Monday, October 27, 2008

First Interview call - Ross

Just read the mail from Ross admissions committee -
'After reviewing your application, we would like to formally invite you to interview for admission to the MBA program at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business. We utilize the interview as a complement to your application materials, to learn more about you, and to provide you an opportunity to further assess the program’s fit with your personal and professional goals.'

I am undoubtedly thrilled - Ross is my top choice and I am really excited about the program. After the first 15 minutes of absolute joy, my mind did an absolute about-turn and images from my previous XLRI interview flitted across... despite a great score and a confident interview last year I am still in the MBA race... obviously my interview didn't exactly do the trick :( That is one experience I do NOT want repeated.... ever!!

I know I have a lot of work to do before I cross this final hurdle and this time I am going to give it my best shot... there are things that my previous unsuccessful attempt has taught me and there is more to learn... For now, I am treasuring the feeling of joy and achievement and gearing up for the next and more difficult (personally) stage... Wish me luck!

PS: Calling all you bloggers reading my post to pitch in with your experiences/tips/do's and dont's... will truly appreciate it! Cheers...


Maxwriter said...

Congrats man! All the best, prepare well and don't worry!

Interviews for US schools are a lot more friendlier and easier to handle. Acing them is all about being conversational. Try and do that. You will do well! :)

Omne said...

Congratulations! I'm sure you'll do well!

ahembeea said...

Congrats! I went through that unsuccessful XLRI interview earlier this year as well, and hope our forthcoming interviews prove to be fruitful. Atb!

Coronet said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence, guys!
I am right now confused about scheduling the interview... there are no alumni assocs in LA area :(
I do have the option to travel to either Ann Arbor or to nearby SF area but with the new project and its deadlines, I was wondering if telephonic interview is such a bad idea?
Any suggestions?

mbastudio said...

Congrats on your interview. Here is some advice on the MBA interview from Avi Gordon, author of "MBA Admissions Strategy: From Profile Building to Essay Writing" (OUP/McGraw Hill, 2005)

Expect “Behavioral” Questions in an MBA Interview

MBA admissions committees typically weed out weak applicants and call the rest for an individual personal interview. You may have thought that interviews were all about getting factual information about you - they are not. Business schools interview you to gauge your personality.

It tests the interpersonal dynamics and rapport you create; the skill and maturity of your interaction; your honesty and openness; your confidence; your communication skills; your drive and purpose towards goals; and your knowledge of the school and passion for its program.

To do well in an interview, you need to respond well to behavioral questions. A factual question is, for example: “How many times have you been promoted in your job? A behavioral question would be: “How has moving up the corporate ladder changed your perspective on the workplace?”

In other words, behavioral questions delve behind the facts of your life to get to preferences and motivations. Other typical behavioral questions include: what it is about your career goals that motivates you? How does your leadership style reflect who you are? Do you think it is better to take risks or play
safe? What is your preferred role in a group, and what does that say about you?

Be ready to talk specifics: know details about the school and its program. Have prepared examples and stories on possible major question topics: goals, leadership, achievements, strengths and weaknesses. Be ready for questions if your profile appears weak or trajectory unclear. Don't be defensive about profile weaknesses. Admit them, state your planned remedy and move on.

If you don't get a chance to ask questions naturally during the interview, you can expect to get a formal chance to ask questions at the end. Use your questions to sum up and refocus your interviewer on your strengths, goals and resonance with the program.

One of the hidden perils of interviewing is saying too little. Be ready to talk at length about where you are coming from, why you need an MBA now and what you plan to do with it. You need to breathe life into your candidacy through stories, observations and insights. Give enough detail and share enough passion to rouse the interviewer's interest. Remember, creating a rapport is more important than any single thing you say.

Why an MBA? Why here?
One question you are sure to get is this one: "Why do you want to do an MBA at our business school at this point in your life?”

How you answer this question is crucial - there are various parts to think about, covering past, present and future.

What you want to do (long term goal)
Why you need an MBA to do it
Why now – at this juncture in your career
What past experience will you take with you (how will you build on your past)
Why an MBA from this school particularly?

The interviewer is asking how your past connects to your future via business school. A versatile template would be to start with your goals on graduation on beyond. Say why an MBA is relevant to these goals, and why now. Bolster this with what in the past has led you to this point. Finish with the aspects of the target school that are relevant and attractive, given your goals.

Communicating your future aspirations is tricky; on the one hand you need to think big, but on the other you must demonstrate career-path realism. Concentrate on the aspirations that set you apart from the crowd. Have a single focus and show that you will do anything (legal) to realize your dream. If you don't back yourself 100 percent then the admissions committee won't either.

Avi Gordon, MBA, is Director of the MBA Admissions Studio, a specialist admissions coaching and essay editing practice for MBA and executive MBA applicants.
Please visit us at for more information about the book and our admissions consulting services.

Matt said...

Congrats on the interview!
I'd say the most important thing is to be yourself. They asked you to interview because they want to know more about you, so show that to them.

Best of luck!

MBAlmighty said...

Congrats Coronet!!! And thanks for coming back to the blogosphere.

Did you apply to Cornell R1? I am batttling for R2 - any suggestions for the Essay# 3?

Arvind said...

Congrats on the calls. I have one question if you could answer, whats the process at Ross, do they give out interview calls in batches or all at once.

Tx & ATB

Coronet said...

@matt - Thanks! Since being myself did get me the invite, it probably isn't a bad idea to stick to it :)

@mbalmighty - Essay 3 was lot of work really! I put in milestones from past, present and future (here I just let my imagination run wild!) Do some thinking and have fun doing it and you should have your ToC ready..

@arvind - i guess all invites for a particular round are sent out at about the same time... give it a week more... probably the invites are bing sent as I type... Good luck!

Heman said...


I am on the same boat as you are - waiting for the interview call from Ross... picked this from the Ross website>>
Round 1 and Round 2 Application Update

Thanks to those of you who submitted your application in Round 1. We are in the process of reviewing your applications and will be reaching out for interviews between now and the beginning of December. Decisions will be released on January 15, 2009.

For those of you planning to apply in Round 2, the deadline is January 2, 2009. We must receive all parts of your application by that date in order for it to be evaluated in Round 2. If your application is not received in completion by January 2, we will review it with our Round 3 applications.

so I guess we should wait little longer...

Heman said...

When did u submit ur Ross application?

Coronet said...

@heman - I submitted on 10/10 itself... just in the nick of time!

Heman said...

@coronet - ok, I just got an email from them stating that they have started to review my application...

did you get any such email?

BTW - r u done with ur interview?

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