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Wharton MBA Interviews

Interview Tips & Questions from Past candidates

Wharton MBA Interview

A unique characteristic of Upenn Wharton MBA admissions is the team based discussions, where prospective students spend half an hour together working on a problem before presenting their solutions to second years and adcoms. A word from a Wharton adcom member regarding this process, “Essentially, we give our students a really overbroad sketch of a problem that’s facing the world and we task them with finding novel solutions. We put them into learning teams, a group of six individuals from diverse backgrounds who will go through our teamwork and leadership course. This year, we worked with McKinsey to come up with the idea and it was focused on machine learning.”

Almost half the number of applicants to Upenn Wharton are interviewed but only 1 in 10 interviewed are able to get through.

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

The Wharton MBA program interview is  usually conducted by one of the panel members. 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?

The Panel member has access to your complete application. In most instances, they would have read it completely.

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.

Wharton MBA Frequently Asked Interview Questions

Professional experience-related questions

  1. Tell me something about yourself, or Walk me through your resume.
  2. What are your short-term and long-term goals?
  3. Why MBA? or Why now? or Why an MBA at this stage of your career?
  4. Why Wharton?
  5. What is your Plan B? in case your primary goal does not happen?

Personal qualities-related questions

  1. What are your key strengths? Can you give some examples, please?
  2. What are your key weaknesses? Can you give some examples, please?
  3. How can you add value to the Class? or Why should we take you?
  4. Any reasons why we should not select you?
  5. Interests and Hobbies related questions – why do you do it, what have you achieved/learned?

Frequently Asked Situational & Behavioral Questions

  1. What is your leadership style? Can you give an example of a project you led?
  2. What would you describe are your greatest achievement to date?
  3. Give me an example of a time you failed.
  4. Give me an example of a time you faced a conflict. How did you handle that?
  5. Give me an example of a time when you did not meet a client’s expectations. What happened, and how did you attempt to rectify the situation?

The last one – Do you have any questions for us?

  1. Can you please tell me how international exchange students and schools are assigned?
  2. How club leadership is selected?
  3. Any other questions you may have in regards to the program.

Wharton started the team-based discussion (TBD) in 2012, which has since become an integral part of its assessment. It’s reflective of the Learning Teams model at the heart of the Wharton experience, which exults teamwork in the spirit “persuasive rather than positional leadership.” Wharton’s adcom wants to observe how you approach challenges, present yourself, and cohesively work towards solutions in a small group context. As such, it’s an opportunity to showcase what you’d bring to your future study group at Wharton – both in terms of your personal presence and as a member of an effective team.

The TBD takes place in a room with four to five other candidates, where you debate and present a proposal as a group. Your discussion will have a prompt and a purpose, and, together, you will work together to achieve a tangible outcome.

You’re typically given one minute to introduce yourself, and the sequence lasts in total 35 minutes, when the team of candidates comes up with a topic and presentation model that is ultimately shared with the adcom observer. After the TBD, you’ll have a 10-minute debrief, which takes place one-on-one with an admission representative. The time passes by swiftly.

Prepare to present your own ideas with care and precision, as well as situational awareness. It’s less about your own particular answer and presentation (although of course you should thoughtfully prepare this in advance) and more about how well you interact with other candidates. Expect to be assessed on how well you listen to others and facilitate the group’s dialogue.

Wharton MBA Interview Questions- 1

The Wharton MBA Program interview started with introductions after the prompt was restated. We were given 60 seconds to pitch, and we were ordered by alphabet. Then the 25-minute timer started, and we had a good group dynamic, stayed to the schedule, kept things organised, and assigned roles for the presentation before we started. stayed on schedule and completed a practise presentation in the final five minutes before the real presentation. He praised us and said that we were among the top TBD groups he had seen.

PI was easy to understand. Why Wharton? Why mba?

I talked for around seven minutes, but I didn’t really have any questions to ask since he wasn’t a Wharton student or alumnus.

The interviewer grinned at me and even referred to me as engaging and passionate. Overall, it was a lovely experience.

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Wharton MBA Interview Questions- 2

I had my Wharton MBA Program interview on March 09, 2021. Here is my interview debrief: 

1. My time slot was possibly the final one of the day because it was later. Eight minutes before the appointed time, the Zoom call began with two second-year students and anybody else had joined at that point. The second-year students introduced themselves as the moderators and then became silent.

2. The second-year students unmuted and introduced themselves at the TBD’s scheduled start time. Everyone was prompted to give their name and the desired major at Wharton, which had already been disclosed in earlier debriefs. They then explained the rules to us. They also said that by bringing a piece of paper up to the screen, they would show us visually how long we had left—10 minutes and then 5 minutes. Before they started the timer, they asked if anyone had any questions.

