The MBA Admissions Interview: Tips for Acing Baylor’s Interview
Preparing for your interview will not only put your nerves to rest and boost your confidence, but help you anticipate questions—and pose some of your own.
Applying to an MBA program is a big decision. For some candidates, the admissions interview looms as the most daunting part of the application process. But if you prepare for it with as much care as you give your resume and application essay, it can feel less like a reckoning and more like a conversation.Laurie Wilson
“We have all the information from your application, but this is a conversation for us to get to know you a little better,” Laurie Wilson, director of Baylor’s Graduate Business Degree Programs, said. “Getting an MBA is an investment—in time, resources, your career. We expect you will want to get to know us better and make sure it is a right fit for you.”
“It is okay to be nervous,” she said. “Hopefully, we will put them at ease fairly quickly, approaching it more as a conversation than a test.”
Telling the Story of Your Career
Think of the interview as a chance to tell your story. The admissions team is building a class with different perspectives, people who bring a variety of experiences and backgrounds, which creates a dynamic learning environment. So if your undergraduate transcript is not as strong as you would like, the interview is your opportunity to shine.
“Baylor’s MBA program is a rigorous one, so for applicants whose undergraduate record is not strong, the interview is an opportunity for the admissions team to assess their potential to succeed in the program,” Wilson said. “Sometimes, it just helps to have that conversation.”
The interviewer will want to know what brought you to this point in your career and why you want an MBA degree. Do not repeat word for word what you wrote in your application. Use this as a chance to dig a little deeper into your why. Bring up other examples that show your successes—and challenges—and how you can contribute to the program.
“We understand why you want an MBA or a Baylor MBA,” Wilson said. “But what do you bring? If I were an employer, why should I hire you into my company? What value would you add?”
Gaps in Your Resume? Turn It Around
The interviewer may want to know your career aspirations after the MBA, even if your plan is not fully formed. If there are gaps in your resume, they may ask what your roles entailed and why things went well or did not go well. Turn it around in your favor by highlighting the unique value and skills that you bring.
“An MBA is about networking and career advancement, so we want to make sure the student is as motivated about their career as we hope that they are,” Wilson said. “Be prepared to answer questions about accomplishments and challenges and why those will help make you a better student and a good classmate.”
Throughout the process, Baylor’s admissions team tries to be very transparent about their decision making.
“It is a subjective decision, not a formula, so every piece of the person matters to us,” Wilson said. “That is why the interview matters—we do not want to make a decision based on a resume or a transcript. We are going to make a decision based on the whole package, not on any one single thing.”
Be Ready to Ask Good Questions
The MBA interview at Baylor is not just about answering questions—it is about asking them.
“As you would at a job interview, have some expectations and questions ready to go,” Wilson said. “I am always pleased to hear a question that is thoughtful. The more in-depth, the more substantive the question, the better.”
If you do not ask questions, it may signal a lack of interest and curiosity about the program and how you might fit in. So come up with a short list before you meet. But remember: The interview is not the time to ask questions about credit hours required, certificates, concentrations and other information available on the program’s website.
“That research should have been done long before you applied,” Wilson said. “You should understand as an applicant what you might be getting yourself into.
Instead, ask questions that show you are serious about engaging fully in the program: “What does a successful MBA student look like to you?” “How should I prepare between now and when the MBA program starts?” And, for candidates eyeing a particular concentration, “What kinds of jobs do students with this concentration go into?”
“We want people who want to be here,” Wilson said. “Even if they have already asked the question of someone else at Baylor, we want them to ask questions.”
As you prepare, you will be more comfortable in your interview and what information you want to have.
“You are selling yourself, but you are also trying to find out if you are making the right decision,” Wilson said.