The Eight Dos and Don’ts of MBA Admissions Interviews |

The Eight Dos and Don’ts of MBA Admissions Interviews

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Updated February 23, 2021 Updated February 23, 2021

If you have recently been invited to an MBA admissions interview, congratulations! Here are some MBA interview tips on how to make sure you represent yourself in the most positive light.  

1. DO reach out to the interviewer to schedule your interview ASAP (when applicable). DON’T wait until last minute. Remain flexible in scheduling, and show your excitement! 

2. DO practice for your MBA interview. Consider working with an MBA admissions expert who is well versed in the interview process, preferably at the school with which you are interviewing. Research the school; know the traits they are looking for and how to emphasize these in your interview. 

3. DO your research on the interviewer her or himself. Check LinkedIn. Talk to your friends and colleagues who have attended or are attending the program, as they may know the interviewer. Ask an MBA admissions consultant! The best consulting firms maintain intelligence on the interviews and interviewers at many business schools. Remember, with the exception of schools that conduct ‘blind’ interviews, often the interviewer knows your profile well. Shouldn’t you know hers or his? 

4. DO dress accordingly for your MBA interview. Meeting with an admission official? A suit is the only answer. Alum conducting the interview? Depends on the location and the occupation of the interviewer (see tip #3). If you’re meeting at a coffee shop and the interviewer runs a tech startup, a nice shirt and sports jacket or blazer will do. When in doubt, nicer is better. 

5. DON’T arrive too early. A former interviewer at London Business School recalls, “I had a candidate arrive 30 minutes before our scheduled meet, interrupting an important task.” His suggestion if you find yourself early? Wait. Find a coffee shop and drink a glass of water. Sit in the waiting room or outside and do not announce your arrival until 15 minutes before the scheduled meeting.

6. DO be yourself! Remember, they selected you to interview because they’re already impressed. Tell the truth – this will convey confidence and authenticity.

On that note… 

7. DON’T be a broken record. Be prepared to answer the all-important questions of why you want to study an MBA and why you want to study at the school in question in a way that supports your application narrative, but avoid responding as if you’re reciting your essay. Doing so will give the impression that you do not know yourself, do not know the school, or both. 

8. DO send the interviewer a thank you note afterwards. Seems old school? Other candidates probably think so too (if they think about it at all), so use this to your advantage and stand out from the pack by sending your sincere thanks for their time! Email is fine.

This article was originally published in November 2015 . It was last updated in February 2021

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