The journey to business school starts in many places—for me, it began while riding in the back seat of my dad’s car. But for all MBAs, at some point, it converges on one location: an admissions interview room.
Cue the feeling of anxiety in the pit of your stomach. It is a daunting 45 minutes, I’ll grant you. But it is also an incredibly important way in which our school culture is shared with applicants, and how we build our community intentionally to foster the things that make Fuqua—and our future global business leaders—great. So, to make the interview less scary, I’m here to dispel some of its mysteries and give you a few tips for success.
What to Expect in a Daytime MBA Interview
Whether you interview on campus, or in one of our remote locations, a few things stay the same.
Your interviewer WILL:
- Be a second-year Daytime MBA student or an alumnus of the program. As Fuquans themselves, they are committed to building the school culture by helping select the next class of students.
- Keep it conversational. This is not an interrogation—we’re trying to get to know you!
- Ask behavioral questions (i.e. “tell me about a time you…”) focused on drawing out your unique contributions to your workplace and community.
- Leave time for you to ask questions. We know that you’re evaluating us as much as we’re evaluating you.
Your interviewer WILL NOT:
- Have read your application. The only thing they have is your resume. So you can mention things already stated in your application without being repetitive!
- Ask questions that have a single correct answer.
At the end of the day, the admissions interview is a mutual assessment of fit with the Fuqua community. So, when your interviewer is thinking about your candidacy, they are asking themselves questions. Do I want this person on my C-Lead team? Would they make a good addition to my alumni network? Would I be proud to connect this person with a recruiter at my company? Will they have a positive impact on Fuqua and the world?
With this in mind, the only way to leverage your interview to get that acceptance phone call is to be yourself! If it wasn’t already clear from the “25 Random Things” essay, the Fuqua admissions office is deeply committed to getting to know you—not your neighbor, or your boss, or some caricature of the perfect MBA student—but you, with all your quirks and passions.
How to Prepare
One piece of advice is this: prepare stories, not answers to specific questions. You never know exactly what your interviewer might ask, but you can bet that the best answer is always going to highlight a tangible example from your career. So, think through the experiences that shine a light on your leadership, your teamwork, your creativity, and resourcefulness, and you’ll be prepared for any question that comes your way.
Here are a few other tips for what you can do to prepare:
Check out the Daytime MBA blogs!
The good news is, if you’re reading this, you’re already in the right place. Over the last few years, we’ve covered everything from our rivalry with UNC to the definition of “Team Fuqua.” We want to know why you want to join our community, and if you’re not sure, this is a good place to start.
Contact a student ambassador.
We love talking about what it means to be a student at Fuqua! Set up a brief phone call with one of us, and I promise we’ll answer any lingering questions you have (and maybe make some restaurant recommendations for your interview day as well).
Re-read your resume.
Most likely, all your best professional stories are right there. Don’t worry about being redundant—your admissions interview is a chance to expand on the things you’ve accomplished.
Take 10 minutes and reflect on how you got here.
Applying to MBA programs is no walk in the park—it took some hard work and introspection to get where you are today. So, don’t forget the vision that has motivated you. Be true to your story and you’ll do great!