This is one of the most common questions that you will get in an interview.  Often, this question is just a way to open the discussion and ease you into the interview. It is not a tricky question, it’s a straightforward one and you should be super comfortable answering it.

Should you start at the beginning or at the end? Many people like to start at their college education, or the country in which they were born. These are two good points to begin your story, as long as you don’t spend too much time on them.  The benefit of starting your story at the beginning is that you can show a progression that is easy for the MBA admissions committee (or the local alumni) to follow.

One benefit of starting at the present is that your current role is probably more relevant to your MBA application and post-MBA career goals than the fact that you grew up in a specific country or majored in Economics/Finance / French Literature. If you work back from the present, the challenge is to still be able to keep bringing the discussion back to why you are meeting today. So, if you want the flow to work well, you might want to start with your current role, talk about what you’ve done before, and recap or close by mentioning another strong point from your current job/company, or something about why you are seeking an MBA at this point in your life.

How long should this answer take? There are no specific rules, but a good estimate would be between 3 and 6 minutes. A lot depends on the amount of experience you have, and the way your career has developed. If your answer is too short, it will sound as if you are not sure what is important and are just trying to skip the question;  if it’s too long, you might waste precious MBA interview time that should be used to highlight important aspects of your profile.

Want to practice for your MBA interview? email yael@admit1mba.com to schedule a mock interview session.