3. After the timer went off, there was a brief period of silence (approximately 15 seconds) until someone spoke up and started. We developed a strong campaign during our TBD, and we used the final five minutes to brief it. I didn’t think my own performance was all that impressive. I felt that I didn’t contribute as much as the other participants and found it difficult to get my comments in.

4. When we enter the breakout room following the TBD, the second year sets a timer and asks just one question in total: “Why MBA? Why Wharton, and how? He or she will invite you to ask any questions you may have if you still have time. You are let out into the main room after the allotted time has passed. Because of how I did in the TBD, I felt anxious and hurried during the one-on-one interview. We could have used some quiet time to refocus between the TBD and the interview, but instead we all chatted with one another.

Wharton MBA Interview Questions- 3

The Wharton MBA interview was conducted on March 1, 2021. Here is my experience with TBD:

1. My slot was the day’s first slot, at 8 am ET. Ten minutes before the planned time, the Zoom call began with two second-year students and anybody else had joined at that point. The second-year students just declared themselves the moderators and fell silent. Participants made brief introductions before waiting for others to join in. Fortunately, everyone arrived on time.

2. The second years unmuted and presented themselves at 8 am ET. Everyone was prompted to provide their name, the name of their employer, and the anticipated Wharton major. I didn’t know this was a question. Fortunately, since they invited me to start, I already knew what I wanted to say. Phew. After that, they read the prompt and distribute the rules. The regulations make it clear that each member of the group must keep their own time and make sure to reserve five minutes for the presentation or summary at the end. They will merely hold a piece of paper up to the screen to let us know when we have 10 and 5 minutes left. Before they started the timer, they asked if anyone had any questions.

3. The group was responsible for carrying out all tasks once the timer was set.

4. After the TBD, everyone was welcome to enter the main room. They stated the order in which everyone would be interviewed as well as how we would be divided between the 2nd Year (each would interview 3). According to what I understand, the sequence was chosen at random. You won’t receive a break in between if you’re the first person (in either of the two buckets). The regulations are announced before they begin. As they don’t know anything about our backgrounds, they tell us that since this is a blind interview, we are welcome to share as much information as we like.

5. When we enter the breakout room, the second-year student sets a timer on his or her end and asks one question in total: “Why MBA? Why Wharton, and how? He or she will invite you to ask any questions you may have if you still have time. You are allowed to return to the main chamber once the timer expires.

6. The decision to remain in the main room for the remainder of the session to talk with everyone there or to depart is up to the participants.

That’s basically it. If you have any specific queries, please let me know. I’m happy to respond! Hope this is useful.

Wharton MBA Interview Questions- 4

I had a good experience with my zoom interview for Wharton MBA. I had a meeting with a member of the admissions committee. An summary of my career path was given to start the conversation. 

There were some specific questions regarding how I persuaded individuals to agree with a crucial strategic choice I had outlined in my résumé. The topic of my leadership style, experiences, and knowledge was then discussed. My immediate plans, such as whether I wanted to stay with this company or change, were discussed throughout the interview. We then discussed how this might work for me in terms of practicalities of travel. 

I was asked how I felt about having less of a social life as a result of this commitment. My family was then brought up in the conversation to see if they agreed with the choice. Then we discussed our interests. The interviewer spent some time explaining the programme to me, including the time commitments and advantages. After that, we talked about the following stages (whether I had taken the GMAT or EA, which round I intended to apply, etc.).

Finally, I was asked to raise any queries I might have. The interview was rather informal and lasted approximately an hour. I got the impression that they were trying to figure out where I was coming from and where I was going with this programme.

Wharton MBA Interview Questions- 5

On January 25, 2020, I finished my interview for Wharton MBA on campus. I have to admit that it was completely unimaginable. The entire event was incredibly enjoyable and energising. I was supposed to visit a class from 9 to 10:30 am, and the interview was at 10:45.

When I arrived, the front desk welcomed me and handed me a badge. They also offered me a welcome packet with some useful information, including the class schedule, some Wharton commercials, and the schedules for the graduating and incoming classes for the year.

I and a few other guests were taken on a tour of the campus, which takes up the entire sixth level. The sight of the building and the kids getting ready for class was pleasant. After finishing, we went to the classroom.

It was quite intriguing to observe a class on customer behaviour. We were instructed to sit in the back of the room and refrain from participating in class. I got to talk to a few classmates before the class started.

I left the classroom ten minutes early so I could settle in and get ready. I grabbed a seat in the lobby and thought for a while. Because of how stunning Wharton’s location is, you often find yourself gazing out at the bay and losing focus. You should look out and downward to calm any jittery feelings.

