Preparing for the EMBA Interview and How a Graduate Business School Assessment Can Help

Posted by Graduate Management Admission Council on Jan 21, 2020 7:30:00 AM

Whether you’re preparing your application or sitting for the Executive Assessment, every step of applying for an Executive MBA program is important. That includes the interview, which is your chance to sit down with admissions officials face-to-face and show them why you would be a great fit for their school.

You should prepare for the interview early by researching the school and program you want to apply to and knowing what questions to expect. The better prepared you are, the more likely it is that you will do well. Read on to learn more about making sure you’re ready for this important step in the application process.

Treat the EMBA interview like a job interview

You need to treat the EMBA interview similarly to how you would treat a job interview. That means wearing professional attire and bringing several copies of your resume with you. You may find that the questions tend to be similar to what you would encounter in a job interview. For example, the interviewer may ask open-ended questions, like “Tell me about yourself,” which are opportunities to highlight your professional experience and how you are a good fit for the business school. While these questions may seem easy, they are good to prepare for to make sure you remember to touch on the most important points about yourself that you want the interviewer to know.

Create a story of your career trajectory

Those open-ended questions are also an opportunity to talk about your career trajectory. Our research shows that 63 percent of EMBA applicants have at least 10 years of work experience, which is why discussing that experience is so important. Interviewers, however, don’t just want to see that you have lots of work experience. Rather, they want to see a larger career trajectory and understand why an EMBA from their school fits into that trajectory.

Instead of just listing previous positions you held (that’s what a resume is for, after all), explain what you learned in each job, how you brought those skills forward to new positions, and what your career goals are. You want to show how an EMBA would help you achieve those goals. For example, the top career goal for 52 percent of people applying to EMBAs is managing people. If your goal is to manage others, you can point out how an EMBA will help you develop the skills to do just that, such as by referencing specific courses that the school offers. In fact, EMBA alumni are more likely to say that their program prepared them for leadership positions than alumni of any other program category.

Want to know if you’re the right fit for an EMBA program? Check out Are You a Good Candidate for an Executive MBA?

Highlight what makes you unique

For the most part, EMBA programs are small, which is why admissions officials put a lot of consideration into the overall makeup of a cohort. They want a well-rounded class where individual students bring with them diverse backgrounds and experiences. That way, students don’t just learn from their professors, but from each other too. Don’t just try to tell the admissions officials what you think they want to hear. Doing so will just make you sound like other applicants. Instead, you want to stand out from the crowd and show what you bring to their business school that is unique. So, highlight experiences that aren’t typical, such as volunteer work you’ve done or unusual projects you have worked on. Since EMBAs are often globally focused, if you speak multiple languages or you have traveled overseas, those experiences can also help you stand out.

Know your weaknesses and strengths with an MBA readiness test

While professional experience is important when applying to an EMBA, admissions officials still want assurance that you will thrive in an academic environment. If you haven’t been in a classroom in some time, proving that you’re ready for school can be difficult. An MBA readiness test like the Executive Assessment can help assuage those concerns. With the Executive Assessment, you are able to show admissions officials that you have the knowledge to do well in an academic environment.

At the same time, a graduate business school assessment can reveal any weaknesses you may have. It is better to be aware of weaknesses before heading into the interview so they will not catch you off guard if the issue comes up. Knowing what your weaknesses are means you can find out how to overcome them—such as by taking prerequisite classes before your program begins—to be fully prepared to tackle your EMBA.


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Topics: EMBA readiness test, business executive test, graduate business school assessment

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