Michigan Ross MBA Interview
Michigan Ross MBA Interview is 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.
Length of Ross MBA 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, 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 Ross.
Interview tips from the Ross MBA adcom
Frequently Asked Interview Questions
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why Ross? What about Ross made you apply?
- Ross’ strengths is the focus on team work, can you give me an example of when you worked in a team, what was your role and how did you contribute?
- How do you think you can contribute to Ross Community?
- Tell us about a time when you received negative feedback from a supervisor and how did you respond.
- Tell us about a time you showed initiative
- Apart from MAP, how do you hope to become involved on campus at Ross?
- What do you do outside of work? How would you be involved outside of class?
- What do you hope to get out of an MBA?
- What is your dream job coming out of school? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Interview Transcript - 1
The blind interview was conducted by local alumnus off-campus in India, and lasted ~1hr. The tone was positive throughout and format conversational and free flowing, even though the interviewer was referring to Excel sheet and constantly making notes.
We covered a wide range of topics and experiences which I believe allowed me to present a complete picture of my candidacy and fit for Ross. Certain questions, I felt it necessary to further build on my answer without explicitly having been asked the question. Perhaps this was appreciated by the interviewer. The positive interview helped me get into a very positive mindset for the subsequent off-campus Team Exercise.
- We started by comparing notes on our common first employer, comparing and contrasting industry trends and practices more recently vs. during the interviewer’s time. Along with presenting my learnings during the role and rationale for joining, I additionally shared my perspectives on the industry going forward.
- Which other programs are you applying to? Explaining my program choices, I then built into why Ross specifically stands out.
- What are your post MBA goals and what kind of companies are you looking at. Do these companies recruit at Ross?
- Whom have you spoken to about Ross and what is the impression you got?
- What would you say is your 1 strength, and 2 weaknesses?
- How did you imbibe a unique multicultural awareness working across different cultures, and how did you adapt? This was a detailed question with detailed follow-ups on the challenges faced and how unique insights imbibed allowed my team and I to overcome these challenges and drive impact. This then led to questions on my leadership style.
- How will you contribute to the clubs and activities at Ross?
- Any questions for me?
Interview Transcript - 2
I interviewed on February 16 for Round 2. The interview was conducted via Skype by a 2nd-year student.
The interview was very nice and the interviewer tried to make it like a conversation between old friends, and to reduce the pressure that was on me.
The total interview was about 45 minutes. The first 35 minutes he asked me questions and the last 10 minutes, I asked him some questions about Ross and Ann Arbor in general.
The questions were:
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why would you like to pursue an MBA now?
- What is your career goal?
- Why Ross?
- Tell me about a leadership experience of yours.
- How would you characterize a true leader?
- Tell me about a conflict you have had with your boss. How did you manage to resolve it?
- Finally, he asked me if I had any questions for him, I asked 3 questions although he seemed a little bit nervous at the end of the interview.
I was not surprised about any questions he asked me. He tried to keep a good and pleasant atmosphere during the interview.
Interview Transcript - 3
Ross is my first interview this year and I got in. The interviewer works as a banker at Beijing.
- Walk me through your résumé.
- Why MBA/ Why now/ Why Ross? These questions almost naturally combined together. He asked if I have applied to the dual-degree at Erb Institute. I didn’t.
- We then discussed something about my current employer’s business. What’s your company’s business about? What are the disadvantages of your company’s products? Why some end users still prefer to use your company’s products?
- He asked for more clarification of a recent cross-sector transition on my job.
- Spotted something about investor relationship management on my resume and asked for details.
- Then we moved on to behavior questions. Tell me a case where you resolve a conflict within a team. Tell me a situation where you need to change your own idea. Give me an example of you mentoring others.
- In the end, he asked for one of my characteristics that would enable me to contribute to Ross.
Upon reflection, I believe that to show how you fit the school is more important than convincing the interviewer how the school’s resources are going to help you achieve your career goals. Especially when the alumni have graduated for many years and they really don’t know what’s going on specifically at school.
