Killer Interviews #4: Mastering Your Resume

If you’re preparing for an MBA interview, you might be anxious about burning up all your “main” answers and having nothing left by the end of the interview, or about being asked questions you haven’t written an essay for. A good way to reduce your anxiety on both fronts is by mastering the perfect MBA interview training tool – your resume.

It’s perfect because:

1) It provides an expanded list of topics that go beyond your essay content, i.e., it gives you more weapons for your interview.
2) Each topic is already expressed concisely.
3) Interviewers frequently receive your resume in advance and develop questions based on things that catch their eye. You might even have a “walk-me-through-your-resume” type interview, which requires strong familiarity with every bullet point.
4) It gives you a manageable amount of information to master, as opposed to trying to memorize answers to massive lists of questions found online, an approach that, for most applicants I’ve worked with, increases anxiety and decreases performance.

Regarding the last point, of course question lists can be helpful, but I recommend using them to test your ability to adapt and express the information you should already know well from your essays and resume.

Now we can start combining some of the techniques I’ve mentioned in prior posts.

1) Assuming you read my previous post about “One-Sentence Stories,” practice explaining each bullet point on your resume in the form of a one-sentence story. Rewrite them if you have to. It’s great practice at being both concise and comprehensive.

2) Even in a “walk-me-through-your-resume” interview, don’t forget your overall strategy. As you move from point to point, look for places to make connections and introduce important information. If you have an accomplishment on your resume that relates to your goals, for example, you have a perfect opportunity to explain your career vision.

Lastly, mastering your resume is a great way to build confidence, which is often the key difference between a good interview and a great interview.

If you are interested in learning more or working with me on interview training, including these techniques, please see this page or e-mail me directly.