This advice is the result of the experience of a former candidate in the entrance exams to the Business Schools. These techniques are far from being a martingale but have enabled the author to obtain excellent marks in interviews at the best schools.
I think everyone has different methods. I’m just going to give you mine, which has worked for me, but you have to adapt it to your own sauce, your own character. These tips and tricks will help some people, but what really counts is to arrive on the day of the interview in a certain state of mind.
To have coherence, a mentality entirely devoted to a goal: to show that you’re nice, that if what you’ve been through is not necessarily extraordinary, that’s not why you’re going to be boring, and that your goal is to get people interested in you.
You are open to what you are offered and even amused as soon as there is a bit of originality. You understand the innuendoes that are being made and you don’t talk a lot. Think of the candidate you’d like to have in front of you.
You’re not expecting Superman, you’re expecting an interesting, thoughtful guy who doesn’t look like a robot. You don’t hesitate to make a point, to ask what they’re expecting, etc. By establishing a real dialogue, and not the nightmare of the recruiter who sees parrots reciting their lessons.
The jury’s bringing you in. The temptation is strong to sit down, but standing around waiting to be invited to do so is something that will never hurt, and can score points. In rare cases, the Jury leads the interview with fairly specific questions, but most of the time the first question is “introduce yourself”.
It is indeed difficult to know what the jury wants, and moreover if it really wants something! School experience? Travel? Professional project? The motivation for school? Surely you have a ready-made script or at least an idea for each theme, but which one should be addressed? You also probably have favorite themes and others that you don’t necessarily want to tackle.
My method consists of not hesitating to lead the jury on the right ground, without ever giving them the impression that we’re the ones doing it. If you tell your favorite themes directly, you grill them right away, and the first thing the jury will want to do is look for what you want to hide, without being interested in what you want to put forward.
A good presentation for me starts with a (very) brief marital status to launch the subject, a short description of the path followed, and then ask the jury what theme they want you to tackle, mostly making suggestions! “
Several strategies are possible, depending on what you want to do.
Do you want me to develop the professional experiences I no longer have, or rather my travels abroad? ». The closed question, guiding the jury while letting them choose the themes of the interview. Do not suggest a theme, so as not to get burned out, but only suggest themes that you master.
After that, the questions follow one after the other, banal or trapping. I won’t go back on the elocution, the smile, in short the appearance on which you will find relevant advice everywhere.
The most important thing in an interview is to be interesting and credible. Some people take risks to try to hit the jackpot, but originality at all costs pays 18 one day and 6 the next. Seriousness, someone who masters his subject, the typical profile of the student you want, it pays more than 15 all the time. Think of the number of candidates.
This is a poker tournament where you want to finish in the top 30, top 50. You’re not the one who’s going to try two or three all in a row to get to the top, at the risk of failing. You’re the one who’s going to quietly win his chips with every argument you give in your favor.
All books and interviewers will tell you: don’t lie at the interview.
Yes and no. Even if you prefer the coating, turning something trivial into something out of the ordinary, you may have to lie, but don’t do it on the fly.
The lies in order to work must be undetectable. You must have an answer for everything, not betray yourself by your behavior or contradictions, not be unrealistic either. You have never had any experience in this or that field?
Make yourself a concrete experience: have someone who has lived this experience tell you about it, from top to bottom, down to the very last detail. Lying is always a risk, often not necessary, so if you take the plunge, have no doubt about your ability to hold out and remain credible.
Qualities and faults
This is one of the most difficult questions because without being perfect you can’t reduce yourself to 3 flaws or 3 qualities, and you can’t see which characteristics you would bring out.
You’re not going to tell them that you’re lazy, violent, or that you find yourself irresistibly funny. The only interest I have in this question is to see how you do. Dare to say that you’re a perfectionist, too demanding, etc., and you’re going right to the wall.
How to get out of it: give flaws that are not obstacles to your work. Gluttony may be a bit cliché and you can probably find better, but it’s a typical example of a flaw that won’t make them hesitate to take you.
The Must: gain points in credibility by putting a demonstrable characteristic immediately (resistance to stress, shyness) or in your experience. Of course, never forget after the defects a way to say something like “but I’m working on it! ».
Do you have any questions for us?
Pretty tough question. I’d say don’t have any before the interview unless you’re sure:
- that not everyone is going to ask it *
- that you couldn’t find the answer before
- that the jury will know how to respond
- that she has an interest
For me, the best thing to do is to think about this question at the beginning of the interview, when your interlocutors show up. If they don’t, asking them to do so at the end may seem like a joke, but it’s certainly what they expect. If they do come up at the beginning, find a profession that interests you among the jury, originality that appeals to you, etc.
At worst, it’s better not to ask a question at the end, by completing a minimum of his negation “No, I think I got all the information I wanted” for example. The main thing is not to answer just a “no” that implies “I didn’t think about it”).
The Twisted Thing
It’s real-life experience: you go for the interview at the school of your dreams, and there in the middle of the interview a role-play, a destabilizing and unpredictable question falls on you.
Don’t look far for the goal of this test: you’ve shown that you’re well trained, we’ll try to see what you’re capable of if the natural doesn’t come back at full gallop to contradict what you said before, etc….
The attitude to adopt is to remain zen.
You seemed a little sad, we make you tell a joke, show that you understand the message. We try to destabilize you, play innocent! These situations are an opportunity to kill the game, to show that it’s you they want.
For example, a little role-playing. What would you do in such a situation, and after, and after, and if this happens, etc etc. etc… The mistake I think you should not make is to stop before the end, asking where the jury is going with this. He wants to have fun, let’s go! He’s the one who sets the rule if he prefers to see my ability to stay focused, serene instead of hearing me talk about my pony rides in perfect eighth grade!
He will remember more the one who said “why not” when he was more or less explicitly asked if he would spend a night with Sophie Marceau, than the one who told him about his school career. I’m not talking about the one who took offense when he asked in an indignant tone how knowing what he thinks of Sophie Marceau allows the jury to judge her ability to integrate the school.