[Get information on the best jobs for MBAs.]
4. Reacting negatively to an alumni or student interview: It is a good thing to have an alumni or student interview. Their comments are often considered just as important as those of the admissions staff. If you have an opportunity to interview with a current student or an alumnus, be grateful.
But keep in mind that they are not trained admissions professionals and often have strong and very loyal opinions. This is a chance for you to interact with someone who could be part of your professional network and is in a very influential position with the admissions committee. Be sure to afford them the same courtesies and respect you would show the admissions staff.
5. Pretending to be someone you're not: Putting your best foot forward is one thing, but being phony or acting fake is quite another. While not psychologists, admissions personnel have a lot of experience in meeting, speaking, and interviewing applicants. In addition, most people have a built-in antenna that tends to detect when someone is being phony.
It has been written and discussed ad nauseum—but it's so true—just be you. And remember, first impressions are lasting, so do all you can to make the most of your MBA admissions interview. It is by far the best way for the admissions committee to know you. And when done well, it can significantly increase your chances of being accepted.
Dr. Don Martin, Ph.D., is a higher education admissions expert, author, and former admissions dean at Columbia University, Northwestern University, Wheaton College, and University of Chicago Booth School of Business. For additional tips on the graduate school application process, visit gradschoolroadmap.com.