Round One MBA admissions interview invitations are upon us, and applicants have questions about the timing of interview offers and what to expect before and during the interview. For those of you wondering when your school will send interview invitations, how the process works, and what’s required, Fortuna admissions experts have you covered.
Here’s a quick roundup of intelligence we’ve gathered on timing and pre-interview requirements at several top schools.:
- Stanford Graduate School of Business
- Chicago Booth
- Yale School of Management
- Columbia University
How do I prepare for Wharton’s Team-Based Discussion
The Wharton School’s alternative to an interview — the team based discussion, or TBD — is a formidable challenge, but Fortuna’s admissions insiders have plenty of experience with this format and all the advice you need to prepare.
The TBD is a dynamic, relational experience designed to show the admissions committee how you approach a challenge, present yourself, work collaboratively toward a goal in a small group context and think on your feet.
In this year’s TBD, you’ll be paired with a team of candidates to design a new course for the Pre-Baccalaureate Program. As part of the Wharton Global Youth Program, the Pre-Baccalaureate Program offers “an academically intense opportunity for exceptional high school juniors and seniors” to enroll in courses at Wharton. The idea is to introduce talented young people to business education and inspire them to analyze the world’s complex challenges as they take their first steps toward becoming leaders who will transform the global economy.
Your TBD challenge is to develop a course on a cutting-edge topic to engage the generation of young business leaders coming behind you. You’ll name the course, outline the topic and themes, identify faculty to lead the course, and decide on learning outcomes and assessment methods.
Again this year, Fortuna is offering three group interview prep sessions that simulate the Wharton TBD. A dry run is a great way to get comfortable with the format and get feedback on your performance. Sessions are scheduled for Oct. 26, Oct. 28, and Nov. 1. Spaces are limited, so sign up now.
When will Stanford GSB send out interview invitations?
Stanford GSB’s admissions invitation window is frustratingly wide and vague; the school simply says invitations will be emailed to first-round applicants “from late September to mid-November.” (The round two window is even longer, from mid-January to mid-March.)
Heidi Hillis, one of Fortuna’s GSB coaches, confirms that invitations do indeed come out in a rolling process over that entire six-week period. Once invited, Stanford confirms your location and pairs you with a trained local interviewer.
“You have about a week to schedule it with the interviewer. They release a certain number of invitations each day. There is no difference between an invitation sent the first and last day. It’s stressful on the applicants because you have to just wait,” Hillis says.
How to respond to Chicago Booth’s pre-interview video
Chicago Booth sends out friendly “get-to-know-you” invitations to interview that are now rolling out to first-round applicants. Booth also requires a pre-interview video with a short-answer response.
If you receive an invitation, your next steps:
1.) Sign up for your interview within the next 72 hours. You will be able to indicate your preference for an interview on campus in Chicago, off campus in a city convenient for you, or a virtual interview. All interviews are conducted and evaluated equally, so you can choose the format that works best for you.
Interviews last approximately 45 minutes and your interviewer will have access only to the resume you submitted with your application. Once you have scheduled your interview or have been matched with an interviewer, you will receive a confirmation email with additional information on what to do next.
2.) Submit a video response to a short answer question.
Booth informs candidates, “Now that you’ve made it to this next stage of the process, we’d like to learn more about you. To gain a better sense of who you are and how you think, we’re looking for a brief response to an informal (and hopefully fun) question.:
You can choose to respond to one of two prompts:
- Tell us about something new you learned recently that shifted your worldview. How did it influence your behavior and/or actions?
- What is something you wish people knew about you, but you’re not sure that they do?
Your submitted video should be no more than 60 seconds. You’ll be evaluated on what you say, not the quality and production values of your video. And your video will not be shared with your interviewer and will not be part of that conversation.
How to Handle Yale SOM’s ‘Submit a Quote’ requirement
Invitations to interview at Yale School of Management come with a pre-interview requirement. Applicants are asked to:
“Submit a quote that has special meaning or that resonates with you.”
Your response must be submitted no later than 48 hours prior to your interview day (or ASAP).
So, what is the school looking for?
When selecting your quote to share with SOM, the most important thing is that you can demonstrate its “meaning and resonance.” Approach it like the SOM extended essay and focus on actions, not words. Be ready to give specific examples of how the quote has affected your behavior. (Keep in mind Yale SOM’s premium on behavioral assessment, which reflects the school’s belief that past behavior is the greatest predictor of future potential.)
Maybe your quote is a simple phrase that has nudged you through hundreds of little choices over the years, or perhaps it is a profound statement that guided you during a particular decision where the stakes were high. The key is that you’re prepared to show the quote’s importance by the way it has shaped your actions.
When is Columbia Business School Releasing Interview Invitations?
Columbia Business School started releasing Round One interview invitations on Monday, Oct. 16, and will continue through November 20.
Interviews will be conducted virtually by a current CBS second-year student, alumnus, or admissions team member. CBS clarifies: “While we plan to release the vast majority of interview invitations in October, you could receive an interview invitation at any time until Monday, November 20, 2023.
f you are not invited to interview by November 20, you will be notified of one of two outcomes: further evaluation or release.”
Selection for further evaluation is a good thing, as this indicates the admissions committee has identified key strengths in your application and requires additional time to review your candidacy, according to CBS states.
Applicants who are invited to interview will receive a final outcome within the final decision release in mid-December.