10 Tips to Help You Nail Your Admissions Interview

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The admissions interview is an integral and unique part of the application process for the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Programs. While it is natural to feel nervous leading up to the interview, we promise it is an enjoyable part of the application process. The interview provides you a valuable opportunity to tell us more about who you are, why this is the right time to pursue an MBA, and why you are interested in Booth.

Interviews are conducted by one of our Admissions Committee members at the Gleacher Center in downtown Chicago. Current students and alumni apply to and are selected to join the Admissions Committee. Admissions Committee members are well-suited to discuss the programs and offer insight into the Booth experience. We have assembled some of their tips below to help you as you prepare for your admissions interview. 

1. DON'T APPROACH IT LIKE A JOB INTERVIEW

Though we want to know about your professional experience and skillset, your admissions interview is different from a typical job interview. It’s a chance for you to tell us what’s important to you and why you want to earn your MBA at Chicago Booth. In other words, help us to understand why this experience will be worth it to you five or ten years down the road.

2. LISTEN

Being a good listener is as important as being able to share your ideas. Listen closely to the questions, and then focus your answer on what is really being asked of you. Take a moment after the question to prepare your response. It is always OK to pause while you think about your response.

3. BE AUTHENTIC

Chicago Booth students represent diverse experiences, backgrounds, and industries. Rather than telling us what you think we want to hear, be yourself and share your individual experiences,goals and perspective.   

4. BE CONSISTENT

Keep in mind that in all likelihood your interviewer has not read your application. Therefore, you should not be surprised when they ask questions similar to what you already addressed in your application. Be sure your answers are consistent because when it comes time for the admissions directors to review your full profile, they will look for consistency across your application and interview.

5. WHY BOOTH?

Tell us what about Chicago Booth’s program you are most excited about. Are you interested in a specific course, professor, or student group? Let us know! We want to see that you’ve done your research on the program and learn why you want to be here and not somewhere else.

6. IT'S ABOUT PEOPLE

Business management is all about facilitating communication between people. Interviewers might ask you about how you work in groups, strategies you’ve used to sell team members on an idea or project, or a time when you’ve had to implement something that you didn’t agree with. Your responses should emphasize your work with others.

7. LEADERSHIP IS KEY

Come to your interview prepared to share how you’ve functioned as a leader in past situations. Highlight what makes your leadership style unique, why it works, and what areas you are seeking to improve. You will focus on leadership skills and development throughout the duration of your MBA, and beyond. Leadership development is a life-long journey.

8. GET SPECIFIC

Did you go on an epic trip that changed your life plans, or did the opportunity to lead a project within your organization inspire you to pursue your MBA? Consider two to three key points you would like to get across during your interview that will help us understand your journey. Remember that the interviews are very conversational, so you may need to use creativity to work your key points into the conversation.

9. PUSH THROUGH THE NERVES

You may feel nervous, but try to be as natural as you can in your admissions interview. Don’t be afraid of stumbling over some words, starting a story over, or going a little off-script. It’s more important for interviewers to feel like they’re talking to and learning about a person rather than just hearing a presentation.

10. ASK QUESTIONS

Current students and alumni offer a very unique glimpse into the Chicago Booth community. We encourage you to come with specific questions about why your interviewer chose Booth, challenges they may have encountered, and what they feel is the best part of the Booth community. They can draw from their own experiences to give you an idea of what you can expect in the program.