Interview Transcript - 4
I met the interviewer at a coffee shop at one of Ross’ “Off-Campus Hubs.” Ross does a typical blind interview where the interviewer has only your résumé. My interviewer came on time and was able to immediately identify me (I was surprised by this as the coffee shop was full of people in business suits all around the same age). After we sat down I handed him a paper copy of my résumé and the interview began.
Questions were pretty straightforward. He started with a typical “walk me through your résumé” question, with the notable difference that he wanted me to bring me all the way up to my reasons for deciding to do an MBA. He stopped me at a few points to gain a better understanding so it was important to remember to where I left off. Thankfully the interviewer and I had a very similar background so my career moves and reasons for an MBA all made sense to him and he let me know that he knew where I was coming from.
Quickly we progressed into the “Why Ross” and “How do I plan to contribute at Ross” questions. Since I had researched the school very thoroughly, I was prepared for these questions. I chose to highlight a few things that made Ross very different and since my interviewer participated in these activities I began asking him questions about his experiences. When we got back to interviewing there was a situational question about working with diverse individuals, but that was all. The rest of the time I continued to ask him questions about his experience and he provided me with not only information about Ross, but also general MBA tips.
I was fortunate to have been interviewed by a number of schools in a number of settings, alumnus, 2nd year, and adcom. By far this was the most conversational, but also the one where I felt it was to my benefit to know Ross very thoroughly. Since I did an off-campus interview I was concerned I would be penalized for not being able to participate in the on-campus team based event or that my interview experience would somehow be “lesser-than” those who interview on-campus. I did not feel that this was the case at all and one of my biggest pieces of advice for future applicants would be to not worry about the quality of alumni interviewers from Ross. My interviewer was truly top notch and probably the best one I had during my application cycle.
My biggest takeaways from this interview for future applicants doing an off-campus interview with a Ross alumnus:
- Know the school inside and out. It isn’t sufficient to hope that you will get a lot of “situational” questions. Most of my conversation revolved around the school after we got through the typical resume – why MBA – why Ross — what do you hope to contribute questions.
- Do dig deep on the questions to your interviewer if he or she participated in any of the activities you want to participate in at Ross. I found that by doing so it not only helped build a rapport with the interviewer, but it also answered a lot of questions I had about the school.
- Do keep it conversational. My interviewer mentioned several times at the beginning that this was meant to be a “conversation”. I think one way to fail this interview is to be too formal. There should be a back and forth.
- Be prepared for it to go long. My interview lasted well over an hour. Don’t schedule your interview assuming it will last 30-40 minutes with a flight leaving shortly thereafter.
Interview Transcript - 5
The interview was rapid-fire questions, and not too much probing or follow-up on any answers. I stayed for team exercise afterwards which was much more pleasant and enjoyable than I had expected.
Here are the questions I was asked:
Tell me about yourself.
Why an MBA?
What kind of people would you pick to be on a team and why?
When is time you had to deal with a professional or personal change?
Talk about a mistake/failure you made or experienced.
Talk about a time you were in an ambiguous situation and how you dealt with it.
Talk about a time you used data to make a decision or propose a new initiative.
When is a time you led a team outside of work?
What is something not on your resume that I should know or that you’d like to share?
Share a fun fact about yourself.
Overall, it was a fairly straightforward behavioral interview with expected questions. Adcom members were very welcoming and engaged with prospective students. Current students showed up in huge numbers to support interview day and to talk to applicants, which I think speaks highly to their culture.
Interview Transcript - 6
Participated in a interview in early February during one of those weekend slots.
The day started with registration and breakfast, with a quick speech by Soojin, the admissions director.
After that, we got split into two groups, maize and blue which determined our interview slot.
Interviewed with a second year. He seemed more on the quiet side initially which made me a bit nervous as I couldn’t tell if the interview was going well. However, as the interview went on, I became more comfortable as he started smiling more as I answered more questions. Sample questions:
- Tell me about yourself
- Why Michigan Ross?
- How has your leadership style changed as you developed?
- Is there anything not covered in your application, you would like to share?
