Booth MBA Interview Questions

I Intro
II Sample Chicago Booth MBA Interviews
III Insights From Past Chicago Booth MBA Interviewees

I Intro

The vast majority of Chicago interviews are conducted by second-year MBA students on campus. Chicago also has hub interviews in other major cities where you’ll likely be interviewed by a recent alumus/na. If you’re not able to make it to campus or a hub interview then you may find yourself being interviewed by an older alumnus/na. Most interviews last about 45 minutes and oftentimes second-year students are as eager to both learn more about you and share their own experiences as a Chicago MBA with you.

When a school has students interviewing candidates it serves the purpose of ‘selling’ the school and the student experience to the applicant. That’s right. You probably think of interviews as being unidirectional – an opportunity for the school to evaluate YOU. In reality, interviews are also marketing tools for the school in order to increase their yield of offers extended/offers accepted each round.

Because Booth relies on second-year students to conduct interviews, the admissions committee is really only able to screen for three things 1) Do you have realistic and convincing answers for the Why MBA/Why Booth/Career Goals questions? 2) Are you able to connect with your interviewer? Do you demonstrate good social skills and project an outgoing disposition? 3) Are you able to convincingly convey your excitement for and knowledge of Booth, its community and its MBA program? Remember, admissions committees only want to extend offers to candidates who they believe WILL enrol in their program (and keep their yield high… Yield = offers extended/offers accepted each round).

This applicant comment sums it up well: ‘For Booth on-campus, because you are interviewing with second-year students, it seems less like an interview and more like a conversation with a peer or colleague. At the end of the day, I think they’re really just trying to get a sense of who you are and why you want to go to Booth.  They want to see if they like you and if they would want to have you as a classmate and can see you as their classmate

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II Sample Chicago Booth MBA Interviews

During a Booth interview you’re definitely going to get the three most typical interview questions out there: ‘Walk me through your resume’, ‘Why are you pursuing an MBA? Why Booth?’ and ‘Tell me about your career goals’. Typically there aren’t a lot of behavioural questions. Some candidates will get one during the interview. If you do it might look something like this ‘Tell me about a time…when you struggled to meet a deadline’. The remaining questions will probe into how you view yourself or a past experience. Be sure to have a few classes and clubs you’re particularly interested in participating in top of mind when you walk into the interview. Likewise, be prepared to talk about what you will contribute back to the Booth community (while a student) – will you get involved in leading a club? start your own activity or trek? etc.

mba interview one (alumnus)

  • Why an MBA?
  • Why Booth?
  • Career Goals?
  • Question related specifically to the candidate’s resume: Do you create most of the new systems from scratch? (I have put together a lot of P&L, etc type of systems for my company)
  • Why do you think you have been promoted so many times? (I have been promoted about once per year)
  • What did you learn in each of your roles?
  • How do you plan on getting involved on campus?
  • About 30 minutes in we began discussing hobbies/interests
  • Questions for Interviewer

mba interview two (alumnus)

  • Walk me through your resume
  • What are your hobbies?
  • What are you doing in your free-time?
  • Why Booth? What do you want to gain from MBA?
  • What will you contribute to Booth?
  • What is your career plan?
  • Questions for Interviewer

mba interview three (alumnus)

  • Walk me through your resume
  • What are your career goals?
  • How will Booth help you get there?
  • What would you do if you couldn’t get an MBA?
  • Why Booth?
  • (Behavioral Question) Tell me about a leadership experience
  • Tell me about your experience living in France
  • What do you like about living abroad?
  • Not like about living abroad?
  • How do you picture your 2 years at Booth? I asked him if he meant in terms of general stuff, what I’d get involved in, what classes I’d take? He said anything.
  • Questions for Interviewer

mba interview four (current students)

  • Talk me through your resume?
  • He picked up on one or two things and said “Wow that sounds interesting”, so I elaborated a little more?
  • Why do you want to do an MBA?
  • Why Booth?
  • Questions for Interviewer

mba interview five (current student)

  • Can you tell me about yourself?
  • Why do you want to get a MBA?
  • Why now?
  • Why Booth?
  • What do you like to do in your spare time outside of work and community service?
  • What has been your biggest failure?
  • Questions for Interviewer

mba interview six (current student)

  • Walk me through your resume – this question probably took about 20 minutes to answer as there were a lot of follow-up questions during my answer
  • What are your goals?
  • Why MBA?
  • Why Booth?
  • What classes and activities are you looking forward to at Booth?
  • What do you like to do for fun?
  • (Behavioral Question) Tell me about a time when one of your teammates didn’t pull his weight
  • Questions for Interviewer

mba interview seven (current student)

  • Walk me through your resume
  • Follow up questions about certain experiences
  • What are three words your friends would use to describe you?
  • What are three words you would use to describe yourself?
  • What had been your greatest challenge at work?
  • (Behavioral Question) Describe an experience in which you failed.
  • What would you contribute at Booth?
  • What is your biggest concern about Booth?
  • Questions for Interviewer

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III Insights From Past Chicago Booth MBA Interviewees

Take Booth at it word. It is a conversation not an interview. They really just want to get to know you more. Applicants really need to be able communicate, you need to be able to feed off the interviewer and have a two way conversation. The interviewer mentioned to me at the end that some interviews can be really tough (because the interviewee is too structured and rehearsed)

Know your story.  Do your research on Booth.  Relax.

The interview was very conversational. The interviewer seemed genuinely interested in knowing me. It was very informal. She was very quirky and affable. None of the questions asked were out of the ordinary.

It didn’t feel like an interview at all. Ironically, I actually enjoyed the whole experience. I feel that both of us would have liked to have had more time to discuss. That said I covered everything that I wanted to. The first 10 minutes were spent getting to know each other, chatting about Ireland and me learning about the interviewer. We spent about 20 minutes on general MBA type questions and a final 10 minutes of me asking questions. We were chatting so much the total time probably exceeded 45 minutes. Many other applicants had finished their interviews by the time I exited my interview room. He stressed the he was very keen to know more about me personally. When I would answer a question or make a point that resonated with him he would respond with some of his experiences. For example I talked about wanting to internationalize my experience and experience new things, as an international student he then talked about his experiences. He also picked up on a couple of things in my resume that he was interested in such as economics and triathlons. He then talked about how great Booth is for economics and his experience at Booth as a tri-athlete.
 Interviewed by current Booth student on campus

Upon checking in, I was greeted by a first-year student along with a couple other prospective students (some interviewing and some just on a campus visit).  My interviewer, a second-year student, called my name, and we walked to an interview room.  Walking into the interview room, I noticed my resume already on the table with a few highlights and notes already written.  He started out the interview describing his background, and then jumped into his questions.  Overall, the interview was very much a naturally-flowing conversation, and nothing caught me off guard. He was very easy to talk to, casual and friendly.
 Interviewed by current Booth student on campus

My interview was very, very conversational and informal – we got to talking about a wide array of topics: we talked about Chicago, weather, sports, travelling, and much more. He said in the beginning that I could interrupt anytime and just ask questions and I did ask lots of questions.  The interviewer was careful to cover the following questions: Why Booth, What would I gain from an MBA, and asked me to walk him through my resume. When an interview gets that informal I think it’s still important to get some key points across about yourself.
Interviewed by Booth alumnus off campus

Lunch with first year students was provided but not really publicized so most were surprised by the opportunity. More first years were in the lobby of the interview rooms to discuss their experience and answer questions. Interviews were completed by second year admissions fellows. Interviewer seemed well trained by the admissions team. Interview was still very conversational but was guided to understand past leadership and fit with Booth.
Interviewed by current Booth student on campus

I interviewed at the hub in London.  There were lots of interviewees there (maybe 30 at the busiest time) as well as 2 admissions committee members and several recent alums to talk to interviewees during the periods before and after the interview. Very laid back.  My interviewer wore jeans which really set the tone as very casual.  It was very conversational. My interviewer also told me this was his first interview (he just graduated) so to bear with him.  He also was very responsive to my answers, for example, saying “yes, I agree” and then telling me about his experience at Booth.  It wasn’t in the format of Question, Answer, Question, Answer. It really just flowed.
– Interviewed by Booth alumnus in London

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