Over the last months, we’ve focused on helping applicants prepare to answer the various questions they’ll be posed during their interviews, but there is one in particular to which we have not paid much attention. Today, we wanted to offer a few tips in navigating the nearly inevitable interview finisher: “Do you have any questions for me?”
This seems like a harmless inquiry, and indeed poses a great opportunity, but there’s actually a fine line to walk here. You certainly want to take advantage of this opportunity to show the interviewer that you appreciate his or her time, perspective and knowledge. In determining what to ask, however, you need to avoid those questions to which you could easily find an answer on the school’s website (remember that it’s imperative that you show you’ve done your homework), as well as those that are so specific or obscure that they will stump the interviewer. Another sort of question to avoid are those that seem to be critical of the program or too concerned with other applicants; now is not the time to ask about application volume or the strength of the pool this year.
What does that leave? More than you might initially expect. We’ve found that a great approach is to ask your interviewer about his or her own perspective and experience. Current students and alums, who involve themselves in the admissions process are generally those who are having or have had a positive experience in business school. If your interviewer falls into one of these categories, he or she will likely appreciate the chance to talk about a favorite class or professor, or comment on involvement in a certain club. Meanwhile, when engineering questions to pose to full-time admissions staff, remember that these individuals likely have less in-depth information but a longer-term perspective on the program than would someone who is currently attending or has attended.
Armed with these tips, you should be able to foster a positive and productive conversation, learn a bit more about the program in question, and make a positive impression on your interviewer.
If you have further inquiries about the best questions to pose in your interview (or any other aspect of the interview process), contact Clear Admit directly and sign up for our mock interview service (firstname.lastname@example.org). We offer school-by-school interview guides, strategy sessions and mock interviews to help you perform at your best on interview day. Also, do not forget to use the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Wiki as a resource for interview preparations!