While you are waiting for the interview round it is highly recommended that you prepare for it to the best of your capabilities. Research as much as you can about the organisation and the program’s requirements and then tailor your answers to fit them.
These are the most frequently asked MBA Interview Questions and how you should answer them:
Core MBA Interview Questions:
- Can you tell me more about yourself?
Candidates who prepare a response to this statement beforehand usually have an easier time answering this question during the interview. Keep your earlier experiences compact in comparison to recent experiences and keep your answer relevant to why you are a good candidate for the program.
- Why do you intend to pursue an MBA degree?
Talk about the career you look forward to, the job position you want to see yourself in and your short term and long term career goals. Show that you have a genuine interest in the field even if you do not have prior work experience.
- Why have you chosen our Business School?
Read up about the school you are applying to and find out how the b-school is well suited for you. Instead of using flattering words use facts that can impress your interviewer. Your knowledge about the b-school will show your genuine interest in becoming a student.
- What are your strengths?
When answering MBA interview questions ensure that your strengths align with requirements of the program. However do not make things up, only talk about traits that match with your resume and you can justify.
- What is your biggest weakness?
It is important to state your genuine weaknesses however not in a way that portrays you in a negative light. Instead put them as challenges that you need to overcome and things you are working on.
- What are your immediate career goals after an MBA?
Interviewers try to get a glimpse of your personality, competency and whether you are a suitable candidate for the program from this question. State your strong career goals and why those are meaningful to you. Keep your answers school specific.
- What are your long term career goals?
You need to talk about your career goals for the next 5-10years, how you see yourself growing in the coming few years, the skills you intend to acquire, the weaknesses that you wish to overcome and the knowledge that you hope to gain.
- Describe a challenge that you faced in your professional life and how did you overcome it?
Consider the previous challenges you have faced and specifically tailor your answer to fit the job description. Make sure your answer shows you in a positive light, you may try to highlight your analytical or problem solving skills.
- Describe a challenge that you faced outside your academic and professional life. How did you overcome it?
Talk about the challenges you faced while doing any volunteer work or sport activities you were part of and in conclusion tie it with your professional life. Always avoid personal anecdotes related to health and lifestyle which may portray you in a negative light.
- Do you have any questions for the admission committee?
You can prepare a set of questions that you would like to ask the admission committee given the opportunity to do so. You can also ask questions that arise in your mind during the interview. Do not ask questions, answers to which can be easily found on their website as it will show that you have not done proper research.
- Questions about the most unique aspects of your candidature.
It is essential to be prepared to explain any unique aspects of your candidature and how it will contribute to the program.
Personality Based MBA Interview Questions:
- Describe yourself in five words.
This is the best scope for you to highlight your skills and strengths. Identify the institute’s values and choose the adjectives that tally with it. Remember to strike a right balance and use examples to justify your answer.
- How will your colleagues and friends describe you in five words?
This type of MBA interview questions are a test of self awareness and what non-career characteristics you value in yourself and others. Be honest, realistic yet do not portray yourself in a negative light. Keep your answer relevant to the requirements.
- How will your supervisors describe you?
This could be a great opportunity to highlight professional skills and traits that you know the hiring manager is looking for. Be prepared with small examples to back to your answer. You can also provide an official performance review at this point if you have one.
- What one trait or quality you have that distinguishes you from others?
Since your skills and personality might overlap with a lot of other candidates the interviewer may ask you what makes you unique. This is where you discuss the valuable assets that you bring to the organization and how you are a better fit for the role.
- What is the first thing someone will notice about you when they meet you?
This question is where you state the most remarkable and positive personality trait that you have. Keep the answer relevant to the institution’s values and requirements.
- What are the three major decisions in your life?
Talk about the difficult professional or non professional challenges you had faced, how did you overcome them and what was the outcome. Try to choose examples that fit the program’s requirements.
Program Related Questions:
- What are the five key takeaways you expect from an MBA?
Keeping the answer school specific answer how the MBA degree is going to help you meet your desired career goals. Talk about the skills you intend to develop to follow your chosen career path.
- What are the student activities you intend to engage in during an MBA?
MBA Interview Questions are different from interviews of other educational programs. MBA interviewers like to find out everything about a candidate to see how much an individual can contribute to the organisation and extracurricular activities are always an important credit factor.
- What steps have you taken to know about our program?
This is where you display that you have taken the time and effort to research about the organization. State the key points you like about the organization that made you choose it and how you would benefit from them.
- Which courses and specializations do you intend to take up?
While answering this question state the courses and specialisations offered by the organisation which you intend to take up and how it will benefit you to develop the skills you need to meet the long term and short term career goals that you have.
- What will be your contribution to the class?
In addition to academic factors speak about the extracurricular activities you would like to get involved in while at university. Mention whether you are a good athlete, musician, or public speaker. The credits earned in extracurricular activities are an added bonus in this case.
- What will be your alternative if you do not get selected?
This type of MBA interview questions try to test your capabilities to function under pressure so do not loose you composure while answering it. However do not show lack of interest, be optimistic and state that you will work on your flaws from this experience and keep looking for similar openings to utilize your skills.
Career Goal Related Questions:
- How does your background and skills prepare you to meet your career goals?
List the traits and skills necessary to achieve your career goals. Talk about the relevant strengths, skills and experiences you have of achieving past goals then tie them with how they will assist you to achieve your career goals.
- What impact do you intend to leave on your industry?
Discuss the ways in which your skills and strengths will contribute to the industry you will be working in. Focus on the industry’s needs, talk about your previous achievements and connect the dots in between.
