MIT SloanBelow are MBA admissions interview questions and experiences submitted by MIT Sloan applicants. If you interviewed at Sloan, we encourage you to submit a report detailing your experience!
I walked into the office 20 minutes early and chatted with someone who looked like an applicant but ended up working there. Oops. Then I sat with applicants and we talked about our careers and where we were applying. One girl had applied to MIT and Kellogg, the other girl had applied to HBS and Stanford.
My interviewer came out first, she was smiling and excited to meet me and begin. She definitely made me feel like she was on my side during the interview. We made small talk first and connected on some information about China (I worked in China and she had traveled there often). Then she said what kind of interview it would be and began with questions
- Describe a major initiative that you have done
- Describe a time when you mentored someone
- Describe a time when you worked on a team
- Describe a time when you took a big risk
- Anything else you would like me to tell the admissions committee?
I felt the interview went smoothly but on the risk question I told the same story I told in my essay. My advice to anyone would be to have 5 or 6 stories on hand but more than anything just try to relax the interviewers are people too and I did not feel intimidated.
I’m a US development worker in Africa. My interview was conducted over Skype with an adcom member in mid-January. I was notified of the time in mid-December so I had ample time to prepare.
- Anything new to add to your resume since submitting application?
- What item would you like to highlight from your resume?
- Tell me about a time when a teammate wasn’t pulling his/her weight, what did you do?
- Tell me about a time you received feedback from a supervisor. How did you feel and what did you think when he sat you down to talk? Have you received any feedback from your current supervisor?
- Tell me about a mentor or a person in your life who has influenced you. Describe that influence.
- Tell me about a recent setback you’ve encountered at your current position. What happened, how did you feel, and what did you do?
After that I was asked to explain the reasoning and evolution of my past jobs. My work experience seems a bit eclectic on paper, Global Fortune 500 intern > nonprofit > political campaign mgmt > Peace Corps & international development, so I explained how each position fit together and why I’m now choosing to pursue my MBA. She asked a few questions about Peace Corps and choosing to work abroad.
This led to a question on how I learned about MIT Sloan (since I’ve been living in Africa for past few years) and why I wanted to attend.
Next I was asked what I thought she would ask but hadn’t yet, and what would I want her to take back to the other adcom members about me as a candidate.
Then a couple minutes for me to ask questions.
Overall the interview lasted 42 minutes and had a casual tone during most of it; more of a conversation than a formal interview.
What I was most unprepared for were the probing questions about my work background. I may have come off defensive on some questions when the adcom was asking about how my work applied to business school. In hindsight I should have prepared a concise explanation of my nontraditional career path and why it’s a good fit for Sloan, instead of focusing entirely on behavioral question prep.
- Any updates to your application or anything new you’ve accomplished at work?
- Tell me about a company in your industry that has caught your eye.
- Given your role at your company (work for a startup), what will it be like when you leave?
- Tell me about a time you helped a colleague who was struggling professionally.
- Tell me about a time you had to persuade your colleagues. Follow up questions about how I delegated analysis of the issue and how I felt my colleagues perceived my approach.
- Tell me about a time a colleauge had a contrasting opinion or gave you feedback and how you incorporated that into your approach to a task or project.
- What would you like me to communicate to the adcom about you?
I got my invitation to interview on March 2nd, and had 2 weeks to schedule the interview. I scheduled it for the week after, because of work obligations. They offered lunch with a current student on interview days, but then there were no interview timeslots around lunchtime, so i chose a morning slot to minimize the amount of time out of the office (i’m local). ALSO — YOU HAVE TO BRING TRANSCRIPT COPIES. nowhere on their website did they mention that, at all, before you get invited to interview (and i looked, because i was ordering them for another school weeks earlier) and i wasnt sure from this site since there werent 2012 reviews up yet. so that was something that was a bit short-notice, so might as well plan in advance.
i interviewed with a member of the adcom – we started early because i got there early. interview was maybe 40 minutes.
contrary to what a lot of other people mentioned, my interviewer didn’t ask me anything about my essays or the rest of my application. he said MIT likes data so he wanted more, new examples of things, and i guess the readers didn’t have any questions.
- why business school instead of staying in consulting, and what really made me want to switch
- transitioned to talking more specifically about a recent case i was on that i had used as an example of the type of industry i wanted to move into, and what was it like working with that company, and what did they do well vs. not well?
