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Cambridge Judge MBA Interviews

Interview Tips & Questions from Past candidates

Cambridge Judge MBA Interview

As per the Cambridge Judge Business School website – “We want people who have:

  • excelled in previous academic achievements (top 25 per cent of class in undergraduate degree)
  • are highly motivated and ambitious, thrive under pressure, and have already exhibited clear progression within their career
  • have had some international experiences through their work and have a global outlook
  • are confident, creative, innovative, with strong interpersonal and collaborative skills
  • an interesting and varied life outside their work

Typically we would invite to the Cambridge Judge MBA interview about half the applicants in each round but this is not exact and really depends on the quality. Ultimately we have a small class (approx. 160) compared to many schools so the application stage is competitive.

All interviews are conducted by faculty members – either at our on campus day or by telephone/Skype. We NEVER use alumni or other staff so the process is fair and consistent.

A telephone interview will not undermine your chances. But you would of course have greater scope to assess the program and environment of the business school if you attended in person.”

Who will interview you, and how long will the interview last?

Like most Business schools, the Cambridge Judge interview is taken by a Professor or Advisory committee Team. The interview is usually done by one member from the team. The interview typically lasts for 25-30 minutes or may extend to 35-40 minutes in some instances.

Will the interviewer have read my application?

It is always safer to assume that the Panel members have access to your complete application. In most instances, they would have read it completely. Unless the school specifically says that it will be an blind interview. Mostly North American Business schools in US and Canada have an  Blind interviews, European and SE Asian schools conduct interviews via Alums or panels which have full access to your entire application. 

How can you prepare for your interview?

Like most MBA Interviews, your interview will mainly revolve around a pretty similar set of MBA interview questions. You can never predict what questions will be asked, but with enough research, you can predict what are the most commonly asked questions in these interviews. We have created a short FAQ list below to get you a jump start, and we also have a free guide linked below to help you prepare for these commonly asked interview questions.

Cambridge Judge MBA Frequently Asked Interview Questions

  1. Tell me something about yourself?
  2. Walk me through your resume?
  3. Why MBA? Why Cambridge Judge school?
  4. Why MBA now or Why MBA at this stage of your career?
  5. What is your short & long term goals?
  6. What is your Plan B if consulting/Investment banking does not happen?
  7. What are your key strengths? Can you give some examples please?
  8. What is your biggest weakness ? Can you give some examples please?
  9. How can you add value to the Class?
  10. Why should we take you?
  11. One reason that we should not select you?
  12. Interests and Hobbies – Be prepared!.. questions as basic as “Why do you do poetry (or any other activity” may be asked.
  13. Some Situational & Behavioral Question
    • What would you describe are your greatest achievement to date?
    • Give me an example of a time you faced a conflict while working on a team. How did you handle that?
    • Give me an example of a time when you did not meet a client’s expectation. What happened, and how did you attempt to rectify the situation?
  14. Case questions are fairly common in MBA interview especially for consulting aspirants. Below are a few sample for to practice for:
    • How many Golf balls can fit in a Boeing 747?
    • What’s the global market size for smartphones?
  15. Do you have any Question for us?

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Cambridge Judge MBA Interview Questions – 1

The interviewer asked me:

  1. To walk him through my resume.
  2. Why MBA? Why Now?
  3. Why cambridge? What’s something you like?
  4. If you had one minute to appeal to the Admission Committee, what would you say?
  5. What makes a good leader?
  6. Tell me about an experience where you worked in a team?
  7. Your proudest achievement
  8. One thing you regret in your career

The interview went well indeed!

Cambridge Judge MBA Interview Questions – 2

The questions asked were easy and normal. It went on for around 30 minutes or so.

  1. Walk me through your resume
  2. What are your career goals? Why do you want to do an MBA?
  3. What has been the biggest achievement in your life?
  4. What is your management style?
  5. Describe a time when you failed in a team.
  6. What do you think are your weaknesses?
  7. Any questions you would like to ask?

