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.
How to ace the Wharton interview?
Wharton MBA Frequently Asked Interview Questions
- Tell me about an experience where there was no formally
- Tell me how you have addressed the opinions of others in group situations?
- Tell me about a time you encountered conflict in a group and how you handled it?
- What did this experience teach you about yourself?
- How have you applied this knowledge to your work and/or personal life?
- How did the rest of the team feel about your actions?
- Tell me about an experience where there was no formally appointed group leader.
- Tell me about a time when you had to build a team or lead an effort.
- Your definition of leadership.
- How did you get others on board with your project?
- What strengths contributed to your success?
- Do you feel you made any mistakes during this process?
Tips to ace the Wharton MBA Interview
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.