Tuesday, November 20, 2007

MY Views on Preparing for a B-School Interview

Well am no way an authority for conducting interviews or being a part of it. But having given some 10-15 odd interviews for different B-schools before doing my MBA and then following people giving these interviews year after year, there are a few things that I feel are important while preparing for MBA interviews. Am just jotting down a few points for the same here: (you might already be knowing this)

Well this is definitely not an exhaustive list of all you should prepare but is only to give indication of where to start with.

Know Yourself

Well whatever classes or coaching you are taking this is the first thing they will tell you and ofcourse it’s the most important thing.

Most Improtant Question : Why MBA?
Most of the applicants are applying to MBA colleges with actual reasons like : Great Money, it’s the ‘in thing’, I want to be a CEO, Want to run my own business.

Well actually for an interviewer these are not good enough. He needs to see through your clarity of thought process and understanding of what you want to achieve through your MBA.

Firstly ask your self what would you like to do after MBA.
What field?
which companies I would like to work for?
what subjects will I take in MBA? how would it help me?
my long term objective?
what are the skills I am having right now?
what are my strengths? what are my weaknesses?
what skills do I want to gain to achieve my long term objectives?
Which subjects in MBA will help me achieve it?
How would it make a difference?

Write all this down in a book Read it again and again. Internalize. Be sure that whatever you have written there is from the bottom of your heart. First sell the idea of your pursuit for MBA to yourself only then will others believe you.

Based on the above questions you will have a list of certain things that you want to do. Now you need to be up-to-date on this list.

Stream :
You need to understand the basics and fundamentals of the stream of manangement that you are choosing. Generally it will be one of the following :
Ø Marketing Management
Ø Financial Management
Ø Human Resource Management
Ø Operations Management
Ø Strategic Management
Ø International Business

Now you need to understand the fundamentals of whatever line you choose and will have to dig deep into which substream would you like to follow within the main stream.

MIT open courseware can help you a lot over here : whatever you chose just understand its fundamental with the courses listed on the following link of Sloan school of Management


To understand more models and fundamentals you can also visit:



You should be clearly aware about two industries :
The one you want to go into as per your answers to the question written down in the book
If you have work experience, industry that you are in.

What should I know about these industries?
Recent Happenings :

you can visit any of the newspaper sites and you would find the news categorized by industry over there(for e.g. economic times, Business week ) . Just read through the headlines atleast for the recent happenings. If there are any major events, analyze it, read analysis if available. Collect as much data as you can. Company that you are working in might have online database and reports on various industry. See if you can lend it for your reference.

Form your Views on the industry:

Understanding and analyzing the news jot down your thoughts on what do you think is the current state of the industry. Who are the major players? what is their situation in the market? which company do you think will do well in coming years and why? which personality in the Industry do you like the most? How did budget impact your industry and what do you expect from the coming budget?

Write down everything that you are thinking on paper and read it again and again to firm your thoughts.

Learn Business process for these Industries. Learning business processes is again very important especially if you are currently working somewhere. To know about various sectors and its classification what you can do is :see the sites of various stock exchanges (BSE, NSE, FTSE, NASDAQ etc.) it will give you their classification of industries.

alternatively, take NAICS classification of your industry and see the various subsectors, then check each of it in wikipedia.

Personality traits and personal goals:

well this is one place no one can help you at. Know yourself well. Your strength, weaknesses, achievement, failures, vision, 5 years down the line, 10 years down the line, what type of work you are looking for, what do you want to do int management all should be clear to you.

Well would like to end this here. Hope it helps some of you.

1 comment:

Jay said...

IN case if any of your friends is preparing for MBA, here is a list of links that we used, I am sure there are more sites for the preparation of fundamentals but just an indicative list :







Just a suggestion, Don’t refer to a lot of them, that will not lead you anywhere …

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