Overall the interview went well.

Cambridge Judge MBA Interview Questions – 3

My interviewer was a professor on operations management and research and we had the interview in her faculty chamber. It lasted about 25 minutes and I saw it more as Story-boarding exercise rather than an interrogative deep dive into your resume or behavioural questions (since most of these are covered in the essays). And it definitely was a 2 way process with the professor talking a bit about what Cambridge can offer in line with my goals.

– Why MBA (I also did a 1 min elevator pitch with her permission so that she knows my background and how the MBA fits into the larger picture)

– Why Cambridge (Some exaplanation from her on what are Cambridges values and expectations from a Candidate, after I completed my answer)

– We discussed a bit about Cambridge’s faculty, books etc.

– Why 1 yr and long-term goals (got answered in the above 2 questions)

– What would be your post-mba job? why?

– She talked a bit about Cambridge’s learning centres and Entrepreneurship, which gave me an opportunity to talk about my role in Clubs and what activities I will do while on-campus

– we broke out talking a bit about running/extra-curriculars in-between.

She then requested a few questions and I had 3, which meant we spent some more time talking. Towards the end of the interview, when we walked back to the common room she asked me about other schools I applied too and was surprised I did not apply to Oxford Said, despite working in Oxford city. I had a solid rationale to explain and that was a great closing note for us to part.

We invite candidates to come to Cambridge for an evening and a day to interview with a member of faculty, talk about their career ambitions with a professional coach, and network with fellow candidates at a Cambridge College dinner. Compared to many programmes, this process is fairly extensive – so why do we do it like this and what do candidates gain from the experience?

College dinner

The evening before the interview, we invite candidates for dinner at one of the University’s Colleges. Candidates have a chance to get to know each other, and most importantly, start to develop their Cambridge network. We encourage candidates to foster their network at the earliest opportunity, through the interview day as well as careers treks and welcome events. The 12-month programme is incredibly intense, and candidates will be at an advantage if they start getting to know their classmates early – alumni have been known to form business partnerships at this dinner!

Candidates also get a taste of one of the unique aspects of Cambridge College life – the formal hall, one that has underpinned the traditions of networking and academic debate here in Cambridge. We’ve previously hosted interview dinners in the beautiful Cripps Dining Hall at Queens’ College, and among the stained glass crests of Trinity Hall’s dining hall.

Interview with a member of faculty

The Cambridge MBA is one of very few MBA programmes where all prospective candidates must be interviewed by a member of the academic faculty. This means that candidates get to meet the people who will actually be teaching them, and the professors themselves can assess academic ability, and contribute to the profile of the class, giving their vital insight into who they think will work well together in that year’s cohort.

Meeting with careers coach

Small groups of candidates meet with one of our external careers coaches, and have the opportunity to talk about their career plans and ideas, and how the Cambridge MBA could help them to realise their aspirations.

Crucially, the careers coaches have worked in industry, and know what employers are looking for in an MBA candidate, and have an insight into if candidates’ ideas are realistic and achievable. The discussions are very much led by students’ interests and provide them with a raft of ideas to think about once they have left Cambridge, regardless of if they ultimately receive an offer.

Lunch and tour of Cambridge

At lunch, candidates (and their partners, if they have come along) can meet current students and ask them in detail about Cambridge life and their experience so far. After lunch, candidates and partners are given guided tour of Cambridge, to give them a feel for the wider University and the city in which they are coming to study.

Vivian Li, from the current Cambridge MBA class, says:

“One of the things I remember strongly about my interview was the welcoming feeling that the admissions team provided. Chatting during the welcome dinner, it was clear that they knew each of our backgrounds very well, and that they had dedicated time getting to know all of our applications, as well as telling the candidates what they could offer in order to find a mutual fit.”

Natasha Takhar, MBA Admissions Coordinator, offers her advice to candidates preparing for their interview day:

“My advice is firstly to be honest and open about yourself and your future goals.

