Being prepared is the best way to feel confident and get the most from your MBA admissions interview.
It will also help you stay calm and continue to give thoughtful and poised responses when confronted by difficult questions. An important starting point is preparing to answer the standard questions (noted below) and training yourself to give natural, informative and confident answers.
The standard questions revolve around conveying your story, your career plan and your unique goals. Know your resume and application inside out—you should be able to answer these questions clearly and in a focused manner. Practice aloud until they feel comfortable and you are not looking for your words or struggling to express yourself.
While you should prepare by reviewing your application thoroughly, don’t expect your interviewer to have done so. In fact, among the M7 the only two where the interviewer will have read your full application are Harvard Business School and MIT Sloan—the rest reference your resume as the starting point for conversation.
Most common MBA questions:
- Tell me about yourself or walk me through your resume.
- Why an MBA?
- What are your career goals?
- Why this MBA?
- What you will contribute to the school’s community?
- Provide examples of your leadership/teamwork experience.
Other types of interview questions typically fall in the following eight categories.
Below are a few examples of questions by category. Remember that the interviewer will ask follow up questions and probe your responses, so be ready to go into further depth on any topic.
1. Career background and professional skills related questions
- Walk me through your resume/walk me through your career progression.
- How did you choose your job after college?
- How did you end up at your current company? How have you navigated through your career since then?
2. Educational background questions
- Why did you attend your undergraduate school?
- What is one regret about how you managed your undergrad education?
- Tell me about a standout academic experience.
3. Opinion questions
- What advice would you give to… the President of your college? Your prior/current boss? The CEO of your company? (Etc.)
- What is a company inside your industry/outside your industry you admire, and why?
- Tell me about a business leader you admire, and why?
4. Behavioral questions (be prepared to give specifics)
- Tell me about a project you initiated. What did you do and what was the outcome?
- What was going through your mind at the time?
- Tell me about a time when you made an impact. What was the impact on others?
5. Your MBA Plans
- Why do you want to pursue an MBA? Why now?
- What will you get out of your experience at X School? How will you focus your time?
- What attracts you to the school?
6. Your Career Plans
- Tell us more about your career plans. What will you do immediately after the program? Why do you want this role?
- Where do you see yourself in five years time? In 20 years time?
- What does success mean to you?
7. Personal characteristics questions
- Tell me about yourself.
- What drives you?
- How do you handle pressure?
8. Extra-curricular questions
- Tell me about an activity you are involved in. Why is it important to you?
- Tell me about something you have achieved outside of work and study.
- Tell me about a book you are currently reading.
For more tips on interview preparation, check out these related articles by Fortuna’s expert coaches:
6 Tips to Acing the MBA Interview
Interview essentials, from the M7 landscape to your prep strategy.
How To Prepare For Tough MBA Interview Questions – Part 1
What do you do when the MBA admissions interviewer asks you whether 3,599 is a prime number? How to handle tough questions, and why to expect them.
7 Tough MBA Interview Questions & How To Tackle Them – Part 2
From how to give a failure example to speaking to your weaknesses, and more.
Fortuna Admissions is composed of former admissions directors and business school insiders from 13 of the top 15 business schools.