Your University Name    the Competitive Edge

with Michael Goodman

Overview/What You Will Learn

Talking about yourself can be difficult for some people, whether because of shyness or not wanting to appear boastful. Beyond B-School President and expert interviewer Michael Goodman shares advice on getting over this hurdle in your interviews to communicate the message your interviewer wants to hear.

Key Points

  • Each interviewer is different but every interviewer is looking for business leaders.  Interviewers seek candidates who demonstrate the two key qualities that most often lead to success:
    • Exceptional judgment; and
    • Willingness to take initiative.
  • Establish that you are a business leader - that you possess exceptional judgment and are willing to take initiative.
  • How?  Tell a story about an experience you had involving work, school, travel, or a volunteer activity. Talk about a time you exercised excellent judgment and initiative.  Your story itself will demonstrate these qualities without your having to use the words “judgment” and “initiative.”
  • Your story should do four things:
    • Set the stage.  Give the setting – some background on who, what, where, when and why of the situation.
    • Define the problem. The more clearly you do this, the more impressive your solution appears. 
    • Describe your approach. What action did you take to help solve the problem.
    • Discuss the outcome. Did it work or not? If not, talk about what you learned.
  • Sample stories include: How you led a team to victory; how you solved a sticky situation that no one else could; how you organized and managed a complex task; or how you got people to buy into an idea and helped make it happen.

Your Next Steps / Key Tips for Focusing on You

  • Prepare a story that is most comfortable for you. There is no perfect, right answer as long as you demonstrate your key qualifications.
  • Practice your story for the one question most likely to be asked: Why did you decide to get an MBA?  Include details about how you approached the opportunity, the factors you considered, the people you consulted, how you reached your decision and what the result has been.  Your answer will demonstrate to your interviewer the two key qualities you bring to the table.

Expert BIO
with Michael Goodman

Michael A Goodman is Executive Vice President of Beyond B-School.  He has had a distinguished career as a marketer, brand manager, consultant, and author.  Goodman received his MBA from Purdue University, and did his PhD studies at Stanford University.  He is author of four business books -- including two on careers and job-hunting for business professionals: The Potato Chip Difference: How to Apply Leading Edge Marketing Strategies to Land the Job You Want and Rasputin for Hire: An Inside Look at Management Consulting Between Jobs or as a Second Career.  In 1979, Goodman founded the Dialogue Marketing Group, a management consulting firm serving corporate giants like DuPont, IBM, International Paper, Kraft Foods, and PepsiCo.