To all applicants with upcoming interviews – Good luck and Godspeed!
One of the most important questions in any MBA admissions interview: “Do you have any questions for us?”
From the example above, most interviewers would choose 3rd person.
- “No,” is not the best answer. To have no questions could be interpreted as having no real interest, curiosity or engagement with the program. Saying “no” is like saying, “I’m not that interested. Your university’s MBA program is second- or third-choice safety school for me. I’m really hoping to get another offer, and if I do I’ll turn down any offer from your school.”
- “What percentage of your graduating class already had job offers?” The answer to this question could almost certainly be found on the school’s website or other marketing literature. Therefore, asking this question implies that the applicant was too lazy or disinterested to read the website or other marketing literature. The resulting impression for the interviewer would be similar to that of response 1.
- “As you know, in addition to consulting, I am also interested in environmental CSR. I recently saw a podcast with Professor Anita Smith, who mentioned that your program might soon offer an environmental CSR specialization. Do you have any new information available about that?” This is a great answer, as it demonstrates the applicant’s engagement with and research of the program, directly connecting a unique aspect of this MBA program with the applicant’s interests and goals.
- “What do you feel sets this MBA program apart from others?” This question could be asked of any school, and therefore, it gives the impression that the applicant was too lazy or disinterested to come up with a more specific question about the unique aspects of this program. What’s more, the question implies that the applicant does not know what sets this program apart from others. The resulting impression for the interviewer would be similar to that of questions responses 1 and 2.
The interviewer is trying to find out if you are earnest about joining their program. The school doesn’t want to give you an offer unless they think you are really engaged with and interested in their program. The interviewer knows most applicants apply to many schools, but most applicants also have one first-choice school.
When an applicant is excited about and engaged with a particular MBA program, that applicant will read the website information, study available marketing literature, research and talk to students and alumni who have studied in the program they want to join.
When the school is his or her first choice, the applicant will have questions because that applicant is interested and engaged, but those will be questions that cannot be easily answered by the website, marketing literature or other information provided by the school. The applicant will have read all that material, and these questions will go a step beyond, often asking about specific details of classes, professors, programs, clubs, organizations and other resources related to the specific program to which the applicant is applying as well as that applicant’s goals
When the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for us?” you want to have a good question.
- A good question cannot be answered easily by available literature or media from the school.
- A good question will demonstrate that you have researched all of that, and you are looking for more detailed answers.
- A good question will not be something you could ask any school. It should be particular to that school’s unique program.
- A good question will demonstrate your engagement with the program and its people.
- A good question will demonstrate a mutual “fit” between you, the program, your interests and your goals.