The Admissions team at Chicago Booth provides their top tips to prepare for the big day.
- October 22, 2020
After submitting an application to the Evening or Weekend MBA Program, applicants will receive an email from us within 10 days letting you know if you’ve been invited to interview. Applicants are then connected with a current student or alumni interviewer who is a member of our Admissions Committee to set up a virtual interview. Our interviews are meant to be a conversation and a chance for Admissions Committee members to get to know applicants better as well as for candidates to learn more about our program.
A virtual interview will be very similar to our in-person interviews. The questions and length of the interview are the same. We ask that you dress professionally in business attire and treat this the same as an in-person interview.
When interviews were in person, the candidate did not know who they would be interviewing with beforehand. Now that interviews are scheduled ahead of time between the interviewer and interviewee, both parties have a chance to learn more in advance about who they will be interacting with. This can potentially lead to a deeper conversation and feeling even more prepared for the interview. Also keep in mind, as with any virtual experience, the fact that some of the non-verbal cues, such as nervousness, may not be as easy to pick up on and body language may be more difficult to read.
Preparation is really important. It may sound simple, but you need to be able to speak to why you’re applying. In the midst of a conversation, if you’re a little bit nervous, it can become difficult to answer concisely within the interview.
Be open to a conversation. These interviews are meant to be conversational. Active listening is important. Be prepared for some back and forth. Expect to answer questions about yourself, walk through your resume and discuss your career highlights.
We will want to know why you decided to pursue an MBA and why you are interested in Booth. Paint a picture as to why you’re a unique applicant and what you can contribute to the class. It’s also a good idea to come prepared with questions to ask your interviewer.
Make sure your resume is up to date. Ensure that any achievements you attained recently or volunteer work are reflected. Also include some of your passions—perhaps you’re an avid traveler who has visited 30 countries, or you’re taking dance classes during COVID. Those details can really add to the conversation so it can be helpful to include them.
Don’t forget to confirm the time of your interview. Current students and alumni are located cross-country, so make sure you confirm your time zones.
Be prepared for technical issues. There is potential for connectivity issues. Try to locate a place where you have stable internet connection. Mute some of the notifications that might pop up on your computer.
Think through your space. If you have kids at home or someone else living with you, try to be in a space where you’re not interrupted for the interview. While disruptions like that will not negatively impact an admissions decision, they can throw you off or cause stress, so try to plan for a time and place where you can eliminate distractions. Also look at your space on the camera beforehand. Find a background that doesn’t have attention-grabbing items or images and adjust your lighting so we can see you clearly. Remember, it’s about keeping attention focused on you, and not your space.
You will usually receive a decision within two to three weeks of interviewing. Total time is about four to six weeks from when you apply.
Following the interview, you are welcome to ask if you can follow up with your interviewer to send a Thank You note, or to ask for advice moving forward. It is, however, at the interviewer’s discretion if they are comfortable providing their contact information.
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