What are Common MBA Interview Questions?

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  • Written By: Kendra Young
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 23 April 2020
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Top MBA (Master of Business Administration) schools often have stringent and competitive acceptance guidelines. Personal MBA interview questions are commonly part of the admissions process. While each school has its own interview criteria, several core areas are often discussed during the enrollment interview. These areas include career experience, personal and professional goals, individual aspirations, and philosophical principles of business administration.

MBA interview questions often begin with a short discussion of the applicant's interests and personality traits. Questions about hobbies, short term goals, and the reasons why an MBA is desired are common in this phase of the interview. Most professional interview coaches suggest being open and allowing the interviewer to see the applicant as an individual. It is important to proceed with caution on personal anecdotes, however, and to keep in mind that academic interviews should have a professional tone at all times.

Due to the executive nature of these programs, MBA interview questions about leadership skills are rarely excluded from the interview. How well an applicant works within a team and manages deadlines is important to most programs. Another, more recent, area of interest is stress management. Many MBA students continue to be employed while working towards their degree, which is highly demanding. Questions about an individual's personal support systems, such as friends and family, should be expected.

Past academic performance regarding undergraduate degrees and test scores as well as future academic goals will likely be discussed at length. From this discussion, the interviewer will try to determine the primary business functions the applicant is interested in. The applicant's career aspirations, the type of industry in which he or she desires to work, and the location where he or she hopes to be employed are also possible questions.

During the second phase, the MBA interview questions may become more focused on personal definition of what it means to be successful and philosophies of business administration. The interviewer will try to get a clear understanding of an applicant's past work experience and how he or she interacts within a team. Most MBA interview questions also contain discussion items that are meant to reveal how the applicants have dealt with difficult work experiences in the past and to gauge their levels of perseverance. This phase of the interview will depend largely on the type of MBA program being applied to.

The final phase of the interview usually details the remaining admissions process and what the applicant can expect. During this phase the interviewer will probably ask what questions the applicant may have — and it is highly recommended that he or she have questions prepared in advance. Asking faculty about their research interests, especially if they are similar to the applicant's own, is an excellent way to engage the interviewer. This is also an opportunity to discuss any problems or areas of weakness the applicant might perceive in his or her application.


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