MBA Interview

UCLA Acceptance and Tuck Interview

Since my last post a lot has happened in terms of my path towards my MBA, so I will summarize these events and bring my blog up to date in 1-2 posts.

The Dec 14, 2015 week was quite rich on decisions for me as evident from my previous post. But no day during that week was more memorable than Monday, the day of my UCLA decision and Tuck interview. Most schools schedule the calls based on geo locations of admitted students, so Asian and European students are among the first to see that magical +1 … on their phone screens, so I was quite confident that my Skype interview with Tuck will not conflict with my UCLA call (if I was to receive one). So after coming back from work I set up my Skype, got dressed up and added my Tuck interviewer, in a few minutes the call was made and I was facing my interviewer, a member of adcom. Very sweet and friendly lady was looking at me, while being located on the other hemisphere (just think about that, progress is an amazing thing!), but the picture froze and then again, we had difficulty hearing each other, so we decided to turn off the video, then tried to call again, then again, then I called her from my phone, then she called from hers, this was quite a challenging interview, and I would lie if I tell you that I can write good enough to sparkle in you that feeling of frustration that I had in the beginning. On top of that, when we finally overcame technical issues – I got another call, I tried to cancel it, but my phone decided otherwise and answered it while putting my first line on hold, and guess what, it was a call from Anderson! They informed me about my acceptance and congratulated me on it, I had to rush that call so that my interviewer didn’t have to wait for me listening to god know what kind of music. I think that I’ve noted a bit of disappointment in my Anderson caller’s voice, as I didn’t sound very exciting though I truly was, but on top of that I was trying to figure how to rush the call without hanging up. Now that’s some juggling I had to do.

Not the best experience in theory, but thanks to my interviewer being so nice and positive what should have been a horrible memory turned out to be a very exciting and fun interview to remember and by the end of it I was relaxed, though worried that I couldn’t fully demonstrate who am I and why they should take me.

 

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Thoughts on MBA Interviews

After the second Skype interview I feel like I can give some advice:

  1. Be dressed appropriately from top to bottom, that will help you feel comfortable.
  2. Ensure that your video is clear and light is set right, so that your interviewer can see your face and your emotions, don’t be a moving blur.
  3. Check your microphone! This is very important as many laptops lack quality microphones and require some additional work in order to guarantee high-quality voice input. I have used mic on my Bluetooth headphones, while still employing laptops speakers (I don’t think interviewing with headphones in your ears looks any good).
  4. Make sure that your camera is on the same level as your eyes, so that you won’t be looking down when glancing at the monitor. I used my GMAT books for that!
  5. You should look into the camera, not monitor! I only glanced at the monitor in order to see the interviewer’s facial expressions and be able to tell their reactions and adjust accordingly.
  6. TURN OFF your phones! Ask people not to bother you for 50-60 minutes (interviews are shorter, but allow some extra time just in case).
  7. Have your Resume and memorize it.
  8. Sit straight and smile!

Interview question flow:

About yourself > Resume > Why triplets > How will you contribute to the school > Behavioral > Wrap up.

I want to comment on ‘Wrap up’, I am talking about the two following questions: “Is there anything else you want to share?” and “Any questions for me?”, while the second is quite trivial (yes, prepare your questions and use this one to make sure that interviewers knows that you did your research, his answer should build on knowledge you already have), the first one is a great tool to add stories / information you feel can improve your standing, it’s basically like an optional essay, but make sure your story ties in nicely into MBAnarrative and gives a reason to choose you, don’t try to brag. Really, from now on I will be finishining any interviews with “I would like to add” and share more about my candidacy!

And, I think one should never answer “I have nothing to add” or “I don’t have any questions for you”!

Anyways, I created a cheat sheet for myself, feel free to use and contribute with ideas:

Interview cheatsheet.pdfInterview cheatsheet

Excel file on Dropbox.