Interview Tips for a Zoom Universe

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‘Adapt’ is a strong candidate for the word of the year for 2020. We’ve spent the past seven months adapting, changing, reconfiguring, and scenario planning just about every aspect of our lives. 

That is certainly true for how we have been planning and executing our admissions activities. Ross’ interview days are jam-packed, hyper-organized, and highly informative. Candidates come to Ann Arbor to listen in on student panels; participate in mock classes; explore the city’s many trendy restaurants, bars, and attractions; meet potential classmates; and, of course, do their admissions interview. 

Since it is 2020, we’ve had to adapt. This year, all interviews will be conducted virtually. While we wish we could welcome interviewees to campus and show off the beauty of fall in Ann Arbor, we want to ensure the safety of our current and future community members. Therefore, we’ll be holding student panels, mock classes, and even a welcome from the Dean, virtually. 

Whether you’re a Zoom veteran or are brand new to video interviews, we wanted to share some tips for acing your virtual interview with Michigan Ross. 

  1. Reach out to your interviewer early. You’ll be put in contact with either a current MBA student or an alum, and together you will decide when to “meet”. 
  2. Know what’s in your resume. It’s the only part of your application that your interviewer will have, and they may ask about specific points. When sharing examples, frame your response with “context, action, and result” so your story is clear. 
  3. Dress professionally. I know pajamas are the go-to for many working in this virtual world. However, an interview isn’t the time to don your favorite pj’s. Plus, studies have shown that dressing professionally can boost your confidence, and even performance. Turns out “dress for success” isn’t just an old cliche! 
  4. Be aware of your background. You don’t have to have a space the Room Rater would give a 10 out of 10, but do clear it of potential distractions. You want the interviewer’s focus to be 100 percent on you and what you have to say. 
  5. Make eye contact with the camera, and minimize the use of notes. This advice applies to in-person interactions as well, but is another bit of advice that bears repeating. Communicating through a screen can be much more distracting than in person, so keep your focus on the camera.
  6. Check your wifi connection strength. But don’t panic if tech fails! Our interviewers will be happy to adapt with you and/or reschedule if things go haywire. 
  7. Give yourself ~30 minutes beforehand to gather yourself. Review your resume and your list of questions for your interviewer (yes, you should prepare a few). 

Remember, your interview is just another conversation, so be yourself. Good luck and we look forward to meeting you soon.

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SOOJIN KWON
Managing Director Full-Time MBA Admissions and Program

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