The Questions MBA Applicants Are Getting

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Interview Questions From Top MBA Programs

“Why an MBA?” “Why here?” “Why now?

Those are the big three interview questions in any interview. It doesn’t matter if you’re a first round phenom or third round rabble rouser. And it’s same if you’re sitting down with an alum or skyping with an adcom. You’d better be able to paint a compelling portrait of why you belong. Considering the competition, that means positioning yourself as the “indispensible” candidate – the person who runs clubs and organizes trips, collecting awards and press clippings along the way.

Of course, those aren’t the only questions to expect. Traditionally, you’ll be walking the interviewer through your resume. Chances are, you’ll spend your time explaining the process and rationale behind your career choices, such as your industry, employer, and role. Not to mention, you’re certain to field questions about what you hope to accomplish in both the near-term and the long-term.

Think of such questions as unforced errors – you can easily prepare for them. However, schools are known to ask their own special brand of questions. Many times, business schools ask prospective students to describe how they’ve acted in adverse situations or function in a  team setting. They’re looking to see how you perceive and respond – and how you’re able to lead and motivate others.

So what should you be prepared to answer at particular schools? Each year, Clear Admit encourages MBA applicants to share their interview experiences, offering a $10 gift card (along with including respondents in a drawing to win larger prizes). As part of their submissions, students include both the questions they were asked and their impressions of the overall process at the school.

If you’ve landed an invite and are busily prepping for the big day, here are some of the questions that your peers are being asked at programs ranging from Stanford to Kelley.

(To see the full list of questions, click on the Clear Admit links provided)

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Tell me about a time you saw an opportunity someone else didn’t? Sometime you had to get buy-in from someone for your idea? when others weren’t accepting your idea?

Tell me a time you made/influenced a change to an organization / business / team.

Tell me about a time you are proud or glad or happy that you made an impact, or made a difference.

Was there a time you faced difficulty as a leader?

Source: Clear Admit

Harvard Business School

What kinds of issues do you deal with day-to-day?

What is your typical day like?

How important is intuition at (Employer)?

How is (Employer) an innovative company?

How would those close to you describe you in 3 words?

Ideal summer internship?

Why are you good at your job? Why aren’t you?

Describe your learning style?

What do you look for in a classmate?

How did you like your class visit? Describe the student interaction in class to me

Sources: Clear Admit
University of Chicago, Booth School of Business

How do you spend your time outside of work?

What are your core values?

What are your perceptions of Chicago Booth?

Have you experienced failures or setbacks in the past?

What inspired you to work in this industry?

What advice would you give yourself 10 years from now, if you were in your previous job, working on XYZ project?

How would you manage if your team-members didn’t get along with each other?

Tell me about an experience you’ve had on a team / as a leader / failing and what you learned.

What types of classes would you like to take at Booth?

What types of activities would you like to be involved with at Booth?

Sources: Clear Admit

New York University Stern School of Business

You have a really interesting career ambition that’s different from your current experience. Talk to me about why this interests you and how you landed on it.

So what kinds of companies/roles would you want in that industry?

What kind of support do you expect to get from the career development office? What kind of work would you expect to put in yourself?

What specific class will benefit you the most?

What is your proudest accomplishment in your current role?

If I asked your manager what you could be doing more of what would they say?

Extracurricular activities?

What will I add to the class of 2018?

Example of a time you have failed

3 brands you admire, 3 companies you would want to work for

What has surprised you about Stern?

Sources: Clear Admit

University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School

Biggest achievement at work

What is the proudest moment at workplace?

How will you contribute to the MBA program?

Sources: Clear Admit

Duke University, Fuqua School of Business

Talk about an effective leader why are they a good leader

3 attributes that you need in as a leader

If I were to ask someone who doesn’t like you at work, what would they say why they don’t like you?

How do you handle conflicts? Tell me an example

Tell me about a time you had to change someone’s mind. How did you go about this?

University of Texas, McCombs School of Business

What’s your plan B if your goals don’t work out?

Tell me about a time that you were a leader.

Tell me about a time you were on a diverse team and what will you contribute to a team?

Tell me about a time you exhibited leadership skills.

Tell me about a time you were on a project and team member didn’t carry their weight. How did you handle it?

Tell me about a time you were in a stressful situation. How did you handle it?

What internship will you pursue?

What did you learn about yourself during the MBA application process?

Sources: Clear Admit

(Go to Next Page to See Questions Asked at Tuck, Yale, Kellogg, and More)