Sponsored by London Business School
Good grades alone are not enough to get you a place at an institution like London Business School these days; you also need a winning personality and impeccable interview technique.
To help you project your best self, the admissions team for London Business School’s Masters in Management, Global Masters in Management and Masters in Financial Analysis has compiled a list of the top seven tricks to slam-dunk your business school interview.
1. Be yourself…
It’s fairly easy to tell when someone isn’t being genuine! Your interviewer’s job won’t be to just try and determine whether you are competent. In fact it’s almost certain that if you’ve made it this far, you are and now is your opportunity to shine. At the business school interview stage, the admissions panel will focus on determining whether you are a good fit for the institution in terms of your personality, the school ethos and the wider community.
While there are times when it pays to be concise, be wary of giving overly short answers during your business school interview. The discussion should have a natural flow to it, rather than resembling a stunted Q&A. You need to be willing to share anecdotes from your past, derive fresh business insights through the lens of your experiences, and back up each claim you make about your prowess with specific instances.
3. Have the courage of your convictions.
Changing your position simply because your interviewer disagrees with you might signal a lack of confidence. A brave, unorthodox position, a brilliantly argued case and a willingness to stand your ground in the face of authority are impressive – provided, of course, you also demonstrate that you are sensible, flexible and able to comprehend alternative perspectives.
4. Review your personal statement and CV before the interview.
Too often, candidates will forget what they’ve written in the personal statements submitted as part of the business school application process. To avoid being caught off-guard, be prepared to answer questions on any aspect of your application, no matter how small. Your interviewer is likely to ask you about even the smallest details included in your CV.
5. Answer the question asked.
A cardinal mistake to avoid at all costs: answering a different question than the one you were asked. Make sure you really listen to the interviewer so you know what they want to find out. And don’t rush to lay down your key points at the first opportunity. Instead of giving away everything at the start, be tactical: focus on one reply at a time.
6. Tell a story.
You need to be weaving a coherent narrative about your career trajectory. When asked about your goals, explain the rationale behind each of your past choices, and how you expect your past experiences to contribute to your future goals. Join the dots. Why did you decide to intern at X, Y and Z? Why did you start a bachelor’s in geology – only to switch majors to film studies in your second year?
7. Finally, try to relax.
After all, you are interviewing the business school as much as it is interviewing you, and you need to gauge its compatibility with your own values, interests and aspirations.
Ask yourself, “What matters the most to me?” Is it a modern, global mindset? Sustainability? Leadership? Whatever it is, you need to make sure your business school can deliver. After all, business school is a significant investment and you need to be sure it pays off.
Don’t worry about nerves – they’ll help keep you alert and demonstrate your ambition. Get a feel for the environment, get to know your audience and ask questions at the end. The last few minutes of an interview will create a long-lasting impression and you want them to be positive.