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Top Michigan Ross MBA Interview Questions and Tips from Actual Interviewees

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As Ross MBA candidates head to Ann Arbor or meet up with alumni interviewers elsewhere around the globe, we wanted to round up some of the most common questions and pass on some advice from actual interviewees.

The one-on-one admissions interviews are conducted by students on campus or by alumni off campus.  They are “blind” in nature, meaning that the interviewer has not seen candidates’ applications—just their résumés. In addition to these solo interviews, Ross candidates are also encouraged to take part in a team-based activity in Ann Arbor. For the team activity, a group of five or six candidates is given two random words; the students then must work together to develop a business challenge and solution around these words.

Frequently Asked Questions

A thorough search of the Clear Admit Interview Archive reveals many of the standard admissions questions prior Ross interviewees report being asked. They include the following:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Walk me through your résumé.
  • Why MBA?
  • Why now?
  • Why Ross?
  • How would you contribute to Ross?
  • What are your career goals?

Then, other situational and skill-based questions come up. Here are some of the most common ones as shared by prior interviewees:

  • Describe a time when you led an organization.
  • Describe a time when you worked with a diverse team toward a common goal.
  • Describe a time when you needed to mentor others.
  • What would you say is a strength of yours? A weakness?
  • Talk about a mistake/failure you made or experienced.

(For expert advice on how best to prepare for the above questions, check out the Clear Admit Ross Interview Guide.)

Words of Wisdom Regarding Alumni Interviews

Most candidates choose to visit Ann Arbor and conduct their interviews on campus; however, the school maintains a strong alumni network that aids in the admissions process as well. A few Ross candidates shared specific advice for interviewing with alumni.

“I believe that showing your fit with the school is more important than convincing the interviewer how the school’s resources would help you achieve your career goals,” wrote one, adding that this is especially true for alumni who graduated many years ago and may not be familiar with everything currently on offer at Ross.

That said, to demonstrate fit requires knowing the school inside and out. “It isn’t sufficient to hope that you will get a lot of ‘situational’ questions,” the prior applicant advised. “Most of my conversation revolved around the school after we got through the typical résumé-based questions (Why MBA? Why Ross? What do you hope to contribute?).”

In some cases, going deep about your own interests makes good sense—especially, say, if your alumni interviewer participated in any of the specific activities you most hope to get involved with. “I found that by doing so, it not only helped build a rapport with the interviewer, but it also answered a lot of questions I had about the school,” wrote an interviewee.

Another key piece of advice, applicable whether you interview on campus with a student or off campus with an alumnus, is to keep it conversational. “My interviewer mentioned several times at the beginning that this was meant to be a ‘conversation,’” shared an interviewee. “I think one way to fail this interview is to be too formal. There should be a back and forth.”

Last but not least, be prepared for the interview to go long. “My interview lasted well over an hour,” shared an interviewee. “Don’t schedule your interview assuming it will last 30-40 minutes with a flight leaving shortly thereafter.”

Clear Admit Resources
Are you preparing for your Ross interview? In addition to the Clear Admit Interview Guide, don’t miss these additional resources:

And if you’re also practicing for other schools’ interviews, don’t miss our latest tips from candidates for Stanford GSB, the Wharton School, MIT / Sloan, Yale School of Management, and Harvard Business School.

Also, share your interview experience in our Interview Archive to help your fellow peers. As always, best of luck from all of us here at Clear Admit.

Lauren Wakal
Lauren Wakal has been covering the MBA admissions space for more than a decade, from in-depth business school profiles to weekly breaking news and more.