What Interview Questions Are the Top Schools Asking?
Well, it’s getting down to crunch time. Offers have been made and accepted. At the same time, adcoms are feverishly interviewing candidates and gathering recommendations. In less than two months, all you’ll have is the post-game analysis.
If you have an interview slated, you’re probably wondering what they’ll ask. Sure, you know the basics. They’ll ask, “Why do want an MBA?” “What are your goals?” “Why do you want to go to attend school here?” You can prepare for those. But every school tweaks the script. And that can throw any candidate, no matter how much polish you dab onto your talking points.
To help candidates with this, Clear Admit asks its readers to submit questions that they were asked (in exchange for a gift certificate). In February, applicants from ten schools – including Harvard, Wharton, Kellogg, Booth, and Sloan – replied with what they were asked. Wondering what you should prepare for? Here are some of the questions you should expect at these schools (and many others).
The Wharton School – Second Round Group Interview
“My group of 6 was ushered into a small conference room by two current second-year students. They sat in opposite corners of the room to observe from different angles, and read our prompt (the same prompt that we had received via email with our invitation to interview). As promised, we were given 30 minutes to discuss our ideas, choose an idea or fuse multiple ideas into one, and present our course offering to the current students….
Then the play began… Everyone was very bright and articulate, but there was not an ounce of truth in the encounter. Everyone was on their very best behavior, as is to be expected, but it could not have come off more inauthentic…
After, we had our one-on-one interviews. I love interviewing – it’s my 100% strength, but our interview was soulless and my interviewer’s responses to my questions could have been more interesting and passionate coming from a robot. The current students at lunch seemed equally uninterested and unenthusiastic, as if they did not want to be there at all.”
Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business – Interview with Second Year Student
- How would your manager describe you? Why are you an asset to your team (specific attributes/examples)?
- Tell me about a time when you led an initiative and how you functioned as a leader.
- Best constructive feedback you ever received from a manager?
- Tell me about a time you had conflict with a coworker/team member and how you resolved it.
- What do you think you’ll contribute to Fuqua?
- If I spoke with your managers and colleagues, what would they say? (Strengths question)
- What does “Team Fuqua” mean to you?
“Emphasize collaborative leadership, being a team player. Leading by example. Highly recommend oyu take the tour and use the opportunity to ask the students all the questions you think you’ll be asked. “Team Fuqua” and the “Fuqua Family” are things the take really seriously and want to know if you will fit in with it.”
University of Michigan Ross School of Business – Group Interview
“You warm up by telling a true or fictional story with two words they give you randomly – one location, and one noun. Then you keep all the nouns from your smaller group (about 6 people each), and then use those nouns to create a business case problem and solution using 4/6 of the words and everyone will be asked to present a small part of what you come up with. I don’t really know what they look for, but 2 MBAs will watch and listen to your pitch. They were nice but inscrutable.”
University of Chicago Booth School of Business – Round Two
- Why do you need MBA? Why now?
- Tell me about a time when you had a conflict with your team member and how you resolved it?
- Tell me about a time when you have failed?
- What do you do in your free time?
Yale School of Management – Round 2 (Video Interview)
- What do you think is the biggest challenge facing leaders today?
- What is something you have done recently to grow your network?
- Some people argue that as globalization progresses, the differences between countries decrease. Do you agree or disagree?
Cornell Graduate School of Management – Blind Interview
- Tell me about your career journey, how your responsibilities increased
- Something in your job that kept you up at night
- Some time when you had to deal with interpersonal conflicts in a group
- How will you contribute to Johnson outside of classroom
University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School – On Campus Interview
- What’s been your best job (though it’s only been five year since undergrad, I’ve had a lot of jobs)
- What’s a weakness you have, and how are you working to improve it
- Most proud of career-wise
- Why did I pick undergrad school?
Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management – Off Campus Alumni Interview
- If you just continue doing what you are doing right now wouldn’t you still get there
- So you talked about leadership, network, strategic knowledge, functional knowledge but all schools have What does Kellogg have that is so different.
- What role do you take within a team?
- What inspires you?
Stanford Graduate School of Business – Off Campus Alumni Interview
- Tell me about a time you felt you were effective
- Tell me about a time when you felt blocked from achieving a goal and how you reacted.
- Tell me about a time you saw an opportunity or a problem that no one else saw.
Harvard Business School – First Round Adcom
- You want to work in sector A, why?
- What was your other internship about? can you explain a technical aspect of your job.
- What does a typical day at your current job look like?
- What does the CEO of your company worry about?
- Tell me about a time when you received a piece of constructive feedback.
- Who is a leader you admire? ( she added that it could be either a leader that I had worked with and that I know professionally or a well-known business leader)
MIT Sloan School of Management – On Campus Adcom Interview
- Tell me about a time when something didn’t go as planned. How did it turn out?
- What’s new since you applied to Sloan?
- Tell me about the time when you had to deal with a team member who is not pulling his/her weight.
- Tell me a time when you influenced someone
- Tell me about a time your idea was rejected.
To read the full list of questions, click on the Clear Admit links below.
DON’T MISS: HOW TO PREP FOR AN MBA INTERVIEW
Sources: Clear Admit (Wharton), Clear Admit (Fuqua), Clear Admit (Fuqua), Clear Admit (Ross), Clear Admit (Booth), Clear Admit (Yale), Clear Admit (Johnson), Clear Admit (Kenan-Flagler), Clear Admit (Kellogg), Clear Admit (Stanford), Clear Admit (Harvard Business School), Clear Admit (MIT Sloan)