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A dean of MBA admissions who's read thousands of applications shares what makes a candidate stand out

Isser Gallogly is the Associate Dean of MBA Admissions at the NYU Stern School of Business, he’s interviewed thousands of applicants. Gallogly reveals how to stand out in an interview. The following is a transcript of the video.

One of the most important qualities that we look for at Stern is what we call IQ plus EQ.

And that’s a combination of, sort of intellectual capability along with emotional intelligence. I think that’s one of the things that really differentiates our student body, as well as our school. That we look for not only bright, intelligent leaders but those who actually are capable of leading teams, communicating complicated ideas, and bringing things forward.

So the interview itself is not going to be blind. You have the opportunity to go to a class, maybe have lunch with the student, going on a tour of the school. And during the interview it’s not going to be a stress interview, it’s going to be very conversational, and we’ll get to know you better.

The admissions officer who’s interviewing you has read your application thoroughly so they won’t ask you basic questions that were in your essays. They will go deeper and get to know you on a more personal level, and get behind your professional goals even more.

So I think that that process of being able to talk one-on-one with a member of the admissions committee for 30 minutes, in depth beyond what you can get on your essays, is a tremendous advantage for applicants in the process.

But it also helps us select really high calibre individuals. It should be conversational. It shouldn’t be a stressful process. And if you thought about who you are, where you want to go, and why Stern fits into your plans, it should be pretty straightforward and possibly even enjoyable.

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