How can you prepare for MBA interviews for free?

For all those who’ve got interview calls or are expecting one soon, here’s an interview preparation strategy you can follow to ensure that you are all set to knock their socks off (or do something similar with another part of their attire).

Step 1: Get a partner in crime

Find a friend who is mature and knowledgeable enough to go beyond giving you biased sugar-coated feedback. If this friend is familiar with MBA interviews (current student, alumnus), even better. If one of your immediate family members works as a current admissions committee member from the school you are applying to, that’s the best. Ummm…ok, conflict of interest issues popping up, so let’s ignore that last possibility for now.

Step 2: Do your independent homework

Share your MBA application with your friend and allow her a few days to review the entire application thoroughly. Don’t speak to her and explain your reasoning at this stage. Allow her to build a picture based on whatever she sees on paper (or the monitor, laptop if she’s environmentally friendly like us).

Simultaneously, think about specific questions that you are expecting from the interviewer based on 3 areas:

–         whatever you’ve written in your apps (resume, essays) [recos could be a tricky area]

–         school specific topics

–         general queries

Step 3: Mock-Interview 1 – School and Application specific questions

Ask your friend to do a little research on the school. Depending on her enthusiasm level, here are a few areas for both of you to build up the knowledgebase and raise the level of awareness – the official website, discussion forums, chat transcripts, first hand info directly from students/past students. Ask your friend to build a highly customized list of queries based on your profile and essays.

Have the first mock interview. From our experience a thoroughly researched and well-structured interview can be wrapped up in an hour and a half (including feedback).

Step 4: Mock-Interview 2 – General questions

Take some time off. No, don’t pack your bags and head off to Goa. Just a day’s break should be good enough to recharge batteries. You can work together with your friend to come up with a list of commonly asked queries. You’ll find plenty of these on the web.

You can now have the second mock interview. This can be completed in an hour. Set aside some time for feedback and self-analysis.

Some interviews might occasionally touch upon business cases and guesstimate questions (though this is more common for MBA jobs in consulting rather than in MBA admissions). So be aware of what it involves so you aren’t caught off-guard.

Considering that your friend and you are doing this for the first time (the interview I mean), there’ll be some unfinished business. The questions may not be all-encompassing, the feedback may not be top-notch, the overall experience may not be exactly what you’ll get when you are face-to-face (or phone-to-phone) with your interviewer. But your preparation will help boost your confidence and you’ll know how to address a majority of questions that come your way.

Does the approach work? We think so, as we’ve been using the same methodology (fine-tuned over time) with several candidates and the conversion rate has been very (VERY) good so far. So if you can’t find that friend, we are always there to help. Check out our MBA interview prep service.

Any other tips or fundas that you’ve picked up from friends or discussion forums that you felt were interesting, unusual or just plain crazy?

Also read:
Situational or Behavioral Interviews: What questions can you expect?
MBA Interview tips from successful applicants
MBA interview experiences


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Sameer Kamat //
Sameer Kamat
Founder of MBA Crystal Ball. Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors. Here's more about me. Connect with me on Google+ | Twitter | Facebook | Linkedin
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5 Comments

  1. Brindha Reddy says:

    HI,
    I completed my BE(EEE) @ 2013 & am Working In one of d private company as a Quality Engineer since 3 yrs, My desire is to do Geology Course (or) Journalism.. Whether MBA in Geology or Journalism is there possible to do with BE certificates ie,After BE, Full confused daily searching for good College,.Give me Good suggestion.

    Thanks&Regards,
    Brindhareddy.

  2. Deepanshu Pandey says:

    Sr i hv completed my engneering in 2014 , and yet there is no job for me should i opt for the MBA is that beneficial for me.

  3. lavanya says:

    Hi
    I have completed my Bachelor degree during 2012 with 87% crossed 4 yrs,after that I worked as a testing engineer in Singapore.Now I have planned to expand my knowledge by doing some other degree in same country or some other country.is this a good option.plz help me to choose best option for my carrer.

  4. Rahul Lapasiya says:

    Dear Sir,
    I have Completed my Engineering in Information Technology, I Want To pursue MS in US but my grades are very low as well as i have few backlogs (6 backlog) and a year drop out because of backlogs thats why i decided to take some work experience and now i am working in a MNC as a Software Tester, I am planning to take at least 2 years of work experience and then go for MS, So how can i get admission in Top Universities with this Profile i want to pursue MS in MIS. So Please Help me.

    B.E(Information Technology) – 55 % Aggregate with a Year drop
    Work Experience – 2 Years in Software testing at Client Side ( Various Domains )
    2 Certifications

  5. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Brindha: Geology and Journalism are streams that have their own courses. There’s very little overlap with an MBA degree.

    @Deepanshu: An MBA is not an alternative for a job. You’ll face the same challenge after the MBA as well. Why not continue looking for a job, and be more flexible in your approach and reach out to teams that may give you a break?

    @Lavanya: It can be a good option if you know where you want to go with the degree. Our site has a lot of information on careers, countries and degrees. Hope you find it useful.

    @Rahul: We wrote an article about managing low academic grades: https://www.mbacrystalball.com/blog/2015/04/13/managing-low-academic-grades-gpa-mba-applications/

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