What have you been told about applying to business school? With the advent of chat rooms, blogs, and forums, armchair “experts” often unintentionally propagate MBA admissions myths, which can linger and undermine an applicant’s confidence. Some applicants are led to believe that schools want a specific “type” of candidate and expect certain GMAT scores and GPAs, for example. Others are led to believe that they need to know alumni from their target schools and/or get a letter of reference from the CEO of their firm in order to get in. In this series, mbaMission debunks these and other myths and strives to take the anxiety out of the admissions process.
Maybe you are among the unlucky applicants who were/are on the outside looking in this year, shaking your head trying to understand why you did not get into an MBA program. As you look back and assess where you went wrong, you may narrow your focus and re-examine your interviews. After all, you were invited to interview but were rejected thereafter, so there must be a cause-and-effect relationship, right? Your rejection must mean that everything was at stake during those 30 to 60 minutes and that your interviewer just did not feel that you are of the caliber preferred by your target school, right? Wrong.
Bruce DelMonico, the Yale School of Management (SOM) assistant dean for admissions, explained to mbaMission that the school uses a “consensus decision-making model [in which] we all need to agree on an outcome for an applicant [to be accepted].” Each file is read multiple times. With the need for a consensus, we can safely conclude that the committee is not waiting on the interview as the determinant. There is no post-interview snap judgment but rather serious thought and reflection by the admissions officers.
Although we have discussed this topic before, it is worth repeating that no simple formula exists for MBA admissions and that the evaluation process is thorough and not instinctive/reactive. Yes, a disastrous interview can certainly hurt you—but if you felt positively about your interview, you should not worry that you botched it and that this was the determinant of the admissions committee’s decision. 📝
mbaMission offers even more interview advice in our FREE Interview Primers, which are available for 17 top-ranked business schools.
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