While each MBA program has a slightly different approach to the types of questions asked in interview, generally speaking there are no big surprises. The goal of the interviewer isn’t to throw you curve balls but to offer up questions that give you the opportunity to highlight your professional and personal accomplishments, your strengths/weaknesses, your goals, decision to pursue an MBA and why their school is of interest to you in particular.

When faced with an impending interview, you may be tempted to scour the internet and amass an exhaustive list of interview questions. What will you do with all those questions? Most MBA candidates will think through answers to each and every one in their head. Sometimes they’ll write out their exact answers on paper and then practice them verbatim. The problem with those approaches is that the first one isn’t very efficient and then second one will leave you sounding robotic when you rattle off your answer out loud.

When I work with MBA candidates during a mock interview session, we focus on developing answers to a few specific questions (like Tell me about yourself? What are your goals? Why MBA? Why school X?). We then use other questions (Strengths/Weakness?) and behavioral questions (Tell me about a time when…?) to develop a core set of stories. It might surprise you to learn that most people have just 4-6 core stories. I teach clients to leverage a single story to answer multiple interview questions.

Then they will Mock interviews can be particularly helpful way to prepare for your interview. Try using a timer to get a sense of how long you typically take to answer each question, and practice in front of a mirror.

Listen to an excerpt from a mock interview. Question: Why an MBA?