UCLA Anderson MBA Interview

The UCLA Anderson MBA Interview questions revolve around your reasons for an MBA, career goals, interest in UCLA Anderson, and professional/personal experiences as outlined in your application materials.  As an interviewee, you should be prepared to provide concise yet insightful responses showcasing strong communication skills, demonstrating knowledge of our program, and ultimately expressing why you are a great fit for UCLA Anderson.  The style is very conversational – be prepared for an exchange of ideas, and come with a few thoughtful questions to ask your interviewer.  Our interviews are about 30 minutes in length and mostly conducted by 2nd year students, either on-campus or via Skype. Remember there’s no preference for one platform vs. another so utilize whichever one fits your needs best.

As stated on the official website –

“Interviews are a way for us to get to know you as an individual and understand how you’d fit into our community and benefit from our career counseling. UCLA Anderson is a very collaborative school which is why the majority of our interviews are conducted by second year full-time MBA students. We feel that it is important to include our current students in selecting the next class, and they are also the best resource for you to ask how student life really is here.

Here are the five most important interview tips to help you succeed:

  1. Treat the interview with the same professionalism that you would an employment interview. Be on time, dress professionally, and make sure that your resume is up-to-date.
  2. Be prepared to succinctly walk your interviewer through your resume in 2-3 minutes, highlighting key milestones and achievements.
  3. Be clear about why you are pursuing an MBA and why UCLA Anderson is a good fit for you. Know yourself, where you’ve been, where you want to go, and how UCLA Anderson fits in your story.
  4. Treat the interview as a conversation. The interview is an opportunity not only to share your story, but also to learn from your interviewer.
  5. Showcase your personality, share what you are passionate about, and demonstrate how you can contribute to our community.

Remember to relax, be genuine and enjoy getting to know your interviewer. ”

Frequently Asked Interview Questions

  1. Tell me about yourself
  2. Walk me through your career/resume
  3. What would you contribute to UCLA?
  4. Why MBA? Why Now? Why UCLA?
  5. What other schools did you apply to?
  6. Based on your current interests, have you looked into schools x and y?
  7. If you got into all your schools, why would you pick UCLA over those schools, which are higher ranked?
  8. Which personal accomplishment and which professional accomplishment are you most proud of?
  9. What do you like to do for fun?
  10. Is there anything else you’d like the admissions committee to know that wasn’t in your application/that you wish Adcom would have asked?
  11. Tell me a time where you showed leadership
  12. Tell me a time where you worked in a team
  13. Tell me about a time when you received constructive criticism
  14. Has anyone ever been critical of you in a work setting? How so? What do you now do to avoid doing it again?
  15. What was your biggest setback in life?
  16. What will you contribute to the Anderson community?
  17. What do you like about your current job?
  18. What types of clubs or organizations would you join at Anderson?
  19. What publications have you been following to stay abreast of your career goals?

Interview Transcript - 1

Applied Round 2, Interviewed on January 19th, 2017. Was interviewed by a Second-year student in a small conference room on-campus, took exactly 30 minutes. The interview was blind, but the interviewer had reviewed my résumé beforehand.
1. Tell me about yourself.
2. Walk me through your résumé.
3. Why are you pursuing an MBA? (I answered this like a goals question)
4. Why Anderson?
5. Interviewer asked 3-4 behavioral questions centered around core principals at Anderson (i.e. leadership, teamwork, collaboration)
6. Do you have any questions for me?
This was my first interview of the season, and was way more laid back than I had been preparing myself for. The interviewer took notes on my resume the whole time, but otherwise there were no surprises and conversation flowed casually and naturally.

Interview Transcript - 2

Went on campus to the Anderson school of business, dressed in appropriate business attire for a relaxed discussion-style interview

Blind interview with a 2nd year student, he only saw my résumé.

Questions:

  • Outside of your professional life, what are you interests and hobbies?
  • Why are you pursuing and MBA?
  • Why pursue an MBA at this point in your life?
  • Given your prior professional and personal experience, what can you contribute to Anderson?
  • Tell me about an experience in your life in which you failed.
  • How will you become involved in the student body and culture at Anderson?

The interview was very relaxed. The interviewer made clear that he is not involved in the final decision process but being interviewed is a good sign and he will submit his write up of the interview to the admissions committee in a prompt manner.

