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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 13, 2014

Preparing for New York University Stern MBA Admissions Interviews

In this post I discuss preparing for New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business MBA admissions interviews.

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.

NYU Stern’s Isser Gallogy, Assistant Dean, MBA Admissions,   provides short audio advice on admissions interviews (What follows is mostly a transcription):
1. Interviews are by invitation only. About 20-25% of MBA applicants are invited to interview.
2. Nearly all interviews are conducted by Stern’s Admissions Committee. 
3. Stern admissions interviews are not blind.  Your interviewer will have read your application. 
4. The majority of interviews are held on-campus at Stern.
5. It will be a highly personal and individualized exchange and goes beyond what you presented in your application. 
6. Be ready to discuss your post-MBA career path and why Stern can help you achieve your goals. 
7. Come prepared with questions for the interviewer.
8. To prepare, re-read your application and consider what further insight you can provide since submitting your application. 
9. Take some time to practice interviewing.
10. Relax. About 70% of those interviewed are admitted.
Based on interview reports, unlike the interviews at HBS, which tend to involve lots of individualized questions for applicants, NYU interviewers (like those at LBS) will have read your application for sure, but their questions are likely to be very standard as you will see below. Even though the Stern interview might not be as hard as HBS, I would recommend using the active strategy and method I discuss in my HBS interview post. If you utilize this method of preparation you will be well prepared for handling NYU’s  interview. Stern interviewers are consistently described as friendly and the interview should last 30 minutes.

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.

  • Detailed questions about personal / creative essay.
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What do you feel is the weakest part of your resume?
  • How did you end up in your current job?
  •  How did (a previous role) help you in your current role?
  • What frustrates you most at your current role?
  • Why did you leave company X to join company Y?
  • Why did you choose company Z after graduation?
  • Why did you choose your undergrad school? What is your best memory of your time there?
  • Tell me what you like to do in your free time?

Why MBA?  Why Stern?
  • Why Stern?
  • What one thing draws you to Stern?
  • What other schools are you applying to?
  • How did you first hear about Stern, and in what ways did you learn about it?
  •  Is Stern your first choice? If admitted to other schools, what will be your criteria for choosing?
  • Why do you think you are ready for an MBA at this point in your career?
  • Why now?
  • Why do you want to do your MBA in NYC?
  • What do you like about New York? Which neighborhoods would you consider living in?
  • What are specific Stern programs that will help you?
  • Where do you want to do your summer internship? How will you market yourself to that firm? What is your backup plan if you do not get your first choice?
  • Which clubs do you want to participate in?
  • What do you bring to the Stern community?
  • What are you hoping to learn from your future classmates?
  • How will you distinguish yourself during the first few weeks at Stern?
  • What are you looking forward to at Stern?
  • What most surprises you about Stern?
  • What would you like me to think when I introduce you at graduation?
  • What job do you imagine yourself doing during your first summer break?
  • What makes Stern's culture different from others?
  • Which county would you choose for "Doing Business In"? Why?

  • What is the main difference between your current position and your goals?
  • How will your post-MBA role be different from your current role?
  • What companies would you like to work for after graduation, and why?
  •  What five companies do you want to work for after graduation?
  •   How would you market yourself in your target industry?
  • What is your Plan B if you do not get your dream job?
  •  As a foreign national, how will you find a job outside your country?
  •  If you were asked to speak at Stern 25 years from now, how would you want to be introduced?

Strengths and Weaknesses
  • What would your supervisor say is one of your strengths? One of your weaknesses?
  • What is the best constructive criticism your boss has ever given you?
  •   How would your friends describe you?
  • What could prevent you from achieving your short-term goals?
  •  What has been your greatest achievement in your current job?
  • What is something (work or non-work) that you are proud of?
  •  Tell me about a challenging time or a time you failed. What did you learn?
  •  Tell me about a conflict you faced and how your overcame it.

Leadership and Teamwork
  • What is your leadership style?
  • Tell me about a time you led a team through a difficult situation?
  •  What is your role on a team?

  • Is there anything else you'd like me to know?
  • Any questions for me?
Best of luck with your NYU Stern MBA 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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