We had an excellent Q&A last week with admissions members from Cornell Johnson. We hope you enjoyed it! In the following excerpt, Cornell adcom members, Christine Sneva, Ann Richards, and Eddie Asby talk about their interview pet peeves. Read on for valuable advice about what NOT to do:
Linda Abraham: What are your greatest pet peeves during an interview? In other words, what mistakes do applicants make?
Christine Sneva: In terms of preparation, treat the interview as if it was a job interview. Dress professionally, prepare, and remember what you’re going into. This is an interview that is assessing your fit with our program, that we know. You don’t need to know everything about the program, but we really want to know, genuinely, why you want to be here, how you see yourself being a part of the community, how you came to that conclusion.
In an interview, you really also get a true sense of someone’s goal clarity. So we’ll ask you other schools that you may be applying to. We’ll also ask what it is that you want to do, how you’ve prepared for that career. These are all questions that, through resources like Accepted.com and other ways, that really push you on these questions, not so you anticipate them and know this question, but really know why you want to get an MBA, and why is it important that you do this at this point in your life…But also, remember, it’s only 30, maybe 40 minutes, so we can’t have a two-hour interview or a day’s worth of interviews where you want to really try to get to know someone. So that’s where other pieces in the application really come in and are really also very important
Ann Richards: I would just add that really take the time to be prepared. I think the thing that bothers me the most, or my pet peeve regarding interviews, is we’ve read your application, we’ve put in this time, and we’ve identified you as somebody that we think has real potential at this school, and invited you to interview. And if you show up here, and you don’t know about the school or you seem disinterested or you’re not taking this seriously, I feel like we’ve wasted our time, and you may have wasted your time.
So be prepared, as Christine said, it’s not hard to find out what kind of questions we’re going to ask in the interview, and make the most of your visit here. Don’t ask us questions that are easily answered by just visiting our website.
Eddie Asbie: I have just one piece of advice. I always just want to make sure the prospective students remember that the minute that you walk through the door, it’s like you’re being interviewed. Or if you are reaching out to current students, alums, just remember to keep yourself in a professional manner at all times….[Y]ou never know if that receptionist is part of the admissions committee. But then, also if you’re walking with current students, [they] will even kind of look at you to see if you are going to be the best candidate to represent our school. Being a part of a business school, this is something that you’re investing your time, your money, but also this is a lifelong affiliation that you will have from the minute that you walk in, [if you have] any kind of communications, keep it in a professional manner.
For the full Q&A, please view the Cornell Johnson transcript or listen to the audio file. Boost your MBA interview IQ by reading up on the resources on our Business School Interview Prep 101.
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