The hours have piled up putting together your application for business school and you are finally breathing a little easier with an invitation to interview. But don’t stop preparing just yet. We have a few pointers for your business school interviews to help give you the edge you need to present your best self possible.

The interview is a critical part of the business school application process. This is your opportunity to bring your application to life and connect in a more personal way with the admissions committee. You need to embrace this opportunity to showcase your excellent communication skills and help the interviewer see that you are the perfect candidate for their program.

The most prepared applicants come across as professional, personable, and interesting. Interviews that are often squeezed into 30-minute blocks of time really expose your ability to articulate ideas clearly and concisely.

Show evidence of your strong leadership, communication skills, intellectual curiosity, social skills, your self-confidence, teamwork success, work ethic, independence and adaptability. You must demonstrate these qualities through clear examples.

The superior interviewees remain undaunted and answer all questions concisely while providing examples and background to illustrate their responses. You can impress your interviewer by setting yourself apart and highlighting your unique qualities. You also need to know all about that program and how you are a fit with that program – this is so important!

This level of preparation takes a lot of thoughtfulness and practice. We can’t say enough about how you need to practice, practice, practice! You can practice with friends and family, but most importantly try to conduct a mock interview with a professional who can actually give you constructive feedback. The mock interview can help you highlight your strengths and address potential areas of concern.

Before your interview you really need to organize a lot of information about yourself so that you are not repetitive throughout the interview. For example, a common first question is: “Tell me about yourself.”

This question presents an opportunity to plant the seeds of your strengths to cultivate interest at the beginning of the interview. And as the interview moves along you should be able to surprise your interviewer a few times by giving them something new to consider.

When answering questions like, “Describe your strengths,” “What are you passionate about?” and “How would your colleagues describe you?” you have the opportunity to deliver fresh and diverse aspects of your character, whereas some people make the mistake of repeating their strengths over and over in response to these questions.

Also, to maximize the impact of your answers, always be sure to back up your claims with examples and making your qualities unique and authentic and bring them to life.

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