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Wharton MBA Admissions Interview Questions: R2 / AdCom / Off-Campus Hub

I arrived a bit early in order to make sure that I had the directions for the location right, and thus was able to chat with my fellow team members before the discussion. All of them, even though slightly tense due to the occasion, were very nice and easy to talk to.

We were then asked to join the AdCom member in our conference room, where we were seated at a round table (we were able to choose our seat). The AdCom explained that she would not interfere and only notify us when we had (if I remember well) 15 minutes left and 7 minutes left. She let us know that the outcome of the discussion was not pre-determined in that some groups are even able to draft a presentation, while others merely discuss and come to a conclusion. She told us that our topic was “innovation”, and then she sat down at the back of the room.

I then suggested to quickly go around and introduce ourselves again, including our background, just to make sure everyone was on the same page. After, the group was hesitant as how to talk about the ideas, so I made a joke that I understand that noone really wants to go first, so I briefly explained my idea and then asked my teammate on my left to go ahead.

It seemed that pretty much everyone’s idea was geared toward a certain underlying theme, so after the last one presented his idea, I said that it seems that we could agree on this theme and asked if everyone agreed. Then we started to work out the details, and here the group stumbled a bit in my opinion as we had one team member who really tried to push his idea and always talked for a long time when he spoke up. The rest of the group was really polite and never interrupted him, but I know for a fact that other team members would have liked to weigh in a bit more, and I’m still not sure how exactly that could have been accomplished smoothly. Nonetheless, we had some participants who, even though they remained rather observant than overly active, were able to add certain ideas and very important points when necessary (i.e. the fact that a part of our idea needed to be regulated – noone had really thought about that until that teammember came up with that point). Also, I was pretty sure that part of our idea was already covered by some club, but given that I didn’t really know all the clubs’ descriptions by heart and given that I didn’t want to throw anyone under the bus, I didn’t say anything and just noted that a certain part was already covered by one of Wharton’s initiatives, and then asked the participant who had come up with this idea if she was able to work out a particular facet that would differentiate our idea from the already existing initiative. We then wrapped up our idea, and we were not really sure whether we had to present that to the AdCom, but when we were finished she told us that this was not necessary and that the TBD was finished.

Then we had to wait until we were called for our 1-on-1s. Here, the interview was really very open. I was told that I could talk about whatever I want, for example my impression of the interview, any new developments since I submitted my application, or any questions that I had for her. I then chose to go exactly with this order, i.e. I first explained what I liked about the interview and what I wished had gone a bit better, then a brief update on any career developments, and then I even had a brief moment to ask her two questions.

Altogether, the interview was a LOT less stressful than I had expected, and the AdCom was extremely professional so that I really had no idea what impression I had made.

I eventually got admitted, and I’ve used Clear Admit’s interview counseling before the TBD in order to ease my tension (and it really helped!!).

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