Bring your partner with you if they are going to be moving to Cambridge with you. Your choice of business school is a big decision and your success will depend on the support of those around you.

And finally, enjoy the day! Cambridge is a wonderful city and location for study and we hope to give you taste of this at the interview. Talk to people and be curious – you will make connections here, wherever you finally undertake your MBA!”

Clients Testimonials

Cambridge Judge MBA Interview Questions – 4

I was interviewed at the College, on Feb 26, 18

The Ultimate Decision: Admitted

“Cambridge did an incredible job hosting gathering where the interviews took place. We got to Queen’s College in time for dinner, and the evening began with some networking drinks with a larger group of individuals than I had anticipated (maybe 75 or so). The dinner was delicious, and the candidates who sat next to me were wonderful company for the rest of the evening and the next day.

The following morning, at 8:30 a.m., we reported to the building housing the business school, where we were greeted with beverages and some simple breakfast fare. We were also given our agenda for the day.

Everyone’s day was different, but mine began with a faculty interview (which was over and done with before many others!), continued with a presentation on ” why Cambridge” (at which everyone was present), included a ” careers workshop” led by a careers consultant, included lunch with current students, and concluded with a walking tour of Cambridge.

The interview itself consisted of a walk through my profession, my reasoning behind attending business school, and my thoughts on life following, along with a couple of problems that were a bit challenging. Compared to past interviews, this one had a more serious tone and felt less like a casual conversation.

Cambridge Judge MBA Interview Questions – 5

I was interviewed at the College on Oct 21, 19.
The Ultimate Choice: Matriculating
 
“I chose to participate in the face-to-face interview, and I was one of the fortunate few to be offered housing at Westminster College. However, they only provided for one night, so I got in touch with the institution to see if I could extend it for another night at my own expense.
It began with a spectacular meal consisting of three courses that were served in the old hall of Queen’s College. There were more people there than I had anticipated; I would estimate that there were between seventy and eighty people in that hall. These individuals were interviewees, staff members, and existing students. It’s a great chance to engage with them and ask them virtually anything on this excellent occasion.
 
The following morning, we were driven in a cab from the college to the business school, where we were briefed on our agenda for the entire day. Every person receives a detailed schedule that specifies when their careers-team talk will take place, who will conduct the interview, and at what time the interview will take place. If you are fortunate, you will have a little bit more time to research your interviewer; nonetheless, after obtaining the schedule, some people just have 15 minutes to get ready for their interview!
 
According to what I can recall, the questions that I was asked were as follows:
 
1. Can you tell me about the steps you’ve taken so far in your career, why you think an MBA is necessary to take those steps, and why you want to be a judge? (yes, in one question)
 
2. Please tell me about a breakthrough in technology that occurred within the past ten years that you consider to be of great importance.
 
3. Describe a time when you had a change of heart about something.
 
4. How do you define leadership, and how do you try to model it for others? (Because I am a line manager, he asked me this question).
 
There were a couple more questions pertaining to behavior, but I felt like my memory was wiped completely, lol. Even though the interviewer was really pleasant to talk to, he maintained a neutral expression during the entire conversation, which was a little unnerving. When I thought back on my performance, I recognized that although the interview did feel more like an intellectual discussion than a traditional interview, I gave the sense that I did rather poorly and could have done better.
 
Following the interview, there was a walking tour, and the guide was outstanding 🙂 Face-to-face interviews are strongly encouraged.
 
Even though I had a lower-than-average GMAT score, I was still offered admission 14 days after the interview. This demonstrates that the GMAT is simply one of many factors that are considered and that they do look at the applicant as a whole. We wish anyone who plans to apply in the future the best of luck!

