Go to a better blog!

You can find a better version of my blog at http://www.adammarkus.com/blog/.

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

February 07, 2012

University of Michigan Ross MBA Admissions Interviews

Interviews for the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business are not particularly hard. Based on my experience as well as the reports found at accepted.com and clearadmit.com, I can say that they are generally seem to be friendly, focused on fit, and require the applicant to discuss the basics. Please refer to my prior overall MBA admissions strategy interview posts( herehere, here, and here) for general advice on prepare for the Ross interview.

Ross interviews are conducted blind, but since what you say in the interview will be checked against what you wrote, make certain that your oral and written presentations are consistent, especially in terms of your goals.

My colleagues Steve Green and Jessica King have compiled the following common Ross interview questions based on publicly available reports:

  • Tell me about yourself.  Walk me through your resume. What should I know about you? *Probe resume: Cross-reference, push for details about why and how.
  • Why did you choose your undergraduate school/major, current employer etc.
  • Tell me about your current position and responsibilities.
  • What do you do outside of work?
  • What are your career goals?
  • Why do you want an MBA?
  • Why Ross?
  • Why now?
  • How will you be involved inside/outside of the classroom?
  • What will your biggest contribution be?
  • What will you do if not accepted to Ross?


  • How would you deal with a teammate who doesn’t act like a team player?
  • Tell me how you dealt with a team member who was under-performing.
  • Tell me about your role on a team.
  • Tell me about a time when your team faced a lot of obstacles? What did you learn?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a disagreement on a team.
  • What would you do in a team consisting of members with strong personalities?
  • Tell me about a time when you worked effectively in a team. What do you think made the team so effective?


  • Tell me about a time you showed initiative.
  • How do you manage conflict?
  • Please give me 3 examples of your leadership experience?
  • What does leadership mean to you?
  • Tell me about a time you had to deal with a struggling team member.


  • Tell me about a time when you had a professional failure and what you learned from it.
  • Tell me about a time when you received negative feedback from a supervisor and how did you respond.
  • Tell me about a disappointment you’ve experienced.
  • Tell me about a time you had to think outside the box.

  • Key learnings from the last 4 years of your work experience.
  • Most significant accomplishment.
  • What is your definition of success?
  • What was the most useful constructive criticism you’ve received?
  • What 3 adjectives would your friends use to describe you and why?
  • What makes you unique?
  • What was a challenging experience in your life?
  • What do you do for fun?
  • Tell me about any volunteer/charity work you’ve done.
  • What is the last book you read?
  • What is something about you that isn’t on your resume?
  • What question do you wish I would have asked?
Ross interviewers are admissions officers, students, and alumni and interviews can be in person or by telephone.  For a discussion of the characteristics of admissions officer interviewers, student interviewers, and alumni interviewers, see here. Reported length for interviews is usually 30 minutes with some going 45 minutes and few lasting an hour (these seem to be an exception). Campus interviews will most likely be 30 minutes. Given that this is a short interview, I think it is particularly important that you have a very clear idea about what you want to cover. The most frustrating thing about such an interview could easily be lack of time to cover your own perceived key points, so make sure that when you think about the likely questions above, you have fully considered how you will use your answers as a vehicle to help your interviewer understand why you should be offered a place at Michigan. For more about strategy, see here.

If you are interviewed by a student, take it seriously! Apparently a sufficient number of applicants were not in R1 for 2010 admission because Soojin Kwon Koh, the Director of Admissions, posted the following:

I wanted to pass on a bit of advice to Round 2 (and 3) applicants based on some experiences during Round 1. It seems that some applicants view interviews with an MBA2 who is part of the Admissions Student Committee as less "serious" than an interview with an alumnus or staff member. Some applicants were a bit unprofessional, shall we say, probably thinking that an MBA2 is on the level of a peer/buddy rather than a bona fide admissions interviewer. Don't let that be you. 

Treat whoever you interview with equal seriousness. 

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.
Real Time Web Analytics