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Interview Transcript - 3

Interview was ~30 minutes on campus and pretty informal. The interviewer asked pretty basic, behavioral questions:

  • Walk me through your résumé.
  • Why an MBA/Why now?
  • Explain a challenging situation and how you overcame it.
  • What would you have done differently?
  • Anything else on your resume that you’d like to talk about?

The interview felt much more of a “fit” interview rather than being roasted about resume details. I’d recommend preparing by ensuring you can speak to your résumé, have a clear perspective on why MBA/Anderson, and having a few “stories” you can pull from to address behavioral questions.

Interview Transcript - 4

Interviewed on campus with a second year student. The previous day I attended a class and got to speak with numerous students about their experience – this played an important role in my interview and is highly recommended. Fit is of the utmost importance and I felt as though I was already a student. The interview the following day was very relaxed and she asked the following questions:

  • Tell me about yourself?
  • What are your short and long-term career goals?
  • How will an MBA help you achieve this?
  • Why Anderson?
  • Tell me about a leadership experience with a small team?
  • What will you contribute? How do you fit in at Anderson?
  • What do you do in your spare time?
  • What motivates you?
  • Do you have any questions for me?

Anderson has a strong Social culture. They are the polar opposite of many of the east coast schools I interviewed with. Get to campus a day early to get a feel for the school before the interview.

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Interview Transcript - 5

I was interviewed by a 2nd-year student via skype in late October, approximately 3 weeks after the application deadline.

The interview was blind-based, conversational and casual. The interviewer was very friendly and he shared a lot about his experiences at Anderson. He gave me some good comments during the interview, so I felt quite positive and enjoyed it very much.

List of interview questions:

  • Self-introduction
  • Career goal, a few follow-ups regarding specific types of company, location, etc.
  • What do I do with my current job
  • Why MBA? Why Anderson?
  • Teamwork experience
  • Specific clubs interested
  • Questions to ask him

The interview lasted for ~30 minutes. There were no unexpected questions. I asked him about his AMR project experience and what surprised him the most after he went to Anderson. I felt that the Anderson community was very diverse and collaborative from what he shared, and the students are very proud of being part of it.

I ended up getting the admission offer with a scholarship.

Interview Transcript - 6

My MBA2 interviewer described the interview timeline to me – about 30 minutes for him to ask me questions and 5 minutes at the end for me to ask him questions.

Walk me through your résumé.

I gave an overview of my work at the companies I’ve worked at and my non-profit experience

I can read what you’ve written, but give me some more flavor of your work at X (my 1st company).

Described work responsibility, impact, and initiatives I drove. I realized he had to ask this because I hadn’t included my job responsibilities in my ‘introduce yourself’

Describe a time you had to work with engineers who weren’t giving quality inputs for your work (related to my responsibilities).

I described an achievement about persuasion/convincing. But I didn’t have qualifiable improvements from it, so I faltered when he followed up with “What was the benefit from this?”

Describe your work at 2nd company.

Describe this process of innovation and a time when the customers required something different from what you were delivering

I didn’t like this question because even though my dept. was client-facing, my own role wasn’t. I also realized I shouldn’t have mentioned that my dept. is client-facing. I had to struggle to connect an achievement with client-discussions.

Tell me about the process in your team/organization of arriving at which modules (work) to focus on.

I think I messed up on this because I didn’t want to talk about a technical story. Instead I should’ve been confident in showing that I have technical prowess. But at the same I could’ve cut short the answer or something. I instead rambled and laughed too much while answering this.

Given your background, what do intend to do after MBA?

I talked about my long term and short term goals. Also mentioned I want to mentor my B-school batch-mates who are interested in entering my industry post-MBA.

You have talked about many things that you want to do in your long-term goal; Is there some specific idea that you’ve thought of for your long-term entrepreneurial goal?

I talked about why I specifically have chosen not to think about any 1 idea, but am gaining the required knowledge for it.

Why MBA?

I talked about the key business concept themes that I want to pick up.

Why UCLA/Anderson?

Any specific clubs that you are looking forward to?

I had to say I have only looked at professional clubs till now, not at personal clubs. I talked about the collaborative culture and the LA-feel that makes me love the atmosphere there. It would’ve made much more sense for me to have known some extracurricular clubs there.

