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Alumni Application Tips: be proud of yourself!

July 12, 2016

Michelle Gosztonyi explains how to bring your strong sides to the table during an interview

You may be disappointed that I offer you such a general piece of advice—but this is the best tip I was given at the time of my application: Be proud of yourself!


After submitting your application documents and receiving an invitation for interview, you should give yourself a pat on the back. You have successfully overcome the first hurdle, and the Business School's positive response shows that they think you have potential.


By advising you to be proud of yourself, I do, of course, not mean to encourage you to be arrogant or brag about your accomplishments. Rather, you should make yourself aware of your successes and your good qualities—this is important because many people tend to belittle themselves or fail to realize what they actually achieve.


Get a new perspective
Therefore, I can only recommend that you look at yourself from a new, perhaps unfamiliar perspective: Before going to interview, ask for honest feedback from people who know you well professionally or personally and whose opinion you value. This allows you to find out whether you have skills that are particularly appreciated or whether you are even admired in certain circumstances. You will be surprised at what others have to say about you: Perhaps it was only natural for you to commit yourself to a particular project despite the fact that everyone was run off their feet, and you would not have considered this worth mentioning. Or you learn that your co-workers frequently approach you about highly charged issues because they know you handle problems discreetly and offer helpful advice. Whether people praise you for your character traits or your professional achievements—always ask for specific situations in which these assets became apparent.


Shortly before your interview, you should take a moment to remind yourself of your good qualities. This will allow you to answer questions about your personality by means of illustrative real-world examples. Moreover, you will feel much more assured and hence exude natural self-confidence. Just like in the case of job interviews, coming across in a positive way can make all the difference between otherwise equally qualified candidates.

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