MBA Interview Questions: A School-By-School List For 2024

They’re looking at you – and they see themselves.  Alumni, students, and admissions: they were once hungry and hopeful just like you. Now, they’re the gatekeepers – and they’re wondering if you have the right stuff to be one of them.

Whether the setting is a coffee house, office, or Zoom, these guardians have the same questions going through their minds as you speak. Often, these questions revolve around whether you are ready, committed, and a cultural fit.

In other words, decision-makers want to know why you – and not someone else they’re interviewing – should get the opportunity. In the process, they hope you tell them things they don’t already know. That means hearing your stories, ones that show how you act under pressure and ambiguity – and the lessons you learned along the way.

What questions can you expect? Regardless of school, interviewers will, no doubt, ask you to walk them through your resume. More important, they’ll expect you to address the treacherous trio:

Why an MBA?

Why here?

Why now?

Even more, you can anticipate non-school-specific questions falling under these buckets:

School Engagement

Which clubs are you looking to participate in?

Which classes are you hoping to take here?

What resources do you plan to utilize at this school?

Goals

What are your short-term and long-term goals after you graduate?

How will our program help you achieve these goals?

What is your Plan B (or C) if you don’t land in your target company or industry?

Work Background

What are some projects you are currently working on?

Tell me about a conflict you had with a co-worker? How did you handle it? What was the outcome?

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?

What has been your biggest professional achievement?

Personal Life

Tell me about yourself.

How do you spend your free time?

What motivates you?

What has been your biggest personal accomplishment?

What is your biggest strength? Tell me about a weakness and how have you mitigated it?

Beyond these basic questions, every business school covers topics that reveal its culture and priorities. At the Wharton School, for example, the school holds Team-Based Discussions, popularly known as TBDs. Basically, teams are organized on the spot and given 25 minutes to prepare a five-minute presentation in front of second-year MBAs and decision-makers. The goal: See which roles candidates take and how effectively they work in teams. At the London Business School, candidates often review a case with their interviewers. In contrast, Chicago Booth questions target how prospective students have evolved during their careers. Not surprisingly, Harvard Business takes a deeply analytical approach. That includes delving into a candidate’s employer, including company mission, business model, market needs, industry turbulence, and leadership quality.

How can you learn which schools ask which questions? That’s where Clear Admit comes into play. Each year, Clear Admit calls for applicants to submit interview reports. Here, candidates share items such as questions asked, meeting length, and round interviewed. Wondering what to expect from your target schools? Check out some of the most school-specific questions per Clear Admit.

Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)

Give me a 1-minute elevator pitch about yourself.

Tell me about a time when you did something that your team didn’t want to do.

University of Chicago (Booth)

How are you looking to improve your leadership skills?

Tell me about a time when you failed.

How do you motivate people?

How would you say you’ve grown in one area at work since you started?

Give me an example or explain how you prioritize.

Tell me a time where you had to adapt your leadership style to foster collaboration.

Tell me about a time when you had to influence someone above your level.

Tell me about an experience that changed your worldview.

Columbia Business School

Why did you choose this major?

Why you are interested in (Insert Field)?

Tell me a situation that you had to build consensus to solve a problem.

Tell me something about yourself that is not on your resume.

Cornell University (Johnson)

Why are you making a career switch?

Tell me about a project that you did well on, but never want to do again.

How do you plan on getting an internship and job post-MBA?

How do you approach DEI as a leader?

Dartmouth College (Tuck)

Tell me about a time you had to give negative feedback.

Tell me about a time you had to deal with a difficult manager.

Tell me about a time a project didn’t go well.

How will you contribute to a learning team?

Tell me about a time when you stepped outside of your comfort zone.

Tell me about a time when you dealt with a high-pressure situation. How did you make everyone realize the urgency?

 

Next Page: Duke Fuqua to Northwestern Kellogg Questions

Page 3: Stanford GSB to Yale SOM Questions + 10 Questions Your Interviewers Are Asking Themselves

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