You have never visited the US, how do you think your time here will be?

I talked about my excitement at the diversity v/s MBA at a top univ in my own country. Also mentioned my exposure to diversity at my workplace with global teams from various cultural backgrounds and how those perspectives have shaped my thinking.

What do you do in your free time when you are not busy changing the world?

I talked about my community involvement and my hobbies. We talked a little more about the sports side of my hobbies.

What is it that drives your continued interest in XYZ-sports?

Tell me about this last point written in your résumé. (he went through almost all points on my resume)

I talked about a one line non-profit initiative I was part of.

I found the interview time to be too short. I felt compared to another B-school’s alumnus interview, which’d lasted for 40-45 minutes, these 25-30 mins were very less. I ended up poorly summarizing my points. My take-aways were that it is very important to be prepared with your stories, be very clear, follow the MECE principle.

He then said he is keeping away his pen and paper and giving me time to ask any questions I have with him. Told me that this will not be evaluated. I asked him about his background and his future goals.

Asked him questions:

– about the new Anderson Venture Accelerator

– his internship / work target / AMR

– Classes he is looking forward to

– any nearby cross-fit gyms that people go to there (my lame attempt at making a personal connection, instead of all professional questions)

I was selected to UCLA Anderson along with another peer school. I chose UCLA. I was also offered a significant scholarship.

Interview Transcript - 7

This was a blind interview. The questions I was asked seemed pretty standard:

  1. Tell me about your education and career path to this point in your life (He had my resume in front of him and I walked him through it).
  2. Why do you want to pursue an MBA?
  3. What interests you about the career move you want to make? (After telling him I want an MBA to get into consulting.)
  4. What about UCLA Anderson interests you in particular?
  5. Tell me about a time you were in charge of a project.
  6. Tell me about a time you disagreed with a superior

Afterward, he gave me time for questions. Overall, the interview was fine. There was nothing out of the ordinary, and I was much less nervous about it than my others. That could be due to it being over Skype. Just be prepared to tell your story and answer a few behavioral questions about your work experience. Also have something to say about why you want to go to UCLA. Ended up on the wait list, but got accepted to my top choice.

Interview Transcript - 8

The interview was with a second year student on Skype. It was very relaxed and conversational. He belonged to the same Pre-MBA field as I do. After giving a brief introduction about himself he asked me the following questions:

Tell me something about yourself?

Why MBA? Why Now?

Why Anderson?

What is your leadership style? Based on my answer he asked a follow-up question too.

What role do you assume in a team? E.g. Leader, facilitator, the devil’s advocate, take a back seat etc.

How would your teammates describe you?

Any questions for me? I asked two questions – about an internship and about student accommodation on campus

Do your research well, it really helps. The interviewer must believe that you want to come to Anderson and that you have put in effort to know more about the school than given on the website.

Interview Transcript - 9

The interview started at 10:30 at night. It was extremely conversational. Some of the questions he asked were:

  • Walk me through your resume
  • Why do you want to do an MBA?
  • Why Anderson?
  • Mention a time when you showed leadership skills.
  • Mention ways in which you will contribute towards the school/class
  • Questions on the extracurricular section on my resume – I had done an analysis on a rule change in the Barclays Premier League, which interested him.

Overall the interview was off-the-cuff. He categorically specified that the decision was not his. He would create a report based on the interview and that report would become a part of my overall application. The final offer would depend on the overall application, rather than only the interview.

A few tips:

  • Do your research – I had wanted to join the Sports Business Association and had spoken to Adam, who happened to be a good friend of Alex’s.
  • Preparation helps – Though some of the questions are straight from the application, reciting answers in front of the camera or with a friend will go a long way in preparing you for the interview.

Dress formally – Even though Alex was dressed in a T-shirt and mentioned that it was the LA way, dressing in formals does send a message about your seriousness towards the school.

Interview Transcript - 10

My Anderson interview was very conversational and laid back. My interviewer asked me the following:

  • Walk me through your resume.
  • What are your short- and long-term goals?
  • Why MBA?
  • Why now?
  • Why Anderson?

Even though it was conversational, practicing my answers to these questions beforehand was extremely helpful.

Transcripts were first published on clearadmit.com and gmatclub.com

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