Saturday, December 10, 2011

Interview Process - MIT Sloan Fellows Program

The second term is coming to an end and the class is preparing for the New York trip. This is also the time when the International Students get to hear from the Program Office and some of them get invited for an interview. I have got several questions about the interview process from some shortlisted candidates.

In this post I will briefly talk about the interview process. And as always, I only talk from my own experience. Your interview may/may not different than mine.

Mode - 

On Skype or in person. I had mine on Skype. It was a video call (so make sure you have a webcam). But the Program Office staff does travel to some International Locations to conduct these interviews. This is true for candidates they havent met in the past (like during information sessions, visitors program etc.)

Duration -

45 mins to an hour. Mine lasted for 50 mins. But this may not be the general rule. I had met the Director for an hour during the information session in my city so they had a good idea about my background. So if you havent met them or spoken to them earlier, this could go longer.

Content - 

  • Discuss Background/Profile/Achievements - If they havent met you in person.
  • Essays/Application - In my case, all my essays were discussed. I was also asked follow up questions about the essays and learnings from the situations. So be very thorough with your essays and think about what you learned from those situations and possibly how those gaps have been plugged. 
  • Objective - You also have to be very clear about your long term objective and how the program can help you achieve that. This program is about Global Leadership and Innovation. Leadership is of different kinds and so is innovation. But if your objective is to move from Banking to Consulting or vice versa and you say it during the interview, it will not go well. And mind you, this is not like a standard 2 yr MBA interview in which they will look at gmat, resume, essay etc. There is a strong assessment of the overall FIT. The adcom will look at how mature you are and how well you will fit into a class of 100 super achievers. So be yourself. 

They usually have only one round of interviews unless otherwise specified.

Some important last minute tips -

a) Be humble and be modest.

b) Even though you may have had amazing discussions with the program office and you may have a feeling that they like you, dont be complacent. You will be surprised how many amazing individuals are coming as visitors. And if you get through, you will be amazed to see your classmates. Each one of us (I mean my classmates) think even now as to how did we get into this class of such amazing people.

c) You may have had amazing achievements but simplify when you are explaining them during the interview. Dont use jargons, cause if you do, you are losing an important opportunity to make a strong impression. So articulate effectively.

d) Be honest. If you have applied to Stanford, LBS etc. etc. please let them know and also the reasons. Dont lie/hide things. And they understand that people apply to multiple schools. Just remember they have been doing it for so many years, so your case is not new to them.

Good luck with people who have been invited for interview. International candidates get interviewed till January end I think so dont panic if you havent got a call yet. There is still time.

Good luck...!!

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