Earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from a respected school such as the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) Monfort College of Business can help prepare you for a successful career in management. The knowledge and skills gained along with the reputation of the school’s MBA program can help you land a good job. But the most critical step in your job search could be the interview. You have to be prepared to demonstrate your qualifications through your resume and cover letter as well as in person during the interview process.
The knowledge, contacts and references gained while earning your MBA can give you a foundation upon which to build articulate, well thought-out answers to difficult interview questions. And the knowledge of current trends and technology innovation in business today can help you illustrate how you would bring value to your position.
Plus, with UNC’s online MBA you can continue working while completing your degree, applying what you learn on the job and gaining real-life leadership experience. Drawing from this experience will be paramount to proving your qualifications in a management job interview.
What Do I Need to Know About the Company I Am Interviewing With?
Preparation is one of the most important aspects of successful job interviews. You should learn everything you possibly can about the company you are interviewing with. Strive to understand the company at macro and micro levels. What is their corporate culture like? What are the company’s mission and goals? What sort of model is the company’s business plan based on? How are they looking to change, scale, integrate new strategies, and innovate in product design or organizational structure? Are they looking to expand into new markets? The better you know the company, the better you can demonstrate your ability to address their specific needs and expectations.
What Should I Know About the Position I Am Applying For?
The job description is a good resource. And you should commit it to memory as well as how exactly you are qualified to successfully fulfill (and exceed) the job’s unique requirements. But you should go beyond the basics. What do they expect of you? What are they hoping you will bring to the table? Research prior employees who filled that position or similar positions at other companies. Learn from their successes and failures. What are the latest industry trends in everything that job entails? How are you uniquely suited to succeed in that position and contribute to the overall success of the company?
Won’t My Resume Show the Company How Qualified I Am?
Yes and no. Your resume and cover letter should certainly be tailored to the company and the specific job you are applying for. That is your jumping-off point — your foot in the door. Good references from your professional and academic acquaintances can help reinforce your resume’s claims as well. But interviewers are looking to go deeper than what you can articulate about yourself on paper or what other people say about you.
What Will Interviewers Look for and How Should I Demonstrate My Qualifications?
Interviewers will want to know how personable you are. They’ll want to gauge your confidence, respect and leadership qualities from your presence in a room. Based on your responses, they’ll assess if you can handle problems and difficult situations when time is of the essence. You should be able to answer difficult questions thoughtfully and thoroughly. Consider a problem or conflict within the context of that company and your possible leadership role there. Ask questions and carefully construct effective solutions to posited problems. Demonstrate how you might resolve potential conflicts in various scenarios, balancing the needs of the individual and company expectations.
Interviewers will strive to understand your qualifications through your actual experiences, and how you analyze, reflect on and learn from those experiences. You should illustrate how well you can delegate tasks, appropriately matching employee skill sets with their work. How will you motivate those employees and promote employee investment in their work and the company’s success?
Thorough interviewers are looking for more than work experience. Coaching a baseball team, leading volunteer trips and participating in extracurricular activities in school can all add value to your ability to lead and manage people in a variety of situations.
An interview is your chance to show the company that you are the perfect match for the job. You have the necessary skills and qualities. With the depth of education provided by UNC’s online MBA programs, you can show your potential employers how you will not only maintain but actually improve upon a company’s success in productivity, profit, employee satisfaction and retention.
Learn more about UNC’s online MBA programs.
Forbes: How to Ace the Job Interview: Advice for MBA Students
Orion Talent: Preparing for a Management Interview
The Balance: How to Answer Management Questions During an Interview
SnagAJob.com: Management Job Interviews
NBC: How to Interview for Your First Management Role