Interviewing at Fuqua
The following is my advice and some general tips on interviewing at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Please note that the tips stem mostly from my opinions and observations as an applicant and Admissions Fellow. Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list but a good start to your interview preparation. Have fun, be prepared and good luck!
Tip #1: Know your story.
This is crucial. You need to make sure your answers for “Why an MBA?” is well-crafted and delivered. A good reason for going to business school should address what new skills you need and why you need them. Be sure to mention your short-term and long-term goals. If your reasons for pursing an MBA are not strong enough, it is an indication that you will not appreciate the time and commitment it takes for getting this degree. Finally, make sure your interview stories are consistent with your essays.
Tip #2: “Why Fuqua?”
There are many great business schools and each is unique in its academics, reputation, culture, class size, location…the list goes on. In answering this question, be as specific as possible. Go beyond what you read in the brochure and the website. Talk to alumni, visit the school and the surrounding areas (more on campus visits below), find out what makes our program unique. Once you learn about the unique attributes, try to find ways to relate them your goals, your personality, etc.
Tip #3: Interview on campus.
If given the means and the opportunity, I would come to campus for an interview. I still believe the effort indicates a candidate’s real desire to be a student here. A visit to Durham, North Carolina serves dual purposes. It can give you sense of living in the South and reveal more things about our program you can’t readily find in public sources.
Tip #4: Tell stories in the S/A/R format.
Situation/Action/Result. When asked to “give an example” or “talk about an experience,” this format makes it easier for the interviewer to follow the message of your story. Quickly explain the situation and elaborate on the action(s) you took. Don’t forget to cite the results, especially if improvements were made or lessons were learned.
Tip #5: Have fun, relax and enjoy.
Don’t be intimidated by the interview process. Keep in mind that the interview is our chance to get to know you, above and beyond what is available on paper. If you’re relaxed, comfortable and enjoy the process, your personality will take over. Don’t be shy about the language barrier…be proud of your language skills! Anyone who can put themselves in a foreign country and learn in a non-native language is pretty impressive to me.