Barb, also known as Barbara, came by to say hello, and we spoke for a short while. My interviewer, Bernie, met me in the lobby at 10:45 and led me to a meeting space.

The following 1 hour and 15 minutes flew by quickly. They genuinely seem to want to make you feel at ease and learn more about you personally, in my opinion. There are no tricky questions, and everything is rather simple. She had a copy of my résumé and some writing paper with her. began with why an MBA now, about yourself, your journey, why you’re here, your job life, and your support system. It was a conversation throughout and not a Q&A session. She escorted me to the lunchroom at 12 o’clock, where I sat down with a few pupils and talked to them for the next hour.

Overall, a fantastic experience, and if you can, I strongly advise attending a class before the interview. Simply put, it gives you more topics to discuss and allows you to demonstrate that you have heard what was said.

Here are a few advices:

Spend some time introspecting and reflecting on yourself before the interview; avoid rushing to come up with answers.

Break the ice by conversing with other guests.

This is not a dorm or student union or a job interview, so act and speak like a professional. Also, be aware that everyone there is there on business.

If, like me, you only have a short amount of time between class and the interview, leave early to collect your thoughts, use the loo, etc.

Bring a bottle of water with you to the interview; you’ll need it. Make use of it to your benefit. Drink a little bit here and there to calm yourself down or perhaps to buy yourself some time to consider the subject.

Make eye contact with the interviewer; simple nods and nonverbal communication are essential to demonstrating that your body and mind are still there.

Thank the interviewer if they share your perspective, and smile to establish confidence and break the ice.

Have a few amusing remarks ready. anything hygienic.

Have a quote on hand that you can recall and that speaks to you.

Try to ask two or three unconventional questions.

Be careful not to criticise anyone or anything, especially politics. Not the right time or place for it.

In contrast to a date where you play the mystery game, keep in mind that they are trying to figure you out and that you want to be as transparent as possible. Be honest and authentic. You’ll think the conversation was more like a casual get-together than an interview. Wishing everyone luck.

Wharton MBA Interview Questions- 6

Early in August, I finished the EA, after which I scheduled a meeting with the admissions team. The call was casual, as others have mentioned, but it allowed me to schedule my interview.

Mid-September, I had an interview on the SF campus for the Wharton MBA Program. My day began at around 10:00 with a tour of the building, then a few casual conversations, and finally my interview at around 11:00. I stocked up right before the students left for break because there were some very tasty goodies.

All the expected questions were asked in a fairly conversational manner during the interview. Tell me about yourself and your profession, and why you decided to pursue an MBA at Wharton, etc. Simply search for the top MBA interview questions; I believe I was asked 8 of the top 10 questions, with no surprises. The interview was really informal and seemed more like a conversation than anything else. I briefly introduced myself at the beginning of the interview and the interviewer said she could see my professional path and ambitions surrounding an MBA, which made me feel incredibly at ease.

We were in a glass-walled office, and about midway through, the sun fell on me, making it unbearably hot. I was just quite warm, which is why I’m sure I appeared more anxious than usual. Although it was not quite apparent and not worth the time to spend debating, the interviewer did remark that she would not be examining my application as we had already spoken during the interview.

Lunch with students and class attendance followed the interview. The pupils were fantastic. I had a conversation with Barbara Craft, who is truly great, over lunch. Most of the conversation was small talk and programme logistics. Since several of the students and I work in the same field, that served as a fantastic icebreaker, but all the students were genuinely friendly.

Four applicants were interviewed on my day, including myself. I spoke with a few candidates, and they were nice and fascinating. I’ve conducted interviews for other programmes (such as Ross-LA), and they all went quite similarly.

I’d say. Review common MBA interview questions, consider your response, practise giving it to someone else, and then relax. The EMBA programme is for adults, and the interviewers will treat you as such.

Wharton MBA Interview Questions- 7

The dreaded TBD! Wharton uses a team-based discussion (TBD) to assess you if you are coming in blind. When they ask you for an interview, they offer you a generic prompt that anyone could complete; there is no right or wrong response. On the day of the interview, you go in with five other candidates, present your concept, and then the group of six of you talk and come up with a proposal or presentation. To present, you have five minutes. For the TBD, you have a total of 35 minutes. The entire time, two second-year students (in my case) will be watching. You then have a 10-minute one-on-one conversation with a student to debrief.

I had previously scheduled three MBA interviews and was anticipating this to be my final one, so I was already very far along in the interview process. Of course, this one is the “weirdest” one.

