Advice for business school applicants who are preparing for their MBA admissions interviews.
Rather than simulating a group interview, Clear Admit admissions consultants are preparing MBA applicants for the new team-based discussion (TBD) component of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School application by helping them focus and hone the ideas they will present as part of the exercise, Senior Admissions Counselor Stacey Oyler told PoetsandQuants (P&Q) as part of an article published yesterday.
“We decided that trying to simulate a group interview wasn’t the ideal approach for prepping candidates,” Oyler told P&Q. Instead, she and other Clear Admit admissions counselors are helping clients focus on the compelling ideas they will present as part of the TBD, setting expectations for what the interview setting will be like – including the types of other applicants they may be grouped with – and sharing insight about what Wharton will be assessing, Oyler continued. Clear Admit, founded by two Wharton MBA alumni, including one who worked in the Wharton admissions office after graduating, prides itself on its Wharton expertise. Continue reading…
The MBA Admissions office at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management released an early batch of Round 2 decisions late last week, according to a post on Anderson MBA Insider’s Blog. “This was a relatively small group of applicants and we are still evaluating files, conducting interviews and sending out interview invitations,” wrote Associate Director of Admissions Jessica Chung. Chung added that some admitted students received fellowship offers as part of these early offers, but that fellowship funds remain for future Round 2 and Round 3 admits as well.
“We’re excited to see lots more great applicants in the mix, and interview invitations will continue to go out over the next several weeks,” Chung wrote. She added that applicants can expect a few more batches of early decisions in advance of the April 3rd final notification deadline. Continue reading…
Over the last months, we’ve focused on helping applicants prepare to answer the various questions they’ll be posed during their interviews, but there is one in particular to which we have not paid much attention. Today, we wanted to offer a few tips in navigating the nearly inevitable interview finisher: “Do you have any questions for me?”
This seems like a harmless inquiry, and indeed poses a great opportunity, but there’s actually a fine line to walk here. You certainly want to take advantage of this opportunity to show the interviewer that you appreciate his or her time, perspective and knowledge. In determining what to ask, however, you need to avoid those questions to which you could easily find an answer on the school’s website (remember that it’s imperative that you show you’ve done your homework), as well as those that are so specific or obscure that they will stump the interviewer. Another sort of question to avoid are those that seem to be critical of the program or too concerned with other applicants; now is not the time to ask about application volume or the strength of the pool this year. Continue reading…
The Admissions Committee at Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) does not assign a specific weight to the interview in its admissions process, which means that acing the interview does not in and of itself guarantee admission, nor does having a bad interview necessarily blow your chances. This according to a recent post to the Stanford MBA Admissions Blog by Associate Director of Admissions Allison Davis. In the post, Davis debunks several key myths surrounding the admissions interview.
“There is no specific weight assigned to the interview; the interview is one part of a comprehensive process,” wrote Davis. “The written application, including the essays and letters of reference, is a critical part of the evaluation process. The interview is a key source of supplemental information.” Continue reading…
We’ve been offering a good deal of advice lately on how to conduct oneself and prepare responses to MBA interview questions. Today we’d like to highlight the importance of thinking about what you might ask. Virtually all business school interviewers conclude their discussion by offering the applicant a chance to ask some questions about the program. While it might be tempting to claim that you’ve already learned all you need to know about the school, this is actually a great opportunity to gain additional insight, show your enthusiasm about a specific element of the curriculum or community, and demonstrate that you appreciate the opportunity to learn from your interviewer’s experiences.
Here are a few simple guidelines to keep in mind while thinking about what you might ask:
1. Focus on the positive. Now is not the time to conduct due diligence or express skepticism about a school’s academic program or career resources. Continue reading…
With interview invitations from a number of programs already on their way out to Round One applicants, we wanted to offer some more advice on this element of the admissions process. Last week we posted some very basic etiquette information that will help candidates ensure that everything is in order on the big day. Today, we turn our attention to some steps one can take to prepare for the interview itself.
1) Know what to expect. This might go without saying, but interview types and duration vary across programs. For instance, nearly all invited Stanford applicants interview with alumni, while on-campus Wharton interviews are conducted by second-year students (and in rare cases admissions staff). Continue reading…
With imminent interview invites for Round One applicants, we wanted to turn our attention to this important step in the admissions process and share a few very basic pointers on interview etiquette. Though the content of your application materials and comments during the interview are of paramount importance, it’s also crucial to put one’s best foot forward and make a positive initial impression. Here are a few guidelines for interviewing applicants to keep in mind:
1) Dress the part. Unless meeting with an alum who explicitly specifies a more casual dress code, assume that business attire is appropriate. We recommend that applicants dress conservatively, opting for a dark suit (pants or skirts are both fine for women) and a blue or white shirt. Steer clear of flashy brand gear and loud ties, and go easy on makeup and fragrances; you want to be remembered for what you say and who you are, not what you wore. Continue reading…
If you are preparing for an MBA admissions interview, be sure to check out the Clear Admit Wiki! It’s chock full of firsthand accounts of interviews, as reported by MBA applicants themselves. Here’s a closer look at a recent report shared by a Round 2 candidate for Oxford / Saïd:
“I had an interview off-campus with an Admissions Officer of the program. The interviewer was friendly and easy to talk to. She assured me that she wanted this to be a casual, laid-back conversation and that I should not feel nervous.
There were no surprises with this interview. It was standard and felt similar to other business school admissions interviews. I left with a good impression of Said.
- Tell me about your current job?
- Why MBA?
- Why Oxford?
- Tell me about a time when you were managing someone who was not performing well. What did you do? And if this has not happened to you tell me what you think you would do in this situation? Continue reading…
Check out the latest addition to the Clear Admit Wiki, a free online resource for MBA applicants to share their experiences with the admissions process! This Round 7 candidate for IESE faced the following questions from an adcom member:
“After submitting my application for the March deadline (round 7), I received an invitation to interview within a week. I interviewed with an adcom member at a hotel in London. My interviewer offered me coffee, explained that the interview would be fairly conversational, and began. Questions included:
- Describe your childhood until the beginning of university. What was your greatest achievement during this time?
- Why did you choose your university?
- Describe your undergraduate experience
- Describe your employment history
- Why an MBA? Why now? Continue reading…
As the 2011-2012 admissions season winds down, Round 3 candidates are sharing their interview experiences in the Clear Admit Wiki, a free online resource for MBA applicants to share their experiences with the admissions process. Take a peek at the latest addition from a Round 3 applicant to Chicago Booth:
- “Walk me through your resume/tell me about yourself.
- Why do you want an MBA?
- Why Booth?
- What are you short and long term goals?
- Tell me about a challenge. Continue reading…
Another MBA candidate shared his USC / Marshall admissions interview questions in the Clear Admit Wiki, a free resource for applicants navigating the MBA admissions process. Read on for a list of the questions posed by the first-year student interviewer:
“Interviewer : 1st year student
Location : Off Campus via Skype
Applicant : International Applicant
Round : 3
Date : April 23 2012
Duration : 35 minutes
- Briefly share about yourself, your background, your career progress, your current position
- Share more on your current position. Role and Responsibilities, Organization.
- Challenges you found in your current team.
- What make you decide to take MBA, why now? Continue reading…