Visit: Welcoming tenor from admissions office staff guiding daily events to class visits and panel lunch
Type of Interview: Two-part. First, team-based discussion overseen by two second year students. Next, a ten minute one-on-one session with one of those second year students. One-on-one was blind.
Interview atmosphere: Slightly impersonal, disengaged. Felt that I was being measured against a rubric rather than feeling an interest in intimately understanding my qualities or strengths as an applicant.
What was asked: One two-part question: Why an MBA and why the Wharton MBA? Then, do you have any questions for me?
What did I think of the interview: Unsatisfying. Some shock that there’s a possibility that Wharton would delegate a final determination on applications to second year students. The TBD – given the many preparations students take / direct behavioral cautions applicants have been given by consultants and friends – is a most peculiar way to evaluate students. The opportunity to get to know me and my application in greater depth felt squandered to develop a new (potentially invalid) data point.
What surprised me: I did not speak to a single admissions director during the interview day. There was no challenge or follow-up to my one-on-one interview responses. The TBD team represented a diverse sample of the wide backgrounds one might come across at Wharton.
What didn’t surprise me: The one-on-one questions generally follow the format above.
What might I conclude about this experience: The Wharton interview, more than at other schools, is likely just one component in the admission decision. Wharton probably enters the interview stage with a prioritized list of likely admits and the people on that list can lose their spot, but very few people will stand out or move into a new tier. To never speak with the adcom may suggest that my group was all likely admits, all likely rejects, or the interview is simply one of many inputs.