Two MBAs from Nanyang Business School share some of the questions they were asked at interview and how they responded.
We interviewed Jane Chew and Andrew Kim about their MBA admission interview at Nanyang Business School.
Jane Chew Li-Yun, 29, was born and grew up in Singapore and worked in investment banking as an operations executive in listed derivatives. She worked for OCBC Bank, Barclays Capital Futures, and Morgan Stanley.
Andrew Kim, 29, is a US national who is a periodontist and implants specialist. Andrew worked as a periodontics resident at the University of Southern California prior to the joining Nanyang last July.
How did you prepare?
Jane: Through reading other successful MBA applicants' blogs, the GMAT website and reflecting on what I wanted to get from an MBA education. Writing down my thoughts in a document helped with this a lot.
Andrew: I prepared by reviewing some commonly asked questions and making sure that I had an intelligent answer to each.
Can you share some sample questions?
Jane: I was asked: Why did you choose this particular University? My answer was that it is a reputed school with well-connected network of students with diverse professional experiences. It's crucial for me to not only learn about other industries but to expand my communication and team work skills.
Another one was: What are your plans after MBA and where do you see yourself after graduation? I said I wanted to switch industry and be in a dynamic role instead of a routine executional role. I wanted new and unfamiliar responsibilities and I knew that along the way an MBA education would help in dealing with complex business problems at the management level.
Another question was: Why do you want overseas experience? Because I applied for the dual programme with St. Gallen in Switzerland. I answered that I wanted my management learning experience tto be on an international scale. I also want to be globally mobile and and have the choice of a broader range of opportunities.
The toughest questions were what I felt I could contriubute to the class, and why an MBA and not other management programs that can equally elevate my management understanding.
Andrew: Besides the routine questions about my strengths and weaknesses and how I could contribute to the program, I was also asked about my views on current events and to elaborate. I think they really wanted candidates who were prepared to talk about anything and everything.
Do you think it is possible to fail an MBA Admissions interview?
Jane: Yes, it is possible to fail an MBA interview especially when you show you are not sure what comes after your MBA or if you are taking your MBA just as an eye-opening experience to see what is out there.
Andrew: Yes, it is possible to bomb an MBA admissions interview. You can avoid this by being professional, courteous, and prepared.
What are your top three do's when preparing an MBA interview?
Jane: Attend the university's MBA information session, do your GMAT very well, check out the alumni of the university to acertain the success rate of the program. At the interview avoid saying that your MBA is your only contingency plan in case your current career does not take off or that you expect your salary be twice what it was before the MBA!
Andrew: Know why you are applying to Nanyang and why you are interested to be in Singapore.
Read more stories about students, alumni and programs at Nanyang Business School, here.