Berkeley Haas MBA Interview Experience.
Preparing for your Berkeley Haas MBA Interview.
Berkeley Haas MBA Interview Questions.
Berkeley Haas Super Saturday Interviews.


Invitation-Only Interviews.

Interviews at Haas are ‘by invitation only,’ meaning that the Admissions Office extends invitations to selected applicants after reading their application – and only those invited applicants can schedule interviews. In a 2015 online chat with prospective students, the associate director of admissions at Haas estimated that 25%-30% of all applicants are interviewed each year.

Blind Interviews.

Haas interviews are ‘blind,’ which means that your interviewer will not have seen your entire application before the interview – just your resume. Your interviewer will therefore not know your GMAT score or GPA (unless this information is on your resume) or the content of your essays. This means that referencing anecdotes or examples that you used in other parts of your application is completely acceptable. ‘The applicant is getting a very fresh review from someone who only knows what that person has chosen to list on their CV [curriculum vitae],’ Haas’s former director of admissions commented. In some cases, however, your interviewer may not have taken time to review your resume before your meeting, so be prepared to adjust accordingly and to provide a brief summary of your professional experience, in case he/she asks.

Where? Usually on-campus or off-campus. 

At Haas, some interviews are conducted face-to-face on the school’s campus. Although the location of your interview has no influence on your chances for admission, in-person interviews can sometimes feel more natural, with you and your interviewer sitting down together in a quiet space at the school to have a conversation about your candidacy. On-campus interviews also allow you to interact with students and admissions representatives during your visit.

For international applicants, Haas offers off-campus, face-to-face interviews by engaging the school’s alumni network around the world. Depending on the specific arrangements, these interviews could be conducted in a more public place, like a coffee shop, or at the interviewer’s place of business. ‘There is no difference between interviewing on-campus or off-campus; all interviews are given equal consideration when reviewed by the Admissions Committee,’ the school’s website states.

In isolated instances, Haas has offered Skype interviews to candidates from outside the United States when alumni have been unable to conduct off-campus in-person interviews. ‘In the rare case where alum are not available, we may offer a candidate a Skype interview. But I can’t stress enough how rare those occasions are,’ an admissions officer said in a 2015 online admissions chat. These interviews generally follow the same format and carry the same weight in the evaluation process as the other types of interviews the school offers, but some candidates may have difficulty establishing a connection with their interviewer when they are not physically face-to-face. If you do a Skype interview, treat it exactly as you would an in-person interview. Find a quiet place with a reliable connection, remove any possible distractions, and dress the part!

With Whom? Usually students or alumni.

The Haas admissions committee weighs all applicant interviews the same, regardless of who conducts the interview. The school has stated plainly in an online admissions chat: ‘All interviews are given equal weight when reviewed by the Admissions Committee.’ The person with whom you interview often depends on the location of your interview.

Haas uses specially chosen students for some on-campus interviews. These students have been selected and trained by the school’s admissions officers to interview candidates on the committee’s behalf.

Haas alumni conduct most of the school’s off- campus interviews. These individuals are graduates who have volunteered to perform this task and who have received some guidelines from the Admissions Office about how to conduct the interviews, including which or what kinds of questions to ask.

Berkeley Haas MBA Interview Experience.

Our clients who interviewed with Haas in the past few years consistently described their interview experience with the school as ‘relaxed,’ ‘friendly,’ and ‘conversational.’ Haas is not interested in putting candidates on the spot or trying to stump them, but rather in making sure that applicants have a solid grasp of the ways the MBA program would benefit them and how they would fit with the school’s community.Here is a sample of what our past clients have told us about their interview experience at Haas:

I metthe interviewer at her office at 7:30am before work.  The interviewer did not provide anybackground information about herself and went straight into the interview.  I felt the conversation started off a bitrehearsed, but quickly became more conversational.  The interviewer had been out of school for awhile (10+ years), so some of the topics I discussed were new to her.  The interview questions were pretty straightforward and she did not ask any strange questions.

This interview was the most relaxed of the MBA interviews I’ve done.  I think the dynamic was different because it was an alumnus conducting the interview instead of a second-year student and the alumnus probably had a bit more flexibility in terms of how he wanted to conduct the interview.  It went really well and we really seemed to connect. Having learned from my Tuck interview, I really made a point to discuss a lot of the similarities between the military culture (in terms of closeness and camaraderie) and Haas’ culture.  He really seemed to like that comparison.

This was definitely my most intense of all three interviews I have done. The general consensus of everyone else at Super Saturday was the same. The interviewers gave nothing away, and were definitely grilling us. I could tell she was truly trying to dig into my quant skills and see how I approach problems and issues, especially involving data/numbers. Overall, I think it went pretty well, but it was harder to tell than the others (Kellogg and UCLA Anderson)!

Preparing for your Berkeley Haas MBA Interview.

Although the focus and style of Haas’s admissions interviews can vary, you should expect to be asked about your personal, professional, and academic experiences and – in most cases – will receive questions meant to reveal your knowledge about the school.

Haas’s interviews tend to start with an open-ended question or prompt, most often ‘Tell me about yourself.’ This is your opportunity to offer a comprehensive overview of your profile and to touch on – very briefly – some of your major accomplishments, both professional and personal.

Our interview reports for Haas indicate that ‘why you need an MBA’ is a topic that the school’s interviews often include, in addition to other career goals questions.

