Interview season for Round 2 candidates will soon be in full swing. In fact, some candidates have already interviewed with schools that offer ‘open’ interviews, such as Dartmouth / Tuck and Northwestern / Kellogg. Soon enough, schools that interview via invitation only (like Harvard Business School, U. Chicago Booth, UPenn / Wharton, and more) will begin doling out those coveted invites. While we know that many of you won’t give the interview a second thought until you have an invitation in hand (or start seeing invites crop up on MBA LiveWire), we think it’s wise to put some serious thought into this next phase of the admissions process now.
As such, in this week’s admissions tip we want to draw your attention to an in-depth series we authored on MBA interviewing during the Round 1 season. Providing a comprehensive look at the different types of interviews used by the leading business schools, this series should ensure that you have an understanding of the role of the interview, and the best way to approach the interview at different schools. [Please note: the series is written within the context of Round 1 interview invites, but unless noted, the content is 100% relevant for Round 2.]
Part 1: Open versus Selected
What you will learn from Part 1: We examine which schools offer open interviews, and which offer interviews by invitation. We examine why schools offer one or the other, while drawing from insights from adcoms from those schools.
It is important to note, for Round 2, only Dartmouth / Tuck and Northwestern / Kellogg offer interviews to all candidates. Duke / Fuqua, UNC Kenan-Flagler and Emory / Goizueta offered an open interview period during the fall season, but that is now closed. Only those invited to interview can now interview at those schools unless they already interviewed during the open interview period. Note, for those schools that do offer open interviews, it is up to you to schedule an interview and it is important to realize that all admitted students are interviewed.
Part 2: Blind versus Non-Blind, Behavioral versus Resume-based Interviews
What you will learn from Part 2: We examine why some schools offer blind interviews, where at most, the interviewer has access to your resume, and some schools offer non-blind interviews. We also explore the differences between resume-based interviews and behavioral interview questions that seem to be becoming a larger component of the MBA interview.
Part 3: Team-Based Interviews and Exercises
What you will learn in Part 3: Wharton and Michigan Ross have adopted an entirely different approach with their team-based interviews and exercises. We examine what this means, and why the schools adapted their interview process in this way. We also explore the differences in the two school’s approaches. Note: For Round 2 only, Michigan / Ross will host some group exercises in international cities: Sao Paulo, Mumbai, Shanghai and Tokyo.
Part 4: The anomalies
What you will learn in Part 4: There are some unusual twists to the interview process that some schools have adopted, including asking candidates to follow up after the interview, requiring an additional essay prior to the interview, requiring candidates in the interview to do a presentation on a topic that the interviewer selects, and interviewing candidates twice, with two alumni. We examine each of these evolving approaches.
Finally, as you prepare for interviews at specific schools, we off our interview guides for each school which include more detail and strategy in terms of how to approach the interview. We also host a comprehensive interview archive with over 1,500 reports from candidates that recently interviewed at each of the schools we cover.