CMU Tepper MBA Interview
Tepper School of Business attracts many Indian applicants. It has a high average GMAT of 690.
CMU Tepper interviews are generally conducted over a skype call if the applicant is outside U.S. or the alumnus and on campus interviews. Tepper interviews are taken by the admissions committee member.
Tepper Interviews are generally held for about 30-40 minutes. The interviews at CMU Tepper held very casually and the interviews panel makes the candidate very comfortable during the interview.
Frequently Asked Interview Questions
Short term and long term goals? Why MBA now?
What do you like best about Tepper?
Tell me about yourself. Include your academic and professional background.
Which clubs are you interested in?
What will be your biggest contribution to Tepper community.
Who have you spoken with at Tepper to learn about the culture
Describe how you see your career unfold in next 2 years, 5 years and 10 years to the best of your knowledge
Something that you will like to share from outside work.
Tell me something about you that’s not on your resume or in your application
Teamwork is a highly valued attribute in any MBA aspirant. Tell me your role in the team. Give me an example where you were a part of a difficult team situation and the steps you took to resolve the issue.
What do you think is the weakest part of your application.
What are the traits that you look for in a great leader?
Talk about your cross cultural experiences and what you learnt from them.
Tepper values leadership. Tell me about your leadership style. Mention an example where you displayed leadership.
Any questions for us?
Interview Transcript - 1
Interview was pretty informal. It was blind, but the adcom had a copy of my resume in front of her.
-Walk me through resume
-Specific question on one of my positions (position X)
-Tell me more about global experiences during Position X
-Do you have an example of working in a team/what type of leader question
-Why did you move from Company X to Company Y
-What did you learn moving from Company X to Company Y
-Short term goals?
-How are you qualified for short-term goals?
That was about it. She answered some of my questions. The interview was pretty informal; everyone at Tepper was extremely welcoming, so I didn’t feel stressed during it.
Interview Transcript - 2
The interview was pretty straightforward and quick. The interviewer was friendly and willing to be very helpful.
- Walk me through your education and professional experiences.
- What are you looking forward to after your MBA? What are your career goals?
- 35 Nationalities are represented at Tepper. Can you tell me about a time when you encountered a different culture at work – not necessarily people from a different nationality and how did you adapt to this difference in culture?
- Tell me about a time when your work had an unexpected impact on another team?
- Tell me about a time when you did something that others in the team did not want to do?
- Tell me about a situation when you had to work on something you did not have any idea about?
- Is there anything about yourself you want to highlight about yourself apart from these?
- Any questions?
I was caught off guard by some of the questions but hopefully, was able to provide good responses. I would suggest thinking deeply through your experiences and identify certain key moments and talk about learning through these moments.
Interview Transcript - 3
I applied to second round and was invited on 15th of January. Originally I was invited to interview in hub cities with Adcom but I could not arrange the trip due to visa issue. So I ended up schedule interview with another Adcom via Skype. My interview was on 12th of February. It was very conversational and he seemed to be very professional in keeping the interview interesting and moving it forward. He did not take note at all. Overall, he looked for how much I had researched about Tepper and why I want Tepper.
Here were the questions.
– Why MBA? (I did not get “Walk through resume”)
– Short-term goal
– How I did research on Tepper?
– What is the important trait of leader?
– When work in team, how do you interact with other function?
– How do you solve conflict?
– What do you prefer outside work?
– What is challenge in your work?
– What is your strength as leader?
– Do you want to work abroad?
I had an issue with Skype at the start of interview. I was 10 minutes late when I could connect with him. He was so kind waiting me and did not mind about my problem.
Interview Transcript - 4
I was invited to Tepper’s Women’s weekend, which was held on campus. There were about 50 women there, and there was a day of events geared towards showing women why Tepper is a good place to pursue an MBA. It was an exhausting day, with a lot of sessions including a mock class, a presentation by career services, etc. I interviewed first thing in the morning, but the interviews ran all day.
The interview went okay, but it did seem a bit rehearsed on the interviewer’s end. She formatted it as Past, Present, Future. Talking about past experience, motivations for applying now, and what my post-MBA plans are. There were a lot of questions and I didn’t have too much time to ask questions at the end.
