Please notice this was first posted in the period 2012-2014 and can be outdated
Lots of universities have a policy of having admission interviews with each candidate that wants to enroll in their MBA program. The reason for this is simple; you want to make sure the impression you got from the grades lists, essays, and test results is the correct one. It also gives the applicant a last chance to ask questions or to give an explanation why something in his profile might seem odd. Last week it was my turn to have two admission interviews at the Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration in Bangkok, Thailand.
My interviews were schedule to start at 13:30hrs on Monday and I had prepared myself well for this interview. My preparations were mainly based on a list of possible interview questions printed in the book “Complete Start-to-Finish MBA Admissions Guide” by Jeremy Shinewald. This list contains 100 questions in total which will come back in almost each interview in one form or the other. You can best compare the questions to those also asked during a job interview; think of questions like why you want to do an MBA, why you want to do it here, what you think you bring to the classroom, what your strengths and weaknesses are, etc.
The last days before the interviews I have been going through the questions several times and written down some stories/answers I would like to focus on. In total there were like 4-5 stories I had in mind and I had an idea of how I wanted to tell these stories. Off course you do not know the exact questions you will get during the interview, but most stories can be used as an answer to different questions when you improvise a bit.
At 1PM on Monday I was waiting in the Sasa Patasala building till the interviews would start. There would be two interviews, and two candidates would be scheduled in at the same time. After completing the first interview we would switch interviewers and that way the whole process would be done in under an hour. My first interview was with the Associate Dean Emeritus from Kellogg School of Management which ended up as a very nice conversation. Instead of asking any of the 100 questions I prepared the talk was more a general one where he was interested in why I had come to Thailand and why I wanted to study here. All together I left 30 minutes later with a pretty good feeling about the interview.
Before the second interview started the two candidates who would be next were already in the waiting area making a nervous impression. The big table with snacks and drinks was left untouched and they were just sitting there staring in front of them. Apparently these interviews can be quite stressful when you are not used to them.
The second interview was with the Head of Admission of Sasin and an old alumni. This interview went also a bit different than expected since the focus was here mostly on my choice of the MBA program compared to the Executive MBA program which gave me some things to think about. But all together I also left this interview with a good feeling.
For me the interviews were over, resulting in one last thing to do before I could return back home. I had to have a small celebration dinner at the local Fuji restaurant…