The first thing I observe is how full the day of my interview at Wharton was with candidates. I believe my day was one of the final ones for Round 2.

Everyone advises arriving early to establish a relationship with potential group members, but on the day I went, there were so many individuals present that it was impossible to even identify those who might make up your group. I still advise going there early to avoid worrying about being late and since I always believe it’s beneficial to get to know your possible classmates.

You assemble in the AdCom office around 15 minutes before your TBD, at which point your groups are announced. The two students who have been put in charge of you will read the prompt, go over the guidelines, and then watch.

The TBD itself was, dare I say it, quite enjoyable! Our assignment this year was to create a proposal for a three-day retreat that would be taken with your cohort during pre-term. I assume this was the same assignment as previous year. There were a lot of thoughts that the six of us had that overlapped, but I won’t say anything outrageous. In my group, others also approached things differently; I arrived with a piece of paper, one of my teammates had a notebook in which he had recorded his ideas, while others appeared to have memorised their pitches.

In my opinion, our group was quite distinctive in that we actually borrowed some of each person’s concepts to develop a fresh pitch. In other groups, I’ve heard, one person’s proposal is chosen and they are required to present it. Although I may be a little biassed, I thought ours turned out well. I don’t think it “matters” in the sense that it would be a deal-breaker.

Here are some tips for the TBD… Time management is crucial in this situation because it can be quite simple to run out of time. 35 minutes total, 1 minute for each pitch, and 5 minutes at the conclusion for presentations are allotted to you. You have 24 minutes to talk after this. People will, however, talk over their one-minute presentation, and your team will require at least a few seconds to get its affairs in order, etc. It is entirely up to you to ensure that you are okay, arrive on time, etc. as the two observers won’t be saying anything at all. I was fortunate in that our team appeared to function well as a unit and that nobody was dominating the conversation or withdrawing, but watch out that you’re not one of those people! The main thing is to not act rudely. Don’t talk over or interrupt others, and don’t disparage their opinions. Work with your team in the same manner that you would like them to work with you. Also, unwind and enjoy yourself!

I felt that the 10 minute one-on-one that followed the TBD was more difficult. It resembled a typical interview quite a bit, but my interviewer—one of my group’s observers—was really expressionless. Drawn by chance or planned by the school? The unknown. I was pleased to discover some subjects on which to identify with.

Why an MBA and why Wharton in particular?

What are your plans once you complete your MBA?

Any inquiries for me?

This interview gave the interviewer plenty of time for questions; I would add that you should have at least three, ideally five. Although I had 4, I thought I could have used one more. Life goes on.

Watch out for the “Why Wharton?” inquiry! I believe that a lot of interviews focus so much on the TBD that they only skim the one-on-one. This is also crucial, I’m sure of it!

The remainder of the day kind of vanished. Although I attended class visits the last time I went, this time I went during midterms, thus there were no class visits. Along with a lecture and lunch, we also took a campus tour.

Overall, I had a nice time and learned a lot about Wharton during my day there. My favourite experience component was meeting prospective future classmates.

Wharton MBA Interview Questions- 8

I’m here to share my experience during the Wharton MBA Program interview. I’ll discuss my experience with the phone interviews and talks.

Everyone indicated that the phone conversation would be quite informal, and it sounded like this was your chance to learn how the programme can assist you in reaching your objectives. There weren’t really any interview questions, at least not in my situation. They mostly tried to comprehend my career, my current position, and where I wanted to go with an MBA. Since I had some concerns about the programme after our first conversation a few months ago, I actually requested two phone conversations, and they were incredibly flexible.

In San Francisco, I met Barbara Craft for my interview, and once more, it seemed to be quite casual and chatty. No surprises. She touched on my current role, duties, and instances of leadership outside of the workplace. She also guided me through my career, and we talked about my objectives. It wasn’t like a Q&A session. She also inquired especially about the financial support situation at my firm since I’m a Fellows applicant. Barbara said that candidates for the Fellows programme must receive at least 50% financial support. Nearly an hour passed during my interview.

In general, I’d suggest that as long as you are prepared for the typical questions, such as “why MBA,” “why Wharton,” “what are your goals,” and so forth, you should be good. They are undoubtedly very transparent about the Exec MBA admissions process, so be sure to have some solid questions ready that are unique to your situation.

Wharton MBA Interview Questions- 9

I had my Wharton MBA Program interview on December 06, 2018. You can use this chance to decide if the EMBA is the correct choice for you. I advise you to bring a few [relative] easy queries that you can’t find solutions to internet. For instance, I inquired about job titles and years of work experience. In my instance, even though my work title does not include the word “manager,” I have managerial duties and eight years of experience, which puts me on the cusp between a Fellows and Traditional applicant.