Walk me through your résumé.
Why an MBA?
Tell me a time where you had to make a quick decision.
Tell me a time where you interacted with someone from a different culture/ethnicity at work. (Recommendation to all interviewees – PREPARE FOR THIS QUESTION)
Tell me a time where you had to overcome a challenge at work.
Tell me time where you applied something you learned outside of work at work.
What are your Post-MBA plans?
What is your Plan B?
What will be the most difficult part of transitioning into an MBA program for you?
Interview Transcript - 5
Interview was held on Skype. The interview was blind. She had only seen my résumé. Lasted 34 minutes with questions.
- Go through your résumé
- Why an MBA why now?
- What are your post MBA goals?
- Plan B?
- You’ve worked in multiple industries. How do you go about making decision to move from one to the next, what resources to you use in making your decisions and those moves?
- A story of teamwork where you had to compromise for the team to succeed
- Talk about your leadership style, how has it changed and give an example of a time when you motivated a coworker or team.
- Example of diverse workplace or diverse personal experience where you had cultural differences within a the team or with an individual and how did you solve that difference to work together?
- Through your research and interactions what drew you to Tepper and why is Tepper the right program for you?
- Question for me
Some of the questions stumped me as they were a twist on what I was expecting. I tried my best to adapt but at times rambled a bit too long. Stay calm be brief, focus on the question at hand. I found it very helpful to take some notes as the interviewer asked the question to make sure I answered all parts as many were multipart questions. Overall I think it went well. The interviewer was very friendly.
Interview Transcript - 6
Scheduled the interview on the 14th October with Emily Archambeault.
She was very kind and started off with a pep talk about the weekends, travel plan etc. We even discussed about my marriage and came to know that she is about to get married very soon. She told me that she had not gone through my complete application and just had my resume with her.
Then started the typical conversation. Would list down the questions.
- Why MBA
Related to it my present experience and aspired role. How MBA will helpme and How Tepper will help me
- Why Tepper
Consulting Club- Boot camp, Sunday Night interviews, Consulting Trek
Small class size. Stron relationship with faculty and students.
- Job roles and Responsibilities
- What difficulty is your organization facing
- One incident where you worked with senior team. How did you work and how did you learn
- Cultural Differences faced in organization
- What if not Management Consulting
- Conflicting Situation. How you handled it
- Extracurricular activities.
- Name of students you interacted with. How was the experience.
- Do you have anything to ask.
Asked about the typical day at Tepper and about Scholarship.
She told that she would connect me with the students and the financial aid team
I think that is pretty much it. It lasted for half an hour exact.
Feel free to ask any questions. Would be glad to help out.
Interview Transcript - 7
Had my interview with Ms. Jones on the 14th via Skype. It flowed naturally and was over in exactly 30 minutes.
She started with some key points about Tepper and told me that this was a blind interview so I shouldn’t worry about mentioning things that might be there in other parts of the application.
The questions were:
- Tell me about what you’ve been doing since your UG.
- What’s your post MBA goal?
- Alternate post MBA goal
- Tell me about a time when you helped other people attain their goals.
- How do you handle criticism as a leader/manage conflict?
- How did you learn things that your job demanded but undergrad didn’t provide?
- What kind of international experience have you had?
- Why Tepper?
One thing that the interviewer did was sort of summarize my answers after I uttered them. Eg: “So its very nice to know that you took out time from work to do…”.
I don’t know what that means. I hope it was only a way to make the conversation seem like a chat rather than an interview and not that I wasn’t ending my answers properly. Let’s see.
Interview Transcript - 8
My interview was scheduled for today with Emily Archambeault.
She came across as very friendly and warm person. Started by making me comfortable, asked me about the correct pronunciation of my name and what it means etc. The interview was very conversational in general and she was making notes throughout.
The questions were pretty basic in nature:
How MBA seems to be the next step to what I am doing currently.
Post MBA plan.
Alternate plan if immediate plan does not work out.
What do I know about Tepper and how that interests me.
My work and any interesting experience that I had with clients.
