Answering Why MBA

Answering the ‘Why MBA’ question in an MBA Interview

MBA interviews always feature the 'why MBA' question, especially top B-Schools. Find out how to ace this answer with insider info from a IIM Ahmedabad alumnus.

Overview

If you’re preparing for MBA interviews, you can safely expect one question: Why MBA?

Your answer to this question can often make or break your interview, as it demonstrates your passion for the course. My MBA interview at IIM Ahmedabad included this key question, and I believe that my answer (mentioned below) was enormously helpful in getting that final convert.

So prepare carefully – Remember, this can often set the tone for your entire interview. Here is my interview strategy to acing this question and crack your interview!

Key to a good answer

There are three things to keep in mind when you build your answer:

  1. The answer must be tailored to your profile
  2. The answer must highlight the learnings of the course
  3. The answer must incorporate your long term goals

Structuring your MBA interest into a clear framework

A simple way to structure your answer is the Past, Present, Future framework.

  • Past: Start by talking about your past experiences – your academic course, work, and extracurriculars. Connect these experiences to your interest in an MBA, and draw parallels between your learning and your future MBA journey. E.g., My mechanical engineering course helped me gain many technical skills, become a smart problem solver and be disciplined. My minors in economics also helped in understand business, which sparked my interest in an MBA
  • Present: Talk about your excitement for the MBA curriculum and learnings. Show that the program will be a meaningful experience for you. Here’s something that would sound good: I am excited to pursue an MBA from your institute, where I will gain several key skills in business. I will also have access to world-class faculty and an amazing peer group. I believe that other key soft skills like communication, business presence and discipline will also be areas where I can grow through an MBA.
  • Future: Link your learnings with your future goals and demonstrate how you intend to use the MBA path to create value! Here’s an example: Once I have gained management knowledge through your prestigious institute, I hope to deploy it into the real world. I hope to lead a team at a technology company, running a successful business division while creating a great environment for my team & colleagues.

My answer from my IIM Ahmedabad interview

IIM Ahmedabad Campus

When I gave my own MBA interviews (IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, IIM Lucknow, and many others), I also prepared an answer to this important question. Since my answer served me well (and got me all the converts), let me share it with you:

My B.Com degree has enabled me to develop my base in accounting and finance. An MBA will enable me to understand how businesses work, and how they are managed. I am excited to start this journey as an MBA will help me learn strategy, marketing, international business, law along with the requisite soft skills for being a successful corporate leader. My long term goal is to reach the CFO position of a company with a bird’s eye view of the entire business. I believe an MBA is the most appropriate and meaningful educational pursuit given this context!

When I look back, I realize that my ‘long term goals’ were very short-lived indeed, but they made for a good answer!

Final tips

Remember, your answer should be as unique as you! Your profile will always have those unique details that will help you shine. Find the right content in this answer, and your interview is golden!


Looking for personalized mentorship? I’ve helped 1000+ candidates through my mentorship, enabling them to crack top institutes like IIMA, IIMB, IIMC, IIML, ISB, FMS, MDI and many more.

Book a session with me here.

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About the Author

Ruchi Aggarwal

Ruchi is the founder of Mentoresult. She was a management consultant at McKinsey & Co, has an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad and has scored a 99.99%ile in CAT and a 770 in GMAT.

Through Mentoresult, she mentored over 2000 candidates in reaching their career goals. Her success stories can be found across top jobs (McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Google, Amazon), top global MBA admissions (Harvard, Wharton, Booth, Columbia, Yale) and top Indian MBA (IIM A, IIM B, IIM C, ISB).  

She’s a prolific writer, with over 10 million views and 50,000+ followers on LinkedIn. You can find her on a 1:1 session here.

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