MBA Interview Questions: What Questions Do You Have?

Watch our webinar on The 10 Commandments of MBA InterviewsReason for asking the question: To make sure the candidate has all pertinent information necessary about the school, as well as to confirm that he or she has thoroughly researched the program and consequently has thoughtful questions.

How to prepare: This will most likely be your last opportunity to ask questions of the program before you find out the admission decision, so make sure the questions count. Take enough time to consider this prior to your interview, since this is perhaps the only question you can be positive will be asked in the interview. Write your questions down if need be.

You do not want the questions to be procedural in nature, such as, “When will I find out about your decision?” Those types of questions can be asked at the very conclusion of the interview (if necessary), but well after your primary questions. Questions should be well thought out and perhaps give the interviewer pause before answering. After all, the interviewer has had YOU in the hot seat for the last thirty minutes with challenging questions, so you should have some in return!

The best questions are the ones that make the interviewer have to dig deep into his/her knowledge to answer, or better yet, might be ones the interviewer can’t answer then and there. In this case the interviewer will need to check into a question and get back in touch with you. YES! One final opportunity to have a connection with someone critical to your admission decision. Thoughtful questions could focus on “big picture” things like school strategy, trends or specifics related to particular coursework.

Important things to remember: Even if you have memorized all the content on the school’s website, visited campus and already asked (and had answered) all the questions you think you could possibly ever have, you better not have a blank stare, or a simple, “None,” answer.

Additional things to consider: As a general rule of thumb, plan on two-three questions (not of the procedural type).

Do you know the 10 commandments of MBA interviews?


Learn how Jen Weld can help you get accepted!
Jen Weld, has guided clients to acceptances as an Accepted admissions consultant since 2010. Prior to joining Accepted, she served as an Assistant Director of Admissions at Cornell’s EMBA program for four years. She has an additional 10 years of experience in higher ed and corporate marketing. Let her help you market yourself to top MBA and Executive MBA programs.

Related Resources:

MBA Interview Questions: Why This MBA Program?

Tips on answering the popular "Why MBA?" questionReason for asking the question: To gauge the sincerity with which the candidate is approaching the school.

How to prepare: You need to make sure you show that your reasons for applying to the program go well beyond the obvious reputation, location, or network. Your job in answering this question is to convey your sincere enthusiasm for the school. You need to be as specific as possible. Appropriate topics for a convincing response:

1.  Unique curriculum necessary to reach your goals

2.  Faculty you are excited to learn from

3.  School clubs or organizations you are particularly passionate about joining

4.  Components of the program that intrigue you – study abroad, entrepreneurship project, etc.

5.  Aspects of your visit to the school (provided you have had the chance to visit) that really got you excited about being a part of the community – classroom environment, conversations with students, admissions officers, or other prospective students.

Important things to remember: When preparing your answer, select aspects that are unique to the program, and make sure your answer isn’t one that could be valid for other schools you are looking at. Hopefully this is an easy question for you to answer since you are legitimately excited at the prospect of attending the school.

Additional things to consider: If the school is not a top choice, you still need to do the job of convincing your interviewer that it makes sense to offer you admission, and if admitted there would be a decent chance you would attend. Even if this is a “safety school,” you need to be respectful of the school and interviewer.

Tips to help you ace those MBA interviews!

Jennifer Weld worked as an admissions consultant and Former Asst. Dir. of Admissions at Cornell’s EMBA program (4 years) prior to joining Accepted.com. She has an additional 10 years of experience in higher ed and corporate marketing.

Related Resources:

Why MBA?
MBA Interview Questions: Walk Me Through Your Resume
The 10 Commandments of MBA Interviews

10 Commandments of MBA Interviews Webinar Recording Available

The 10 Commandments of MBA Interviews webinar aired live recently – were you lucky enough to catch it?

If you missed it, then you certainly missed a good one; but no worries – the webinar is now available on our site for instant viewing or download (for a limited time only).

MBA Interview Commandments

Learn 10 indispensably tips that will help you ace your interviews when you view The 10 Commandments of MBA Interviews for FREE today!