Haas’s interviews consistently include very school-specific questions. Almost all our past clients noted that they were asked some variation of the question ‘Why Haas?’ and often other Haas-related queries as well. If you are not ready to answer these types of questions in detail, you must invest the time necessary to get to know Haas thoroughly and to identify the programs, centers, clubs, classes, professors, extracurricular opportunities, and other resources it offers that relate directly to your plans and your personality.

Haas wants to hear specific examples about your professional accomplishments and leadership potential, so be prepared to provide detailed information and stories in these subject areas beyond what is presented in your resume.

Finally, because Haas is trying to gauge candidates’ ‘fit’ with its community, the interview will at times include personal questions to help the interviewer evaluate whether you would be a good match.

Mock interviews can be particularly helpful way to prepare for your interview. Try using a timer to get a sense of how long you typically take to answer each question, and practice in front of a mirror. Don’t want to go it alone? Learn more about my Mock Interview Service here.

Listen to an excerpt from a mock interview. Question: Why an MBA?

Berkeley Haas MBA Interview Questions.

Although you can never be certain which questions you will receive, and questions will undoubtedly vary to some degree, these samples serve to illustrate how a Stanford interview is likely to progress.

Berkeley Haas Mock Interview 1
  1. Walk me through your resume
  2. Clarification questions on the resume
  3. Why MBA?
  4. Why now?
  5. More questions about why MBA – some people are able to do this without an MBA, so why do you want to get one?
  6. What can you contribute to the Haas community?
  7. Why Haas?
  8. What specific courses are you interested in taking?
  9. Any questions for me?
Berkeley Haas Mock Interview 2
  1. Tell me why you made the career switch
  2. And why now you decide to leave your current position
  3. What are the differences between the two companies I worked with.\
  4. Do you have direct reports?
  5. Share with me one of your accomplishment that you are most proud of; why you think others might not be able to achieve that?
  6. Tell me you extracurricular activities
  7. Talked about my overseas experience and what activities I have participated.
  8. Why Haas?
  9. What legacy I could leave to Haas
  10. question for him
Berkeley Haas Mock Interview 3
  1. Walk me though your resume
  2. Please go deep into this particular consulting engagement (from my resume).
  3. For this particular consulting engagement: Tell me what the problem was? What approach did you follow? What were the outcomes? What would you do differently?
  4. I see you do recruiting interviews for your company. Please tell me how do you run a good interview.
  5. What are your short and long-term goals?
  6. What should I have asked you that I didn’t ask you?
  7. Do you have questions for me?
Berkeley Haas Mock Interview 4
  1. Walk me through your resume. The interviewer stopped occasionally to probe into particular experiences and the candidate’s education.
  2. What are one or two things you learned from each experience?
  3. What is something that frustrates you?
  4. Why Haas?
  5. What will you bring to the Haas community?
  6. What are your goals immediately after completing an MBA program?
Berkeley Haas Mock Interview 5
  1. Walk me through your resume
  2. Why an MBA?
  3. What is a brand you would like to work for?
  4. How are you a ‘Student Always?’
  5. What kind of blogs do you read for industry news?
  6. (Behavioral Question) Tell me about a time you were tasked with a project that you knew nothing about. How did you go about solving?
  7. (Behavioral Question) Tell me about a time you had to use analytical skills to solve a problem
  8. Mathematically, how did you think through the data to tell your story? Walk me through it.
  9. What would you have done if you had no historical data to utilize?
  10. What do you like to do outside of work?
  11. Why Haas?
  12. Do you have any questions for me?
Berkeley Haas Mock Interview 6
  1. Walk me through your resume.
  2. Why do you want to get your MBA and why now?
  3. What do you hope to achieve with your MBA?
  4. Describe a time where you lead a team? Was it successful? Looking back, what’s one thing you would’ve done differently?
  5. Have you thought about the type of company(s) you’d like to do your summer internship at? What are they? Why?
  6. What three words would your coworkers would use to describe you.
  7. Outside of work, what are you involved in?
  8. At Haas, what do you hope to be involved in as far as clubs go?
  9. Why Haas?
Berkeley Haas Mock Interview 7
  1. Why did you leave your previous firm to go to company X?
  2. How have your responsibilities changes since being promoted to Senior Consultant (from Consultant)?
  3. What is the one accomplishment you are most proud of?
  4. What do you believe are the qualities of a great leader? Which of those qualities do you currently have? How will Haas help you develop as a leader and address your weaknesses?
  5. Tell me about your 5-year and 10-year plans
  6. What made you choose to apply to Berkeley?
  7. What questions do you have for me?

Berkeley Haas Super Saturday Interviews.

At Super Saturday about 100 candidates are split up into 4 groups. You stay with your group throughout the day and rotate with the group through four events following lunch: the student panel, career panel, team exercise, and interview. According to the dean, the only evaluative part is the interview.

However, Haas student ambassadors are sprinkled throughout the event and they were actively observing.

Also, there is an optional happy hour after the event to socialize with current students. Maybe 40% of candidates attended. At the event I ended up chatting with a student interviewer who is part of admissions committee and saw a few Haas student ambassadors taking note of my name tag.

Takeaway: I met some really cool candidates and students, some whom I will meet for coffee later. Best part of the experience for me was meeting the people..

Some candidates were a bit more competitive, don’t be afraid to avoid the naysayers and gravitate toward more positive candidates. That helped a lot.

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