B-school applicants erroneously think that the flawless MBA candidate is the best MBA candidate. While it would be impressive to come as near to perfect as possible when presenting your candidacy, a portrayal of yourself as completely perfect may tip the adcoms off that something is wrong. In other words, the “too-perfect” MBA candidate may just be written off as a fake.
There’s a reason why many top business schools ask you about a character flaw, a failure, or a personal or academic weakness—to show that you are a real, authentic human being, and not some eerie lab specimen of perfection. Furthermore, discussing a weakness shows self-awareness and maturity. A failure experience shows that you stretched and were willing to try something new or take a risk. Finally, showing that you rebounded from a failure or misstep demonstrates the resilience required of leaders.
To reveal the desired self-awareness when asked about a weakness, discuss a genuine one and also show how you have strengthened that area, developed other talents to compensate for your weaknesses, or grown as you dealt with and minimized your imperfection. The admissions readers want to see that you are an authentic individual with flaws—we all have them—but they also want to see that you are a strong person who has strived to minimize your flaws and overcome your weaknesses.
Please visit Accepted’s new MBA Application Weaknesses 101 for advice on minimizing your weaknesses and highlighting your strengths in your MBA application.
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