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Wharton MBA Interview Questions & Report: Round 1 / Second-Year Student / Zoom

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The interview took place on Zoom with two second-year students. They let us into the room about 10 minutes before the TBD was scheduled to start. There were 6 prospective students participating. We were all American. I actually knew one of the other interviewees, but neither of us let on to the rest of the group that we knew each other. We spent this time with getting to know each other. After 10 minutes, the two second-year students gave us instructions and read us the prompt. Then, they had all of us go around and introduce ourselves with our name, our company, and what we want to major in at Wharton. They called on one student to start us off the introduction, but after that there was no prescribed order. After, we went around to do our 1-minute pitches. They called on the same student to start, but we were free to choose our own order after.

After our 1-minute pitches, one of the second-year students used a Zoom plugin to show us a timer on their video. However, they were having some technical difficulties with the timer, so they asked us to sit tight while they figured it out. We had about 3 minutes before he could figure out the timer, which I appreciated because that allowed me to synthesize everyone’s pitches and take a breath before diving right in. He figured out the timer, and then we were allowed to start. The 25 minute timer was visible the entire time. The second-year students were on video the entire time observing.

After the 25 minutes were up, the second-year student reset the timer for 5 minutes, and we presented our ideas. We only presented for 4 of the 5 minutes, but I think that’s OK. The TBD went smoothly. I wouldn’t say anybody really dominated the conversation. I think everyone contributed equally. If any of us do not get in, I wouldn’t blame the result on their TBD performance. I remember there were some awkward moments where someone would finish speaking, and then multiple people would begin to talk over each other as a response, but I think that’s unavoidable due to the online nature of this interview. I think this was the best result I could hope for.

After our presentation, one of the second-year students put in the Zoom chat the order of which we will do our 1-1 interviews. Since there were 6 of us and 3 second-years, 2 of us would go at the same time. I went in the second group. While the first two people had their interviews, the four of us had about 10 minutes of chit-chat. Then, the first two people came back into the bigger room and I was then invited into the breakout room.

The 1-1 was relaxed and conversational. He asked me: Why MBA and Why Wharton in one question. He put up a 10 minute timer and told me I could use as much time as I want. I probably used about 5 minutes of this time to answer the question. I used the remaining time to ask him a question and one follow-up question based off his response. Once the timer reached 0:00, I left the breakout room for the next student. At this point, I was free to leave the Zoom, but since the other students chose to remain, I did too and we had some more chit-chat for the remaining 10 minutes. Then the last pair of students finished their interviews and the second-year students came back to the main room to dismiss us. The entire process took around 1 hour and 20 minutes (including the 10 minutes chit-chat before the interview actually started).

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