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Berkeley / Haas Interview Report: Round 2 / Alumnus / Off-Campus

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The following Berkeley / Haas interview report was submitted to Clear Admit by a Round 2 applicant. Good luck to them!

I interviewed with a Haas alumnus on February 29, 2016 for a Round 2 interview. The alumnus and I met at a coffee shop in Beijing, China (which, frankly, was a bit too loud for my taste). We grabbed two waters and took a seat in the back couch area.

It was a completely blind interview, where the interviewer didn’t even look at my résumé – he asked for a copy of it which I, fortunately, had with me (so make sure to bring a couple of copies!). The interviewer is basically paired up with you once you are granted an interview with Haas. Haas will email you a schedule where you put in your location and, a day later, an interviewer will be matched with you. You then email the interviewer and set up a time and place to conduct it.

Prior to the interview, I read up on all the Clear Admit interview reports, which prepped me enough for the interview. As expected (and stated all over the interview reports) the interview was very conversational – it didn’t feel like an interview, but more like a conversation about my future and what I hope to do in the next couple of years.

The bad part was that the questions were sort of out of the ordinary – there were no leadership or teamwork questions. None of the questions that I read about online and prepared for were not asked – the interviewer almost went rogue and asked his own questions. The questions were as follows:

• Introduce yourself and run through your résumé
• Why your current job? (I switched in September to a new job in a new industry)
• Why did you switch jobs so many times (3 times in 4 years)? (Then he goes on to tell me that he would never do such a thing and has stayed with the same company for 6+ years)
• Why do I want to work for a nonprofit? (Then goes on to tell me that he would never work for a nonprofit and that I should reconsider my career path and focus on a more profit-oriented industry)
• How do I plan to support myself and make a strong career? (Which I thought was awfully blunt – basically telling me that I will be a failure in the nonprofit world)
• What do I know about Haas – Why Haas?
• Are there a lot of Haas graduates who now work in the nonprofit industry? (Which, I think, should be a question I ask him as an alumnus of the school!)

After being bombarded with questions and concerns about my future, the conversation eased up a bit and we discussed the economy, travelling, and San Francisco (which he said is “full of hippies”). It just surprised me how personal the interviewer got. It almost felt like I was being interviewed and scolded by my parents, telling me that my decisions, past and future, are terrible and that I need to rethink everything I’ve done so far. The interviewer was very traditional – worked his way up the corporate ladder for decades with the same company and went back for his MBA to boost his resume, etc.

To be honest, I’m not sure I feel after this interview. I was hoping it would have gone a lot smoother, but I guess I just got matched with someone that I didn’t get along with.

Still waiting on a decision now, but I’m praying that they don’t put a lot of weight on this interview. Haas is my DREAM school and I’m praying every day for an admissions call.

Preparing for an upcoming Berkeley Haas Interview? Click here to get the Clear Admit Haas School of Business Interview Guide.

After your interview, be sure to add your first-hand interview report to the Clear Admit Interview Archive.

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