Pursuing An International MBA? Read This

The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia

The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia

3 Tips For Nailing The Wharton MBA Interview

The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School released its R1 interview invites last week. The B-school, which ranks number three in our “Top Business Schools” ranking, is exceptionally difficult to gain admission into. Roughly 40% of applicants get an invitation to interview and, experts say, nailing the interview process is key to getting an acceptance letter.

Stacy Blackman, founder of Stacy Blackman Consulting, recently gave insight into what applicants can expect from the Wharton interview process and how they can put their best foot forward.


One of the key components of the Wharton interview is the team-based discussion, where five to six applicants discuss a topic while admission officers observe. This year, the discussion component is likely to be held virtually and will bring together applicants from a variety of locations.

“This aspect of the application process attempts to get a holistic sense of you, outside of a well-written essay or even a well-rehearsed interview,” Blackman writes. “Wharton looks for team players and people who can be analytical while working well with others. Keep in mind that observers want to see candidates contributing without dominating the discussion. The idea is to see how you might engage in a productive conversation with a group of future classmates. To leave a positive impression, make sure to share your point of view and listen thoughtfully. Respect differing points of view and bring others into the conversation.”


Wharton specifically looks for students who are innovators in the sense that you can bring something new to the table—whether an idea, product, or mindset.

“Think of ways you’ve acted as a ‘change agent’ in your workplace or community,” Blackman writes. “Wharton seeks dynamic, energized students who look to change industries, economies, and even their countries. Find examples of how you’ve seen the potential to make things better — and taken action to create positive change.”


Business is becoming increasingly global. At Wharton, students are expected to be able to show a strong sense of global awareness. That global awareness, Blackman says, is beyond simply having international travel in your passport. It’s about being able to adapt to unfamiliar environments and accept those who may have different ways of thinking.

“If your career goals transcend borders, make sure to share your planned career path,” Blackman writes. “Also, if you have experience working with global teams, provide examples of challenges and successes. Above all, an honest curiosity and willingness to learn about other cultures and countries will go a long way.”

Sources: Stacy Blackman Consulting, P&Q

Next Page: Imperial College launches new program on conscious leadership and sustainability.

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.