University of London – London Business School
Full-time MBA program – Interview Questions
In Singapore, LBS conducts off-campus interviews with an alumnus of LBS.
Check out the profile of your interviewer and “prepare” some small-talk to develop a rapport. Also think of specific questions you can ask at the end of the interview.
Dress smartly, and one step more formally than the interviewer – if you are meeting at his/her office, wear a suit but if meeting at a more informal location such as a cafe, drop the suit, but still wear a tie.
LBS interviews are not blind – so expect that your interviewer would have read your application package before speaking with you. So, for the usual questions such as why MBA, why now, why LBS, etc, you want to make sure you stick to the essay responses closely. Also, the interviewer may decide to dig deeper into some aspects of the application and essays.
LBS interviews are very conversational. But don’t let that mislead you into thinking that they are unstructured. LBS sends out a set of questions 50 questions (10 each for leadership, team work, motivation, maturity and communication) to the interviewers who can then pick the questions they want to ask from this pool.
That being said, LBS asks interviewers to evaluate you on the following criteria:
- Communication / English Language Skills – Overall, how articulate is this candidate?
- Team Skills – Does the candidate contribute to his team? understand his strengths/weaknesses? manage conflict well? understand how teams work well together?
- Leadership Skills – Does the candidate understand his/her leadership style? know his development goals?
- Drive & Energy – Does the candidate have passion?
- Intellectual Skills – Does the candidate analyze business situations well? show strategic perspective? think on this own?
- International Perspective – Does the candidate have exposure to cultural diversity? have interest in people from diverse backgrounds?
- Expectations & Interest in LBS MBA – Does the candidate convince you of strong interest in the LBS MBA?
- Contribution and Fit at LBS – Did the candidate ask good/relevant questions? Would the candidate contribute to the LBS MBA?
- Post MBA Career Objectives – Realistic goals, given background and LBS MBA?
The interview structure is generally split between the interview and a presentation.
- 25 mts – Interview (interviewer asks questions)
- 10 mts – Interviewer presents a topic
- 5 mts – Candidate prepares a 3 minute presentation on the topic
- 5-10 mts – Candidate presents
- 10-20 mts – Candidate can ask questions
Some commonly asked questions are:
- Walk me through your resume.
- What do you currently do?
- Why did you choose your undergraduate major?
- Why did you choose to work at your firm?
- Is your job really necessary?
- Why do you wake up in the morning?
- What motivates you?
- What are you short-term career goals? Long term? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
- Why do you need an MBA? Why now?
- Imagine world without an MBA. What would you do? If you can achieve your goals without an MBA why do you want to get an MBA?
- What triggered you to start thinking about an MBA?
- What are your criteria for selecting b-schools? Where did you apply? Why is LBS your choice among these programs?
- What are 3 adjectives you would use to describe LBS?
- Could you describe your extracurriculars?
- Tell me how you work as part of a team.
- Tell me about a time you had to overcome an obstacle while working in a group and what you would do differently if you had to do it again.
- How do you work with people from different cultures?
- Imagine you do not get along with someone in your study group. How will you handle the situation?
- How will you contribute to LBS?
- How would you contribute in a group that does not require your background and prior experience in the majority of its cases?
- How would you contribute to your study group at LBS from professional point of view?
- Outside of your professional experience, how will you add value to LBS?
- Imagine that some people in your study group are not contributing enough and your talk to them didn’t help. What would you do next? How would you handle it? How would you feel?
- What are your greatest success and your greatest failure?
- How do you handle stress?
- Tell me 3 of your strengths.
- Tell me your 2 of your weaknesses.
- What part of your childhood has influenced your life?
- When was the last time you took a risk?
- What type of personality do you have?
- How would your colleagues describe you?
- What will be your personal development after arriving at LBS?
- What is the toughest decision you made in your life?
- What are the key things for success? Or what is success for you?
- Tell me about your culture, please. What part of your culture will help you at LBS? What part of your culture could hinder you at LBS?
- Please give me an example of a multi-cultural experience you had.
- What would your co-workers say is your leadership style?
- How do you show leadership at work?
- Tell me about a time you failed as a leader? What have you done since then to avoid repeating this mistake?
- Tell me your definition of leadership. What kind of leadership have you experienced?
- What is the difference between a born leader and a manager? Who do you admire as a leader?
- Tell me about 2 examples of when you resolved conflicts as a leader.
- What would you do if you had $10 million? What would you do if you had unlimited money?
- What is going wrong in the world today? Why? What should be done about it?
- What are you most proud of? Why?
- How did the financial crisis happen?
- What is the biggest threat to your firm? What’s your strategy? How would you change the strategy?
Sample presentation topics:
- Telco is a British retailer that is facing limited growth. The CEO has proposed creating a new tablet, the ‘Hudl’, that will be affordable and target the 75% market in England that does not have tablets. Do you think that this is an innovative idea? Should Telco pursue this venture?
- Assume you have taken over Nokia as CEO. Following the major sale to Microsoft, what steps would you take to ensure the companies profitability and future survival. I was given 5 minutes to prepare and about 5 minutes to present using a whiteboard. The interviewer said he had chosen the topic because it was out of my experience/comfort zone and to see how I would react.
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