- Why do you choose to invest your time and money in an MBA rather than pursuing your career goals by staying at your job?
While answering this type of MBA interview questions state your key takeaways from an MBA program and how that organization will help you build the skills and attain the knowledge necessary to pursue your career goals more efficiently.
- What skills do you want to develop to successfully achieve your post MBA goals?
Specifically talk about the skills necessary for you to succeed in your career path this will display the knowledge you have regarding that field. Keep the answers relevant to the courses and specialisations offered by that school.
- What is your Plan B if you fail to achieve your objective after MBA?
Be optimistic and say that you will use the experience to reflect on your flaws. State that you intend on improving your skills and working on your flaws for future opportunities along the way.
Function Area Based Questions:
- Discuss the three recent developments in your industry.
These MBA interview questions test whether you have in depth knowledge about the field you have chosen to work in. So while discussing the recent developments make sure that you are updated and knowledgeable regarding the industry you have chosen.
- What challenges are you looking for in this position?
Use this opportunity to mention how you look forward to use the necessary skills and motivation you have that is required to face the challenges in the industry. Describe instances which show that you tend to work well under challenging situations which bring out the best in you.
- What is the biggest challenge your industry is facing?
This question is to test the awareness you have regarding the challenges that particular industry is facing and how you intend to grow in that career field to meet your long term and short term goals.
- What solutions do your propose for the challenges faced by your industry?
Suggest how you can contribute to overcome the challenges if hired to do the job. Talk about all the relevant skills and give suitable examples from your prior work experiences that you have which will help you efficiently deal with the situation at hand.
- What are the five skills a successful manager should have in your work function?
The interviewers intend to find out about which skills you value the most in a successful manager. Discuss the key management skills relevant to your work function, the common ones being communication, decision-making, planning, deputation and problem solving.
Situation Based MBA Interview Questions:
- Describe one situation where you exhibited leadership.
Using the STAR method discuss one such situation and highlight how through your task, actions and skills you demonstrated leadership qualities.
- Describe a situation where you faced social dilemma and how did you overcome it.
Do not paint yourself in a negative light instead articulate your ethical framework appropriately. The example you choose should line with the core beliefs of the organisation and portray you as a decent person who is capable of making difficult decisions efficiently.
- Describe one formative event in your life and why you consider it to be one.
Discuss one important event that shaped you and shows you in a positive light. The example you choose should highlight some of your skills and traits that you know the interviewers are looking for.
- Describe one failure that you faced and what you learned from it.
Choose a smart failure story beforehand, answer diplomatically and focus on what you learned from it. The interviewers are trying to see if you are capable of learning from mistakes and how you view failure and taking risks in general.
- Describe a situation where you faced adversity.
Narrate a situation where you faced challenges and adversity, go in details about how you functioned under pressure and efficiently utilized your skills to overcome the situation. Discuss what you learned from the experience.
- Describe a situation where you faced an interpersonal issue while working with a group of diverse people.
This type of MBA interview questions test how well you handle conflict at work, your emotional intelligence as well as your communication skills. Give relevant examples and do not blame others while answering this question.
Leadership and Global Perspective Based Questions:
- What according to you is leadership?
This question tests what essential leadership traits you value the most, what qualities you think a good leader should have and what skills are important to be one. Discuss common leadership skills such as communication, motivation, time management and problem solving.
- How do goals help you become a better leader?
Here a candidate can emphasize that a good leader must be able to set goals for themselves and the team in order to succeed. Talk about how you will put to use the specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based (SMART) goals to efficiently do your job.
- How do you handle disagreements in your team?
Using the STAR method give an example of how you use your problem solving and communication skills to negotiate and manage disagreements in the workplace without creating more tension.
- How does a global perspective help a business manager in the recent times according to you?
One can state that having a global perspective enables a business manager to learn from others and can help them grow in new ways. This can also open up the business to newer opportunities.
- How will you describe your leadership style?
This kind of MBA interview questions are asked to recognise your work style and skill set. There are many different leadership styles to fit a variety of workplaces, state which one you prefer to use or whether you combine different tactics with examples.
- What was the recent global phenomenon that changed the way you perceive leadership and how?
For example, while talking about the recent global phenomenon that changed the way you perceive leadership you can discuss the tragic events that followed the covid-19 pandemic and how it made you realize that empathy is an important trait that every leader should have.
Extenuating Circumstances Related Questions:
- Describe why you chose to take another career path.
If you chose to have a major change in your career path discuss how your new career path suits you better and the skills you posses which will help you achieve your objectives in that path.
- What are the reasons for your low GPA/GMAT/TOEFL score?
If you have a low GPA/GMAT/TOEFL scores for some constructive reason such as working mention that. Redirect their focus on the positive aspects and talk about the fact that even though you have low test scores you were working and have developed other skills.
- Talk about your work experience or lack of thereof.
While answering MBA interview questions discuss your work experiences and skills that you have built up while working. If you do not have much or no work experience at all this is your opportunity to convince the interviewers that how your lack of work experience will not be a hindrance.
- What influenced your choice of recommenders?
Discuss what motivated your choice of recommenders. This question is essential especially if they are not your immediate supervisors or long time colleagues.
- How will you explain the history of conviction or academic misconduct?
Do not lie to the interviewers about the situation rather plead ignorance and state what you have learned from that experience.
It is suggested that you keep the tone conversational while answering MBA interview questions rather than sounding like you have mugged up the responses, it’s ideal to have some examples ready to back your answers in the Situation Task Actions and Results (STAR) method. This will help you answer to the point and leave a lasting impression on your interviewers.
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