For some of our Executive MBA applicants, it’s been some time since they’ve been in the interview hot seat. Whether being considered for employment or graduate study, the interview process can be intimidating.
As a member of Fuqua’s Executive MBA interview team, I want to help you put your best foot forward in your admissions interview and assure you that it doesn’t have to be intimidating!
First Things First …
All Executive MBA applicants are required to complete an interview that can be scheduled at their convenience via a link in the application. Interview slots fill up quickly, so plan accordingly and register early if possible.
How is the Admissions Interview Structured?
In 30 to 45 minutes, applicants share their professional and personal learnings and milestones with a member of the Executive MBA Admissions Committee.
Conducting application interviews is one of the best parts of my job. It’s an opportunity to hear how you weave together all of the pieces of your life that brought you to Fuqua and the point at where you’re considering an MBA. Our goal as interviewers is to provide a conversational structure that lends itself to creating a more authentic connection with the applicant. This dynamic helps us answer the question, “Do you seem like the person we see on paper?”
What is the Admissions Committee Looking For?
As a former student perfectly captured, “the Fuqua admissions office is deeply committed to getting to know you—not your neighbor, or your boss, or some caricature of the perfect MBA student—but you, with all your quirks and passions.” No Executive MBA applicant looks the same, and our community is all the better for it.
Through these conversations, the interviewer will be evaluating the following key areas:
- Readiness, Maturity & Self-Awareness: How will a Duke MBA benefit your career goal(s)?
- Leadership: What makes you a good leader and how do you encourage others to follow you?
- Teamwork: What are your expectations of others when you work on a team?
In addition, we’re also assessing your communication style and the unique contributions you would bring to the classroom.
During the Interview
The interviewer will have a copy of your resume so avoid repeating information they have in front of them. Practice giving a brief overview of your professional background and call attention to one, two, or maybe three accomplishments that may not be fully captured on your resume.
Providing examples is a great way to demonstrate the qualities we look for in applicants. Since Fuqua places a strong emphasis on leadership and teamwork skills, share a few key learnings from your experience in these areas. If leadership and teamwork are skills you’re looking to develop in an MBA program, it’s perfectly fine to say that (hint: it shows self-awareness!).
While presenting yourself as professional and prepared is important, so is allowing your authentic self to shine through. This is the part of the application process where we get to know who you are beyond the resume and test scores.
We treat the interview as a two-way conversation and expect that you’ll ask questions—but make sure to do your research! It’s not the best look to come to the interview with basic questions that can be answered easily on our website.
Also, since all Executive MBA interviews are currently conducted over Zoom, here are a few camera communication tips from our Career Management Center.
Smile and good luck!