Top 10 Tips for Business School InterviewsFind your PERFECT BUSINESS PROGRAM
So you’ve put your application into a business school to study one of their postgraduate programs. You polished your words, presented your undergraduate grades, maybe even submitted an essay. Good news, you’ve been selected for interview. Entry for places on postgrad business courses in the UK and in Europe is competitive, so you’ve done really well to get this far. But you don’t want to blow it at the interview. Face to face with your potential future tutors and professors, you want to give the best account of yourself that you can. Key to making sure this happens is preparation. Taking the time to get yourself ready in advance can pay handsome dividends when you are actually in the interview. Here are the top tips for preparing for your business school interview.
Know your application form
Review what you sent to the business school that got you an interview. Those interviewing you will almost certainly refer to it and ask for more details. Also, most business schools ask you to submit an essay for consideration for a postgraduate course. Review this as well. Interviewers may seek to probe your arguments and test your ability to back defend them.
Take copies of your application form, essay and CV
Take copies of your application, essay and CV. It makes you look prepared (particularly if one of the interviewers has mislaid their copy – which does occasionally happen) and gives you something to refer to. It is also a good idea to take business cards – if you have them – and a pad and pen. Keep them all together in a folder or folio rather than loose in your bag. Then you can access them straightaway if you need to.
Research the business school thoroughly
Interviewers will want to know why you are keen to study a postgraduate business degree at their business school. Even if you have applied to more than one business school, review some of the key reasons why you applied to this one in particular. You could mention their research specialties, world ranking or the names of their professors whose work you admire.
Make sure you’re up to date with business news
Business is a dynamic subject. Local, national and international markets, politics and economics affect it. Review recent developments at all levels. If your application and education history highlighted certain areas of business expertise, review the latest research in these areas so you can talk knowledgably about them if asked.
Select your key points
Think about the key things about yourself and your experiences that you definitely want to get across. These could be personality traits you possess that you think are apposite for a postgraduate business course, or activities that demonstrate your commitment to the subject. Then, during the interview, look for questions that allow you to convey them.
Think of examples that show you in a great light
Interviewers are looking for candidates to be concise and to the point. Having several concrete examples of episodes in your life and education that are relevant to likely questions will stand you in good stead. For instance, think of an example that demonstrates your ability to work as part of a team. Conversely, think of one that shows that you can motivate yourself.
Give yourself plenty of time to get there
Arriving late for your interview gives a bad impression right from the off. It suggests you might not be good at sticking to deadlines or may be unreliable. Not good for a business course. Plan your journey in advance, making sure you know where you have to be and at what time. Aim to get there at least 15 minutes early, and check the news on the morning of your interview for any transport disruptions. Remember, it’s better to be too early than late – you can always go to a nearby coffee shop and review your prep.
Prepare some questions
An interview should also be a conversation. Have some questions prepared so you can be an active participant in it. Doing so shows that you have an enquiring mind and are keen for information. Listen attentively to the answers, making notes if you like.
Dress to impress
First impressions count. Take some time to prepare your outfit, making sure it’s clean and ironed for the big day. Shine your shoes and pay attention to the details of your appearance, for instance, make sure your fingernails are clean and trimmed.
Practise your posture
An interview may last an hour or more. Practise sitting still for a period of time. You don’t want to be fidgeting during your interview. It gives the impression that you find concentrating difficult. Also, when you walk through the door to your interview, make sure you stand up straight and smile.
Follow the top 10 preparation tips above and you will be well set for passing your interview with flying colours and one step closer to securing your place at business school.
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