The Interview Type. Is it blind (where the interviewer knows only what’s on your resume and what you tell him or her)? Or is it informed with an interviewer who has gone thoroughly through your file (for example, HBS or MIT). If blind, then you can use material from your application because that material presents your most impressive experiences, and it will be new to your interviewer, but don’t limit yourself to that material. If you are interviewed by someone who has gone through your file, prepare to address weaknesses and gaps and also be ready to bring something new to the interviewer’s understanding of you. Know how to go deeper into the stories you have told and prepare to tell additional anecdotes.
Whether blind or informed, make sure to tell your interviewer of important developments that have occurred since you submitted your application – a better GMAT score, an A in calculus, a promotion, leadership of a new project, a community service initiative… This last step is particularly important if you are interviewing at schools like Harvard and Wharton, which in the past have discouraged or not accepted new information from applicants after the application submission date — even if the information is highly relevant and/or the applicant has sat on the waitlist for months. (Please see Submitting Additional Material to Wharton? Think Twice)
Now that I’ve told you the Need-to-Knows, aren’t you dying to know the one nice-to-know? Tomorrow, I’ll reveal the nice-to-know and finish up this series with a few resources.