McCombs School of Business | Ms. Registered Nurse Entrepreneur
GMAT 630, GPA 3.59
Stanford GSB | Mr. Former SEC Athlete
GMAT 620, GPA 3.8
Tuck | Mr. Army To MBB
GMAT 740, GPA 2.97
Columbia | Mr. Forbes 30 Under 30
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB Advanced Analytics
GMAT 750, GPA 3.1
Stanford GSB | Mr. Impactful Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.7
Chicago Booth | Mr. Banker To CPG Leader
GMAT 760, GPA 7.36/10
Kellogg | Mr. Hopeful Engineer
GMAT 720, GPA 7.95/10 (College follows relative grading; Avg. estimate around 7-7.3)
Ross | Mr. Leading-Edge Family Business
GMAT 740, GPA 2.89
Darden | Mr. Logistics Guy
GRE Not taken Yet, GPA 3.1
Chicago Booth | Mr. Desi Boy
GMAT 740, GPA 3.0
Kellogg | Mr. Stylist & Actor
GMAT 760 , GPA 9.5
Columbia | Mr. Ambitious Chemical Salesman
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Tepper | Ms. Coding Tech Leader
GMAT 680, GPA 2.9
Wharton | Mr. Rates Trader
GMAT 750, GPA 7.6/10
Harvard | Mr. Irish Biotech Entrepreneur
GMAT 730, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Cricketer Turned Engineer
GMAT 770, GPA 7.15/10
Wharton | Mr. Planes And Laws
GRE 328, GPA 3.8
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Refrad
GMAT 700, GPA 3.94
Harvard | Mr. Supply Chain Photographer
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3
Chicago Booth | Mr. Space Launch
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0
Kellogg | Ms. Product Strategist
GMAT 700, GPA 7.3/10
Columbia | Mr. MBB Consultant
GRE 339, GPA 8.28
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Avocado Farmer
GMAT 750, GPA 3.08
Georgetown McDonough | Mr. International Development Consultant
GMAT N/A, GPA 2.9
Columbia | Mr. Wannabe Grad
GMAT 710, GPA 3.56
Kellogg | Ms. Indian Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.3

What You Need To Know About MBA Interviews

MBA interviews

MBA interviews are a critical part of the application process, and it’s important to prepare. It’s also important to make good decisions about when and how you interview. Consider these factors, so that you optimize your MBA interviews.

  • Always go to campus if you can.

In addition to letting you schedule an on-campus interview, many schools will let you interview in your city, or remotely via skype or facetime.  Local interviews are conducted by alumni, or by traveling admissions officers. 

Unless you really, truly can’t travel it’s always best to choose the on-campus option. You are more likely to interview with an admissions officer or trained second-year student, optimizing your chances of having a robust conversation. (Please see below about alumni interviews.) It’s never as easy to connect with your interviewer over skype as it is in person, and you really want to forge that connection. Also, traveling to campus demonstrates genuine interest, which is a factor that admissions committees consider as they estimate yield. 

  • Alumni Interviews are unpredictable.

Some business schools, including Columbia, use alumni interviewers to conduct the vast majority of their evaluations. Others use alums to screen some of their candidates. If you have a choice, I strongly advise you to avoid having an alumni interview. Although some schools do a great job of training their alum volunteers others do not – which leads to enormous variation in the quality of the conversation. 

As an admissions consultant, I hear stories about alums who talk primarily about themselves, or who cross strange boundaries to ask intrusive and illegal questions about topics like pregnancies. As a former Tuck admissions officer, the alumni interview reports that I read often weren’t as detailed or relevant as I needed them to be in order to advocate for the candidate. There are absolutely fantastic alumni interviewers, but choosing one is an unnecessarily risky move.

  • Research the format.

Don’t assume that all MBA interviews are the same! Although you will likely have to discuss your goals, work experience, interpersonal skills and interest in the program at all schools, there are nevertheless serious structural differences. Darden, for instance, often asks candidates to talk about themselves in an unstructured way, so you need to be prepared to carry the conversation, and to share a coherent narrative and highlight your strengths. Wharton and Ross have group exercises, which also require a different type of preparation. 

MBA interviews are an exciting opportunity to share your strengths and passion for the school. Whenever possible, choose the format that will best allow you to present your case.


North Star Admissions Consulting LogoKaren has more than 12 years of experience evaluating candidates for admission to Dartmouth College and to the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Since founding North Star Admissions Consulting in 2012, she has helped applicants gain admission to the nation’s top schools, including Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Wharton, MIT, Tuck, Columbia, Kellogg, Booth, Haas, Duke, Johnson, Ross, NYU, UNC, UCLA, Georgetown and more. Clients have been awarded more than 25 million dollars in scholarships, and more than 97% have gotten into one of their top-choice schools.