NYU SternBelow are MBA admissions interview questions and experiences submitted by NYU Stern applicants. If you interviewed at Stern, we encourage you to submit a report detailing your experience!
I had my interview off-campus. To tell youthe truth I was pretty nervous. I reaced 15 min before time hoping to hang around and get used to the atmosphere, but I never got the chance. As soon as I reached I was handed a folder with my interests. Thanks to all the reviews I knew what to expect in this part. As I was the first candidate being interviewed that day the Adcom came right out to meet me and I was ushered in before the scheduled time. It was a very relaxed affair all in all. Once we got talking it was less of an interview and more of a conversation for me. The questions were never directly asked but instead the Adcom directed me to the issues he wanted to clarify. Guess being prepared didn’t hurt either.
It was pretty clear that the Adcom knew my application. In fact in our “chat” he kept referring back to what I had mentioned in the essays. The main tone was set to see if I knew what NYU Stern had to offer and if I had my goals as clearly in my head as in the essays I wrote. This part was a piece of cake as I was prepared. I got some good insights from the Adcom too and we bonded over some common characteristics and interests we shared. The rough list of questions follows -
1. Started with Personal expression essay and some more probing about what was mentioned
2. Why NYU?
3. What companies would you like to work in and why?
4. What are you backup plans (this one seems pretty important to them especially placement concerns – we talked at length)
5. What are you looking forward to at Stern?
6. What would you like me to think when I introduce you at your graduation? (translates to what do you want to achieve at Stern?)
7. Questions for Adcom
At the end the Adcom asked me for my transcripts and degree conferral proof and handed me a T-shirt. It was so quick and friendly I even forgot to be nervous. My interview finished in exactly half an hour. And as usual I was told to expect a reply in 2-3 weeks. Although I knew it would be much sooner and kept checking the status website everyday. Got my result in less than a week (Admit).
I had my interview during Diversity Connect with an alumnus, which I know is unusual for NYU, so I really wanted to share my experience. I will say, expecting to interview with an adcomm member meant that I prepared wrong for this interview. (About half of the Diversity Connect folks interviewed with the adcomm, the other half with alumnus that the adcomm had carefully matched us with.)
The alumnus still had all of my information and had read my full application. However, the answers she was looking for were totally different – I had professors names and course names to respond with when she asked me about what I wanted to study, but she wanted subject (like marketing, strategy, etc.) The interview felt more like my Columbia interview – talk about a difficult colleague, a time you failed, back-up options. She didn’t ask me specific questions about my interest area or about my current area like a lot of the reviews tell you to expect.
Overall, I was just in the wrong mindset for a traditional interview, so my responses sort of sat strangely. If you do have an alumnus, adjust your expectations as soon as you can, be more broad, and ask clarifying questions! Some of the questions I got – I just didn’t understand what she wanted to get at – there was clearly something she thought she was asking that wasn’t translating and I struggled. The good news is, I got in anyway, even though I completely felt like I blew the interview. Anyway, that might be a “con” to interviewing at one of the Connect events – it was helpful in terms of thinking about the school, but I wish I had interviewed in the “regular” process.
These are the questions they asked me.
1. Tell me about yourself?
2. What do you feel is the weakest aspect of your resume?
3. Which achievement are you most proud of?
4. Is Stern your first choice? If you are admitted to other schools, what criteria your decision will be based on?
5. What’s the main difference between your current position and your goals? Why do you think you are ready for an MBA at this moment of your career?
6. What programs have made you interested in Stern? And what clubs will you participate?
7. What job do you imagine yourself doing during your first summer break?
8. Can you list some companies you’d like to work for post graduation?
9. What will you do if you can’t get a job in the domain you are looking for?
10. What would your manager say is one of your strengths? One of your weaknesses?
11. During the first few weeks at Stern, how will you distinguish yourself from the other students?
12. If 25 years from now you were asked to return to Stern to speak, how would you want to be introduced?
13. Is there anything else you’d like me to know?
I answered all of the questions with confidence and without getting nervous. I think I did pretty well, to be honest
I interviewed with a “senior associate admissions director.” The conversation is very friendly. She took very few notes (which at the time to me could be good or bad). She definitely knows my application from inside out.
When we sat down she smiled and said “so you play the guitar?” (She was referring to part of my essay 3). “When/how did you start and what kind of songs do you play?”
Then the interview moved to real business:
- Tell me about how you ended up at your current role (job)?