After that, I participated in the team exercise. You have to tell a story using two words given by a current student. Then you consolidate the words in your team to come up with a business problem and solution.
Interview Transcript - 7
I participated in the Saturday (Feb 18th) interview day at the end of the second round. The day was full of activities from 8am-3pm, with the following breakdown:
8:00-8:15 AM: Registration
8:30 AM: Welcome
9:00-10:30 AM: Interviews (they split everyone into two groups)
11:00-11:45 AM: Team Exercise
12:00-12:45 PM: Lunch
1:00-2:00 PM: Q&A and Tour with Ross Student Ambassadors
2:30-3:30 PM: Mock Class
3:30 PM: Explore Ann Arbor
The interview was with a second-year student and very conversational, full of typical behavioral questions. It lasted around 35-40 minutes, running a bit over. The questions I was asked are:
- Tell me about yourself / Walk me through your résumé.
- Why an MBA (tell me about your short/long term goals).
- Why Ross.
- Tell me about your current job / Typical day.
- Tell me about a conflict at work.
- Tell me about a time you failed and what you learned from it.
- Tell me about 3 strengths and 3 weaknesses.
The rest of the time was spent with me asking questions. They were situational, but could apply to some of you:
- Asked about the student’s experience coming from a big college town into a small college town (I went to a big public school).
- Asked about their MAP project (definitely recommend everyone to do that! This is the signature Ross experience). This discussion went on for a while, since her project was in my hometown, so it quickly evolved into an informal conversation.
The team-exercise was very laid back as well, which surprised me. They put you into random groups at lunch, and everyone has to share a story using two randomly assigned words (can be real or fake). Then, the whole group comes up with another story using a few of the same words. It was a fun experience, very icebreaker like.
Sent a Thank-You email to my interviewer the next day, and actually received a message back! They said they hope to see me at GBR, which I took as a positive sign. I was admitted, but still waiting on other schools so I have not made my final decision yet!
Interview Transcript - 8
I took part in one of the interview days in the middle of the second round. The day included activities from 8am-3pm such as a meet and greet, Q&A with admissions, then the interview with a second year student, followed by the group activity, lunch, and class.
The tone of the interview was pretty conversational, and the student asked some pretty regular questions. The one note, is that they have a pretty tight window, so each interview has a hard stop at around 30 minutes.
The questions were as follows:
- Walk me through your résumé.
- Tell me about your current job / why did you decide to work there.
- Tell me what kind of leader you are (give an example).
- Tell me about an unproductive colleague.
- Why do you want an MBA / Why Ross.
- Long term goals?
That was followed up with a quick conversation about himself and his plans after graduation. Even though I didn’t feel I was able to get everything I wanted to say in, the post-interview feedback I received with my admittance call said he felt like I was a strong fit.
Interview Transcript - 9
The interview was by second year student which was extremely nice and feel like you have a conversation with your friend rather than an interviewer.
The interview starts exactly on time when he calls me via Skype.
Here are the questions:
Tell me about yourself.
Why do you want to have an MBA?
Why I want to do my shift in career?
Tell me about a leadership experience that you had.
Did you ever need to educated your subordinate? How you succeed in doing this?
What criteria you defined as to a good leader/manager?
After 35 minutes he asked me if I have any question, he told me about himself and his experience at Ross and why he chose this program.
I finished the interview with very good feeling, hope to hear good news.
Interview Transcript - 10
The individual interview was ~ 40 minutes, relaxed and conversational. Questions included the following:
- Tell me about yourself?
- Why do you want to get an MBA?
- What are your career goals?
- Describe a time when you led an organization
- Describe a time when you worked with a diverse team towards a common goal
- Describe a time when your team could not have succeeded without you
- Describe a time when you exceeded expectations
Pretty standard behavioral stuff. There was also a team exercise, which just involves working well with others and being a friendly person. Overall, a great campus visit and interview experience with Ross. The Admissions team does an awesome job of putting together compelling programming (networking session, student panel, campus tour, mock class) and allowing prospective students to interact with the Ross community, both students and faculty. They seem really committed to putting together the right incoming class.