MBA Admissions Interviews: Insider Tips from William & Mary

Amanda K. Barth, director of MBA Admissions with Randy K. Tripp, Jr., associate director of MBA Admissions

Congratulations, you have submitted (or are preparing to submit) your application to B-School!

If you are a candidate who met an early deadline, you may have already received your official invitation to interview. If you haven’t had the chance to connect with a member of the Admissions Committee yet, we hope the following “insider” interview tips from our William & Mary MBA Admissions team will help you to put your best foot forward and make a positive impression on your candidacy.

First and foremost, do your research. Without sounding scripted or rehearsed, you should have the ability after conducting extensive research about our program to identify and articulate what it is that distinguishes the Mason School of Business from other MBA options you are considering. Although we will be the ones prompting you with questions – at times we take a more conversational approach – we want you to engage us in meaningful conversation. By that we mean that we want you to share concise information about your professional past, MBA goals and aspirations, future career plans and your ability to contribute to our program and community.

Every impression counts. If you are traveling to campus for an in-person interview session and visit or even if you are interviewing via virtual platform such as Skype or Google Hangout, please be on-time, prepared, professional and well dressed. Be sure to map your drive in advance, factor in parking time and even test your technology prior to your interview time. Although we certainly understand heavy traffic or poor internet connection,  you should not be late for your admissions interview. If you anticipate any problem on the day of your scheduled interview, please be sure to email your interviewer an alternative way to reach you or simply request to make plans to reschedule. You will want to dress in business professional, as you would for a job interview. If you are interviewing from afar, be sure to find a quiet place that is comfortable, tastefully decorated and uninterrupted – and also be sure to dress for success. Be sure to avoid distractions of traffic noise, co-workers, mobile phones – remember, your communication etiquette is essential to making a good first impression.

Prepare questions. Think about what you haven’t learned about our program that will be most important to you as you make your final decisions on where to attend and save these questions for the end of the interview session if offered by your interviewer. We always leave time for your important questions at the Mason School of Business because we truly care about aligning your goals with our program. Ask about faculty engagement, student life, the facilities and surrounding community. You can view the course of study and basic admission profile on the website, so make sure your questions are ones that dive a little deeper than what you can find online. The interview is also your opportunity to assess if our program will fit your needs, so make sure that you take advantage of the time you have and ask those things that are most important to you.

Be yourself. We want to be able to get to know who you are, understand your passions and motivations and match your interests accordingly. Make sure to let us see your personality – you will be doing yourself a great disservice if you too finely script your responses to what you think we will want to hear. There are no right or wrong answers to our questions. As long as you are honest, forthcoming and well-prepared we will be able to assess if we are the best fit for your graduate business education. Our MBA Admissions team believes that we are in the business of match-making and not sales! We feel that it is crucial that our program is going to be the right fit for you to be successful and achieve your goals.

The interview is the final and most important assessment of how we evaluate your candidacy against the application pool and determine your ability to be successful in the MBA Class cohort which we are so carefully crafting. Be sure to put your best foot forward, be prepared, be professional and most of all… be yourself!

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Amanda Barth

Amanda is the Director of MBA Admissions for the Mason School of Business. She completed her Master of Education degree in the Educational Policy, Planning and Leadership Program at William & Mary in 2006. After completing her Masters she worked as a development officer at the Arizona State University Foundation in Tempe, Arizona. Amanda returned to William & Mary, joining the Mason School of Business in 2009 and has been an active part of the Mason family ever since.

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