The School. What does the school value and emphasize? Innovation? Leadership? Teamwork? Yes, I know all schools value all these qualities, but some emphasize one more than another. You need to understand those differences. How do they define the qualities they value?
Note the effort that Haas devotes to clarifying what it values when it says “Leading through Innovation” or when it discusses its defining principles. At its presentations and on its web site, Leading through Innovation and these principles have become a major focus. First understand what the school values and then prepare to explain why and how you share those values.
How does the program work? Cohorts? Learning teams? Projects, lectures, cases? Plan to answer questions in a way that demonstrates your knowledge of the program and prepare a few questions that show you have done your homework. Let your questions and answers reveal that you have thought deeply about the program and how it meets your educational needs and will help you achieve your professional goals, while also recognizing opportunities for you to contribute and pursue your nonprofessional interests.
Again, drawing on BW’s interview with Dawna Clarke, Tuck’s Admissions Director, who advises:
“Another piece of advice is to do research on the school. A lot of schools will talk about the fact that they’re looking for fit, and basically what that means is that they’re looking for people who’ve done their research and are going about this decision using some insight and good judgment about what it is that they’re looking for and what that school has to offer. There are so many good schools out there, and what you want to do is convince your interviewer or your admissions committee that that school is a good bridge between your past and your future plans.
“The best way to make a compelling case is to really show that you’ve done your research and that you know what the school has to offer and what you have to offer the school.”
MBA Interview Tip #3:
Know what the school values and be ready to show that you share those values.