How To Ace The Wharton Interview

Wharton’s Team-Based Discussion can be daunting for some applicants Here are 12 reasons why it shouldn’t be. Wharton photo

How To Ace The Wharton Interview

The Wharton interview is one of the most difficult interviews to ace.

According to Stacy Blackman, of Stacy Blackman Consulting, about half of all applicants are interviewed, but less than one in 10 are granted admission.

In Blackman’s latest blog post, she breaks down what it takes to gain an advantage in the infamous Wharton interview.


Wharton was one of the first b-schools to implement a team-based discussion component to its interview process, Blackman says.

The team-based discussions is a 35-minute long segment where applicants interact with four-to-five fellow MBA applicants to work on a tangible outcome to a given prompt.

“The Team-Based Discussion (TBD) is meant to model the highly collaborative nature of the Wharton MBA environment in order to identify characteristics (communication style, level of engagement, leadership skills, decision-making process, etc.) that we believe contribute to the success of a Wharton student,” according to Wharton. “This is an opportunity for you to express who you are as an individual and as a member of a functioning team.”

The idea behind the component, Blackman says, is to gauge your collaborative nature.

“This aspect of the application attempts to get a holistic sense of you, outside of a well-written essay or even a well-rehearsed interview,” she writes. “Wharton looks for team players and people who can be analytical while working well with others.”


Blackman says Wharton specifically values innovation. While a lofty word, innovation can mean several things and there isn’t one right answer.

“Innovation is integral to Wharton’s brand,” Blackman writes. “This doesn’t have to mean you’ve invented the next billion-dollar app or founded a company. But it does denote someone who creates something that has not existed before — whether that’s a new product, process, or way of seeing the world.”


Another important characteristic to highlight in your Wharton interview is your global awareness.

“Showing global awareness isn’t necessarily about the number of stamps on your passport,” Blackman writes. “Rather, it’s about showing that you thrive in new and unfamiliar environments. In addition, it shows you can successfully navigate the challenges of competing in a global marketplace.”

Sources: Stacy Blackman Consulting, Wharton

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