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

February 09, 2012

Duke Fuqua MBA Admissions Interviews

In my experience, Duke interviews are all about fit. Frankly, I would not characterize the interviews for Team Fuqua as hard when compared to those of other top schools.

In addition to my experience, I have reviewed reports of Duke University 's Fuqua School of Business interviews found at accepted.com and clearadmit.com

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. That said, don't be surprised if the interviewer is using a standardized list of questions. I think it is worth remembering the kind of roles a resume is likely to play in your interview:
A First Impression:   Make sure your resume is really designed for ease of use by the interviewer.  One of my objectives when helping a client with a resume is always to focus on how effective the resume is for this purpose.
Agenda Setting Device: To a greater or lesser extent, a resume has an agenda setting function in many interviews.
Bobby Trap:  The resume can blow-up in your face if you are not careful.  Failure to review your own resume closely prior to interviewing can put you in an awkward position if you are not fully prepared to discuss everything on it.
Your Main Depository of Past Experience Answers: Since you have presumably highlighted many of the key things you would actually want to discuss on your resume, it is in essence, a primary source for your answers to past experience questions. Especially when I working with a client with limited English ability, I will tell them to practice explaining “Who What Why How When” questions related to their resume.
In addition, since you might get asked to “Tell me something about yourself that is not covered on your resume,” you can use the resume to figure out what that would be.

You need to be prepared to answer routine MBA questions. Most reported interviews simply consist of them. Please refer to my prior overall MBA admissions strategy interview posts (herehere, here, and here) for general advice on prepare for the Fuqua interview. Typical Duke questions include:

-Walk me through your resume.

-Why MBA?

-Why Duke?

-How will contribute to Fuqua?

-What are your short term and long term goals?

-Tell me about a time when you received a negative feedback and you did not agree with it?

-Tell me about a time when one of your team members did not participate well?What did you do?

-Discuss your strengths and weaknesses

- Tell me about a situation where you worked with a team and there was a difference in opinion and how you helped reconcile the situation to come to a solution.

-Do you have any questions for me?

While there are occasional unexpected hypothetical and/or critical thinking questions, especially from alum and adcom, this seems to be rare.

Interviewers (students, adcom, or alum) are friendly, passionate about Duke, and consistently try to create a very relaxed interview atmosphere. This is an interview about fit (just like Duke's essays), so make sure you can explain in depth why you want to become a part of Team Fuqua 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.

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

Click here to find out about my interview preparation services.

-Adam Markus

I am a graduate admissions consultant who works with clients worldwide. If you would like to arrange an initial consultation, please complete my intake form. Please don't email me any essays, other admissions consultant's intake forms, your life story, or any long email asking for a written profile assessment. The only profiles I assess are those with people who I offer initial consultations to. Please note that initial consultations are not offered when I have reached full capacity or when I determine that I am not a good fit with an applicant.
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