Reviewing this week’s blog post on Korner Talk regarding the poster’s MSU phone interviews, reminded me of the number of phone interviews I used to conduct as Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at Cornell. And of course, Korner Talk made some valid points.
Phone interviews are a great resource for candidates who have already traveled to visit the campus or whose location prohibits them from having an alumni or on-campus interview. Ithaca was not the easiest place in the world to visit, so we did present the phone option after offering an on-campus interview. All interviews were weighted the same.
From a candidate’s standpoint, the phone interview should be treated the same as an in-person interview. I do recall one candidate telling me she couldn’t believe she was interviewing in her pajamas. I couldn’t believe she told me she was in her pajamas and from that moment on, I couldn’t take the interview seriously. We ultimately denied admission to this candidate.
I do advise my mock interview clients to dress appropriately for our mock interview and for their phone or in-person interview. Wearing business attire helps you prepare for your big day with the interviewer. In fact, I usually prep my clients using skype so I can help them with eye contact, hand gestures, and interview skills.
While I don’t necessarily agree with Korner Talk’s conclusion regarding phone interviews, if you are not a morning person, don’t schedule the interview first thing in the morning. I do agree with Korner Talk that you should practice, practice, practice, and Accepted.com is happy to help you with your MBA interview preparation.
Finally, some advice for Korner Talk: If you feel you blew your interview, you can always contact the admissions director and ask for another interview. I had a number of candidates — for whatever reason: poor reception, weak interview rapport, illness, etc. — ask for a “do-over.” We usually granted the request. Every school has its policies, but it never hurts to ask.
- MBA Interview Feedback Database
- MBA Interview Prep Course
- MBA I.V.: MBA Interview Questions & Tips, an ebook
By Natalie Grinblatt Epstein, former Admissions Dean/Director at 3 top business schools. Natalie would be happy to prepare you for your MBA interview.