Your 1st Step to Higher Education™
Often just the mention of the word ‘interview’ can leave people feeling anxious. It is a universal fact that barely anyone enjoys the prospect of having to go for an interview, of any kind. Just the idea that someone is sitting there questioning you and judging your abilities can be an extremely unnerving prospect. Thankfully there are many ways to overcome this dread. It is simple in that the more you practice and prepare, the more confident you will feel when you step into the interview room. I am not saying this to scare you, but you need to be prepared when questions don’t go your way, or when you make a mistake. It’s important to know how to recover and keep focus.
If they ask you a question and you have no idea how to answer, simply take a pause. Control is key; don’t lose your nerve. Remember that any situation can be corrected. Give yourself a chance to think and stay calm. A deep breathe will help this! Ask yourself what they are looking for in a response. Remember that they are going to push you to see how you respond to difficult questions under pressure! For example, an interviewer could ask ‘So, how do you think the recent global economic crisis could have been avoided?’ If you have no idea how to answer – talk about your ideas on responsible banking and finance. Or you could say– ‘Actually I don’t think it could have been prevented. It’s important that we focus on learning from this mistake in order to move forward and prevent it happening again.’
In order to make the best impression, you need to give yourself sufficient preparation time before an interview. This involves working out ways of marketing yourself, past achievements you are most proud of and finally knowledge of the type of candidate they are looking for. Try and sell your desirable traits, for example your communication skills, maturity, motivation, leadership skills, pride in your work, honesty, personality, analytical skills, problem solving ability.
When you are preparing for your MBA interview, make sure you have concocted a list of things you want to make sure you say in the interview about yourself. I have provided a list of common difficult questions along with ideas and possible answers
How would you define ‘success’?
The interviewer will not be impressed if you simply associate success with lots of money. Success can be defined as achieving a set of challenges or goals. It is always great to give an example of how you would define something as successful in your life.
An example answer could be. ‘For me success is about achieving an ambitious goal I have set for myself regardless of whether it’s professional or personal. I see success as being proud of something, having that sense of satisfaction. For example I see one of my biggest achievements to date is not only completing my most ambitious project, but actually exceeding my expectation and boosting sales by 6% above the projected 4%. On a more personal note, ultimately happiness is success to me; my greatest success to date has been marrying my wife and having our daughter together’.
What is your biggest weakness?
This can be a tricky question as you don’t want to show yourself in a negative light. At the same time steer clear of pretentious answers, for example, ‘My biggest weakness is being too much of a perfectionist and working too hard’. This answer will come across as insincere as everyone has weaknesses and being a perfectionist is not a real weakness. The best thing to do is be honest; we are all human beings and therefore not perfect. Accept your flaw or flaunt and state how you are trying to overcome this weakness in a professional sense.
A better answer could be, ‘At times, I can be somewhat disorganized. In the past I have let cases pile on top of me. Due to a few mistakes in the past, I quickly realized I needed to become more organized, so that in stressful situations I could keep my focus. A colleague of mine shared with me how he stayed on top of his administrative duties by always keeping a diary and note book handy. At the end of the day, he checks what needs to be done and solidifies dates. I have adopted his system ever since. As a consequence, I feel far more in control and this has made me a more efficient person’.
How would your co-workers describe you?
Addressing yourself, almost in the third person, is a difficult task. Try and think of the best compliments you have been given at work and who said them. So when you come to answer the question, you can confidently state the compliment and who it came from. A good example might be ‘During my time at Citibank in Singapore, my partner Jordan always said I was one of the quickest learners on the team’
Just some extra MBA interview questions to get you thinking along the right line.
Why have you chosen to apply to this particular institute?
Within a team environment, are you a leader or a follower?
How would you describe yourself in three words or phrases?
What do you expect to get from an MBA?
Who are your heroes? Why?
What do you find most frustrating at work?
Describe an ethical dilemma that you have faced at work.
Can you tell us about a time when you have shown entrepreneurial skills
Are you involved in any further activities outside of work
Give me an example when you brought new innovation to a project or to an aspect of your work?
How did you choose your job after college?
What are your long- and short-term goals? Why?
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