Tushar Shani is an incoming student on HEC’s prestigious MiM program. Here he offers his personal suggestions and advice on how to succeed in interview, fresh off the process himself.
First of all, congratulations!!! You’ve made it through a very selective process of application screening. The admission committee is impressed by your profile & essays and, you are just a step away to become an HEC student and be a part of a very diverse and intellectual cohort.
HEC’s interview is targeted to evaluate your confidence, motivation and career aspirations.
It may also test your knowledge on the recent global issues, such as the Facebook data breach and the Brexit. Hence, it is recommended to read news articles from global journals such as WSJ and FT on a daily basis.
Format: It comprises of only one round (usually) and there can be 2 or 3 interviewers, who generally include – the Director of Admissions, a professor or alumni, an admissions committee member. The expected duration of interview is 20-25 minutes.
I would like to share my interview experience as a case in point to demonstrate how the interview evaluates you.
This the most basic aspect of the interview, and it can be boiled down to – having clear ideas and explaining your ideas clearly. To further up the ante the interviewers might put you in a “stress test” – ask another question without letting you complete your previous reply and/or respond negatively to your reply.For example, in my interview, the interviewers did not wait for me introduce myself exclaiming that “We know a lot about you already, why don’t you tell us about…” and went on to asking questions.Such situations can break your tempo, here I advise to keep calm and take deep breath, if you want.
This is arguably the most important aspect of your interview, and it is the first thing the interviewers will judge you upon. If you lack convincing reasons to pursue this program or are unable to explain them, your case becomes really weak and on the other hand, your unique motivations can set you apart from the other applicants.For instance, I did my undergraduate studies in engineering and I applied for the MiM program, so one of the initial questions was “why are you shifting from engineering to management field?”I answered them by firstly explaining my keen interest in problem-solving, which was the reason that I chose to do engineering in first place.
Secondly, I told them that my experiences during undergraduate study have expanded my technical knowledge and improved my analytical abilities, therefore making me a better problem-solver.
Thirdly, I illustrated how the MiM program will add another dimension to my profile and skills.
In a similar way, based on your interests, unique experiences & knowledge about the program, you can convincingly answer any questions you face.
- Career aspirations
It is not easy to correctly define your career goals, especially if you lack substantial work experience, however you can always have a preliminary idea based on your interests. In the interview you are expected to build upon your essay on your career goals.For instance, I want to pursue a career in consulting, because it is aligned with my interest in problem-solving and to work in an ever-challenging environment. Also, in this field I have a chance to become professionally multi-cultural.
In the interview, I demonstrated how the MiM program will help me to achieve my career goals.Also, keep in mind that you may face an alumni who is currently working in the field that you aspire to work in, so don’t hesitate to ask questions in the end, which will reflect your interest.
Clarity about your career goals and how to achieve them, reflects that you are well-aware of the resources that are at your disposal when you become a HEC student.
Other criteria: It is needless to say that you should be well versed with your CV and be prepared to answer some unexpected questions (spontaneity is expected) such as about any unique course you did in your last studies (from your transcripts). Also the questions you ask can also leave a lasting effect on interviewers, so definitely prepare some.
Tips on Skype interviews
Most of the international students face a skype interview, I also gave my interview via skype. I have enumerated some important aspects that you should keep in mind, while preparing for your interview –
- Technical problems: I suggest you to double check your internet connection, webcam & microphone, before going for actual interview. Also connect with the HEC team on skype well before your interview day, to avoid last minute confusion.
- Environment: You should definitely choose a noise-free environment and also ensure that there are no distracting articles behind you. To get better voice quality you can get headset with attached microphone.
- Etiquettes: While talking to the interviewers you should keep your eye-contact with the camera, do not look in the screen. It is okay to keep some short notes handy for interview, but do not read them out. Not keeping etiquettes reflects unprofessionalism.
The final and understated rule for a good interview is to practice. Practice mock interviews with you friends, as many times you can.
In the end, I would like to re-state that you have already made through a very selective application screening and you just have to give a last little push, to be a part of HEC.
I wish you best of luck for your interview!!!