1. Why are you interested in this school/program?
面試官所想要知道的：Why?” 為什麼您選擇申請這間學校，答案或許非常明顯–因為該校是全球排名頂尖的商學院。但是，不要花太多時間在敘述學校的歷史及聲譽，具體地將重點放在：「為什麼這間學校對你本身來說是最好的選擇。」 入學評審委員想要知道的是，學校的哪個特定部分吸引你選擇了申請這間學校。解釋這間學校的MBA 學程如何和您的目標及興趣相符合，以及為什麼做了這個選擇。記住誠實和真實性是在回答問題時很重要的準則。
建議在回答中包含的要素: location, school culture, faculty, courses, the emphasis of school, industry connection, job placement, future goals
“I applied at Berkeley because it is one of the very few schools that offers an MBA program with full specialization in Entrepreneurship. I plan to run a software startup company upon receiving my degree and the Haas School’s emphasis on small business, reflected in the Marketing Management course led by Prof. Paul Heider, will prepare me to venture out into the competitive world of software design. Also, because I currently live in Sacramento and have residence in California, a state school like Berkeley is the most practical choice for someone in my financial position.”
2. Why are you pursuing an MBA now?
面試官所想要知道的：這個問題的重點應該放在 “now.” 目前您的人生面臨了什麼樣的狀況，導致您決定做這麼重大的轉換? 如果您目前正在工作，解釋您轉換跑道的動機。例如：您是否有著要成為避險基金經理人的長期計畫，或者是您未來有規劃想要管理您所就職銀行的分行。關於 “Why MBA now?” 這個問題，我們建議較為完整的回答應該包含下列幾個部分：
建議在回答中包含的要素: current job/school position, specific career goals, financial circumstances, dreams and passions, action plan
“My decade of sales experience in the dairy industry has been extremely fulfilling and I’ve grown as a leader while developing communication and problem-solving skills through numerous campaigns. This has given me a desire to branch out to other industries as a marketing consultant, where I can use my industry knowledge to benefit growing businesses.
Because I wish to devote my career to helping small organic farms acquire a foothold in mid- to large-sized markets and execute their marketing strategies, I realize that I need to gain all of the current strategies of consulting that an MBA program offers. I recently became interested in marketing strategy and how it increases visibility. I have begun networking with other consultants in the industry, leading to informational interviews that have grown my interest while showing me the necessity of a world-class business education.
With my past education in sales, there is no way to break into consulting unless I ‘power-up’ my skills with an MBA. I am 38 years old and have a young family, so I can’t imagine a better time than now to take this leap.”
3. Tell me about yourself.
面試官所想要知道的：乍看之下這好像是一個很簡單的問題，但因為這屬於開放式問題，不少有潛力申請者會在這題犯下失誤。您想要呈現您最好的一面，但該從何開始說起、以及該包含什麼內容呢? 一個好的開頭方法是先簡單的敘述您這個人，想像是口頭敘述您的”履歷摘要”，先用描述的方式定義您這個人，之後再說明您的成就及經歷。 在您敘述經驗和成就時，加入您的強項、熱情、以及性格要素，最後再以為什麼您參加了這場面試來作結論。
建議在回答中包含的要素: relevant terms, work strengths, personal and professional passions, interesting facts about you, career goals
“My name is Coleen Cho and I’ve been a client relationship officer at Trident Affiliates for the past four years. The most important things to know about me are probably that I have a passion for using numbers to get the best results, and that I always look for the positive in everything I do. These traits have sustained me during challenging periods in my career but have also kindled my passion for management and my resolve to take on the role of COO for an NGO.
After graduating from Texas A&M with a degree in finance, I got my first corporate job as an account analyst at Struthers & Co., where my positive attitude came in handy. During my three years at the firm, I spent a lot of time on tasks I felt did not fully utilize my skills. But through this work I learned the value of attention to detail. When I moved to Trident in 2010, I turned this attention to detail to my clients. I tried to learn everything I could about them and truly appreciate their character and values in order to maximize their satisfaction for the benefit of the company. Although working with people is a lot different than crunching numbers, I find that paying attention to details like their needs and personal perspectives requires an equal amount of care and focus. I truly love this aspect of management.
I am grateful for my experience and proud of my achievements at these firms over the past seven because they have brought me to where I am today. With a deep respect for people and for hard work, and with my past experiences and the invaluable skills I will learn in this MBA program, I am optimistic about the next chapter in my career.”
