When I set out to write this post, my intention was to compile a list of common interview questions that spanned the spectrum of what applicants might be asked. But after gathering a handful of what I thought were good questions, it occurred to me that I never had to answer any of the ones I had compiled during my own admissions interview at HBS. Instead, I was asked 30-minutes worth of nearly impossible to predict questions — which, granted, is what HBS tells applicants they will try to do. Just as a recent Poets&Quants article (The Questions Behind MBA Interview Questions) explains, MBA interviews aren’t about questions at all. They’re about connecting with your interviewers.
My interview began when the admissions committee member asked how my leadership role as a resident assistant compared to other leadership experiences I’d had. At one point she just said, “Recommend something to me.” I’m not sure any list of MBA interview questions, no matter how long, would have reasonably catalyzed me to prepare for such prompts. However, there is a method that will get you ready for questions like those — or whatever the admissions committee throws your way.
In a recent conversation, I asked a colleague at BCG to tell me about her experience preparing for the GMAT. Since she ultimately scored an impressive 760 (99 percentile), I suggested that she share her experience with MBA Admissions Advisors readers, which she gladly agreed to.
Can you tell us a few words about yourself?
I graduated in May 2013 with a Masters of Applied Science and a Bachelor of Engineering from Polytechnique Montreal (Quebec). Since then, I have worked for 1 year in management consulting. I took the GMAT in order to apply for a top MBA program and I intend to enroll in September 2015.
What was your score on the different sections?
Verbal: 42 / 96%
Quant: 50 / 89%
Total: 760 / 99%
AWA: 5.5 / 80%
IR: 6 / 67%
How long did you prepare for the GMAT? How intense was your preparation (weekly hours)?
The Sloan Programs, exciting MBA alternatives for experienced leaders
Over the last few applications cycles, we have received an ever increasing number of inquiries regarding three 1-year MBA programs aimed at senior managers:
- The MIT Sloan Fellows program (probably the most popular amongst our clients)
- The Stanford MSx program
- The London Business School Sloan Masters program
In this post, we will review what makes these programs particularly attractive to some of the most experienced MBA applicants. We will also highlight the key facts that candidates should consider before starting the application process. Continue reading
In a recent post (Why Earn Your MBA At London Business School), we reviewed what makes LBS a great MBA program. In today’s article, we are going to analyze the school’s application process, provide you with a few tips to maximize your chances, and point you to valuable resources that you should consult before writing your essays.
The application process at London Business School is very similar to that of other leading business schools. If you want to know how to stand out as an MBA candidate, do read Oliver Ashby’s blog: . It is a great resource for any LBS applicant, and could prove very useful when applying to other programs as well.
London Business School’s Full-Time MBA program was ranked best MBA in the World by the Financial Times as recently as 2011.
London Business School Campus
In this post, I am going to explain what distinguishes LBS from other top Business Schools, and why I had ranked its MBA program among my top options when deciding where to apply just a couple of years ago. In the second part of this story (to be published in a couple of days), I will discuss the school’s application process, which I remember quite vividly, having successfully applied to the class of 2013.
Applicants often spend months cramming for the GMAT; they obsess over every word in their essays; they rehearse scores of answers to potential interview questions. Yet their resumes remain woefully under polished, despite the fact that top MBA programs are putting a greater emphasis on a candidate’s CV while slashing essay requirements. As we enter a new application season, I thought it would be helpful to share a few reminders about how to write a strong MBA resume.
I’ve found that MBA applicants typically underinvest in their essays for a combination of two reasons:
- Most applicants already have a resume that they’ve used in their professional life. As such, they (mistakenly) feel like they only need to update and tweak it a bit to reflect their latest positions and accomplishments.
- Preparing a resume isn’t a brand new endeavor like taking the GMAT, writing essays, or practicing for admissions interviews might be, and so applicants (again mistakenly) feel more comfortable with it.
Underinvesting in preparing your resume can fatally damage your application, and unfortunately it is a mistake applicants make far too often. So, as you consider your application to business school, here are a few tips on how to write a resume that will impress admissions committees.
How to Write a Resume for MBA Admissions Applications
While we’ve provided some good tips in our 10-step guide to preparing a resume, there is a lot more to consider.
Start from scratch. I can appreciate that applying for business school is a lot of work. You have to invest a ton of time in writing essays and studying for the GMAT, and one corner you can easily cut is recycling an old resume with a fresh coat of paint. But you shouldn’t. First, resumes are often documents that are built over time, and the content at the bottom tends to linger a little longer than its optimal shelf life. We become better writers with practice, and our narrative changes over time. Your resume – your whole resume – needs to reflect both of these evolutions. Second, resumes for MBA applications need to be written through a whole different lens. Consider the following bullet point, some version of which I see on almost all candidates’ resumes: