The interview was conversational and resume-based and lasted for about 40 minutes. The interviewer, who is based in my country, was about 10 minutes late, so the interview didn’t start as smoothly as I was hoping it to start, but I remained calm and understood the situation as life happens. Other than that, the interviewer was pleasant, smart and given their impressive career in two different sectors (consulting and entrepreneurship), had some insights to offer at the end of the “official part” of the interview.
The experience was positive and casual, although it was clear that the interviewer was having a busy day at work. Despite some disruptions from their side, they were attentive, made the interview conversational with relevant follow-up questions rather than follow a script. No question was surprising, although I was surprised that they didn’t ask me any behavioural questions. However, the interviewer did try to challenge me conceptually several times, but I enjoyed it. There is a lot of focus on why Booth fits your story, profile, and interests compared to other similar institutions (“fit sub-questions” hidden in many of the other questions). It’s hard to gauge how important the interview is to Chicago Booth, to be honest, but I treated it as important as the rest of my application.
The following questions were asked in approximately this order:
1. I’ve read your resume; share with me the highlights?
2. Questions about my public sector experience.
3. Questions about my private sector experience (why did you transition? How was the transition? Describe to me the sort of projects you are leading at your firm? More questions about my work’s specifics).
4. Why MBA, why now, why Chicago Booth (what differentiates it from other programmes)?
5. Post-MBA Goals – Short & Long term goals (trying to challenge me that there is dissonance between my specific background to the sort of work I want to do in the future).
6. What sort of opportunities you’re hoping to take advantage of at Booth?
7. What sort of classes outside your field of interest are you hoping to sit in?
8. What are you concerned most about attending an MBA next year (generally and at Booth) and why?
9. What was your primary source of information about Booth?
10. Any questions for me (I had time to ask two questions as I knew the interviewer needed to leave for a work meeting and was conscious of their time) – this part was less official and very informative.
I recommend preparing for the obvious questions as your interview may primarily revolve around them. I had several mocks (and already experienced one interview with a different school before this one), engaged with about 8 Boothies (students and alumni) in the past two weeks. Some of them were people I formed relations with during the application process, and some were new acquaintances. I attended several webinars throughout the application process, including two weeks ahead of the interview. Both helped me tremendously, and I think that’s the best way to show engagements and a level of preparedness for this exercise. I ran some searches about my interviewer on platforms such as LinkedIn to make sure I could touch relevant points about their background that are relevant to mine. A few hours after the interview, I sent a thank-you note.
Congratulations to everyone interviewing and good luck!