So today I had my first MBA interview. It was with a Kellogg alumnus in Gurgaon at his office. There was something unsettling about it though, as it was a hospital and seeing critical patients being whizzed in and out while I waited in the lounge hardly made me feel comfortable. Anyways, his office had a great view outside - the office had full length windows. I entered and he was busy with his computer. I said Hi Good Afternoon, he said the same and asked me to sit. He spent the next 2 minutes engrossed in his laptop, then the conversation began. Btw, although I had already emailed him my resume, he asked me for it - glad I took the printouts with me.
He asked me about me - gave him a brief overview of my grad + work ex. He smiled and said thats only about work, not really about you. I thought to myself, you idiot! after all, whenever I interview and ask this question, I too always expect the person sitting across the chair to tell me about themselves holistically, not just about work. So I proceeded to give him some information about me - family, soccer fanaticism and love for skiing. And also about my stand up comedy thingey.
Then he asked me a couple of questions regarding the things I had put in the extra curricular part in my resume. Answered those. Then he asked me about an MBA. Told him about my short term and long term goals, why I think I need the MBA, why MBA and not a specialized masters in HR and so on. He didn't look convinced, grilled me a bit on why HR in consumer industries, why international companies etc. Think I answered them fine. Then asked me for plan B, I showed dedication to purpose here and didn't waiver from my answer about finding a job in HR. Also told him that I am aware about the challenges of coming to Kellogg, maybe not finding enough support on campus regarding HR jobs, but linked it to my experience and said I would handle it.
He then asked me about strengths and weaknesses - I didn't answer this well. Weaknesses were actually quite weak themselves and I actually said I hadn't done well in teams although I had worked on it! Not sure how he will take that. We spoke more around why kellogg - i think i answered this really well. He asked me why would he want me sitting next to him in class. Said something about being amiable and pleasant but he said I dont think I'd want to pay $100K only to sit next to someone pleasant. I said the $100K direct relation was a bit stretched but went on to tell him about how I'd contribute to class, the enthusiasm I would bring in and my contributions outside of class in clubs etc.
He then again asked me about career related questions, answered those. Then he asked me if there was something else I would like to say that wasn't already addressed etc. - did that. Then asked him 2 questions - 1 on clubs as I had noted he was a member of the Improv and Net Impact club and I too wanted to join these. He asked me how I knew that he was in those clubs, told him about having read the newsletter. Gave me some thoughts on these. Also asked him about the alumni club in India, linked that to a conversation I had with another Kellogg alumnus. In the end we said our byes and I made a comment which made him laugh. I also made him smile 3-4 times during the interview.
All in all, I am unsure of how it went. Could I have done better - yes! but that would almost always hold true for any interview. Was this my best attempt at an interview - NO, and that is the more important aspect. I could have spoken about my community involvement, but I didn't - felt stupid about that afterwards. Anyways, what's done is done. I'll hope for a positive outcome and the next 3 weeks will furiously speculate on how today went.
How did I prepare for the interview? - well I din't do much. I ordered a seminar for $30 off gmatclub.com which was quite useless for me. I asked for help from a friend I made during the app process, and she was kind to have a mock interview with me on skype. I must point out that Elizabeth (cheetarah1980) has been TREMENDOUSLY helpful! I sincerely wish she and I both make it to Kellogg - would love to have her as my classmate.
So done with the interview and now unsure of what next. My application at Duke and Tuck continues to be under review and I will hear from Duke only by 14th Dec and Tuck - god knows by when! Hoping for the best ....