Oxford Said MBA Interviews
If you are selected for an Oxford Said MBA Interview, you will be invited to come to the School and have your interview here. The School also offers interviews at key locations in other countries – your invitation to interview will specify all options available at that time. Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend an in-person interview whenever possible. However, if you are not able to attend in person Oxford will arrange a Skype interview for you. This will not affect the final decision. For applicants based in the UK an in-person interview at Oxford is required.
Your interview will be a one-to-one discussion with a senior member of the Admissions Team, the Careers Development Team, Faculty or an industry advisor. Industry advisors are a select group of senior executives who have experience of working for leading firms across a broad range of sectors, who also work closely with our careers team.
Who will interview you, and how long will the interview last?
Like most Business schools, the Oxford Said interview is taken by a Career Management 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.
Oxford Said MBA Frequently Asked Interview Questions
- Tell me something about yourself?
- Walk me through your resume?
- Why MBA? Why Oxford school?
- Why MBA now or Why MBA at this stage of your career?
- What is your short & long term goals?
- What is your Plan B if consulting/Investment banking does not happen?
- What are your key strengths? Can you give some examples please?
- What is your biggest weakness ? Can you give some examples please?
- How can you add value to the Class?
- Why should we take you?
- One reason that we should not select you?
- Interests and Hobbies – Be prepared!.. questions as basic as “Why do you do poetry (or any other activity” may be asked.
- 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?
- 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?
- Do you have any Question for us?
Received an Interview Invite?
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A pleasant conversational interview with a senior member of the admissions committee. Be prepared not only with answers to “expected” questions but also with a delightful attitude (dress formally, smile, think of questions, etc.) . Lasted for almost 25 minutes and was structured as follows:
- Why Oxford in general and why Said in particular?
- How will you add value to Said business school?
- What do you expect from Said business school?
- How did you prepare for the interview today?
- Have you ever came to Oxford?
- Tell me about a failure and the lessons you have learned?
- Do you have a role model(s)?
- Have you applied to any scholarships?
- Questions for me?
Expect an answer in the first week of March.
Oxford Said MBA Interview Questions – 2
I interviewed on-campus at Oxford Saïd with ~30 other candidates who had traveled to Oxford from all over the world. Interviews lasted 30 mins – spread throughout the day – and were all with ad-com. The ad-com I interviewed with had read my entire application, and referred to it on her laptop while we were talking.
Her questions were pretty straight forward:
- Why an MBA now?
- Tell me about what you’ve learned from previous jobs (my background is non-traditional so I had to make the connection to what I wanted to get out of business school)
- What motivated you to switch careers?
- What do I want to do post-MBA?
- Tell me about a time you failed and what you learned from it.
- Tell me about your greatest accomplishment.
- Why Oxford Saïd?
- What other schools did you apply to?
- What questions do you have for me?
The overall interview was quite conversational and I felt like I established good rapport with her.
When we weren’t interviewing, we had information sessions about Oxford Saïd, Career Services, the GOTO class, Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, and even one from Prodigy Finance (the student loan company). We got to have lunch with current students, then went on a tour of the Said building. At the end, we were given bus tickets for the Oxford Hop-on-Hop-off bus to tour the whole campus, which was very beautiful.
Oxford Said MBA Interview Questions – 3
The interview took place at a business in downtown San Francisco with a member of the admissions teams. It was clear they had read my entire profile and knew my post-grad goals well. It was a formal interview but it was also very conversational and welcoming; you can tell the admissions team wants to engage with you on a deeper level to see if you are a good fit for the program. I had a low GMAT Quant score that the interviewer asked about, which I had been expecting, so I had an answer prepared in regards to how I’d still succeed in the program. I was asked about my experience with Oxford, the Open Day I attended, my work experience, my goal organizations and what I had done to research my post-grad goals/ career path. Be prepared to explain what unique qualities you’d bring to the program.
The entire interview process with Oxford has been wonderful. I appreciate that they tell everyone the same day whether you have been accepted or not, so you are not checking your email every five minutes throughout the entire week. The staff are there to give candid answers about life at Oxford, availability of programs and faculty. I also get the feeling they are really interested in growing and continually improving the program.
Oxford Said MBA Interview Questions – 4
The interview wasn’t as casual as some reports suggest. My interviewer had a investment banking background and I definitely got the impression he was trying to push my buttons. It is the sort of interview I would expect for a front office role so nothing strange there. And as “pushy” as he maybe I think the interview was fair.
– Why MBA? Why Saïd?
– Tell me about your role at XYZ company.
– Give me an example of a time you lead a group.
– Give me an example of a time you were involved in a dysfunctional group? How did you cope?
– What would your friends say your strengths/weaknesses are?
I did not visit Oxford before the interview and I definitely got the impression he did not approve. For my next application I will definitely go in person and visit first. He did ask which college I will apply to make sure I had done my research.
Overall tough but fair interview.
Oxford Said MBA Interview Questions – 5
Just had my interview last week, and it was a very pleasant experience. The interviewer had clearly read my application and even quoted a line from one of my essays.
I was extremely nervous going into it because I have a background in humanities (art history), scored very low on the GMAT (610), and have only 3 years of work experience (Oxford average is 6 years). However, the interview was relaxed and friendly, all the staff at Saïd were generous and kind, and it felt very positive afterwards. A few years ago I started a relatively successful social enterprise in Oxford and we mostly talked about this.
The first thing he said was “Welllllll, this is a very interesting application…”
– Please walk me through the structure of your business. How did you come up with it, and how do you make decisions within the business?
