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The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia

The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia

Here’s How to Ace Wharton’s Unique Interview Exercise

The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania sent out Round 2 interview invitations last week. A key component of Wharton’s interview process is the Team-Based Discussion, where applicants are grouped together for a dynamic team exercise. The goal of the discussion is for admissions officers to gauge applicants’ collaborative skills—a key component for admission to the B-school.

Denise Potter, of mbaMission, recently broke down what Wharton’s MBA Team-Based Discussion is like and how applicants can best prepare for the exercise.


Wharton’s Team Based Discussion is structured as a 35-minute exercise. Applicants are grouped in teams of four to five and each group is given prompt and a purpose that they will need to work together on to build a tangible outcome or solution. Groups are assigned randomly, and applicants won’t know who’s on their team or what other prompts are assigned before the interview process.

Following the Team Based Discussion, applicants meet with an admissions officer for a 10-minute one-on-one interview where applicants will need to speak about their interest in Wharton.


Applicants will need to come to the interview with a response to the prompt they’re given. However, experts say success in the Team-Based Discussion is much less about what your response is and more about how you work with your teammates.

“The admissions committee members are not measuring your topical expertise,” Potter writes. “Instead, they want to see how you add to the collective output of the team.”

You’ll also want to assess your own personal skills and strengths in preparation for the 10-minute one-on-one interview with the admission officer.

“During your short one-on-one session with someone representing Wharton’s admissions team, you will likely be asked to reflect on how the team-based discussion went for you; this will require self-awareness on your part,” Potter writes.

Sources: mbaMission, Wharton

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