- Why MBA?
- Why this school?
If you have given enough thought to your decision of MBA, and done a research on the schools and programs, it's easy to answer these questions. All others (typically, questions on your hobbies, extra-curricular activities) generally indicate that the interviewer is trying to 'break the ice' and make you more comfortable, probably because you are showing some signs of nervousness. Lighten up and speak from the heart! The interview will be an enjoyable experience.
Sometimes your interview may be conducted over Skype, Video Phone or a regular telephone (especially if it's a school in a foreign country). In such cases, be prepared for any eventuality. Avoid using a wireless internet connection, as it can be quite unreliable. As a backup plan, provide the interviewers with your phone number so that they can reach you, in case of technical difficulties. Try to get the interviewers' contact details and proactively make a contact in case you do not hear from them by the scheduled time.
Sometimes an alumni, senior student may interview you in your city, and the setting of the interview can be very informal, which actually works in your favor. I've had my interview conducted in a Coffee Shop! However, do not forget that the purpose of your meeting is something very formal and professional, and take it as seriously as you would take a board room discussion. If the setting makes you uncomfortable, ask whether it would be possible to shift to a different place / reschedule.
If you are making a presentation, the same rules apply - be prepared for any technical failure. Do not assume that your laptop would work fine, the room / environment will be conducive to a on-screen presentation. Carry paper copies of your presentation. If you are allowed to choose any topic for the presentation, show creativity and choose a topic that would arouse an interest from all. Avoid a topic that's closely related to your area of work. Show creativity in your choice of graphics / animation effects in the presentation, but don't overdo it.
Ask questions! If you have sincerely given a thought to your decision to apply to a school, you are bound to have questions on how the program will help you in future, or how the student life at the school is. Ask the right questions. Do not ask for factual details e.g. fees, scholarships, living expenses, courses which can be found from the website / other sources. It just shows your lack of research on the program.
If an alumni is interviewing you, ask him how the MBA has helped him/her professionally. Ask about the student life, activities he/she undertook. If a faculty member, admission committee member is your interviewer, ask about recent initiatives taken by the school, events / extra-curricular activities that the school formally organizes. Remember - it is your opportunity to learn about the program too.