Approaching MIT Sloan’s Pre-Interview Questions

MIT Sloan School of Management

Approaching MIT Sloan’s Pre-Interview Questions

MIT Sloan School of Management will require applicants to respond to two pre-interview questions this year.

Trisha Nussbaum, an MBA Admissions coach at Fortuna Admissions, recently broke down Sloan’s pre-interview prompts and how applicants should approach their responses.


For the first required question, applicants are asked to respond to the following:

In 250 words or less, please describe a time when you contributed toward making a work environment or organization more welcoming, inclusive, and diverse.

With the first short-answer response, Nussbaum recommends aligning yourself with MIT Sloan’s core mission and values on diversity and inclusion.

“For this essay, you need to identify one meaningful example and then extract lessons learned that showcase the kind of person you are and leader you hope to be,” Nussbaum writes. “Your answer stands to communicate how you will engage with the very diverse and global community at MIT Sloan, and how you will add value.”

When thinking about added value, Nussbaum says, self-reflection is key.

“Remember that diversity and inclusion can be about race and ethnicity, but also gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, politics, age, and other realms,” Nussbaum writes. “How are you inviting diverse perspectives, creating a welcoming work environment where differences are valued, and cultivating awareness of the less visible forces that shape decision-making and group dynamics?”


The second required question asks applicants the following:

We are interested in learning more about how you use data to make decisions and analyze results. Please select one of the following prompts to respond to:

Option A – In 250 words to less, please describe a recent data-driven decision you had to make, and include one slide presenting your analysis. The slide may include a data visualization example and should present data used in a professional context. Your slide must be uploaded as a PDF.

Option B – Please select an existing data visualization and in 250 words or less explain why it matters to you. The data visualization should be uploaded as a PDF. Examples may come from current events, a business analysis, or personal research.

For option A, applicants will first need to select a data-driven decision to reference in their essay. Nussbaum recommends focusing on the how over the what.

“It’s ultimately less about the specific data you used, and rather if you used the right data that resonates with and influences your audience, considered your stakeholders and/or customers, and elevated your credibility with strong logic,” Nussbaum writes.

While option A and option B may appear similar, Nussbaum says, there are slight but important differences.

“Option B lends itself more to a values/goals question, whereas option A is more of a leadership/situational question,” Nussbaum writes. “Meaning, option B is an invitation to share startling statistics that have motivated you to make a change or impact.”

Sources: Fortuna Admissions, MIT Sloan

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