Cambridge Judge MBA Interview Questions – 6

I was interviewed on Skype on: Oct 26, 20
The Ultimate Choice: Admitted
 
“We conducted the interview through Skype. They had provided me with the information about the person I would be interviewing well in advance so that I could review his profile, do research, etc. The interview started exactly at the appointed hour. During the course of the conversation, I was given the opportunity to answer the following questions:
 
1) My previous professional experience, my short-term and long-term ambitions, why I want an MBA, and why Cambridge judge (all of this in one question, yes)
2) Which recent developments in digital technology do I consider to be significant?
3) Can you think of an instance in which things did not go according to plan? How did you handle the situation that you were in?
4) Can you tell me about a moment when you went against the popular opinion?
5) Any questions for me?
 
In the previous question, I inquired about his research, and in the following question, I inquired about chances to conduct research and collaborate with students from a variety of academic fields.
 
He paid close attention to my responses while maintaining a neutral expression, which prevented me from gaining much insight from the dialogue. However, he did bring the topic back around to my answers and what I want to accomplish while I’m at Judge, so I knew that he was satisfied with the information I provided.
 
In general, my responses were pretty honest, and I was able to communicate about my experiences in a way that was both clear and in-depth.
 
Three days following my interview, I was informed that I had been successful.

 

Cambridge Judge MBA Interview Questions – 7

I was interviewed Online on Dec 2, 21
The Ultimate Choice: Matriculating
 
“My experience with Cambridge’s interview process was quite pleasant. Despite the fact that I had done a very little preparatory study on my Interviewer professor, I had joined the meeting via Zoom invite a full half hour before everyone else. The lecturer displayed a high level of courtesy and friendliness. The interview was conducted in a fairly conversational style, and the topics we discussed flowed well from one to the next as we went through the list of questions. In addition, we had a fruitful off-topic conversation about music, which brought us perilously near to exceeding the allotted amount of time for the interview. Overall, there were 25 minutes of questions, followed by five minutes for me to ask questions. There were questions asked out of order.
 
Why MBA? Why settle in Cambridge?
The reasoning that went into making the decisions that led to the progression of my career up until this point.
 
What do I anticipate the future of the music industry to be like in the next ten years?
The strengths, the flaws, and the type of leadership.
 
How do you intend to make the most of your MBA, given that it only takes one year to complete and the fact that you can do a variety of things?
 
I was informed of the admissions decision eight days after my interview.

 

Cambridge Judge MBA Interview Questions – 8

 
I was interviewed Online on Nov 29, 21 The Ultimate Choice:
Matriculating
 
“The interview took place on Zoom and lasted for close to a quarter of an hour. It was an academic discussion that moved quickly and was extremely conversational in nature.
 
The professor began the interview by asking the most anticipated question, which was why Cambridge MBA. My response included (i) a brief introduction to myself; (ii) a statement of both my short-term and long-term professional objective; and (iii) an explanation of where Cambridge MBA comes into the picture.
After that, he inquired about a few additional things, including:
 
1. Given the excellent career opportunities available to you at your current organization, why don’t you choose to remain there?
2. In your work existence, what do you consider to be the most challenging decision you’ve ever had to make?
3. What are the most significant challenges that the economy is currently contending with today?
4. Describe to me a business concept that you have been mulling over in the past five years and explain how you would put it into action (he emphasized that it does not have to be something that you have really done).
During the final five minutes of our conversation, he also gave me the option to ask questions.
 
In general, it was a pleasant experience. He did challenge me when he had the impression that he was somewhat in disagreement with my argument, but I responded to his issue head-on. Because of this, I had the impression that we were having a more intelligent debate.
 
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll get some good news in the coming week or two.

 

Cambridge Judge MBA Interview Questions – 9

I was interviewed Online on: Mar 22, 22

“Online interview for the Executive Master of Business Administration”

1. Why Cambridge? Why Have an MBA?

2. Which classes do I look forward to the most, and which classes do I look forward to the least?

3. In ten years, in what position do I wish to find myself?

4. Do I believe I have accumulated enough work experience to pursue an MBA?

5. What do I anticipate will have the greatest influence on the economy in the next ten years? What steps would I take if I were in charge of the country?

6. “What was the one idea that was the most creative that I’ve ever had?”

I was informed of the admissions decision ten days after my interview.

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