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

MBA Interview Nice-To-Know #5: Your Interviewer

Click here to download your copy of How to Ace Your MBA Interviews!“MBA Interview Nice-To-Know #5: Your Interviewer” is excerpted from the Accepted.com special report, How to Ace Your MBA Interviews. To download the entire free special report, click here

In the words of a Columbia applicant who was asked “was there something you wish you had known ahead of time?”:

Yes – I wish I had known more about the interviewer: what company she worked for, her role in the organization, her seniority, etc. That would have helped me mentally prepare for the kind of person I would be speaking to and be able to relate to her better.

If you have your interviewer’s name, Google him or her and try to glean a little information about this person so you can connect better on an interpersonal level. If you don’t know your interviewer’s name or simply can’t find it on the Internet, don’t sweat it. It isn’t a must.

Nationally recognized career coach Dr. Lois Frankel advises job applicants before a job interview to remember that, “Chance favors the prepared mind.” I am a firm believer in that adage.

Tips to help you ace those MBA interviews!

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

• Preparing for Behavioral and General Interview Questions, a short video.
• Seven Tips for MBA Interview Prep
• MBA Admissions According to an Expert

MBA Interview Questions: Walk Me Through Your Resume

Click here to download your free guide to Preparing for Your Business School Interviews.

Your interviewer already knows what you’ve done. Now she wants to know why.

Reason for asking the question:

1. This question (or some version of it) is very often the first question asked in an MBA interview, since it should be a fairly easy question to answer and provides a foundation for the rest of the interview. Can the candidate remain focused on answering the question? Is he or she especially nervous? Can the candidate summarize his or her work accomplishments succinctly while at the same time providing a narrative about career progression? All of this information is helpful to manage the interview.

2. The interviewer has already had the chance to look at your resume, but wants to understand the “why” of it. The responsibility of the candidate is to highlight some career accomplishments, but primarily to explain the reasoning and motivation for the most significant career moves made.

How to prepare:

The answer to this question should be 2-3 minutes long, so once you have chosen the things you would like to highlight, practice your answer several times to make sure you can fit it into that timeframe. The point is not to summarize everything you have done at every job, but to briefly discuss accomplishments and the circumstances surrounding moves from one role to another. The logical starting point is your graduation from college. Summarize the degree you received and how it made sense to pursue the career you did based on your education. From there, look closely at your jobs. In one-two sentences, how would you discuss your time in that role? What was the motivating factor to move from that role to the next one? For your current job, lay out your current responsibilities. While it may be tempting to continue on and also answer “why an MBA” when you get there, just wait until that question is asked.

How to highlight particular circumstances:

Situation 1: Worked two years at a consulting firm, then switched to work in marketing at a pharmaceutical company.

“While at XX Consulting I had an extended engagement with a major pharma company. Working there made me realize the growth and potential of the industry, and I no longer wanted to be an outsider looking in. I wanted to XYZ.”

Situation 2: Worked in operations at a manufacturer, then switched to finance.

“During my time in operations I worked closely with the finance group in preparing our supply chain forecast. Through that experience I came to realize that I really loved numbers, and finance more closely fit with where I saw my career going. I made the case to senior management, and after recognizing my capabilities in the area they found a spot for me.”

Situation 3: Moved up in the organization from analyst to senior analyst to associate.

“I was fortunate to be involved in projects that gave me a lot of responsibility early on and had supportive mentors along the way. This allowed me to be recognized for my contributions and move up in the organization.” [In this type of situation, mentioning a few details of the projects would be appropriate.]

Important things to remember:

1. Do not rehash everything on your resume. Remember, the interviewer will have already read through it, and seen several details. They want to understand WHY you have done what you have in your career thus far.

2. Stay focused. Don’t get bogged down in details that the interviewer doesn’t need or want to know. HIGHLIGHT and move on.

Additional things to consider:

It’s possible the interviewer might ask “Tell me about yourself” instead. In this case, it is still appropriate to give the details about your work experience, but also to give some background on you. Possible things to share: Where you grew up, interesting information about your childhood/schooling, why you chose to go to the university you did, and why you chose to study what you did. Essentially, by wording the question this way, the interviewer is encouraging you to include more personal details about your life, both current and from the past.

Tips to help you ace those MBA interviews!

Jennifer Weld worked as an admissions consultant and Former Asst. Dir. of Admissions at Cornell’s EMBA program (4 years) prior to joining Accepted.com. She has an additional 10 years of experience in higher ed and corporate marketing.

Related Resources:

• MBA Interview Formats Series
The 10 Commandments of MBA Interviews
• MBA Interview Must-Know #2: You