In this article we shall appreciate the importance of being aware of yourself and how this may be wielded as a potent strength while being assessed by the interview panel for admission to an MBA program.
Who are you?
The success or failure of many interviews will hinge on your ability to answer this seemingly simple question.You are a complex product made up of a unique blend of abilities, skills, and personal qualities, one shaped by your own personal and professional history. Being aware of yourself will help you to have greater clarity with respect to pursuing a formal program in management.
It is a sales situation!
The interviewing process is a kind of sale. In this case, you are the product—and the salesperson. If you show up unprepared to talk about your unique features and benefits, you’re unlikely to motivate an interviewer to “buy.” If you can’t convince the interviewer, face to face, that you are the right person for the MBA program, you aren’t likely to make the sale! The way you respond to the questions should make a case for the panel to ‘buy’ your profile.
Research the panel’s needs!
A sales situation is most effective if the seller understands the needs of the buyer. Researching what the B-school wants can help you answer the ‘why you’ question. They are looking for the right fit – the one who has a zeal to learn in a business simulated environment, an ability to contribute in groups, is driven by initiative and high levels of energy, and is motivated by a sense of social cause!
What’s the point?
The better you know yourself, the better you can sell yourself to a prospective B-school. Compile a list of your best features under the following headings:
- My strongest skills.
- My greatest areas of knowledge.
- My greatest personality strengths.
- The things I do best.
- My key accomplishments.
Then you can transform your best features into benefits for your prospective B-school:
- What in my personal inventory will convince this panel that I deserve admission?
- What are the strengths, achievements, skills, and areas of knowledge that make me most suitable for this program? What in my background should separate me from the herd of other applicants?
Answers to the above will help you to create a distinct differentiation and help you to position your answer convincingly.
How to develop and increase self-awareness?
While it is imperative to know yourself for a superior performance in the interview, it may not be that easy to achieve this feat. It takes a whole lifetime in certain cases to create this kind of self-awareness. The following steps may facilitate the ‘knowing yourself’ process:
- Look at yourself objectively.
- Keep a journal.
- Write down your goals, plans, and priorities.
- Perform daily self-reflection.
- Take personality and psychometric tests.
- Ask for feedback.