Any conflicting situation at work, culturally or otherwise. How I handled it.
My key takeaways from working in a multi-cultural organization.
Any situation where I worked over something I had little knowledge about. How did I cope with it.
Any situation where the client did not seem too happy with the kind of solutions provided. What was my learning there. How did I handle the situation. What could I have done differently.
What are my personal hobbies.
I had mentioned during the discussion that I am involved in diversity team. Asked me to describe my experience.
I realized I spoke a lot, despite my mind going completely blank the moment the Skype call started
However she was extremely patient and listened intently, while making notes all the time.
She ended with asking me if I had questions for her. In the end wanted me to ask her “one last question”, despite the call crossing 35 minutes by then. I wonder what made her.
Overall it was far better than I was dreading, considering this was my first ever interview. In hindsight I realized I could have mentioned some other things that I totally forgot about.
My suggestion: Do not try to over sell yourself, definitely not talk about what you haven’t done. They are not looking for your achievements and awards but want to know if you will fit well with the kind of culture the Tepper community has to offer.
Interview Transcript - 9
I was ecstatic at having received an interview invite within a couple of days of submitting the application. I chose to interview over Skype as Tepper does provide you an option to do that.
I was a little late in scheduling the interview and that meant I was supposed to be interviewed at 2 A.M on a Friday night. Tepper conducts all its interviews via ad-com members. Its a half an hour interview and its best to dress up in formals irrespective of the fact that the interview happens over a video call.
My interviewer was a little late, but she was polite enough to let me know that. The interview started at 2:08 and the opening note was “Good morning, Good evening or Good afternoon wherever you are”. I swallowed the rudeness and with a smile on my face told her that I was in India and it was 2 A.M at night (The fact that she chose to ignore). She said that the interview was a very important part of the evaluation process and she will be taking notes as I speak.
Also she said that she would be asking me a series of experiential questions and it was alright if I needed sometime to think.
- Short Term and Long Term goals after MBA
- What were my alternate career plans in case I am unable to achieve my goals ?
- My experience of working in a multicultural environment and any problems that I may have faced because of it.
- Narrate an example
- When I had to do something that I was not comfortable with, in the larger interest of the team.
- When I had to convince my superiors and peers of something that they were not really convinced of.
- Of managerial responsibility at work or otherwise – (Since I had mentioned that I do not have any direct reportees)
Overall the interview lasted only 20 minutes. At 2:25 she said, she was done with her set of questions and asked me
if I had any. I asked her a couple of questions on the life at Tepper and challenges faced by international students, to which she answered.
Interview Transcript - 10
I scheduled my Skype interview online with the Tepper adcom – MJ Wrobleski. The interview started just a few minutes late. I was freaking out when I did not get a Skype invite on the dot, so I searched for my interviewer on Skype and added her to my contact list and sent her a reminder that we have an interview scheduled.
For those with invites, I’d recommend you wait if your interview has not yet started. It could be that the previous interview ran long or the adcom might be busy with something else for a few minutes. Unless it’s WAY past interview time (15 minutes past), and you have still not received word from the adcom, you can then reach out. But otherwise, I’d say give them the benefit of doubt and keep calm.
Anyway, my interviewer was chirpy and friendly and I was at ease a few minutes into the interview. The questions I got asked were fairly standard, so you should have no surprises as long as you are prepared with the standard list of interview questions.
These are the questions that I got asked:
What are your career goals?
Talk about a time you had to take an unpopular decision at work. How did it affect you and your team?
Talk about a time you motivated your team to work towards a common goal.
Talk about a time you didn’t have the skills required to do a particular job so you had to ask for help.
[I took about 30 seconds or so to think about an answer to this question, as I wasn’t prepared for this.]
Talk about a time you had to work with someone you had cultural differences with. How did you resolve these
Talk about a time you had a disagreement at work (maybe you gave an idea that was not implemented) and you had to compromise.
That was pretty much it. Overall it took just about 20 minutes to answer all the above questions.
Then we had about 5 minutes for Q&A where I asked:
Are there any facts you feel like prospective applicants should know about Tepper but don’t?
What’s it like living in Pittsburg?