Would You Like Another Interview?

After an extended weekend in Chicago, I finished the final piece of my Kellogg application. No time to rest, however, as the interview details for LBS were sent to me, and now it’s off to prepare for what I predict to be a wildly different experience. More on that in a bit.

The visit for Kellogg’s Diversity Preview Weekend was well worth it. Apart from the standard visit day/weekend fare, Kellogg made this weekend unique. They ran the Diversity Preview Weekend concurrent with the Black Management Association Conference. This gave us prospective students a chance to see one of Kellogg’s fabled student organizations in action, which is an entirely different dynamic than having members of organizations sit on a panel during lunch or what-have-you. I came away with a more refined sense of what the student culture was like on campus. I was very impressed with the caliber of speakers that the student group was able to draw, and their networking events also left nothing to be desired. Cocktail party on the 99th floor of the Willis Tower, anyone?

Apart from the fun, I did have an important bit of business to attend to. My interview was also held this weekend, right in the midst of the conference and events. It was a bit helter-skelter, having to turn my mind from the topics being discussed towards getting my interview-level focus together. All in all though, I am happy with my performance. Of course in hindsight I tend to nitpick and wish I emphasized on strength over another, but that’s only natural I suppose.

On the same day that I interviewed with Kellogg I received the contact information for my LBS interviewer and a deadline to get the interview done. After sending off the email for scheduling, I naturally took a peek at LinkedIn to see what type of person I’ll be speaking to. Suffice it to say it’s someone at a very high level, at a very large multinational corporation. I felt a twinge of nerves that I would be talking to someone so “big”, but that quickly gave way to a sense of excitement. This person went to LBS, got a job in the states, and now has a high level role. I’m interested to pick their brain; maybe just a tad less than they are to pick mine, I’m sure.

A bit about the LBS Interview. It’s longer than the normal MBA interview, clocking in at somewhere between 1-2 hours (sometimes up to 3 depending on who your alum is). This gives the interviewer a chance to really delve into the reasoning behind your decision to apply. You can’t simply gloss over “Why MBA?”, you have to be able to talk about your passions at length. In addition to this, the interviewer will be able to assess you based on whether they would’ve wanted you in their own LBS class. So fit is of the essence, as well as making sure they know you are more than capable as a student. By being extended an invite to interview, that means that the admissions committee is interested in me as a candidate, and that they want to know more about me. This is a major opportunity.

The most daunting part of the interview is a brief case discussion. The interviewer will give you 2 minutes to gather your thoughts on a particular business topic or statement, and then will give you 5 minutes to present them. Obviously, they’re not looking for you to have an intimate knowledge of the topic, but the way to reason and structure your argument can give them a good insight into the type of thinker that you are.

As you can see, there is much to prepare for. So my apologies for keeping this post short, but I must get to it.