Here are the top 20 most commonly asked MBA Personal Interview questions:
Tell me about yourself
This is the most universal question. It is asked in all types of interviews. It is very important since it helps form your first impression with the interviewer. You should mention all your strengths and interests in order to kind of sway the interview in those directions. Also, try and mention as many points that haven’t already been covered by your resume.
Why did you pursue XYZ in your graduation degree?
The interviewer wants to know more about your academic background and whether you knew you wanted to pursue an MBA before starting your undergraduate degree. It helps them understand your mind set better.
Why business school/MBA?
Explain your motivation behind wanting to do an MBA. You should explain how getting an MBA will help in achieving you long term career goals.
Why this business school/program?
Make sure to do enough research to be able to answer this question. You need to show genuine interest in their program and show them that their program is the best fit for you.
What are your strengths/weaknesses?
Stating your strengths can be very easy, but the main reason behind asking this question is to see how you view your qualities as strengths or weaknesses. It is important to state your weaknesses along with what you do to overcome these weaknesses. You can also use this section to mention any setbacks you may have in your profile and how you overcame that setback.
Why should we accept you into our program/ What will you contribute to our program?
Talk about how your strengths and qualities compliment the school’s policies and motive. Your interviewer wants to know whether you, as a person, would fit in well with the school.
What do you like about your current work?
Use this as an opportunity to describe your job role and what you like about it. Mention how the experience from this job will help you in the future. Describe how doing certain tasks helped in recognizing your passion or how the job may have helped in realizing that you want to pursue an MBA.
What are your short term and long term goals?
Your short term goals should include things you can achieve immediately and also talk about how you wish to achieve them. Your long term goals are based on your passions and interests, but you should keep in mind the contribution an MBA would have in achieving these goals.
How will getting an MBA contribute to your career?
You should know this answer very well because this is what determines why do you want to pursue an MBA. You can mention your long term goals also.
Describe a time where you played the role of a leader?
It is very likely that the interviewer wants to know about your leadership experience. You should keep specific examples in mind, like leading a youth group, organizing an excursion with your colleagues, or even managing a team.
Questions about current events
All you do here is be up to date with all the current events. Try not to take a very biased stand and be impartial. This is because it is not necessary that your interviewer may share the same views as you.
How do you work in a team? Describe.
Just like leadership skills, it is very important to have team building and supportive skills. You should portray yourself as compromising but firm as well. Keep specific examples in mind here as well.
How would your colleagues/ supervisor/ friends describe you?
Highlight your professional as well as personal qualities. If they mention supervisor, it is most likely the person who wrote your letter of recommendation. So try not to make something up as any inaccuracies would raise suspicion. Try to paint an accurate image of yourself here.
How you take advantage of the resources available?
This question might seem repetitive, but the answer is very different than “Why this school?”. This is because this particular question will require you to do a lot more specific research about the department and the resources they offer. If you haven’t done your research properly, it will become very simple for the admission committee/ interviewer to dismiss you as someone who just isn’t as interested in the program.
Most challenging and rewarding academic experience?
Mention school or college experiences and why they are so important as to mention them here. Again, use this opportunity to mention your achievements in school/college as well as your conflict resolution and coping skills.
What other schools have you applied to?
Very very tricky question. It can come off as a little rude or forthcoming, but do not take it in such a manner. Instead, answer the question. State a few schools that you’re applying to and also state why you chose these schools. Try not to show that you prefer one school over another because this may not work in your favour.
Describe a time where you had an incompetent manager and how did you deal with it?
Again, very tricky. You need to go about this question in such a manner as to not portray your manager as incompetent, or that he/she had a reason behind such behaviour and how you dealt with it non-aggressively.
What will your biggest challenge be if admitted to our MBA program?
This is a difficult question to answer because you are kind of pointing out the flaws in program that you’re seeking admission to. Be honest, point out what you think the challenge could be and how you think you can overcome it.
Describe a professional failure that you faced? How did you overcome it?
Questions like these help them understand your personality. Portray yourself with imperfections and describe the situation as a learning experience for yourself and what lesson you took from it.
Do you have any questions for me?
This is another question asked very commonly question. You should try to ask a couple of questions, though it isn’t necessary. However, do not go about asking meaningless questions or ones whose answers are easily available on the website.
Some questions an MBA student can ask to the Interviewer are:
- What do you think sets this business program apart from others?
- What major changes do you see on the horizon for this program?
- How does your program work to develop relationships with the business field or X industry?
- If you were in my position, with my goals, what would you say are your program’s biggest advantages to me?
Every question that is asked to you should be used as an opportunity to show one aspect of your character and personality. The interviewer should not feel unfulfilled by your answers or feel like they still haven’t got to know you well enough because that will hinder in their decision making process.
Important Tips for MBA Interview Preparation:
- Prepare & Practice. You can never prepare too much. Try knowing the school and program holistically.
- Be confident, but not overconfident.
- Make sure to do thorough research about school and program, some facts that you may not learn on just the website, all the resources, etc.
- Identify your key strengths (selling points)
- Keep in mind, no work is too small. You should mention why you worked in XYZ company. Show that whatever work you did, contributed in a positive manner today.
- The interviewer will push you in answering a lot of work related questions to understand what role you played in the company. They want to know how you managed unexpected situations and understand your thinking process.
- In addition to interview, you may also be asked to send a video, so use that to highlight different parts of your application. They might mention certain topics to talk about so make a note of that!
- When asked do you have any questions, make sure to ask good ones. Not something you can easily find on the website
- Use your answers to sway the interviewer in a certain direction, one that you’re confident of and one that will work in your favour.
- During the interview, pay attention. Do not zone out!
- Get enough rest and eat and go, have a very strong presence of mind on the day of.