In the recent BusinessWeek chat, “Make Your B-School Application Stand Out,” Cassidy asked me “I’ve done my homework on a school and I am preparing for an interview. Any suggestion as to a good question I might be able to ask?” I thought I had a blog post that addressed this question. It turns out I didn’t, so here goes.
It is difficult to provide general advice on questions you should pose because the best questions will reflect your individual knowledge of the program and your background and goals, but let me give you some guidance or at least a place to start.
First prepare yourself to ask intelligent questions:
- Review the school’s web site and literature thoroughly. You don’t want to ask a question that’s answered on p. 2.
- Review your application.
As you conduct your review, jot down questions that come to mind. The questions about those programs, clubs, and activities that are most relevant to your goals, educational preferences, and life style are the creme de la creme. Those questions are going to be very individual and I can’t give you samples, but here are a few more general questions that may trigger queries in your mind:
- Is it difficult to register for popular classes such as yadda yadda? (Give examples of the classes you are most interested in.)
- What are the criteria for participation in a business plan competition? (if you are interested in entrepreneurship. Substitute another program if entrepreneurship is not your goal.)
- How are interviews given out for internships and full-time positions? (The latter can be a critical question if you are a career changer. Do students bid for a portion of interview slots or is it entirely recruiters’ choice?)
If your interviewer is a second-year student or recent alum, ask about his or her experience at School X. For example:
- What were your favorite classes? Professors?
- Any activity that is simply not to be missed?
- What do you wish you had done differently before or while at School X?
BTW, we have been receiving absolutely terrific feedback on INSEAD interviews and IMD interviews in the MBA Interview Feedback Database (MBAIFDB). The MBAIFDB is a free, searchable database with feedback from MBA admissions interviews at all the top MBA programs around the world. You can use it to prepare for your interview, and please also to remember to share your interview experience after you interview.
Although most schools have not yet started interviewing, let me remind you of a few additional Accepted MBA interview resources: