Early Career

Nailing the MBA Interview: The 2 Most Important Questions

stock_handshakeDing. An email pops into your inbox and your heart flutters in anticipation when you see it’s from first choice business school. Congratulations! We want you. Yes, you! All you have to do is prove to us that you are who you say you are – a confident leader, ready to advance your business career. The key to winning in the interview is preparation and confidence. Ultimately, no one knows you and your experience better than you do. But what questions should you expect?

Two important questions EVERY business school will ask you are: “Tell me about yourself” and “Do you have any questions for me?” Make sure you nail them.

The TMAY question is essentially a 2-4 minute chronological career synopsis that you design to surface information that is most relevant to your listener. Think of the TMAY as a table of contents that will announce the key themes of your candidacy and will open the way for deeper discussion. Read over your personal statement and essays to pull out significant learning or measurable accomplishments from your experience to serve as these value themes.

The TMAY is a crucial question to nail. Here is an easy way to frame your answer:

Start with your introduction – where you graduated college, other relevant degrees (Master’s etc.) and then tell them where you want to take them, specifically through past work experience, community involvement etc.

Summarize your career progression chronologically, highlighting 3-5 relevant themes where you have quantifiable impact (ie. leadership, analytical problem solving, passion for social impact, working across cultural borders etc).

Closing Statement – reiterate your interest in the particular school and stress the logical and convincing reasons this schools is a good fit for you and you for them.

Let your preparation take you the rest of the way and always have questions for the interviewer ready to go. Remember it’s a two-way conversation and the right questions from you signal your thoughtful preparation and interest. Good luck!

Teresa Delgado, Forté Fellow
MBA 2014, Georgetown University McDonough School of Business

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