How to Defend Your Online MBA in an Interview

November 23, 2011 · Leave a Comment 

There is still a wariness about online degrees for many recruiters, despite increasing widespread acceptance of them. For those with an online MBA this could prove to be a disadvantage in the hiring process – unless you use it to your advantage. If the case arises in an interview where a recruiter asks about your degree be prepared to defend it and prove that it is just as legitimate – if not better – than a traditional program. Here are a few jumping-off points you could use.

Job Interview Tips

  1. Before all else, describe the best qualities of the MBA program. Were your professors experts in their field? Did you have weekly one-on-one sessions with an adviser? Did you interact with classmates from all over the world? Set your online program apart from the others. If there was a unique, positive quality that your online program celebrated other than “it had flexible hours,” make sure to highlight it for the recruiter. If you are still unsure what to spotlight think about the most useful skill you attained from the online program and what quality of the program nurtured it.
  2. Assure the recruiter that your degree is accredited. If you don’t know already, look up what organizations accredited your program. Make sure to assure the interviewer that the program was recognized by the state and/or the federal government for its quality. You may even want to go one step further and research whether or not your program has ever won any awards. If it has, make sure to mention it in the interview.
  3. Explain why you decided on an online program. If you decided on the online program because it allowed you to travel in your previous company, or you chose it in order to stay in your previous position while keeping up-to-date in the most recent innovations in your industry, tell the recruiter. Now you suddenly sound worldly, a loyal employee, and a proactive person. The one reason you may want to omit is if you chose it because it was inexpensive.
  4. Describe what technologies you learned. It is important in the current business world to stay technologically savvy as the world becomes more digital. If your program required you to use any special, high-tech conferencing communicative tools or even just made you very comfortable with new software or digital technology, describing what you learned will set you apart from the pack.
  5. Emphasize any teamwork or team projects you did in the program. A major worry for many employers is whether or not a employee will mesh well with its current team, and whether or not an online program can teach the social skills needed in the workplace. If you had any team projects or worked extensively with classmates and/or professors then describe them.

As a final piece of advice, keep in mind not all interviewers are as knowledgeable in online programs are you are, and they may just honestly want to know more about your program. In which case explain the advantages of your online program clearly, and you will actually stand out from the crowd – it may even give you an edge.

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