Since B-school life and learning includes team discussions, the adcom needed a tool for assessing how applicants will fit into the team-based discussion culture of their programs. Thus, the Team-Based Discussion (TBD) was born. Team interviews and activities reflect the skills you will learn in an MBA class where learning teams or cohorts are the foundation of the class and group projects are the norm.
In team-based interviews, applicants need to use a different set of skills than they use during individual interviews. Personal interviews require one-on-one presentation, interpersonal skills, and self-awareness, while team interviews require critical thinking, listening, persuasion, teamwork, and leadership.
1. Learn about B-school
This includes the specific materials that the school provides prior to the interview, as well as all other material about the program. As with an individual interview, you need to know the institute well - its mission, curriculum, teaching style, and other details. Review the school's website and speak with current students and recent grads so you get a clear picture of what it's like to be a student.
2. Take pre-interview notes
You are allowed to bring notes to the interview. While you don’t want to read a piece of paper or even refer to it frequently, it may help you feel more confident knowing that some of your key points are written down in case you need them.
You never know how performance anxiety may set in, and if your brain freezes and you completely forget your plan, you can refer to some ideas down beforehand.
3. Don't confront
This is not a debate in which you are trying to score points. It is a simulation of what you may encounter in a business school classroom or group project. Interviewees should build on one another's points, contributing to the conversation; they shouldn’t cut each other down with rude or judgmental remarks. You are allowed to disagree, and you should be persuasive and enthusiastic about your positions, but do so with respect and grace.
4. Score on quality, not quantity
Participants are judged on the quality, and not the quantity of their comments. You should add to the conversation, but certainly not dominate it. Refrain from speaking for the sake of being heard. Thoughtful and succinct comments are appreciated.