– Are there criteria for what makes a co-operative business work successfully?
– Go back in time and tell me what brought you to this stage
– Why are you interested in bicycles? (My business works primarily with bikes)
– Your GMAT score is pretty low, how would you cope in class and what are your feelings about actually doing the course?
– What would you do afterwards, and what if you can’t stay in the UK to continue your business?
– What would you do differently if you could start your business again?
– Is there a difference between failure in the US and the UK?
The interview was in person and very relaxed, more like a conversation. At the end I asked a few questions:
– What are some examples of summer projects/internships that non-finance students have done?
– What is it like to be a woman on campus and what is Saïd doing about recruiting more women?
About me: Humanities/Art History background, 26y, female, 610 GMAT, USA but live in the UK
Oxford Said MBA Interview Questions – 6
Skype The interview took place on March 2nd, 2021. Conclusion and Decision: Accepted
“I had an interview with an Associate Fellow, and it was evident that they had studied my application in great detail and watched my (terrifying) Kira videos.
She inquired about the customary topics, which included the following:
– the reason Oxford
– the value of an MBA
– Please walk me through your resume.
– what led to your decision to resign from a specific position
– What kind of leadership do you practice (a follow-up question to something I’d mentioned in the question before this one)?
In addition to this, she inquired about the specifics of my business strategy and the rationale behind why now is the best time to begin such a venture. This seemed more like a dialogue.
Questions that caught me off guard were the following:
– which characteristic, from a list of characteristics (I’m afraid I can’t remember them all), do I most closely identify with, and why? Because I have a background in the not-for-profit industry, I went with ” purpose.”
– Which of the optional modules do you think would be most beneficial to your planned business?
After listening for about half an hour, I asked a few questions about how the epidemic had affected applications (the response: this year has been a bumper crop!), how teaching has changed, and what provisions are there for students who do not come from a financially stable household.
To summarize, the interview was not very stressful, she was pleasant and considerate, and I was more anxious than I should have been.
Oxford Said MBA Interview Questions – 7
Oxford Said MBA Interview Questions – 8
Online Interviewed on: Feb 28, 2022 The Ultimate Choice: Rejected after an Interview
The interviewer has extensive experience in the field of career coaching and is a member of the admissions committee at both Oxford and LBS. My interview was a stress interview, and from the very beginning, the interviewer focused on the areas of my profile that needed improvement. My present or previous role, as well as my accomplishments, did not seem to pique the interviewer’s curiosity.
Why an MBA?
Why choose Oxford?
What are your short-term objectives?
Have you also submitted an application to any other schools?
Have you made any attempts to communicate with individuals working for the businesses that you are targeting?
Why would other companies hire you to work for them?
Do you have any connections to either the present students at Oxford or the alumni of the university?
Are there businesses that more closely align with your preferences? Have you established any ties in the area?
If you didn’t get into the MBA program at Oxford, what other options do you have?
Give some instances from your most recent experience that illustrate how the values taught at Oxford MBA relate to real-world situations.
Any queries you have for me?”
To everyone, I would highly recommend getting a good amount of preparation for this interview. You should have a clear story, professional plan, electives you want to do, Oxford events in which you want to participate, etc., before applying to Oxford.
I wish everyone the best of luck!
Oxford Said MBA Interview Questions – 9
Interview conducted online on March 10th, 2022. Conclusion and Decision: Accepted
This interview was quite conversational. Mostly concentrated on my professional endeavors and getting a better grasp of my background.
Below, interspersed with the typical question types are:
– Why MBA
– The Value of Oxford
– Have you applied to any other schools?
– The difference between Oxford Said and the others you applied to
– What part do you see yourself playing in a collaborative effort?
– A Prime Illustration of Conflict
– What do individuals who work with you consider to be your greatest area of vulnerability?
– Manner of leading by example
How would you contribute to the process of recruiting persons who match your profile?
– What insights have you gained from your experiences in other countries?
– My questions
lasted for a total of 45 minutes, including my inquiries. The primary interview lasted for half an hour.
Oxford Said MBA Interview Questions – 10
Interview conducted online on March 1st, 2022 Conclusion and Decision: Accepted
“Yesterday, I had an interview that was more conversational in nature. The person conducting the interview works for Advisory committee as a senior consultant. After some time, I investigated his LinkedIn profile and discovered that he had over 20 years of experience in marketing and was currently employed at Oxford University as a full-time admission and recruitment officer.
Approximately forty-five minutes were allotted for the interview. My application materials and the results of the Kira online examination were examined thoroughly by the interviewer. In the beginning, he asked quite normal questions, such as “why MBA, why now, and why Oxford.” After that, he drilled down into some specific questions that were pertinent to my own experience:
What made you decide to switch from doing law to working for a new company?
Have you discussed this with any Oxford graduates? (He made the observation that one of the referees who is submitting my letter of recommendation is a graduate of Oxford Said.)
What inspired you to start working in the nonprofit sector of the economy? (most likely due to the fact that I have taken a fairly nontraditional route in my profession)
He stated that the questions had assisted him in better understanding me, and he then proceeded to ask two questions based on my competencies:
Give me an example of a time when you showed leadership despite the challenges that were there.
In the event that you are accepted into the MBA program at Oxford, you will be required to give a brief introduction of yourself in front of the other students. What are you going to say?
He allowed me to ask him some questions before we finished the interview, which was very kind of him.
In any case, he was extremely sweet and polite, but the whole vibe wasn’t very chill because he had a rather solemn expression on his face, and he was constantly taking notes during the conversation.
Keep your fingers crossed!