1. Why are you interested in this school/program?
面试官所想要知道的：Why?” 为什么你选择申请这间学校，答案或许非常明显–因为该校是全球排名顶尖的商学院。但是不要花太多时间在叙述学校的历史及声誉，而是将重点放在：「为什么这间学校对你本人来说是最好的选择。」 入学评审委员想要知道的是，学校的哪个特定部分吸引你选择了这所学校。解释这所学校的MBA课程如何和自己的目标及兴趣相符合，以及为什么做了这个选择尤为重要。记住诚实和真实性是在回答问题时很重要的准则。
建议在回答中包含的要素: location, school culture, faculty, courses, the emphasis of school, industry connection, job placement, future goals
“I applied at Berkeley because it is one of the very few schools that offers an MBA program with full specialization in Entrepreneurship. I plan to run a software startup company upon receiving my degree and the Haas School’s emphasis on small business, reflected in the Marketing Management course led by Prof. Paul Heider, will prepare me to venture out into the competitive world of software design. Also, because I currently live in Sacramento and have residence in California, a state school like Berkeley is the most practical choice for someone in my financial position.”
2. Why are you pursuing an MBA now?
面试官所想要知道的： 这个问题的重点应该放在“now”。目前你的人生面临了什么样的状况导致你决定做这么大的转变？ 如果你目前正在工作，解释你转换人生方向的动机。例如你是否有着要成为避险基金经理人的长期计划，或者是你未来想要管理你所就职银行的分行。关于“为什么现在选择就读MBA？”这个问题，我们建议较为完整的回答应该包含下列几个部分：
- 过去所累积的专业领域经验 – 职场成就和你在职场中主要得到的技能
建议在回答中包含的要素: current job/school position, specific career goals, financial circumstances, dreams and passions, action plan
“My decade of sales experience in the dairy industry has been extremely fulfilling and I’ve grown as a leader while developing communication and problem-solving skills through numerous campaigns. This has given me a desire to branch out to other industries as a marketing consultant, where I can use my industry knowledge to benefit growing businesses.
Because I wish to devote my career to helping small organic farms acquire a foothold in mid- to large-sized markets and execute their marketing strategies, I realize that I need to gain all of the current strategies of consulting that an MBA program offers. I recently became interested in marketing strategy and how it increases visibility. I have begun networking with other consultants in the industry, leading to informational interviews that have grown my interest while showing me the necessity of a world-class business education.
With my past education in sales, there is no way to break into consulting unless I ‘power-up’ my skills with an MBA. I am 38 years old and have a young family, so I can’t imagine a better time than now to take this leap.”
3. Tell me about yourself.
建议在回答中包含的要素: relevant terms, work strengths, personal and professional passions, interesting facts about you, career goals
“My name is Coleen Cho and I’ve been a client relationship officer at Trident Affiliates for the past four years. The most important things to know about me are probably that I have a passion for using numbers to get the best results, and that I always look for the positive in everything I do. These traits have sustained me during challenging periods in my career but have also kindled my passion for management and my resolve to take on the role of COO for an NGO.
After graduating from Texas A&M with a degree in finance, I got my first corporate job as an account analyst at Struthers & Co., where my positive attitude came in handy. During my three years at the firm, I spent a lot of time on tasks I felt did not fully utilize my skills. But through this work I learned the value of attention to detail. When I moved to Trident in 2010, I turned this attention to detail to my clients. I tried to learn everything I could about them and truly appreciate their character and values in order to maximize their satisfaction for the benefit of the company. Although working with people is a lot different than crunching numbers, I find that paying attention to details like their needs and personal perspectives requires an equal amount of care and focus. I truly love this aspect of management.
I am grateful for my experience and proud of my achievements at these firms over the past seven because they have brought me to where I am today. With a deep respect for people and for hard work, and with my past experiences and the invaluable skills I will learn in this MBA program, I am optimistic about the next chapter in my career.”
