Overview.
Chicago Booth MBA Interview Experience.
Preparing for your Chicago Booth MBA Interview.
Chicago Booth MBA Interview Questions.


Overview.

Invitation-Only Interviews.

Interviews at Chicago Booth 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. Approximately 40% of all applicants are interviewed.

Blind Interviews.

Chicago Booth 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 acceptable. Past clients report that their Chicago Booth interviewers asked numerous questions about the interviewee’s resume. 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 Chicago Booth, some U.S.-based candidates’ 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. According to the Booth adcom, “Those who interview on campus have the added opportunities to attend a class, have lunch with current students and have a group Q&A session with admissions. It’s an all-day experience that allows interviewees to get a robust sense of Booth culture and community.’

For candidates who are unable to travel to campus, Chicago Booth offers off-campus, face-to-face interviews by engaging the school’s alumni network around the world. In the past, hub cities have included New York City; Washington, DC; Shanghai; and London. 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. According to the Booth adcom, ‘We always recommend applicants coming to campus so they can see what the community is like at Chicago Booth. However, we understand that this isn’t always feasible for our applicants with their work schedules and location in the world. This is why we offer interviews with our alumni around the world.’

Chicago Booth has offered Skype and phone interviews when necessary in the past. 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? Either second-year students or alumni.

The person with whom you interview often depends on the location of your interview. According to the school’s associate dean, ‘Second- year students and alumni [interviewers] provide a valuable judgment of fit for the program because they have been through it themselves. They can offer candidates significant insight into what it’s like to be at Booth, as well as provide a discerning assessment of how they think candidates would contribute to Booth’s learning environment. Also, these applicants are the people who will be their future classmates, colleagues, and leaders in their fields.”.

Chicago Booth uses specially chosen second-year students, known as Admissions Fellows, for on- campus interviews. These students have been selected and trained by the school’s admissions officers to interview candidates on the committee’s behalf.

Chicago Booth takes advantage of its vast alumni base by allowing alumni to conduct all of the school’s off-campus interviews, in either hub cities or the applicant’s hometown or country. 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.


Chicago Booth MBA Interview Experience.

Clients who interviewed with Chicago Booth in the past few years consistently described their interview experience with the school as ‘relaxed,’ ‘friendly,’ and ‘conversational.’ Chicago Booth 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. Past applicants have underlined how friendly the interviewers were and how they seemed determined to make the experience as natural and relaxed as possible. Chicago Booth’s interviewers – all of whom are either current second-year students or alumni – are reportedly also very willing to answer questions about the school and share their own experiences with the MBA program, so interviewing with the school is clearly a valuable opportunity to gain insider information, in addition to showcasing your skills. Here is a sample of what clients have told us about their interview experience at Chicago Booth:

[The interviewer was] very nice, professional. [He] offered to let me start the interview with questions, even, and we could go from there. His questions really came more naturally than at other interviews; he found ways to ask questions and move to different topics, as it flowed with the conversation.

‘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’

‘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’.

Definitely be prepared to talk about why you made career moves. The goal is to determine how you make decisions in a given situation. Also be prepared to talk about your industry and how you make decisions in your current role and the industry outlook are good topics to think about while you prep. Be very intentional about your reasons for applying to Booth, and if you’ve applied to other schools, be prepared to discuss why Booth is your #1 choice. It goes without saying, but do your research!

Know your resume, have good questions. [My interviewer] seemed to enjoy my questions. I weaved them in throughout the interview, too, which he seemed to encourage.


Preparing for your Chicago Booth MBA Interview.

Although the focus and style of Chicago Booth’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.

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 behavioral questions. 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.

Chicago Booth’s interviews typically start with an open-ended question or prompt, such as ‘Walk me through your resume.’ or ‘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.

Interview reports for Chicago Booth indicate that ‘Why do you need an MBA?’ and ‘Why now?’ are topics that the school’s interviews often include, in addition to other career goals questions.

Chicago Booth’s interviews consistently include very school-specific questions. Past clients noted that they were asked some variation of the question ‘Why Chicago Booth?’ and often other school-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 Chicago Booth 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.

Chicago Booth wants to hear specifics about your professional accomplishments and leadership potential, so you should expect to receive such prompts as ‘Tell me about a success.’ or ‘Tell me about a failure.’ Be prepared to provide detailed information and stories in these subject areas beyond what is presented in your resume.

Finally, because Chicago Booth is trying to gauge candidates’ ‘fit’ with its community, the interview will often include personal questions, such as ‘How would your friends describe you?,’ 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?

Chicago Booth 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 Chicago Booth interview is likely to progress.

Chicago Booth Mock Interview 1
  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. What do you do in your current position?
  3. (Behavioral Question) Tell me about feedback you’ve received and how you responded.
  4. (Behavioral Question) Tell me about a time when you worked with someone whom you perhaps didn’t like.
  5. (Behavioral Question) How would you approach a situation where you worked with someone who was missing deadlines?
  6. What accomplishment at work are you most proud of?
  7. Why is now the right time for an MBA?
  8. What are your goals after you graduate?
  9. If in ten years you’re on the cover of Chicago
  10. Booth Magazine, what would you want it to say?
  11. Why Chicago Booth?
  12. How would you get involved while you are here?
Chicago Booth Mock Interview 2
  1. Why Chicago Booth?
  2. Why an MBA?
  3. Why now?
  4. How did you manage conflict while in a leadership role?
  5. (Behavioral Question) What was a time when you had to convince someone of something?
  6. What was your best presentation? Why?
  7. What was your worst presentation? Why?
  8. What will be your contributions to Chicago Booth?
  9. If there is one country that you could visit tomorrow, which would it be and why?
  10. Do you have any questions for me?
Chicago Booth Mock Interview 3 
  1. Walk me through your resume
  2. Follow up questions about certain experiences
  3. What are three words your friends would use to describe you?
  4. What are three words you would use to describe yourself?
  5. What had been your greatest challenge at work?
  6. (Behavioral Question) Describe an experience in which you failed.
  7. What would you contribute at Booth?
  8. What is your biggest concern about Booth?
  9. Questions for Interviewer
Chicago Booth Mock Interview 4 
  1. 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
  2. What are your goals?
  3. Why MBA?
  4. Why Booth?
  5. What classes and activities are you looking forward to at Booth?
  6. What do you like to do for fun?
  7. (Behavioral Question) Tell me about a time when one of your teammates didn’t pull his weight
  8. Questions for Interviewer
Chicago Booth Mock Interview 5
  1. Can you tell me about yourself?
  2. Why do you want to get a MBA?
  3. Why now?
  4. Why Booth?
  5. What do you like to do in your spare time outside of work and community service?
  6. What has been your biggest failure?
  7. Questions for Interviewer
Chicago Booth Mock Interview 6
  1. Walk me through your resume
  2. What are your career goals?
  3. How will Booth help you get there?
  4. What would you do if you couldn’t get an MBA?
  5. Why Booth?
  6. (Behavioral Question) Tell me about a leadership experience.
  7. Tell me about your experience living in France.
  8. What do you like about living abroad?
  9. What did you not like about living abroad?
  10. How do you envision your two years at Booth?
  11. Questions for Interviewer
Chicago Booth Mock Interview 7
  1. Why an MBA?
  2. Why Booth?
  3. Career Goals?
  4. Question related specifically to the candidate’s resume: Do you create most of the new systems from scratch? 
  5. Why do you think you have been promoted so many times?
  6. What did you learn in each of your roles?
  7. How do you plan on getting involved on campus?
  8. About 30 minutes in we began discussing hobbies/interests
  9. Questions for Interviewer

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