Getting into a reputed institution in the country and obtaining a valuable MBA degree is a challenging business. However, the challenge gets even tougher when you need to step out into the real world and land a well-paying MBA job. The first step towards that goal – the much-dreaded MBA job interview. The MBA placement interview is one of the most pivotal moments in the life of an MBA fresher, and hence, one needs to be fully prepared to face the music.
To help you crack the tough nut (MBA interview!), we’ve compiled a list of seven common MBA interview questions asked by interviewers. Not just that, we’ll also guide you and teach you how to answer these questions with flair and confidence.
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MBA Interview Questions & Answers
- How well do you know yourself? Tell me something about yourself.
This is, undoubtedly, one of the most commonly asked MBA interview questions. The question aims to test your communication skills and how you present yourself. If you do not know how to frame your answer correctly, you will not be able to create a great first impression.
The key is to be precise and straightforward. Don’t bore them with lengthy stories about your life – stick to the basics. Talk about your passion, what drives you, what field do you wish to excel in, and a little bit about your family life. Wrap everything up by linking your answer to your passion for the field of Management.
- Why did you choose Masters in Business Administration as a career option? What are your plans with your MBA degree?
As for the first part of this question, your answer will largely depend on whether you are an experienced professional or a fresh graduate. NEVER utter that you chose it because you had nothing better to do, or you just took it out of curiosity – you should portray a genuine interest in the field.
Coming to the second part of the question, you can talk about your short-term and long-term career goals. Talk about the career options that you can see yourself in and the job roles that would be best for you. Lastly, make sure everything adds up well with your personality and resume. Read more on reasons to do MBA.
- What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?
The best way to approach this question is by conducting a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats) analysis of your strengths and weaknesses. You are the best judge of your strengths and weaknesses. However, you can ask your friends and mentors to help you recognize the same.
When you finally answer this question, always ensure that your strengths are perfectly aligned with the traits required for the job. However, don’t fake your strengths – talk only about such points that you can justify. As for your weaknesses, while it is essential to state your genuine weaknesses, do not speak of them in a manner that will portray you in a negative light. Instead, you can think of your weaknesses as the challenges you need to overcome.
- Where do you envision yourself in the next few years (5 to 10 years)?
Interviewers usually ask this question to get a peek into your personality and competency. They want to know whether or not you are a strong contender for the job at hand. So, you must frame your answer wisely. Avoid generic statements like “I want to see myself as a Manager/Vice President” – the interviewer is well-aware of the job hierarchy.
Instead, center your answer around how you see yourself growing over the next few years in your career. Talk about the skills you wish to acquire, how you plan to expand your knowledge, how you plan to overcome your weaknesses, and what’s your goal for the next 5-10 years. Be honest to yourself and the interviewer throughout the interview.
- Who is your role model?
How you answer this question reveals to your interviewer your definition of success. There are numerous success stories in the MBA world. You only need to know about a select few inspirational people in the field and their achievements. After all, you must back up your answer – whoever you name as your role model, you must support your answer with why he/she inspires you. List the qualities that you admire the most about your role model and how you plan to emulate them in your own workspace.
- Are you a team player?
Teamwork is a core constituent of any and every enterprise/company. While every professional has their individual role and responsibilities, all job roles demand team effort in varying degrees.
If you are a fresher with no experience, you can speak of workshops or activities where you had to work in a team with other individuals/professionals. Talk about your ability to adapt to changes and respect for the viewpoint of others. Teamwork may not always end on everyone agreeing on one point.
However, the key is to slide by those differences to find common ground. You can mention instances wherein you displayed your leadership skills while working in a team.
- Why do you wish to work for us?
When interviewing for a company, you must have foundational knowledge about the company. If you go in for the interview without reading up on the company, you are in for trouble.
The best way to learn about a company is through the official website. It will have all the details about what the company is, its history, the products/services it specializes in, its partnerships, its clients, leaders, customer testimonials, and so on.
Do proper research and find out how the company is well-suited for you and vice-versa. Don’t use flattery. Use facts that can impress your interviewer. A well-rounded knowledge about the company will depict your genuine interest in becoming a part of its family and vision.
Job interviews are generally scary and can throw you off if you aren’t well prepared. However, it does not always have to be a nightmare. The first time maybe, but once you get the hand of the interview process, it will become easier for you to answer common MBA interview questions. The trick to nailing an interview is to keep a calm face and body posture all through the interview. Prepare well, stay alert, and stay updated about the industry.
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Take time to frame your answers. Most importantly, be confident, and you’re good to go!
How to prepare for MBA interviews?
To prepare for MBA interviews, it is firstly advisable to participate in mock interviews regularly. Assess your biggest weaknesses. To develop language skills, it is important to read for at least 1-2 hours every day. Lookup words you do not know the meanings of, and use them in your daily conversations. It is equally important to speak only in English in all your day-to-day interactions so that you become more comfortable. Read market, policy, international and economy related news every day to keep yourself updated with current affairs. Lookup popular interview questions, write out your answers, and then practise saying them out loud before a mirror.
What kind of questions are freshers usually asked in MBA interviews?
MBA interviews test candidates for their communication skills and presence of mind, more than their domain specific knowledge. Thus, it is very important to appear relaxed and confident at these interviews, and develop the necessary skills to be able to articulate your answers well apart from displaying clarity of thought and logical thinking. Usually, questions asked revolve around your resume, your career aspirations, and the reasons why you wish to pursue an MBA. You may also be asked situational questions based on current affairs or managerial situations to test your reasoning and thought process.
How do I stand out in my MBA interview?
The most important thing that will enable you to stand out in an MBA interview is your level of confidence. This is assessed in every possible aspect. Thus, it is important to be formally dressed in well fitted clothes, with a clean, well-maintained appearance. Next, interviewers are often impressed by candidates who have a clear thought process. Thus, answering questions by applying logic and supporting your rationale with personal experiences from graduate school or past work experience would be appreciated. Do not get flustered, or defensive. Being neutral and positive is also an excellent quality for a future manager.