4. Tell me about a time you demonstrated leadership. What did you learn from it?
面試官所想要知道的：MBA學程中除了學習新的技巧，溝通能力也是很重要的一環，因此，在面試評鑑當中，領導能力是面試官最重視的能力之一(僅次於團隊工作能力) 。具體敘述您領導一個團隊的實例，以及您如何克服障礙。就算您沒有領導一個團隊的有力實例，敘述您在其他的狀況之下，使用您的領導技能完成團體目標的案例—例如在大學時期、或是在您的日常生活當中。您是否有主辦社團或其他組織活動的經驗? 您是否曾經自願參與政治活動或是其他領導企劃，領導能力包含傾聽、回應、鼓勵、激勵，回想您最符合領導者角色，並幫助團隊達成實際目標的時刻。
在回應時,使用 “STAR” approach:
- (S/T) 解釋您所參與情境(SITUATION) 或任務(TASK)
- (A) 說明方法(APPROACH)—詳細描述您面對特定挑戰時所採取的行動
- (R) 告訴面試官您採取的行動導致了什麼正面的結果(RESULTS)
建議在回答中包含的要素: the project you were involved with, your position, duties you took on, the outcome of your project, lessons you learned
SITUATION/TASK: “When I began working as a marketing manager with Stratton Corp., sales were only at 70% of that of our closest competitor. Although we were running over twenty active advertising campaigns, our ROI was quite low. As you can imagine, the head office was unhappy with this performance and the morale in the marketing department was dismal. As a manager, I was responsible for maintaining optimal performance and for the effectiveness of the department’s activity.”
APPROACH: “I decided that we needed to not only run different marketing campaigns, but to entirely rebrand at least three of our product lines. I first divided the marketing team into smaller task force groups, each responsible for brainstorming new ideas, benchmarking and researching competing brands, and creating proposals for marketing strategies to enhance our brand image. Next, I developed a marketing workflow so that new ideas could be shared ASAP with other groups and so that each group could receive feedback on their proposals. Although I was responsible for providing managerial feedback, my biggest role was in facilitating cooperation between them so that the most impactful proposals would rise to the top.”
RESULT: “The positive effect my workflow restructuring had on sales was immediate. Within four months we had completely rebranded three of our main products. We recorded a quarterly sales increase of 25%, the largest in the branch’s history. But the impact on the morale of the employees was the most astonishing to me—within one month, almost every member of the task force teams was volunteering to work late to come up with the best ideas. Involving all members in the creative process and discovering strategies for improvement made them feel empowered. This success taught me that leadership is more about strengthening the lines of communication than about giving orders.”
技巧: 使用具體數據或其他量化的語言來說明您所採取的方法以及得到的結果。(例如：生產力增加了30%、增加了12,000 新的訂閱者).
5. What are your short-term and long-term career goals?
面試官所想要知道的：面試官想知道您取得了MBA學位之後的計畫，因此，無可避免的他們會詢問您有關於您的職涯計畫，回答此問題時，建議您可以將您的計畫分為兩個部分：短期計畫以及長期計畫。根據各別部分，解釋您的目標為何、為何這目標對您而言是重要的、您預計如何達成、以及您目前的職場或學術背景如何幫助您達到目標。先敘述您的長期計劃，之後再說明您將如何透過短期計劃來達成長期計畫。您的目標應該要是具體明確的，因此，比起說： “I want to open a small business,” 您可以說明您想創立小額貸款機構的夢想，包括是什麼原因激勵了您的夢想，以及具體您需要及計畫採取什麼行動以達成這個目標。記得提及您將如何透過MBA學程來獲得需要的技能及達到理想的位置。
建議在回答中包含的要素: details about your career goals, reasons for these goals, action plan
“My ultimate career goal is to head an environmentally-friendly outdoor sporting goods company in Minnesota, preferably near my hometown. My deep love of the outdoors has inspired so much of what I do in life, and so I see this goal as a way to give back to my community and pass on my experiences to future generations. As CEO, I would be in a position to create a substantive company policy that ensures our products are environmentally friendly.
Reaching this position will require a tremendous understanding of the ins and outs of the sporting goods industry, as well as knowledge of the manufacturing process. Therefore, my short-term plan includes getting an MBA in strategic management and then working in the sales and marketing department of a sporting goods company to learn first-hand about consumer tastes and purchasing habits. Within ten years, I would like to head product development at a branch level. This will give me a more holistic view of sales trends and inform my understanding of implementing strategies focused on environmental awareness and CSR.
Ideally, I will be heading an established company or one that I found within 15 to 20 years. I expect to be experienced enough to lead as CEO after having gone through diverse experiences and having produced results at multiple levels. I feel that the knowledge I gain during my MBA will be fundamental to achieving these goals.
Are there any questions you would like to ask the interviewer?
Why do you want to pursue an MBA?
Talk about a mistake or failure you experienced. How did you overcome it?
Why did you move to your current job/industry?
為了準備您的MBA面試，您應該盡可能蒐集越多關於學程的訊息、並反覆練習面試時的回應，本篇所列出的MBA常見問題並不是您在MBA面試時唯一可能碰到的問題，因此，多做研究，了解最近申請者在MBA面試時所得到的經驗。若想知道更多關於 MBA 學程以及MBA 申請流程，您可參考以下網頁：
Leadership Interview Questions and Answers (Career Profiles)
MBA Interview Prep: “Tell Me About Yourself” (The Red Pen)
Top 10 Do’s to Crack a Personal Interview (MBA Rendezvous)
12 Interview Questions You’ll Be Asked (Bentley University)
MBA Interviews: The Latest Tricky Questions (Poets & Quants)