- talk about a time when i was managing someone and they didn’t meet my expectations
- how do i solve conflicts
- what would my recent team members say about me, if they were asked what its like to work with me
- we did talk a bit about what i wanted to do in the future, as it related to some questions i had about MIT recruiting power and career services in my chosen industry (pharma/biotech)
- what do i want to make sure he gets across to the admissions committee, about me?
all in all it went okay, interviewer was very friendly. so now i guess i’m just waiting for the decision!
I applied in the first round to Sloan and had my interview on-campus by a member of the admissions committee on Jan 18th, 2012 and I’ve received my admittance into MIT on February 6th, 2012.
I arrived at the office 15 minutes prior to my interview. On that particular day, there were only two interviews, including mine, at my specific time slot. We exchanged conversation about the weather of Boston, what we each do for a living; stories of how we got to Boston (both of us came from outside of USA for the interview). Our conversation made the waiting much easier. Then it was time for my interview. The interviewer had really read my application thoroughly. She had her questions written out on a piece of paper.
She started by stating the type of interview (behavioral) that MIT conducts. Then she started asking her questions which were mainly about some of the things that I’ve written in my essays that she didn’t understand or needed more information. I had to elaborate on what I’ve written on my essays, after all there are word limit to the essays. Based on my answers, my interviewer asked followed up questions (how did I convince my fellow colleagues to accept some of the ideas that I have written in my essays? What do I mean by a certain sentence in my essays).
Once she had no more questions to ask about my essays, she asked me to provide an example of when my ideas were not accepted (I had talked about the ideas that were accepted in my essays). Then she asked me about if there are anything that’s new on my resume since my application. Then she asked my if there are anything that we haven’t talked about that I really wanted the admissions committee to know. Finally she asked me if I have any questions for her (I asked about a couple of questions – Beside the monetary values, what is the value of a MIT MBA; What MIT does specifically to improve each student’s leadership ability.
Overall the interview took about 50 minutes. It was hard to read what my interviewer was thinking about. While I was talking and answering questions, she took a lot of notes and kept nodding and saying “I see”, “hum”. I think it was very important that the interviewer read your application before the interview. I had an interview with MIT Sloan a couple years back where the interviewer didn’t read my application because the interview was a last minute schedule. She asked basic generic questions like what I do for work, examples of leadership at work, etc.
I arrived to the admissions office 30 min early and made conversation with the front desk admin staff and another applicant waiting to interview – this helped me loosen up and I believe was a positive first impression that two interviewers saw two candidates exchanging business cards and wishing each other luck. Interviewer started off explaining the style of the behavioral interview and noted there would be time at the end for me to ask questions. True to MIT Sloan interview guidance – the interview was strictly behavioral and all questions were either “give me an example of…” or asking for further detail from a previous response. At no point did the interviewer ask “Why MIT,” “Why Sloan,” or “Why now.”
Tone of interviewer was courteous but not overly-friendly. The entire conversation felt extremely professional until the end of the interview when we made a personal connection. It was impossible for me to read the responses of the interviewer – she took copious notes while I spoke and had my resume in front of her on an iPad.
- Give me a short description of a recent accomplishment that’s not in your application
- Tell me more about your [accomplishment I discussed in my cover letter]
- Give me an example of a time you had to convince someone (a couple very specific follow-up questions from my story – e.g., “why do you think X person responded so defensively to your recommendations? What steps did you take to address his concerns?”)
- Give me an example of a time you had to mentor someone (same as above, a couple very specific follow-up questions)
- Are there any other questions you have for me?
In response to all the questions, I only used recent examples that were not included in my application. It felt like she was through with her questions early (perhaps 25 min into the interview), so I used my questions to highlight other aspects of my resume that were not discussed (primarily community service involvement). I also called out specific areas of my resume that I thought required further explanation (e.g., college transfer). As we wrapped up, she asked if I planned to attend the current students lunch following the interview and her response indicated that it was a good thing I would be joining – I advise future applicants to join the lunch with students even if they’ve previously visited campus.
Interview took 45 minutes exactly.
Decision: Admitted R1
Applied Oct 25, 2011; Admitted Feb 6, 2012
I received my invite on the first day they went out and had barely a weekend to prepare before driving to Boston. My interviewer was friendly and started with an ice breaker about my unusual name (which she pronounced perfectly), and what it meant. Then I handed over my transcripts and it was show time.
- What was doing at work these days? Followed up with specific questions about the nature of the project and my role.
