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You can find a better version of my blog at http://www.adammarkus.com/blog/.

Be sure to read my Key Posts on the admissions process. Topics include essay analysis, resumes, recommendations, rankings, and more.

January 21, 2011

Further Comments on MBA Admissions Interviews

As a follow-up to my primary posts (See here and here)  on MBA admissions interviewing, I just wanted to briefly discuss a few additional topics.

The role of the resume in interviews
I think it is worth remembering that the resume plays a significant role in most MBA admissions interviews as it is typically the only document that the interviewer has.   As such it serves form main functions:

A First Impression: Most interviewers will have your resume even before they meet you. For resume-only interviews, it really is their first impression of you.  Make sure your resume is really designed for ease of use by the interviewer.  One of my objectives when helping a client with a resume is always to focus on how effective the resume is for this purpose.

Agenda Setting Device: To a greater or lesser extent, a resume has an agenda setting function in many interviews.  While schools will provide interviewers with varying levels of guidance about what questions to ask, the resume may very well form the basis for some of the questions that you receive.  In fact, even in MIT’s behavioral interview, it is often the case that at least a few questions arise directly from resume content.

Booby Trap:  The resume can blow-up in your face if you are not careful.  Failure to review your own resume closely prior to interviewing can put you in an awkward position if you are not fully prepared to discuss everything on it.

Your Main Depository of Past Experience Answers: Since you have presumably highlighted many of the key things you would actually want to discuss on your resume, it is in essence, a primary source for your answers to past experience questions. Especially when I working with a client with limited English ability, I will tell them to practice explaining “Who What Why How When” questions related to their resume.

In addition, since you might get asked to “Tell me something about yourself that is not covered on your resume,” you can use the resume to figure out what that would be.

Interviewing with multiple admissions counselors

Depending on my client’s interview ability, budget and time, I have often advised him or her to do practice with multiple counselors in order to experience mock interviews with someone they did not know well and to get additional feedback.  In my own case, I have been referring my clients to Steve Green (guest blogger and colleague since 2001) and Vince Ricci (my colleague since 2002) for the past several years.  Both provide great advice and have significantly improved the admission outcome for many applicants.

By the way, Vince has a great blog related to MBA interviews, please see http://mbainterviews.blogspot.com/.  I especially like his video post of a mock Kellogg interview with a former client: http://mbainterviews.blogspot.com/2010/07/sampleinterviews.html.

If you have read my school specific reports on interview preparation, Steve is the one who has typically collected the questions that I include. You can find links to the school specific posts at the top of my blog.

Don’t Burnout Yet!

One thing I have noticed from working as an admissions consultant for over ten years is that clients frequently burnout by the time they get to interviewing.  The process can be a very exhausting one, so by the time most of my clients get to interview preparation, I know they are tired, but it is critical to focus on this last part of the process with as much as intensity as they can.   So every hour you put into preparation really will help when it comes to succeeding in the interview.  So don’t burnout yet!  Wait till you are admitted!

If you are interested in my interview preparation or other graduate admission consulting services, please click here. Questions? Write comments, but do not send me emails asking me to advise you on your application strategy unless you are interested in my consulting services. Please see my FAQ regarding the types of questions I will respond to. Before emailing me questions about your chances for admission or personal profile, please see my recent post on "Why I don't analyze profiles without consulting with the applicant."
-Adam Markus
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