How to pass your Chicago Booth MBA interview

Congratulations! You have been invited to interview with Chicago Booth.

Now what?

The Chicago Booth Interview

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  • I am receiving inquiries from new clients who want help preparing for their Chicago interview

November 06

Preparing for your Booth Interview

Congratulations to those of you who were invited to interview at Booth! We know that our applicants are preparing for this next turn on the road to business school so we wanted to offer some tips to successfully showcase your talents in person.

Know your story. Review your application thoroughly and decide how you might convey your story: your experience, career plan and unique goals. Ask yourself these important questions to help you get in that storytelling frame of mind. If your goals and motivations are clear, you can expect a lively conversation and lots of good questions from the interviewer.

  • What do I really want from my MBA experience?
  • What can I bring to the Chicago Booth community?
  • Why is Booth the right place for me?
  • How do I plan to use my MBA in my career?

Prepare to engage. Our student and alumni interviewers want to learn about your goals and career experiences of course, but they also want to get to know you as a person and understand how you will add to the Booth community. So be prepared to be engaged, and to engage your interviewer.

Use the interview as an opportunity to learn more about Booth. There will be time at the end of the interview for you to ask your interviewer questions. You should have a few questions ready that address the things that are most important to you and your MBA experience.

Try to relax. The interview is intended to be a back and forth conversation. While a certain amount of nervous energy is common, try to remember that the point of the interview is to learn more about you, not to test your knowledge on specific business topics.

Make sure you look and feel your best. Candidates are highly encouraged to dress in business attire. We always suggest that you arrive in advance of your scheduled appointment so that you can take a few moments to collect your thoughts. Remember to bring a copy of your resume.

(found at http://forums.chicagobooth.edu/n/blogs/blog.aspx?nav=main&webtag=boothinsider&entry=75; accessed 2012/11)

Chicago Booth Interview Reports

Alumni #1

I had my Chicago interview yesterday. I believe I did very well, just like the HBS interview.

The format was 30 minutes of English interview going over normal questions, and dragging on to a chat-like Q and A session in Japanese. Total of 1 hour.

The key point in my eyes, was to convince Chicago was my top choice. She kept saying "Your English is so good compared to mine, and with your character, you will have no problem blending in with everybody." and "You probably have a long list of schools you were admitted to." and so forth.

That is why I just emphasized Why Booth more than anything else. I believe I did well on that. Just keeping my fingers crossed since as you say, the admission process is holistic, and an interview is not Make-or-Break.

Below are the questions I was asked:

Chicago Booth Interview with alum

March 3rd, 19:00-20:00 @ Alum's Office

1. Can you go through your professional career?

2. How did you convince your boss?

3. But in a Japanese company, do really junior staff convince the superior management?

4. What is LNG? Who uses it?

5. What do you think is the most important thing to keep in mind when doing business? (Or similar question along this line)

6. Career goal

7. When did you get interested in the energy industry? Why did you join Company X?

8. Any difficulties in your career?

9. Strengths / weaknesses

10. Why MBA / Why now / Why Chicago

Tokyo alumni #2

Date/Time: Feb 21, 2009 11:00-12:00

Place: Coffee shop

Interviewer: Woman from class of 2007

Why MBA

Why Chicago

To my answer - you said fit with freedom philosophy, but are you comfortable with Japanese companies' culture?

What is your strength and weaknesses, and other things such as hobbies.

Any questions? I asked her if I can speak Japanese and she allowed me to do so.

(I thought she would be happier to talk her story in Japanese rather than in English)

She talked about her experience of Chicago Booth and advised me how to spend time in Chicago. (My strategy worked because she conversationally talked for more than 20 minutes.)

2009 w/ 2nd year student on campus

I just had an on-campus interview of Chicago Booth on Feb. 11.

Actually, questions were standard, but my interview was not conversational, but rather Q and A session. (My interviewer was a little bit silent and non-responsive. He paid much attention to time because he had another interview just after mine.)

Place: Chicago Harper Center Interviewer: 2nd-year student (Blind)

Time: 40 minutes Questions asked:

  1. Tell me who you are
  2. Why MBA and Tell me your long-term/short-term goal
  3. Tell me your experience in which your supervisor objected to your idea
  4. What kind of impact current world recession have on your country and company?
  5. What do you do when you are off?
  6. Tell me a book you recently read.
  7. Anything else to add? (I explained Why Chicago, since he forgot to ask me this question.)
  8. Any questions?

2009 w/ alumni in JP #1

When she has something she doesn't fully understand in my answer, she required more detailed answer or additional questions. So, some interviewees would feel pressured. However, I found that the interviewer just tried to figure out who I am from various angle. I also saw not biased professional attitude in her questions and answers. She kindly shared her own experiences and opinion in detail, answering my question.

I was impressed that she tried to present the reality of Booth and offer enough information so that I could figure out whether Booth is the right place to me. (At the end of interview, she told me that Booth would be a right place to me, mentioning my concrete action plans in Booth.) I enjoyed conversation with her. She seemed satisfied with my answer overall.

  1. Ice breaking chat about today's weather.
  2. Questions / Conducted all in English except the last part / Very interactive / Initially scheduled 30 minutes
  3. but we talked over an hour.
  4. Walk me your about your resume concisely. Tell me about your career development. Why did you join current employer?
  5. To my explanation about my major: Why did you major in X? After my answer: Why were you interested in Y?
  6. To my explanation about my first position in my company: Please explain detail about Z Prefecture's local economy and market? To my answer: How did you analyze so? To my answer: You said that you persuaded your supervisor to allow you to conduct your own project which was not ordinary practice in your company. How did you persuade him? And explain why do you think he allowed you.
  7. To my explanation about my current position: What is your main responsibility? Explain more detail about your industry.
  8. Why Chicago? She asked several questions against my answer and provided me with information of Booth.
  9. S/T, L/T goal? To my answer. What do you think is my company's problem in sales strategy? About my L/T goal - Doesn't your company operate international operation now? It seems to me that your S/T and L/T goals are not directly connected. Explain the relationship between L/T and S/T goals.
  10. How did you gain your personal traits? Through your career, or other experiences? (She said I had a strong trait in a good sense.)
  11. Your English is very good. How did you learn your speaking skill?
  • We talked in Japanese from here.
  • I interview a lot of candidates. I might forget you. Please give me some key words or topics to help me remember you.
  • She introduced herself.
  • She gave me opportunity to ask her questions.


Chicago alum (class of 2006)

Time: 1 hour

Language: 50% English, 50% Japanese

Contents:

(1)Self Introduction

(2)Why MBA now?

(3)Why Chicago GSB?

(4)Strength and Contribution to GSB's study group.

(5)Biggest Accomplishment

(6)definition of teamwork and teamwork experience (so far in English)

(7)Any Qs? (in Japanese)

Interviewers attitude: Her classmate was from BoJ and we was able to talk

about him and Japanese member of class of 2006 very

friendly.

General note: reading reports in our database, it seems that some interview with alumni were conducted all in Japanese and others as much as 80% in Japanese. These reports were a few years old. We do not know if there has been any efforts made by Rose Martinelli and/or Japanese GSB alumni to increase use of English in interviews.

Chicago GSB (admission interview in Tokyo)

Time: Approx. 40 minutes

Questions

1. Introduce yourself and follow-up question about the detail of the

past project I engaged

2. What is your motivation to conduct such the project

3. Future career goals (STG and LTG)

4. Why MBA

5. Why GSB

6. How have you developed since last application ( I am a reapplicant to GSB)

7. Contribution to GSB

8. Anything else

9. Q and A

Information is subject to change. Please verify all data with the schools.