- Tell me about constructive feedback you’ve received. Asked for several specific examples.
- Tell me about a time someone failed to meet your expectations. Again, lots of probing my thought process/interpersonal interaction with my co-worker.
- Tell me about a time you butted heads with someone. She followed up by asking me what I’d have done if the scenario I described was different, and I gave her an example that suited what she was looking for.
Overall, I could totally understand why Sloan asked me those questions, based on what was presented in my essays – they probably wanted to plug a few data gaps in assessing me. Awesome conversation. So excited for next year!
(Interview date 1/6/2012) I received my interview call pretty early on and had about 3 weeks to prepare. However, I was extremely busy putting together 3 R2 applications and really only had 7-8 hours the day before the interview to prepare for it. Here is how I prepared in such a time crunch:
1) I looked at Clear admit wiki for a set of questions and as most have recommended, I prepared 5-6 stories that were not part of my written application and mapped out which questions each of these stories can fit in.
2) I also read my application thoroughly and read through this guide from Scribd : http://www.scribd.com/doc/36140501/MIT-Sloan-MBA
That is all I could in a 7 hour window, I was little nervous going into the interview as I hadn’t prepared as much as I wanted to. I reached to the center about half hour early and met another applicant waiting for the interview. We hit it off right away and talked for 1/2 hour which eased off the tension and the nervousness. I had given my transcripts during check in to the front desk guy. My interviewer was a assistant admissions director and had a pretty good experience in interviewing – she was about 2-3 minutes late. She took me to her office where we sat down and she started with saying that it would be a 30 minutes interview and she would ask some clarifying questions from my application as well as try to get some additional information. She had my application open on her ipad.
Here are the questions in almost the same order as they were asked:
- Tell me some highlights/any changes from your resume (I talked about additional things that I was doing at my office outside of my client work; including mentoring and helping in generating additional sales)
- Tell me how you have helped this mentee – what specific advice did you give her (follow up question to my answer of the first question. I talked about various discussions that I have had with my mentee)
- Tell me about a time when you had to assert yourself where people may not have been receptive of your idea (this was also a follow up to my answer of the second question where I had mentioned that I am helping my mentee become more assertive. I used an example from one of my projects)
- She asked details of another project that I had listed on my resume and asked for a very specific role that I had in that project.(It was a major project and only 3 of us worked upon it. I highlighted 3 specific things that I contributed to the project.)
- She opened up one of my essays and iterated a specific line. She asked me to expand upon that and detail out what happened. She kept prodding into how I felt, what I did, how did others take it. I am not sure if I directly answered her question or was too diplomatic.
- She asked about couple of personal or professional goals that I have set for myself to make me a better person (I talked about 2 personal goals – I related to the things that I had mentioned in few of my answers)
- She asked me what specifically made me decide to apply to Sloan (I am an MIT alum. In addition, I had 3 specific reasons that I listed out with details)
- With all the travel, how have you been engaged in a community in your hometown or somewhere else where you travel? (I travel for work all the time and I spoke about being the social event coordinator at my client site where I organize events.)
- She then asked about my recent disappointment where I believed I had failed or didn’t do justice to my responsibilities (I spoke about a community consulting project that I had worked on. I had not been able to highlight this in my application)
- She asked about what is something that I wish she had asked (I told her about my proudest moment in last couple of years. We ended up sharing a common hobby and trait here and ended up talking about it for 10 minutes.)
- She then asked me if I had any questions for her (I asked couple of questions related to Sloan, for which you cannot find an answer on Sloan website. She was very excited about it and we ended up talking for additional 5-10 minutes on this.)
She ended the interview with the note that if I think of anything else that I want her to add onto her overall interview comments, that I can email her those details anytime. She gave me her business card. Overall, it was really good talking to her – we established a very good rapport. The interview lasted for 50 minutes instead of 30 minutes as she had stated. I was able to use most of my stories. Good luck and be yourself – try to establish a connection with your interviewer.
Apply 1/4/11, Invite 3/17, Interview 3/29, Accepted 4/4!
After a two and a half month excruciating wait I got a call from MIT asking me to interview. In fact, she made is sound like I had already been invited (email or something) and that I hadn’t responded (she was “hoping I was still interested in applying”). I’m in the DC area and I found out the only available dates were at an interview fair the next week where I’d be one of a lot of people interviewing or I could interview on the 29th, the final day of interviews for R2. I was a little freaked out by this but I decided I’d prefer to be a memorable last interview than a forgettable one of many when the interviewers are away from home. Who knows if that mattered at all. I met my admissions staff member at the admissions center (she was a touch late so I just sat there nervously sweating) and she took me into her office where we sat down and I immediately gave her my transcript because I know from reading on this website they always ask for it.
