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MBA Interviews in South Africa

The business school admissions process can be a daunting journey, with numerous factors influencing your chances of acceptance. One aspect that varies among institutions is the value placed on the interview. While some schools consider it crucial for screening applicants, others view it as a tool to assess borderline cases, or merely as an informative conversation. However, no matter the school’s stance, a well-executed interview can tilt the scales in your favor and solidify your chances of admission. In this article, we will explore the significance of interviews in business school applications, discuss their impact, and provide valuable insights on how to prepare for this pivotal opportunity.

The Power of a Great Interview: A remarkable interview can be a game-changer, providing the added advantage needed to secure your spot. So, how can you gauge if your interview was exceptional? Look for signs of a productive interaction: a calm and focused demeanor, clear expression of ideas, and a solid personal rapport with the interviewer. A positive indicator might even involve receiving an invitation from your interviewer to engage in activities outside of the interview setting. These elements collectively demonstrate your suitability and potential as a future student at the institution.

The Impact of a Mediocre Interview: While a mediocre interview may not have a significant impact on your application, except in cases where it hangs by a thread, it is essential to approach it with renewed inspiration. In situations where your candidacy lies in a marginal area, the interviewer might be searching for reasons to reject rather than admit you. Therefore, it becomes crucial to make a lasting impression, showcasing your strengths, enthusiasm, sense of humor, and maturity. A mediocre interview should not discourage you, but rather motivate you to deliver your best performance and sway the decision in your favor.

Seizing the Opportunity: If an interview opportunity presents itself, seize it without hesitation. In-person interviews offer a unique chance to present a more compelling version of yourself. They provide an avenue to address any weaknesses in your application or breathe life into seemingly dull essays. Most importantly, they allow you to display the qualities that can fill in the gaps left by written materials and ultimately influence the admissions committee’s decision. Enthusiasm, a sense of humor, and maturity are traits that can set you apart and leave a lasting impression on your interviewer.

What to Expect: Business school interviews are known for their diversity, lacking a strict formula or structure. The conversation may range from specific questions about your professional responsibilities to broader discussions on life experiences. Approach the interview as an enjoyable conversation rather than a rigid question-and-answer session. Embrace the opportunity to discuss your hobbies, recent adventures, and personal growth. Remember, the interview is a chance for the interviewer to evaluate you holistically as both a person and a future professional. Aim to showcase your natural wit, charm, and authenticity. Interviews can be conducted by students, faculty members, admissions personnel, or alumni.

Preparing for Success: To maximize your chances of success, meticulous preparation is key. Anticipate discussing various aspects of your life, and be ready to delve deeper than you did in your essays. While you shouldn’t assume the interviewer has read your essays, be prepared to expand on the points you highlighted in your application. Consider bringing examples or a portfolio of your work to showcase your achievements effectively. Practice speaking about your accomplishments without relying solely on repetitive phrases like “I did this” or “I did that.” Finally, be ready to deliver a strong and convincing response to the interviewer’s inevitable question, “Why this particular school?” Your answer should demonstrate a genuine connection between your aspirations and the unique offerings of the institution.

Conclusion: The business school interview is a valuable opportunity to present yourself as a well-rounded and deserving candidate. It can greatly influence the outcome of your application and tip the scales in your favor. By understanding the varying perspectives on interviews, recognizing the potential impact of a great or mediocre interview, and adequately preparing for the occasion, you can maximize your chances of securing admission to the business school of your dreams. Embrace the conversation, be yourself, and let your true qualities shine, leaving a lasting impression on your interviewer.

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