First, let me say: Congrats on your invite!!
I’ve been getting a few emails from round two applicants that recently received interview invitations. So I decided to put this up to help as many as need it. I’ve listed the things I did to prepare for my interview. You can also check my interview debriefs: Booth & Sloan. And Fi’s Stanford debrief (P.S: she got in!!!)
1. I did not research my interviewer before hand – I know this seems counter-intuitive but my reasoning was that knowing about my interviewer will give me an impression or make me try to connect with him based on something I’d found out in my research. Which could be good but as I found out in my first interview, it may be something they no longer associate with. On the other hand coming in blind helped me connect to him based on things that were revealed during the interview and made for good conversation. You have to bond with your interviewer if you’re going to get a conversation going.
2. I had a list of questions that I went over. I spent a lot of time thinking about the answers and answering them to myself but not memorizing the answers. To make sure I was not sounding rehearsed, I tried to answer the questions in different ways. This helped me in the interview because, the questions were not directly asked but came up while we were discussing something else.
3. Don’t wait till the end of the interview to ask questions: my goal was to make sure I did not do more than 75% of the talking so asking small questions in between my answers drew the interviewer into the conversation (not big questions but things like, I think Booth will help me do xyz and abc, did you have any friends while in school that wanted to do abc and actually did it?)
4. No drinks. If you’re thirsty, swallow your saliva (not joking). Nothing shows nerves more than a shaking hand while trying to take a drink. Also, I found it easier to gesticulate and make my hands part of the conversation which I’ve been told makes one seem more passionate and engaged in what one is saying. So either way no drinks.
5. Be yourself. It is a little more difficult than it sounds but you really need to be yourself if you are going to be authentic and make an impact on the interviewer.
6. Send a thank you note that alludes to something that was discussed in the interview – no brainer really 🙂
P.S: you know when the interview is going well and if you notice that it is not, change the approach. Switch things up, do something to get it in the direction you wanna go.
All the best and feel free to contact me if you have any other questions.