By Judith Silverman Hodara
It’s that time of year again, when Wharton is inviting applicants to interview and as former Acting Director of MBA Admissions at Wharton, I have a good sense of what Wharton is looking for in the team-based discussion. With so many highly qualified applicants on paper, the team discussion allows applicants to demonstrate how they approach challenges and work towards a solution. This group interview is less about your own particular presentation, which of course you should thoughtfully prepare in advance, but more about how well you interact with other members in your session. Since working on student teams will be a big part of your Wharton experience, now’s your opportunity to provide a first-hand example of what you would bring to your future study group.
Wharton is looking for not only how you present your own ideas cogently and with passion, but how well you listen to others and facilitate dialogue. As you prepare for the Wharton team-based discussion, think about the following questions:
• After all interviewees have given their pitch, how are you able to facilitate discussion and arrive at a consensus?
• Do you exhibit leadership behaviors that would draw out your other team members, or do you shut down the discussion?
• Are you able to reflect on the discussion that has taken place and help to further move the deliverables down the playing field?
• Are you in the discussion solely to promote your own ideas, or were you really able to collaborate and support your teammates?
Ultimately, it’s not about whose idea is part of the final presentation that matters, but for a school that highly values teamwork, your ability to showcase collaborative leadership will be highly valued.