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UCLA Anderson MBA Admissions Interview: Round 1 / Second-Year Student / Skype

300px-UCLA_Anderson_School_Collins_Center1The following UCLA Anderson MBA Admissions interview report was submitted to Clear Admit by a Round 1 applicant who has been accepted to and decided to enroll at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Congratulations to them!

The MBA section would be incomplete, if I do not share the interview experience of the school, which I ultimately decided to join.

I distinctly remember Anderson’s application primarily because of the tricky essay question – “3 defining principles- Share Success, Think Fearlessly and Drive Change define UCLA Anderson. What principles have defined your life and pre-MBA career? How do you believe that UCLA’s Anderson’s principles and the environment they create will help you attain your post MBA career goals?”

Well, it took almost a week to answer the question satisfactorily in the word limit prescribed. So naturally, I was thrilled when the interview invite came within a week of the submission. It was the second invite after CMU / Tepper and I was already feeling optimistic about this year.

Anderson does provide students an option to interview off-campus via Skype. Though it’s always recommended to visit the campus before applying to the school, at times the current engagements of people living on the other side of the world make visiting a tad bit difficult.

Most interviews are conducted by second year students. It’s a common misconception that any second year student can take the interview. In reality, only a handful of students who volunteer are taken through a series of trainings, and only then they are deemed fit to interview. I was interviewed by a second year student with a quantitative background (similar to mine) in a hedge fund and looking for a career in investment banking.

The interview started at 10:30 at night. It was extremely conversational. Some of the questions he asked were:

• Walk me through your resume
• Why do you want to do an MBA?
• Why Anderson?
• Mention a time when you showed leadership skills.
• Mention ways in which you will contribute towards the school/class
• Questions on the extracurricular section on my resume – I had done an analysis on a rule change in the Barclays Premier League, which interested him.

Overall the interview was off-the-cuff. He categorically specified that the decision was not his. He would create a report based on the interview and that report would become a part of my overall application. The final offer would depend on the overall application, rather than only the interview.

A few tips:

Do your research – I had wanted to join the Sports Business Association and had spoken to Adam, who happened to be a good friend of Alex’s.
Preparation helps – Though some of the questions are straight from the application, reciting answers in front of the camera or with a friend will go a long way in preparing you for the interview.
Dress formally – Even though Alex was dressed in a T-shirt and mentioned that it was the LA way, dressing in formals does send a message about your seriousness towards the school.

The report was first published on my blog at

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