In this podcast, Eric Simard hosts Senior HBA and MSc Career Advisor, Catherine Ireland. Together they discuss the MSc in Management admissions interview including format, how you should prepare, and what to expect.
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Eric Simard - Ivey: Okay, I think we're going well, welcome everyone, my name is Eric smart and i'm the director of operations and msc admissions here at Ivy Business School i'm joined by my colleague, Catherine Ireland from the career management team.
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Eric Simard - Ivey: Who, and today we will both be talking about our interview for the msc and management in all of the stream, so this will apply to all streams of the msc program but basically how to get prepared what it's about why we're here and so thanks so much Catherine for joining me today.
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Catherine (she/her): Oh, thank you for having me Eric i'm really excited to be here.
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Eric Simard - Ivey: Thank you um maybe we can talk a little bit about the structure of the interview, what is the you know how does it look, how does it feel, how do students, you know participate.
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Catherine (she/her): Okay yeah for sure, so the structure of the interview is will be started off with a brief introduction as to who The interviewer is.
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Catherine (she/her): I do conduct those interviews, as well as the rest of my advising team So anyone who works with an msc students on the career management team will be somebody who.
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Catherine (she/her): who holds this interview the the.
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Catherine (she/her): The questions will be mostly behavioral based questions so we'll have seven to 10 questions kind of looking to understand your competencies and your skills and your experiences.
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Catherine (she/her): there'll be a little bit of of getting to know you as a student so understanding, you know why did you want to come to Ivy, why are you interested in the msc program and the particular stream that you're applying to.
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Catherine (she/her): There will it'll be about 30 minutes kind of start to finish, and usually we don't take questions at the end and often it's because Eric is the holder.
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Catherine (she/her): Of all those those answers so often we don't have the answers that students are looking for if there's something very specific we're happy to answer it, otherwise we give you eric's email to answer those questions later on.
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Eric Simard - Ivey: that's good, and I do get those questions from students, so please don't hesitate to reach out after your interview if you've got questions.
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Eric Simard - Ivey: It maybe Catherine, you can talk a little bit about why we, we have an admissions interview what what does that add to the applicant profile, why is it conducted maybe some thoughts on that.
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Catherine (she/her): yeah for sure so um, as I mentioned, myself and our advising team are the ones who conduct those interviews and we have a really good grasp on the msc student body we work really closely with them.
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Catherine (she/her): As they as they recruit as they get prepared for recruiting and throughout their time at Ivy so.
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Catherine (she/her): it's really an opportunity for us to get to know students beyond that paper application, if you will, so you do answer a lot of the questions and some of the direction that you.
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Catherine (she/her): Probably go in the paper application, but this is beyond it allows you to provide a little bit more color a little bit more of the story behind some of your experiences and to maybe share some of the.
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Catherine (she/her): The skills that you have that may not have been captured on that application so.
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Catherine (she/her): we're looking for specifics around the competencies that we're really interested in so leadership adaptability relationship management and openness to learning and that's tends to be where our questions sort of land.
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Eric Simard - Ivey: Great Thank you.
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Eric Simard - Ivey: i'm not sure students prepare.
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Catherine (she/her): Ah it's a million dollar question.
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Catherine (she/her): So um we do have this fantastic msc admissions team that was prepared and interview prep guide so first and foremost that's a great place to start a lot of your answers are sort of within that interview prep guide.
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Catherine (she/her): In addition to that, I would say, from our perspective is go through your experiences, think about some of the skills that you've acquired.
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Catherine (she/her): Over multitude of your experiences and think about how that might apply to a typical behavioral based question.
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Catherine (she/her): Much around those competencies that I mentioned earlier, so what's of time that you were a leader, and can you get into those details.
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Catherine (she/her): That sort of answer those questions one little maybe something to Google for you, but a competency grid is a really good thing to help prepare and it's something that we encourage our students, as they prepare for recruiting for.
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Catherine (she/her): Their full time career heading out of Ivy is to take a look at a competency grid and it's something that it'll it'll help you reflect on your experiences going forward.
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Eric Simard - Ivey: That sounds really helpful.
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Eric Simard - Ivey: Maybe you could talk a little bit about some of the common mistakes that we see in our candidates, as they move through the interview process.
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Catherine (she/her): yeah I definitely can so um I think the first and foremost, the biggest mistake students make is they're overly nervous and and there and it's okay to be nervous.
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Catherine (she/her): We do try and get you out of that a little bit, but the more you can be yourself, the more successful you're going to be, we want to get to know you as an individual.