It was suggested to me that the CV I send as part of the request to schedule a phone talk should be the final version that I anticipate submitting along with my application, as I said before in the thread. The committee dislikes seeing significant changes made to the phone chat and application. I just changed one thing: I added a bullet listing my contributions to a recently announced significant acquisition.

More formal than the FT MBA interview procedure, but less formal, is the on-campus interview. Greater transparency in EMBA admissions is clearly desired compared to the FT MBA admissions procedure. I was questioned extensively about my resume before being given the chance to ask questions. I frequently received inquiries regarding the initiatives in which I exercised management or leadership skills. What kind of boss am I, I was asked? A fascinating and unexpected topic about ambition and when I will feel like I’ve “made it” in my job was also posed to me.The questions “Why MBA? “, “Why Wharton? “, and “Why now? ” all creeped in somehow. In fact, I believe I brought up “Why Wharton?” when Diane inquired, “Is there anything you wanted to discuss that we haven’t touched on yet?,” which was the final question. I therefore had a fair chance to present myself in the best possible light. 

Overall, compared to the FT MBA process, it was lot more conversational. I applied for an FT MBA a few years ago, and Wharton was one of the institutions I applied to.

Wharton MBA Interview Questions- 10

I applied to Wharton as an R1 and did not anticipate receiving an invitation because I belong to an overrepresented minority. I believe that employing the optional essay was successful. Without it, I don’t believe I would have been invited for the interview (based on the criteria in my profile, certainly!).

I made the mistake of delaying my interview registration by one day since I wanted to grab the last available time slot in Philadelphia. Since I didn’t get a chance to tour the college before the interview, I had previously decided to do an on-campus interview. went on November 19 (afternoon, last spot available in Philadelphia!). It was a choice worth the distance and busy schedule (I had a morning interview on November 18 and a school visit on November 20).

Once you receive the interview invitation, there are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Select a day that is convenient for you, and don’t rush to reserve the interview location because TBD interviews take a distinct approach. Give yourself some time to collect your ideas for the TBD because the prompt will change every year.

2. Maintain composure the day before the TBD/PI and avoid any stressful activities. When I didn’t get into Wharton or the other school for which I had interviewed the day before, I would discover this crucial fact later.

I chose to attend two classes since I wanted to make the most of my campus tour. After the classes, we were required to wait in the waiting area outside the TBD conference rooms before being summoned in groups of six at random. We were again informed about the TBD prompt once we had all seated ourselves in the conference rooms with the two moderators (2nd year admission fellows). When it was time for the debate to begin, we each gave a one-minute speech before beginning to write down ideas in the last five minutes so that we could collect our thoughts and give them to the moderators. Every participant was open to hearing other people’s ideas, and everyone made an effort to offer a logical progression of ideas that would enable a one-day event to be successfully organised.

Tips for TBDs (please note that the regulations and advice are only applicable to TBDs through the 2015 application cycle. The rules might be altered by Wharton):

1. Speak to other interview invitees on GMATCLUB to arrange a dummy TBD if you don’t want to pay for TBD practise.

3. Ensure that you take a day or two to consider how you might incorporate your profile (personality/WE/education/extracurriculars, etc.) into the overall scheme of things.

4. Do start with a really strong, assured one-minute pitch.

5. Pay close attention to what other people have to say. Try to absorb the majority of the ideas offered, if not all of them. This will simply demonstrate your excellent listening skills.

6. You can demonstrate initiative or an action-oriented personality by offering to keep the group’s schedule, take notes, or assign roles for the final presentation at the TBD (without fighting).

7. Ensure that everyone in the group always arrives on time. This is crucial since no one will be chosen from the group in TBD if they disregard the time restrictions.

8. Keep in mind that other TBD members are your friends, not your foes. If you work together as a team, you might even succeed together.

9. Be assured in both your words and your delivery. Don’t speak in a patronising or disrespectful manner.

We completed the TBD, and then the two TBD moderators called each of us in for a 15-minute personal interview. It was at 5 PM at the time, right before the MBA Pub on Thursday! The TBD was already for 35 minutes, the PI was kept really brief by Wharton (I personally think it is way too brief to give any important information), and the interviewer did not appear interested in being engaged in the topic. These questions were asked of me in my PI.

1. Please review your resume.

2. Why this or that, according to my resume

3. Ask me about my extracurricular activities, why I do them, and what you learned from them.

4. One or two professional inquiries

Why Wharton?

After the interview, I didn’t get the job, but I still had confidence in my TBD and PI. These are just two of the numerous factors at play.

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