技巧: 避免只是列举履历表上的内容 – 更加深入的解释为什么你喜欢你的职位和公司。
4. Tell me about a time you demonstrated leadership. What did you learn from it?
在回应时,使用 “STAR” approach:
- (A) 说明方法(APPROACH)—详细描述你面对特定挑战时所采取的行动
- (R) 告诉面试官你采取的行动带来了怎样积极的成果(RESULTS)
建议在回答中包含的要素: the project you were involved with, your position, duties you took on, the outcome of your project, lessons you learned
SITUATION/TASK: “When I began working as a marketing manager with Stratton Corp., sales were only at 70% of that of our closest competitor. Although we were running over twenty active advertising campaigns, our ROI was quite low. As you can imagine, the head office was unhappy with this performance and the morale in the marketing department was dismal. As a manager, I was responsible for maintaining optimal performance and for the effectiveness of the department’s activity.”
APPROACH: “I decided that we needed to not only run different marketing campaigns, but to entirely rebrand at least three of our product lines. I first divided the marketing team into smaller task force groups, each responsible for brainstorming new ideas, benchmarking and researching competing brands, and creating proposals for marketing strategies to enhance our brand image. Next, I developed a marketing workflow so that new ideas could be shared ASAP with other groups and so that each group could receive feedback on their proposals. Although I was responsible for providing managerial feedback, my biggest role was in facilitating cooperation between them so that the most impactful proposals would rise to the top.”
RESULT: “The positive effect my workflow restructuring had on sales was immediate. Within four months we had completely rebranded three of our main products. We recorded a quarterly sales increase of 25%, the largest in the branch’s history. But the impact on the morale of the employees was the most astonishing to me—within one month, almost every member of the task force teams was volunteering to work late to come up with the best ideas. Involving all members in the creative process and discovering strategies for improvement made them feel empowered. This success taught me that leadership is more about strengthening the lines of communication than about giving orders.”
5. What are your short-term and long-term career goals?
建议在回答中包含的要素: details about your career goals, reasons for these goals, action plan
“My ultimate career goal is to head an environmentally-friendly outdoor sporting goods company in Minnesota, preferably near my hometown. My deep love of the outdoors has inspired so much of what I do in life, and so I see this goal as a way to give back to my community and pass on my experiences to future generations. As CEO, I would be in a position to create a substantive company policy that ensures our products are environmentally friendly.
Reaching this position will require a tremendous understanding of the ins and outs of the sporting goods industry, as well as knowledge of the manufacturing process. Therefore, my short-term plan includes getting an MBA in strategic management and then working in the sales and marketing department of a sporting goods company to learn first-hand about consumer tastes and purchasing habits. Within ten years, I would like to head product development at a branch level. This will give me a more holistic view of sales trends and inform my understanding of implementing strategies focused on environmental awareness and CSR.
Ideally, I will be heading an established company or one that I found within 15 to 20 years. I expect to be experienced enough to lead as CEO after having gone through diverse experiences and having produced results at multiple levels. I feel that the knowledge I gain during my MBA will be fundamental to achieving these goals.
Are there any questions you would like to ask the interviewer?
Why do you want to pursue an MBA?
Talk about a mistake or failure you experienced. How did you overcome it?
Why did you move to your current job/industry?
University of California Berkeley – Haas School of Business Admissions
The University of Michigan – Ross School of Business Admissions
Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management Admissions
Stanford Graduate School of Business Admissions
The University of Pennsylvania – Wharton School of Business Admissions
University of Chicago – Booth School of Business
Harvard School of Business Admissions
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – Sloan School of Management
University of Columbia MBA Program
Dartmouth University – Tuck School of Business Admissions
Leadership Interview Questions and Answers (Career Profiles)
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Top 10 Do’s to Crack a Personal Interview (MBA Rendezvous)
12 Interview Questions You’ll Be Asked (Bentley University)
Seven Commonly Asked Business School Interview Questions (mba.com)
MBA Interviews: The Latest Tricky Questions (Poets & Quants)
The Seven Hardest MBA Admissions Interview Questions—and How to Answer Them (Clear Admit)