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How do I explain work experience in an MBA interview?

27-Aug-2018 10:27:19 / by Nabeela D'Sa

Nabeela D'Sa

What most people do is to look for sample MBA interview questions and answers, but after going through different MBA questions and answers, your acceptance to do an MBA is dependent on two things, which are like two sides of the coin. My friend who is an associate at Harvard said that, one side of the coin is your academics, including your undergraduate and GMAT score. The other side of the coin is your work experience. Through your work experience, the interviewers would ascertain your maturity, creativity and abilities.

Most times, the format for interview questions for MBA applicants depends on the type of MBA they have decided to pursue. When it comes to an EMBA or an Executive MBA interview, questions relating to work experience will push to ascertain your rationale for making the different career choices and/or moves you have made throughout your career. Some school require at least three years of managerial level work experience to apply for an MBA at their facility, while to apply for an EMBA requires (in some institutions) as much as eight years of higher level or management level work experience.

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Therefore, when explaining your work experience, it is not much about where you have worked, but why you have worked in those places. This is an important point! Your interviewers would want to understand your roles in different organizations and at different levels. Interview questions for MBA students are crafted such that your knack for analytical thinking and creative instincts can be accessed.

Here are the things to keep in mind when explaining work experience in an MBA interview:

How many years is enough?

For a full time MBA program, two years of work experience is the minimum and in some cases they do not ask for any work experience as they look to have placements ready for graduating students, whereas the average number of years to get accepted onto a top ranked and well reputed institutions is between three and eight years. If you have longer than eight years of experience, you should definitely consider an EMBA.

How to demonstrate impact?

The most important thing about work experience is not quantity, but quality. You should be able to show what impact you had in the organizations you have been employed with. If you ventured into entrepreneurship, you still have to show that ‘self-employed’ is not a euphemism for ‘unemployed’ by demonstrating how you recognized the need in the market for your product or service, also about launching, and managing your enterprise.

How to demonstrate leadership skills?

Your MBA interview answers about work experience should expose the type of leadership skills you have, which prove that you can not only work with a team during your MBA program, but also in the real business world. Students who show a facilitative leadership style have a distinct advantage over those who show closed leadership attitudes. Did you facilitate a project with a team, or did you do it alone? Are you able to delegate, or do you like complete control?

Show upward mobility...

When explaining your work experience, explain how your responsibilities increased with time and your enthusiasm for taking on more with or without rewards. Interviewers like to see an upward mobility and attitude, which is easily portrayed through in the different places you have worked. Even if you have worked in few places, show that you have not just been doing the same thing over the years.

Finally, your MBA interview answers should be succinct and show your confidence in your abilities and your career goals.


REFERENCES

Topics: MBA

Nabeela D'Sa

Written by Nabeela D'Sa

 

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