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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 16, 2014

McCombs MBA Admissions Interviews

My comments below are based on my experience and my review of McCombs School of Business in University of Texas at Austin MBA interview reports found at accepted.com.

Before reading this post, I suggest reviewing some or all of the following previous posts:
-MBA Application Interview Strategy
-Further Comments on MBA Admissions Interviews 
-General Characteristics of Admissions Officers, Students, and Alumni Interviewers
-Recovering from a bad answer during an MBA admissions interview
-10 Ways to Blow an MBA Admissions Interview
-and my more recent post, When to start MBA interview practice? How to prepare?
The above posts are my general remarks on MBA admissions interview strategy and apply here.

The interviewer will only have access to your resume. Interviewers for McCombs (students, admissions officer, or alumni) try to create a friendly interview atmosphere. This is an interview about fit and your own potential, so make sure you can explain in depth why you want to attend McCombs, how you will contribute to it, and what you intend to do afterwords. You may want to look at an interview I conducted with a former client who was a McCombs Adcom member. Previous contact with alumni, visits to campus, and/or intensive school research are all great ways to prepare as showing fit for McCombs is critical.

Must interviews last about 45 minutes with some going for an hour and a few lasting only 30 minutes.

I see no reports of any trick questions really, but you must be prepared to address weakness, failure, and what you want to learn at McCombs. Be prepared to ask questions about the program. If you have an alum interview, be prepared to have a number of questions.

The Questions
Like he has done with many other schools, my colleague, Steve Green has compiled the following list of questions from from all the reports submitted to accepted.com   and clearadmit.com.  In addition to our client reports, we use lists of questions like these as part of our prep sessions with clients.

Tell me about your background. / Tell me about yourself.
What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment?
Tell me about the highlight of your career so far.
What is the most difficult professional decision you ever made?

Why do you want an MBA now? / Tell me 3 reasons you want an MBA.
Why McCombs?  / Tell me three reasons you want to go to McCombs.
What attracts you the most in the McCombs MBA program?
What do you hope to see in your fellow students?
It's the first day of class and new students are being introduced. What do you look for in the introductions?
What will you bring to McCombs?  / How will you contribute/add value to McCombs?
How do you want to be associated with McCombs 10 years after you graduate?
What other MBA programs have you applied to?
What do you want to do after business school?

Describe a leader you admire.
How are you applying the qualities that you admire in this leader in your own leadership?
Tell me about your experience leading teams.

Tell me about a time when you worked with someone who was not pulling their own weight.
What would you look for in a successful team?
What qualities do you like in your teammates?
What do you not like in a team member?
What are 3 ways you contribute uniquely to teams?

Strengths and Weaknesses
How would your boss describe you?
How would your co-workers describe you?
How would you introduce and describe yourself at a cocktail party?
What is the weakest part of your application?
What is the strongest part of your application?
When you have you put forward an idea and failed? What happened?
Describe a work scenario that was outside your comfort zone and how you handled it with a creative solution.
When you have you put forward an idea and failed? What happened?
If you had two round-trip tickets to anywhere, where would you go and whom would you take?
What did you learn about yourself after going through the application process?
Tell me about a time when you improved a process?

Do you have any questions for me?

Best of luck with your McCombs interview!

-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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