The interview, whether in person or online, is the first personal impression you will make. All your test scores, letters and application essays have been successful in scoring an interview, now it is up to you to impress.
The interview panel
The NUS MBA interview panel will consist of either a faculty member and a staff member of the Graduate Studies Office (GSO), or two members from the GSO. The interview is about 20-minutes long and will be conducted during office hours. The interviewers will be given the candidates’ resumes, essays and referee reports ahead of the interviews.
How to do well in the interview?
With many potential student candidates located around the world, the Skype interview is becoming increasingly popular with NUS interviewers. Though similar in purpose to a face-to-face interview, doing so on Skype has subtleties that one needs to know before undertaking it.
1. Dress professionally
Treat the Skype interview like a face-to-face interview and dress professionally, preferably from head to toe, just in case you have to stand up for some reason during the interview.
2. Prepare your surroundings
Choose a quiet area with an uncluttered backdrop, where you are not likely to be disturbed or distracted. Ensure that you have informed people in the immediate vicinity that you are interviewing.
3. Test your video, sound and online connection
Nothing is worse than having to put your interviewer on hold because you can’t figure out which button to press to switch on the sound. Test your video, your Skype connection, and the sound quality before the actual interview. Consider buying a headset with a built-in microphone if the sound system on your laptop is poor.
4. Practice beforehand
Like any other interview, you may become nervous, and more so than usual because Skype might be a new medium to you. Practice your interview techniques with a friend on Skype and look at the camera instead of yourself –that is essential for ensuring eye contact with the interviewer. Experiment with your voice volume. Record yourself to analyse how you come across on video.
5. Observe body language
In any interview, your body language can reveal many things about you. On your part, ensure that you do not slouch. Show energy and interest using your posture. Smile from time to time and avoid vacant expressions. Also be aware of your interviewer’s body language cues: if it appears that the interviewers have heard enough, round off your answer.
Lastly, take note of the date and time of your Skype interview, especially if you are overseas. Factor in the time difference and always be at your computer five to ten minutes in advance so that you are waiting for your interviewer and not the other way around. Do not forget to follow up with a thank-you email afterwards!