I scheduled my interview during “Super Saturday,” the one Saturday that admissions offers interviews on the weekend. Because I was able to do so, I came Friday for Booth Live!, the all-day event for interviewees and prospective students including a lunch with students, mock class, Q&A panel with current students, leadership activity, and a happy hour. Highly recommend for anyone visiting campus (I believe they do it twice a year).
Booth uses second-year students to complete on-campus interviews, and I learned that it is a highly coveted position that requires application and participation from the beginning of the first year on campus. This is a testament to the difference at Booth where everyone is actively working to grow and maintain the prestige of the Booth brand. As others have mentioned, there are first-year students waiting outside the 2nd floor admissions suite to help you relax. Honestly, I wasn’t nervous at all, although I did see several applicants stricken with anxiety and sitting stiff as boards. After a few minutes of casual conversation with other applicants and first-year students my interviewer came up and we walked down to the interview room.
He started with a brief introduction of himself and his background and asked me to walk him through my resume, which he had read ahead of time. I work in the auto industry with electric vehicles, and he prefaced the formal part of the interview that he had lots of questions for me when we were done. The questions were more or less straightforward.
– When you work in a group, what is your typical role?
– Do you work with anyone in your current team who presents challenges? Tell me about those conversations.
– Why Booth?
There might have been one more I can’t remember, but for every question he asked follow-ups to drill down to my motivation, get more examples, etc. To answer the “Why Booth” question I cited the world renowned faculty, flexible curriculum, Chicago Approach, and the people. He followed up on each one to test that I was actually serious and not just reading off the website–I mentioned Gene Fama, Richard Thaler, etc., the flexibility will allow me to shore up my weaknesses and really dive into business classes I don’t have knowledge in as an engineer, and talked about what the “Chicago Approach” meant to me in terms of allowing all different points of view to drive us to the best solution, and allow data to guide inquiries.
Then he gave me a chance to ask him questions before he dove into his own questions about my job and my opinions about the future of the auto industry/electric vehicles. The whole thing was very conversational, he was very friendly and non-confrontational, and just wanted to get to know me better. The 50-minute mark came up and we were still talking, but he wanted to keep talking so we continued in the hallway for a while so the next interviewer could use the room. He gave me his email address for any additional questions and wished me well. One of my answers could have been better (I saw him draw a line down the middle of his page at the beginning, and all my answers were on the left side of the line when I was crushing them, but the one I could have done better on was on the right), but I don’t think it was a deal breaker and have high hopes of being admitted come March 19.