For those of you who submitted your apps this past week, you're probably thinking ahead to the next part in the process - the interview. I've just finished updating our interviewer training materials (which I do each year based on learnings from the prior year). Our on-campus interviewers (MBA2s) will undergo training today and tomorrow. Here are the key things I will tell them:
- Ask the "why" question, and not just the "what." We want to understand what matters to you, how you think, what your key drivers are - stuff that is better gleaned through a conversation than a resume.
- Look for self-awareness. We want to know that you've taken the time to reflect on your experiences and learned something from them. The entire application process is an opportunity for self-reflection - from deciding to pursue an MBA to the topics you write about in your essays, and soon, the interview.
- Look for fit with our program and our culture. A lot of smart people apply to business school, but schools aren't just looking for smart, we're looking for fit. Each school defines fit slightly differently, which explains why some applicants get into some schools and not others. We're looking for fit between your goals and what we offer, as well as fit between your personality and ours. If you want to be successful in the Ross admissions process, do your homework on our program and our culture.
As for other tips - be prepared to talk about your career path, your goals, and how an MBA and Ross fit into your plans. The interview is intended to be a conversation to get to know you better and see if there's a mutual fit. As with the essays, don't strive for uniqueness. The uniqueness comes when you answer questions using your own experiences and your own points of view developed through your unique way of processing experiences. That's what makes getting to talk to MBA aspirants so fun.