In 2005, during the Stanford commencement address, Steve Jobs said "You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards."

This is exactly what one needs to do to have a winning interview – connect the dots in your life.

For every question, you can have a story template

  • Where did it Start?
  • Where is it Now?
  • Where is it heading in the Future?

For instance, if the question is 'why MBA?', then the story template is:

  • Start: When did you first start thinking about doing an MBA?
  • Now: Why do you think now is a good time to do an MBA?
  • Future: Where does MBA fit in your future career plans?

There you go – that template works every time.

Your story should be:

  1. Believable – You cannot bluff your way through in an interview. While a little bit of exaggeration is understandable, you cannot lie! For someone who has lived more than 20 years, there are enough masala that you can find which can make a compelling story.

  2. Relevant – You are applying for a Masters program. Your story has connect to what you intend to do. The Admissions Committee is evaluating how you will fit it to the program you are applying, how you will contribute to the classroom environment, how 'easy' is to for you to find the career of your choice post your program at the institution. It therefore imperative that you cull-out things from the past which showcases your interest and skills.

    A good part of building relevance is to do thorough research on the university/institution/program that you are applying to. Talk to current students, connect with faculty members, research them on linkedin – do everything in your power to get right inside.

  3. Interesting – What can make a good script bad is to deliver it in a boring manner. You must find ways to make your story appealing and compelling. That is not to say that you make things from thin air, but you must be very passionate about what you say.

Once you have a story, answer the following questions

  1. Why that program?
  2. Why that university/institute?
  3. Why you?
  4. Why now?

Prepare hard, prepare smart, practice well – That's the mantra

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