Monday, May 04, 2009

Wharton interview questions & tips

From my old business school admissions files.


Wharton interview tips (Do's and Don'ts)


Be self-confident and be yourself:
The best answer for how to prepare or do an interview comes from the adcom member of a b-school. She answered the question, “ Just recognize how great you are. Be self-confident, be yourself, and show him/her who you are.”

Answer in real, professional terms:
When you are asked about the hypothetical situation in terms of teamwork or leadership, try to speak in real, professional terms.

how an interviewer how well-informed you are of the school:
If you are interested in international perspective of the Wharton, tell him/her which programs or classes can help develop your career in detail. Do not forget How & Why

Imprint your strength into an interviewer:
If your strength is “passionate” (it is mine.  my nick name is “Walking Energizer!”), then show him/her your passion. What you are passionate for, What you have done for it, Why you are passionate for it, How it has changed your life, and How your passion is related to the decision to go to Wharton.

Big Smile & Positive thinking:
Never bother yourself with what you have already said during the interview. Even if you made a stupid mistake in your eye, the interviewer might think you are cool just because of it. Think positively.


Never pass the fine line between self-confidence and arrogance:
As you already know well, Wharton is looking for down-to-earth types of people. While you need to remember how great you are, you also need to keep in mind how great other peers are. It might not be anything wrong even if you are so confident of your accomplishment. However, do not overact to impress the interviewer.

Do not bring up GMAT unless asked:
Unless asked, you may not want to bring up GMAT. It wouldn’t matter whether your score is 800 or 600. 30 minutes are too short time even to articulate your passion and goal. You may not want waste your time talking about vague numbers. And then it may have a negative result.

Be ready but do not rehearse:
Unintentionally you might need to make up a story because of a lack of readiness. Study your resume enough. Think about your life-past and future. Be fully ready to answer any question. Sometimes we hear applicants were too nervous to remember the name of an author whose book they had read recently when asked. Check every stuff, which will be asked. However, Don’t rehearse the answer over and over. The interviewer can tell when people do this

Sample Wharton interview questions:


Walk me through your post-undergraduate work experience and describe transitions you’ve made.

Tell me about the person with whom you have least enjoyed working. How did this relationship function?

What are some of the frustrations/rewards you've experienced as a manager?

What are your plans if you’re not accepted into an MBA program of your choice?

Of what accomplishment at work are you most proud?

Describe your ideal work environment.

How do you vent work-related stress?

How does your current job relate to your career goals, where does an MBA fit in?

Where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years?


Tell me about the decision to get here – to apply for an MBA.
Why now?

Why do you feel you are a good fit for the school and vice versa?
What kind of value do you can add to the Wharton?


Describe a difficult team environment in which you have been involved and how you responded to it.

What role do you usually play in-group situations and give some examples?

What happens when you feel strongly about an idea that a majority of your group is against?

Tell me about a conflict you had with a co-worker. How was it resolved?

Tell me about specific situations in which you’ve had a leadership role.

How would others describe your leadership style? Would you agree with this assessment?

If you suddenly had an afternoon off, what would you do with it?

In what non-job related activities do you participate? Describe your involvement.


Is there anything else you would like the Admissions Committee to know about you?

Is there anything you would have liked me to ask you that I didn't?

What would you say is the greatest weakness in your application?


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