Ranking: The Top MBAs for Sustainability

Wharton students gather inside Huntsman Hall. Courtesy photo

Must-Knows for the Wharton Interview

The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania consistently ranks as one of the Top Business Schools in the world. With an acceptance rate of 19.23%, Wharton also is notoriously selective in MBA admissions. A big part of landing a seat at Wharton depends on how well you do in the interview process.

“Wharton interviews approximately 40 percent of applicants, and about one-in-3 ultimately receives an offer of admission,” Stacy Blackman, founder of Stacy Blackman Consulting, says. “It’s worth noting that no candidate gets in without an interview. They are a crucial component of how the admissions committee gets a complete picture of you as an applicant.”

Blackman recently offered a few tips on how to best prepare for the Wharton interview and gave insight into what exactly admissions officers are looking for.


An important component of the Wharton interview process is the team-based discussion, a 35-minute exercise where applicants are grouped together in small teams and tasked with working together to achieve a tangible solution. Following the team-based discussion, applicants partake in a 10-minute one-on-one interview with an admissions officer.

“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 says. “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.”


Wharton seeks out applicants who change agents, or people who can make a difference in their community and world. Blackman suggests finding examples of times when you’ve taken action to improve an environment or created something for the better.

“This doesn’t have to mean you’ve invented the next billion-dollar app or founded a company,” Blackman says. “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.”


Wharton is a global community, and it expects its students to bring a global mindset to campus.

But Blackman says showing global awareness isn’t necessarily just about the number of stamps on your passport. Rather, it’s about demonstrating how you approach unfamiliar environments and how you overcome challenges.

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

Sources: Stacy Blackman Consulting, The Wharton School




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