While this may seem like a time in your life when you feel you’re the one who needs the help. The discussion may be stopped at the set time or even earlier. A written or oral summary may asked for at the end from each candidate. Practice Positive Networking As a Positive Networker you know networking is all about discovering what you can do for others.” Give the impression you have simply not found the right fit.

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