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How Do I Prepare For A Video Interview At A Top Business School?

Scott Edinburgh, founder of admissions consulting firm Personal MBA Coach, answers your Applicant Question of the Week

By  Abigail Lister

Thu Nov 8 2018

It's Thursday, which means it's time for the BusinessBecause Applicant Question of the Week!

Every week, we give you the opportunity to ask one of our chosen admissions experts anything you want to know about getting into business school. One question each week is chosen for our expert to answer.

This week, our question comes from an anonymous BusinessBecause reader.

Their question is answered by Scott Edinburgh, founder of MBA admissions consulting firm Personal MBA Coach. Scott has an MBA from Wharton and has been a business school admissions consultant for over 10 years. 

Applicant Question of the Week:

Dear BusinessBecause, 

What is the best way to prepare for a video interview with a top-ranked business school? Will this be much different to an in-person interview? 

The Answer:

Great question! Thank you for the contribution and congratulations on receiving an interview invite. A video interview is actually very similar to an in-person interview. First, let’s take care of some logistics:

What should you wear? I recommend dressing the same way you would for an in-person interview. Business formal is the safest, so a woman’s suit and for men, suit and tie.

Where should you conduct this? Pick a place that will be quiet (you will be surprised what microphones can pick up) and where there are not too many distractions for the interviewer. You do not need to be in front of a white wall, but try to avoid a messy room behind you that could be distracting.

What technical equipment do you need? No need to go too fancy here. Simply have a computer with a camera and microphone and you should be all set. Even if you do not have this, you could use a phone with video capabilities as long as it is steady on a desk so it does not shake.

Ok, now that the administrative details are straightened out, how do you actually prepare?

1. Practice articulating your goals.

This is the most common question you will get. What do you want to do post-MBA? Make sure you can carefully and succinctly describe what you want to accomplish in your career, why these goals are exciting to you and how you will ultimately succeed.

2. Prepare stories.

Research the most common questions and prepare stories in advance. It is important to have clear stories and do not focus too much on setting up the situation. Instead, outline the key steps you took and how you excelled! Always keep in mind the skills you want to highlight and tailor the story accordingly. I always advise applicants to prepare 4-5 stories that can be easily tailored to cover all of the top questions. Assign each story to the potential question in advance. Remember: Situation, Action, Result!

3. Be enthusiastic!

While this is obvious, be excited and smile. Particularly for video interviews, showing enthusiasm virtually is key. While doing so, make sure to maintain eye contact. This does not mean looking at the screen however—look at the camera instead.

4. Know the school and the culture.

Fit is extremely important in all MBA interviews. Be sure that you pay careful attention to each school’s culture, do online research, and talk to former students. Showing adcom how you will thrive and add to the campus is important.

5. Have 2-3 positive questions to ask. 

Especially for a video interview, you will not have the in-person advantage of reading the interviewer as much. However, most will ask for questions at the end. This is the time for you to learn, so ask well thought out questions (beyond what you could have found looking online) to show genuine interest.

6. Relax and be yourself!

Ask an Admissions Expert a Question!


Got a question about your MBA application? Next week, Shari Hubert, associate dean for admissions at Duke University Fuqua School of Business, will be answering one question from a BusinessBecause reader. 

Shari joined Fuqua in 2017, and before that, she worked as associate dean for admissions at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business.

She has also a wealth of business expertise, gained from an MBA from Harvard Business School and management work at GE and Citi.

Got a question for Shari?

You can submit your question on our TwitterFacebook, or LinkedIn pages, send us an email to info@businessbecause.com, or simply post a comment in the box below!