- What’s your post-MBA career goal?
- How is your new career goal different from your current role? (to see if you are prepared to make a transfer)
- What 5 companies do you want to work for after MBA?
- What’s your preferred post MBA company to work for and WHY?
- What other schools are you applying to?
- If all the schools accept you, HOW would you make your decision?
- What makes Stern’s culture different from other schools?
- What if your top choice career goal is not available (your back up plans)?
- What else would you like to address the adcom? Questions for me? (I asked 4, I think 4-5 is good enough).
It was a nice interview overall, I came out feeling relaxed.
I had my interview in New York. I live in Europe, so travelled to NY for the interview the day before. At 11.00 am on the day, I was greeted by the receptionist and given a Stern T-shirt and an information pack. My interviewer was one of the admissions directors . She was quite friendly and had clearly read my application materials really well. She started off with an informal question from my ‘creative essay’ – I had written about my hobbies and then moved on to the following more formal questions:
1. What made you switch to your current company from your previous employer
2. How did you get your first job
3. Why Stern
4. Why MBA
5. Why do you want to pursue your short-term post-MBA goals
6. Are you aware of any gaps that could deter you from achieving your short-term goal
7. What has been your greatest achievement (in your current job)
8. How will your post-MBA role be different from your current role
8. I had lived and worked abroad and given this context, she asked if I had a country I could visit as part of the ‘Doing Business In’ programme, which one would it be?
The interview lasted exactly 30 minutes. I felt quite a bit was covered in the half hour, but did not feel that intense! Overall, I quite enjoyed the experience.
I interviewed at Stern as part of Women’s Interview Day. Before the interview, the entire group of prospective students gathered around banquet tables where we had the opportunity to ask current students questions. Everyone was very friendly and informative, yet casual. We were then led into the interview reception area, where our individual interviewers greeted us one-by-one. My interviewer was a member of the admissions committee, however some of the women I talked to were interviewed by people in the financial aid office, career development office, etc. My interviewer was already well versed in my application, and she used the 30 minute interview to get to know me better. The interview was laid-back, conversational, and I felt that she was genuinely interested in my personal and professional goals. The reviews on this forum proved extremely helpful; I had prepared using the questions listed here and she didn’t ask me anything outside of what had been listed. Just prepare a few solid stories based on the questions here and you’ll do great! Here are the specific questions she asked:
- What one thing draws you to Stern?
- What do you like about New York? What neighborhoods would you consider living in?
- How would your boss describe you?
- What summer internship will you apply for – list specific companies (make sure to do research on what companies recruit on campus)? What’s your back-up plan?
- How would you get involved at Stern?
- How would you market yourself in your target industry?
- Tell me about a challenging time or time you failed? What did you learn?
- What would you change/enhance on the Stern website? (I have a background in digital which is why she asked!)
- Questions for interviewer
Overall the interview was a positive experience. My interviewer seemed very passionate about the school and students, and seemed to really enjoy her coworkers in the admissions office. I interviewed on Thursday and got admitted the following Wednesday, despite her telling me that a decision would take 2-3 weeks. Best of luck!
I interviewed as part of the Women’s Interview Day, so arrived on campus mid afternoon and was ushered into a room with current students and other interviewees. Given a folder of brochures specifically related to my interests, and after a few minutes were taken down to the career services office. Had flashbacks to undergrad recruiting. The overall feeling was welcoming, they were excited to have us (large group of female interviewees) there.
The questions as best I can remember:
1. Tell me what you like to do in your free time.
2. What has been your most significant accomplishment at [your firm]?
3. Tell me about a time that you led a team through a difficult situation.
4. What is your leadership style?
5. Why Stern?
6. What would you get involved with at Stern?
7. Imagine you’re coming back to Stern after 25 years as a distinguished alumni, what would the Dean say in their introduction of you?
8. Questions for the adcom member.
Felt like I clicked well with the interviewer, got her card at the end, but was surprised she didn’t ask many questions about my future career, given that she had read my application. We then had an additional reception after the interview – it felt as though they were simultaneously trying to sell us on the school. I interviewed on a Thursday and heard back from them (acceptance!) on a Tuesday – though the Round 1 deadline to hear back was 2/15, so I think that’s another reason I heard back so soon.
I applied to Stern for Round 1 and was given the opportunity to interview on my own or as part of Stern’s Spotlight on Women in Business/Stern’s Women in Business Conference. I decided to attend the conference since I was interested in hearing the speakers and I thought it would be a good opportunity to meet students, faculty, and other prospective students.
