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Be sure to read my Key Posts on the admissions process. Topics include essay analysis, resumes, recommendations, rankings, and more.

October 23, 2008

Northwestern University Kellogg MBA interviews

I know that there is some repetition in this series of posts on interviewing for specific schools, but since most readers are likely to only look at posts for specific schools, I thought it best that each of these posts be self-contained.

I have reviewed reports of Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management MBA applicant interviews found at accepted.com and clearadmit.com (As I have mentioned previously, both companies should be praised for collecting these reports for all to see. I should state as a matter of disclosure that I am a member of AIGAC, a professional organization, with consultants from both organizations). These reports reveal that there are five key things to consider when preparing for Kellogg interviews:

1. You need to know your resume completely as you will likely be asked about content in it. Review it carefully and consider what your interviewer might ask you to explain more thoroughly. If it is on your resume, it is fair game. Kellogg interviews are conducted blind, so your interview will not have read your application. The only thing they will have is your resume. Most interview reports indicate extensive questions about the contents of the resume.

2. You need to be prepared to answer routine MBA questions. Most reported interviews simply consist of them. See my previous post on MBA Application Interview Strategy.

3. Kellogg interviewers do not really ask an unexpected hypothetical and/or critical thinking questions,instead, as previously stated, you can expect more standard questions. Common notable questions include:
- What do you do in your free time? / What do you do for fun?
-Walk me through your resume (both admissions officers and alums ask this)
-Why Kellogg?/ What clubs or activities would you participate in?
-In your latest performance review, what strengths were highlighted and what weaknesses was it recommended that you work on?

4. Interviewers (adcom or alum) usually try to create a very relaxed interview atmosphere. As some adcom interviewers are 2nd year students, be aware that a campus interview might not be with an admissions officer. I know of a few instances when student interviewers were not necessarily that friendly to the applicant. In any case, this is an interview about fit (just like Kellogg Essay 2), so make sure you can explain in depth why you want to become a part of the Kellogg community and how you will contribute to it. Previous contact with alum, visits to campus, and/or intensive school research are all great ways to prepare. If you have not previously read my Kellogg Essay analysis for Fall 2009 admission, I suggest doing so as it contains my analysis of Kellogg's culture.

5. Reported interview length could be from 30 to 60 minutes, with most reported interviews taking 30-45 minutes.

Questions? Write comments or contact me directly at adammarkus@gmail.com. Please see my FAQ regarding the types of questions I will respond to. Before emailing me questions about your chances for admission or personal profile, please see my recent post on "Why I don't analyze profiles without consulting with the applicant." If you are interested in my graduate admission consulting services, please click here.
-Adam Markus
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