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Catherine (she/her): and often that takes you just taking a breath just relax a bit and answering questions that are authentically you.
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Catherine (she/her): So that's a that's a big component, I would say that overrides sort of everything else, as far as a common mistake i'm more specifically.
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Catherine (she/her): Lack of a structured response, so what that looks like is often you'll hear car or star i'm sure you've you've heard that so competency action result as to how to answer a question again that's a quick Google search to.
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Catherine (she/her): But really spending the time in those spaces and making sure that you're hitting on all three all three of those.
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Catherine (she/her): And last is missing the why why really being able to nail down, you know why are you choosing Ivy, why are you choosing msc program and why are you choosing that particular stream.
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Catherine (she/her): And we're not looking for you to have your whole life mapped out but we really are looking for you to understand why this is the next logical step in your journey.
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Eric Simard - Ivey: that's really good, thank you, given that the msc is a pre experience program and many of our students apply to Ivy.
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Eric Simard - Ivey: With you know limited experience right they come directly in some cases they come directly from their undergraduate program into the msc.
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Eric Simard - Ivey: And they've got some limited experiences from their past what what are some of the things that they can draw from and what's okay what's off side what's online, you know inside in terms of I guess how they answer and what they pull from.
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Catherine (she/her): yeah there's a good question, so I always remind students, that there are no extra credits in the interview for a business related response often students will say.
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Catherine (she/her): Well, I haven't really worked in a real business or in a corporate job or anything like that and there's no advantage to having.
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Catherine (she/her): That response to any of our question so every experience really can be valuable um.
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Catherine (she/her): You know, if you think about clubs, if you can go to any group work that you may have done throughout your undergrad experience, of course, an internship or work related response works.
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Catherine (she/her): Any sports teams things of that nature volunteer work they all can prove to be really valuable and you can draw on all those experiences, I would say over the years of doing these interviews.
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Catherine (she/her): Someone has been able to draw on any of those experiences and give a really strong response based on their skill and their experience and like I said it doesn't have to be business related or even work related that's great.
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Eric Simard - Ivey: um maybe you could talk a little bit about what types of strategies students can use to avoid generalizations within their responses.
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Catherine (she/her): yeah and maybe I should have mentioned this in the common mistake, so one of the things that we do get from students a lot is.
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Catherine (she/her): Using we in our in the response, so what that looks like is you know tell me about a time that you did X and students are more apt to use the word we, and although we understand there's often teamwork component.
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Catherine (she/her): or a group work or things like that we're really looking to understand you your group can be very successful and there, there is certainly a result to that.
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Catherine (she/her): But we want to understand your role within that group, so the generalization that students typically land on is using the word we a little too much and not enough in the eye.
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Catherine (she/her): So, if you think about, as I mentioned earlier, the the structure so that context action result is really spending some time in the action and what you did in that specific example.
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Catherine (she/her): um The other thing I would add to is, if you think about responding to a question we estimate in around two minutes should be I mean give or take for sure.
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Catherine (she/her): But two minutes should be a normal response time, so if in you know you're practicing your answers to or you give an answer and it's only in that 32nd range chances are you've really generalized quite a bit and you might want to add some depth around the action.
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Eric Simard - Ivey: I know we haven't talked about this question in advance, but i'm going to throw a curveball.
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Eric Simard - Ivey: Maybe you can talk a little bit about if if a student feeling that the interviewers probing right.
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Eric Simard - Ivey: or asking additional follow up questions, what should that prompt them to do or think about.
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Catherine (she/her): yeah it's a good question, and that is something that we do quite often often, it was because there is a miss somewhere in the response and it's not that.
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Catherine (she/her): it's not that it's a mess and you're going to lose points sort of idea but it's a mess in that.
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Catherine (she/her): You just haven't expanded and you haven't given us the depth that we're looking for in that response so it's an opportunity for you to come back to that question.
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Catherine (she/her): And dig in on the area that the person is asking, so a good example would be like, I said that that teamwork one right if you give me this great response about how your group did all this work and.
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Catherine (she/her): You won first prize and I, my probing question might be okay so tell me specifically what you did within that that team, and that would be a probing that i'd look for you to add a little bit more depth as to your role.
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Eric Simard - Ivey: that's really great you know I I think this has been really helpful I know it's a fairly short podcast today, but I really want to thank you for your time, Catherine, and I think that our students are going to find this really helpful, so thank you very much.
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Catherine (she/her): yeah I hope so, best of luck to everyone out there, that is jumping into the interview look forward to chatting with you.
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Eric Simard - Ivey: Take care.