You might come across many surprising and unexpected questions in your MBA admission essays and interviews. However, “Why do you want an MBA?” would not be in the list of those unexpected questions. This is quite easily one of the most frequently asked questions in the MBA admission interviews.

If not asked directly “Why MBA” it might be rephrased to ascertain the same kind of answer from you in the interview. Few of the similar intended but differently phrased questions could be how is an MBA going to help your career? Where do you see yourself after your MBA? So on and so forth.

Hence, it is very vital for any candidate who is attending an MBA admission interview to have a precise and impactful answer to this question. However, the question and the answer to it are not as simple as it seems on the surface. This question can be much layered and interviewers are looking to analyze a whole lot about your personality and fit from your answer. Your answer to this question might be a foundation for the follow-up question and further course of the interview.

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First things first, let’s understand what interviewers are looking to understand about you by asking this question. The fundamental reason for interviewers wanting to know the answer for this question is to analyze if the MBA course they offer is a right fit for what you are looking for and what your long term and short term goals are. Additionally, they also want to make sure that you are there for the right reasons.

Now that you know what interviewers are looking for while posing this question at you, the next step is how to learn and frame the right answer to the question. You need to take the following things into consideration while framing your answer.

  • Be sure on the fundamental reason on why you want to pursue MBA. For most working professionals, the major reason to do an MBA is to switch fields or to advance to managerial roles.
  • Once you are clear on your primary reason to do an MBA. Figure out your long-term career goals and how an MBA will help you achieve them.
  • Do your research on the business function you come from and you want to pursue in the future. You need to display sound knowledge in the area you are aspiring to specialize and how exactly an MBA will help fit in that function.
  • Do a well-versed research on the B-School and the MBA program you are interviewing for. You would want to point out the courses and other programs that MBA is offering which will help you in developing few key networks. This would make up for your answer on the question “Why exactly this MBA program?”
  • For candidates whose fundamental goal is an advancement to managerial roles, the answer should explain how an MBA will give you an overall understanding of all business functions and how to integrate different business functions to get productive results.
  • For candidates who are primarily looking to switch their careers, the answer should include how this MBA program will provide them the exposure into the business function they are aiming to get into. You can also talk about the various opportunities industrial tours and summer internship where you would get an understanding of real world scenarios of these business functions and get an opportunity to make valuable networks.
  • Make sure your answers are genuine and in any case avoid coming across as someone who is only interested in the pedigree that the MBA has to offer. Your reason for the MBA should be realistic and backed by logical points.

Why MBA? is not a question you need to dread. The intentions of the panel in asking this question is pretty clear and in turn, you need to make your intentions behind doing an MBA clear. It is as simple as it. Additionally, just make sure answer with confidence and clarity to convince your interviewers further.  Mock interviews and practicing in front of the mirror further helps in gaining perfection and boosting your morale. All the best for your interview!

 

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