How to succeed in a business school interview?

16 Mar 2020

Etudiant en entretien

This is it, you have successfully passed the written and oral tests of the Sesame competition, and you are eligible in the business school of your dreams… Nothing is won yet, because you have to face the oral test, and more precisely, the famous motivation interview! Do not panic ... the IPAG Business School gives you all the keys to calmly approach this final stretch of the competition which will allow you to join a business school!?

How to present yourself for an interview in business school?

Whichever Post Bac school you want to join, the admission procedure is generally the same: after having passed the eligibility barrier, you will not be able to escape the oral exams, which may be the very first interview of your life.

Note that you can join some Grandes Ecoles of commerce in 3rd or 4th year, via parallel admissions. You will then also have to pass this famous motivation interview.

This may seem obvious when going to an interview, but it is imperative to take care of its outfit and presentation, even when it is a "young" environment like that of business schools. Exit the holey jeans, the little dresses with suspenders or the sneakers eliminated. If the tailor is now a little too formal for girls, a correct and neat outfit is required, while for boys, the suit is recommended. And what about the tie? If it is not mandatory, it is greatly recommended, to mark the occasion. Remember to try on your outfits before the interview, to deal with the unexpected.

Another point to work on is his non-verbal communication. The jury will be attentive to your body language and your gaze. Work upstream your posture and your attitude towards the examiners, for example in front of your parents or your friends. To banish: the fleeing look, the arched back or, of course, the hands in the pockets.

Finally, to start your entrance exam interview, think about a quick introduction, in which you introduce yourself and explain why you want to do a business school. This will allow you to get started without too much hesitation and to direct the conversation on the subjects you want to address.

Prepare for interview questions to join a business school

An interview, just like the written exams for the entrance exam, cannot be improvised! It is best to put the odds on your side by preparing for some essential questions. Think now about thinking about your answers and train to be serene on D-Day.

One of the classic questions is "What are your top 3 qualities? Your 3 main faults? " In order not to be caught off guard, identify them and do not hesitate to ask the opinion of your loved ones. It is important to be honest about your small imperfections: show the jury that you are aware of your faults and that you are working on them!

Certain elements make the difference, notably your passions. Indeed, at the end of high school, the candidates all have the same background and have had almost the same professional experience. If your application and your results in the admission competition have shown that you have the level to integrate the program of your dreams, you still have to make sure that the school will suit you. It is at the level of your activities that you will have to stand out from the other graduates and be original. You must make the jury want to welcome you to their school! Do not exaggerate your experiences, simply value the projects carried out outside of your schooling and your hobbies. Beware, however, of banalities. If you say that you like painting, you must be able to clarify your words, to quote artists and trends that inspire you.

If you are not asked to have a professional project stopped after the baccalaureate, you must show an early reflection on your future. Discuss a trade or industry that arouses your interest, even if it means changing your mind later in your graduate studies. The jury must be convinced that the school you want to integrate is in line with your aspirations.

Finally, get ready to answer some tricky questions:

  • Name a difficult situation you faced and how did you react?
  • Your greatest pride?
  • Do you have a model?

Our advice for a successful business school admission interview

Preparation for competitions continues after the written tests. To maximise the chances of entering a large school, we give you some valuable advice:

Be unbeatable at the school you want to join! Before the interview, find out about the different programs it offers (Master, Bachelor and of course the Grande école Program). Identify now the specialisations that interest you, the subjects that speak to you or the associations that you would like to join. The school welcomed students who became entrepreneurs, famous? Talk it over ! Examiners must feel that you are motivated to join their business school and not another.

Applying for a major business school assumes that you are open to the world and curious. You will necessarily be asked about the news and your general culture. So be prepared to quote the media through which you stay informed, or even a few journalists you prefer. And of course, stay alert to economic, political, social and international news. The jury may well ask you "What recent news has marked you?" for example.

Be humble. After the baccalaureate, we do not expect candidates to have already seen everything, read everything. If you are not sure, if we do not have the answer to a question, do not panic. It is better to recognise a little ignorance rather than try to deceive and ridicule yourself.

Finally, as with job interviews, it is fashionable to conclude your oral with questions. You don't have to look too far: you can ask for details on the school and course organisation, or ask your examiners about their professional activity.

Keep in mind that these oral tests can be intimidating since very often the candidate faces two or three members of the jury. To be comfortable, do not leave room for improvisation or hesitation: be natural and calmly prepare for your business school competition ... Good luck!

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