Interviewing in Person

There’s never a shortage of tips if you’re looking to ace your MBA interview. The most important tip of all, however, is to do your interview in person.

Interviewing is a critical component of any MBA admissions process, and it’s unlikely to be admitted anywhere without doing an interview.  Even the most competitive candidates typically sit down with someone to discuss their candidacy since you simply can’t ascertain fit from paper essays and recos.  In the modern era, however, interviewing has taken on a much broader definition beyond the traditional coat and tie office chat.  Schools will often offer phone interviews or even virtual interviews, done via Skype. 

While the Skype interview definitely approximates the in-person interview, it’s not the same.

Beyond the typical technological limitations and potential snafus, however, Skype doesn’t allow for nearly as personal an exchange.  Remember that schools are trying to get to know you personally, and by definition, if you are not there in person, you’re leaving something on the table.   Of course not everyone can make the trip to the admissions office happen, so if it comes down to a phone interview or a Skype interview or nothing, clearly it’s fine to proceed.  But make sure you do all you can to make the interview happen in person.

Unable to make the interview in person?  Perhaps you can negotiate an alternate plan.

Some schools will allow you to interview in person with a local alumnus or alumna in your area, which can be a decent substitute for interviewing on campus with the admissions committee.  Rescheduling your interview on campus can sometimes be done as well, if it’s simply a scheduling conflict.  You might be surprised at how much accommodation schools will make for you simply for the asking.  After all, they are just as interested in getting to know you as you are interested in potentially going to school there.


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