The majority of schools in the United States hold interviews before accepting new students. They are a prerequisite for entry, and most students work hard to appear confident and cheerful to make a good impression.
While behavioral-style questions are common in most interviews, some schools also require short essays on subjects like diversity and inclusion. If you don’t believe your essay skills are as polished as they could be, take note of the following tips. You might then be more ready for your upcoming interview than you thought possible.
Understand the Writing Process
A core part of MIT Sloan interview prep involves writing at least two 250-word essays. Typically, one of the essays is on diversity and inclusion, while the other is on data-driven decisions. While you might be completely confident in the topic choices, you might struggle with the writing process itself. However, if you were aware of all the steps, you might feel more confident in what you produce.
Always start with research. As the essay is short, you likely only require two or three sound sources. The more current these sources are, the better your essay might be. You can then begin brainstorming, which involves clearly explaining what your essay will be about before putting pen to paper.
Once you know the core components of your essay, you can create an outline that incorporates your arguments and counterarguments and the general information you’ll include in each paragraph. Finally, you can write your essay. Due to its length, you can be brief but concise. Don’t forget to edit and proofread with spelling and grammar checks before handing it in.
Learn the Essay Components
Short essays differ slightly from traditional essays due to their length. Typically, they have a brief introduction, a thesis, a three-paragraph main body, and a one-paragraph conclusion. The more you understand each of these components, the more confidence you might have in producing a stand-out short essay.
The introduction should grab your reader’s interest and intrigue them enough to want to keep reading. They should also be around five sentences or less, informative, and concise. The thesis typically forms the last sentence of the introduction, which outlines the problem you’re exploring and a claim you hope to prove.
The main body typically incorporates approximately five paragraphs. Three outline your main ideas with facts and evidence, starting with the strongest and working down to the weakest. These paragraphs might also contain quotes and cited sources.
Lastly, you’ll finish your short essay with a conclusion. This concludes the facts you presented in the essay’s main body, encouraging readers to consider your view on the subject based on the evidence you’ve provided.
It might seem strange to write essays when no one has asked you to, but practice might set you up for success. During practice essay writing, you can identify your weaknesses, enhance your strengths, and refine your formatting skills until you’re completely confident in your abilities.
By the time you’re required to write an essay for a school interview, you might be feeling good about your chances of making an excellent impression. Practice can also start long before your school interview date arrives. In that time, you can align yourself with coaches to provide mock interviews and write several practice essays.
When you’re not confident in your abilities or invested in an essay topic, it’s easy to distract yourself with other tasks. You might decide to browse jobs online, watch TV, or scroll through social media. However, to ensure you write an essay you can be proud of, it doesn’t hurt to create a distraction-free zone.
The fewer distractions there are in your immediate environment, the easier it might be to write an essay from start to finish with clear and concise points. Fortunately, when you’re writing short essays for a school interview, you’re often required to write them during the interview process, which means you’ll likely have very few distractions.
Read As Much As Possible
When you know that your short essay is going to be on a particular topic, you might pick some key points that interest you and read basic information about them to bulk up a 250-word essay. However, it never hurts to read as much as possible about the entire subject for background knowledge.
For example, if you had to write about how a workplace could be more diverse, you might like to incorporate information about how diversity issues arose in the first place. When you’re knowledgeable about a topic, you might find it easier to write about.
You’ll likely be required to write many essays throughout your years of tertiary education, but you’re sometimes required to write them just to be accepted. If you’re applying to a school that requests a short essay, don’t underestimate the value of preparing in advance. The more prepared you are, the better your chances of acceptance might be.