Here’s some advice for everyone- be who you are on your application, not the person you think they want you to be. I had two different items on my resume that really didn’t make me a better leader but they were just interesting things I’ve done. Several times when my friends looked over my resume they told me to take them off because they weren’t what MIT was looking for (like they know) but I left them on because they are who I am. Sure enough, as soon as we sit down my interviewer goes, “okay, the interview hasn’t started yet but I really have to talk about two things that I’m super interested in before we start.” Of course it’s those two things and it was smooth sailing after that because of how comfortable I was. Other questions (all from these guides):
- Tell me some highlights/any changes from your resume
- Give me an example of when your expectations were not met
- Proudest accomplishment
- Greatest risk taken
After that I shook her hand after a wonderful exchange and I immediately knew I absolutely nailed the interview and thought if they don’t accept me after that I have nothing else in the tank. On the acceptance date (they don’t do the day early call like some schools) I wanted nervously around until 6 p.m. approached (they really don’t tell you one single minute early) and after driving to a friend’s house to find out with them I started checking my account around 6:15 when my cell rang with a 617 Boston area code and it was a current student and alumni from my college telling me I was in. A great touch by them and I happily accepted and paid my initial fee almost immediately.
I interviewed last week on-campus with admissions staff. I had somewhat of an informal pre-interview with an administrative assistant at the front desk since I was 20 minutes early and we discussed a few topics related to my industry, media and entertainment, such as net neutrality and privacy concerns with online advertising.
My official interview wasn’t very structured, it was very conversational. I was not asked any behavioral questions instead I was asked why I wanted to attend Sloan, why an MBA, why now and what were my hobbies. I am an entrepreneur so I was asked about my business as well as several questions about my industry.
Also, I was asked a few questions surrounding issues of the day, this was likely an attempt to move the conversation along or to test how well read I am. The interview went smoothly and better than I expected. My interviewer even described me as dynamic to the administrative assistant on my way out so I guess despite not answering any behavioral questions I was able to make a good impression. Admissions staff were really nice and outgoing and appear to be indicative of the overall MIT Sloan community as the students I have met had similar personalities. I enjoyed my interview experience and I have my fingers crossed for April 4th!
FYI: I called admissions today and they said it is fine if interviewed applicants submit letters of support/recommendations to add to their application and to do so via email. I understand some schools have different stances on submitting material.
I arrived about 20 minutes early and introduced myself to the admin. There were 2 other waiting for other time slots (which I believe were spaced out about 15 minutes each). My interviewer came out about 10 minutes early and we walked into her office. The interview went like this:
- I opened up with an ice breaker that wasn’t about the weather (I had lost my credit card the night before). My interviewer could relate, which was nice.
- I would have though that we would then go into the interview questions, but my interviewer proceeded to inquire about one of my activties listed on resume (It turns out be both rode motorcycles).
- After 20 minutes of chit chat, we finally began with the questions.
- Any updates since you submitted the app (talked about a death in my family and how it has insipred me to push forward)
- Talk about a time when you had a difficult time with your job? (writing my first article for company research)
- When did you take the lead on something? (connected with my previous story about how my second wiriting assignment I turned into a video log).
- Had to have a difficult convesation with someone. (A previous employee who was my friend but I had to fire nonetheless)
- When you failed at something. (A tutee that failed at the project we were working on, but tried ahrder next time)
- Proudest accomplishment. (helping my little sister get into college, which was a reflection of how I am committed to those around me).
I then asked my question of how community oriented the school was, instead of a sterile place of learning. Before leaving I handed over my transcript, and that was it.
a few tips:
- My interviewer didn’t care about my responsibilities at my job/future career ideas. They stick to the “past experiences” model, so come in with new and useful stories to tell. She had also already written down all of her questions she was going to ask, but didn’t seem to mind if we meandered a bit from them.
- Feel free to connect with the interviewer about anything- I think mine really appreciated the fact that we have a common interest and humanized the conversation.
- The interview is short. I was done in the alloted 45 minutes, even though I had gone through many stories (and had to think of a few on the spot). You don’t feel rushed, but be sure to keep stories concise and to the point.