Just in time for Purim, I’ve baked some yummy Hamentaschen. As I filled them with raspberry jam and chocolate pieces , I thought about how, with a quick pinch here and there, you can turn a perfect circle into a triangle. I suddenly thought, this it not that different from preparing for your MBA interviews.
There is an unlimited variety of questions you can get in your MBA interview, and it’s impossible to prepare for all of them. What you can do is think about the most common ones. Whether you are interviewing at Columbia, Wharton, Kellogg or Berkeley you’re likely to be asked about your leadership story, team experience, communication skills, challenges, accomplishments, failures, risk taking, etc.
Still, if you get an unexpected question on interview day you might try to come up with a whole new story on the spot. If a perfect answer comes immediately to mind, that’s great. For most people, though, a better solution is to pinch here and pinch there, maybe add a little bit of new filling, and re-phrase a story you’ve prepared which relates to the surprise question. Reshaping a story on the fly isn’t easy, but with a little practice you should be able to do it. As you prepare for the upcoming interview season, consider whether your stories could be used for more than one question: turn the failure into team work, the challenge into a leadership, etc. A great interview story will demonstrate multiple facets of your personality and behavior depending on your emphasis. Having two or three really versatile stories is a good way to build your arsenal for interviews.
P.S. For those who are unfamiliar with Purim, it’s not exactly the Jewish version of Halloween but it’s a great holiday.
P.S. 2. Check out this cool recipe for Hamentashen from Duff Goldman.
P.S. 3. Contact me for help you with your interview prep, I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org