Day 1 included a half hour interview with an admissions representative followed by a coffee chat, roundtable discussion, evening reception, and a ticket to Stern’s weekly Beer Blast.
Because there were many people attending this event, we were all directed to a larger room where we could meet current students and ask questions before our interview. I arrived 20 minutes early and was asked for my transcripts, checked my coat, and received a packet of information tailored to my interests. After speaking with a couple students, when it was time to interview, my admissions representative came to get me and showed me to her office. She explained that she had read my application and essays, but wanted to know me better and have me tell my own story. Here are some of my questions (just in the order I remember them, not in the order they were asked):
1. Tell me about yourself and fill me in on your background.
2. Why Stern?
3. Talk about a conflict you’ve had and how you overcame it.
4. What’s something you’re proud of? (could be work or non-work)
5. What would I do if my post-MBA plan fell through?
6. How would my director at work describe me?
7. Questions for her?
8. (As a follow up to her about my question regarding their new DBi policy) Is international experience important to me in my business school experience? Why?
Overall the interview was very straight forward, my interviewer was very nice and it was more of a conversation. She said I would hear in about 2 weeks, but I found out 4 (business) days later!
I got there 20 min early. The receptionist gave me the t-shirt and folder tailored to my interests that all other interviewees seem to mention. The adcom who was interviewing me was nice, however little time was spent on introducing ourselves which made it hard to relate to her. The interview felt like an interrogation rather than an interview maybe it was because the adcom was doing the interview rather than students like at other schools. She took my transcript at the end. Questions were as follows, although not in this order:
1. How would you get involved at Stern?
2. Tell me about a time you had conflict at work?
3. How did you come to work for XYZ?
4. Why did you leave XYZ to work at ABC?
5. What is your proudest work related accomplishment?
6. What is your back up plan if you don’t work in your desired post-MBA role?
7. What most surprises you about Stern?
8. Questions for the AdCom?
Got there 20-30min early and knew where to go from a previous tour. The receptionist gave me the t shirt and folder tailored to my interests that all other interviewees seem to mention. The adcom who was interviewing me was very friendly and we spent a good amount of time just introducing ourselves first. She took my transcript right away, so definitely do not forget that one. Questions were as follows, although not in this order:
1. How did you come to work for XYZ?
2. What is your proudest work related accomplishment?
3. How did you choose to attend ABC for undergrad? What is your best memory of your time there?
3. Why Stern for your transition? (looking for a slight career change, it was something I talked about in my essays)
4. Where would you intern in between MBA1 and MBA2?
5. What is your back up plan if you don’t work in your desired post-MBA role?
6. How did you first hear about Stern and in what ways did you learn about the school?
7. What are some things you’d be involved in if you were to attend Stern?
8. What other schools did you apply to? How would you decide where to attend?
9. Questions for the AdCom?
The whole process only took about 30min and was very conversational and friendly. They say it could take up to 3 weeks to hear, but they got back to me late the next week.
My admissions representative was extremely friendly and personable. Similar to other Stern interviews described here, they gave me a packet of information and tee-shirt after checking in, and had a glass of water waiting for me in the office. The other admissions counselors coming out to greet their applicants seemed as equally friendly and welcoming as mine. I got the general sense that Stern isn’t trying to trip anyone up with their interview, but views it as a chance to learn more about the applicant and for the applicant to learn more about the school.
The interview was behavioral in nature and while the adcom rep referenced points on my application, he did not ask me anything already covered in the app. Here are the questions asked as best as I could remember:
1) Could you tell me about why you choose to work at XYZ after graduation?
2) Has that experience been helpful in your current role?
3) Tell me about what you’ve learned working at your current company?
4) What’s your role within a team?
5) What do you consider your greatest professional achievement?
6) What would your boss say about you?
7) What’s the best constructive criticism your boss has given you?
8) What do you want to do for your summer internship?
9) That industry is very competitive, how would you market yourself/convince someone to hire you?
10) Why Stern?
11) How would you be involved at Stern?
12) What do you hope to learn from your future classmates?
13) Questions for the interviewer?
To prepare, I would reflect a lot on your professional experience (current and past), learn a lot about Stern, and have solid answers about why you want to attend and how you would contribute.
NB: Don’t forget your official, sealed transcript. It really does seem to delay the decision process. I found out two weeks after my interview, rather than one.