University of Pennsylvania – The Wharton School
Full-time MBA program – Interview Questions
Wharton has a unique “interview” approach, which includes a dreaded Team-Based Discussion (TBD) and a short interview:
- 35 mts team-based discussion (TBD), and
- 10 mts interview
Wharton will send you the topic for the TBD in the “confirmation & logistics” email.
Spend about one hour preparing about a one minute pitch for the TBD topic. Do not spend more time on it than that – it is possible to over-prepare. You don’t need a polished product, just a good idea with strong rationale. If you prepare too much, you may lose the openness to other concepts and ideas, which can be fatal in the TBD.
Some past topics include:
- The diversity of interests and backgrounds of the Wharton MBA community is reflected in the variety of programs that we support. The African American MBA Association, Private Equity and Venture Capital Club, Wharton Women in Business, Entrepreneurship Club, and the Veteran’s Club are five of the more than one hundred student-run clubs here at Wharton. Each year, many of these clubs run conferences, providing unique and exclusive opportunities for students to engage with business and thought leaders around the world.
For the purpose of this discussion, picture yourself as a core member of a student-run club’s Conference Committee. Feel free to consider yourself part of an existing club or one that has not yet been created. In this role, you and your team must create and deliver a one-day, high-impact conference on the topic of your choice keeping in mind that the event’s aim is to provide a forum for students, faculty, alumni, thought leaders, and executives to explore and challenge ideas related to the topic at hand. Please take a moment to learn more about the current Wharton MBA student-led clubs and conferences.
- In 2010 Wharton debuted a radical new vision: that business education should be a lifelong “knowledge partnership” between Wharton and its graduates. To that end, Wharton has invested in the creation of exciting and robust Lifelong Learning programming that provides a rich array of educational resources for all Wharton alumni throughout their professional lives. For example, MBA alumni in the class of 2010 and beyond are eligible to take one Wharton Executive Education open enrollment course free of charge every seven years.
The purpose of Lifelong Learning is to provide our alumni with continued opportunities for growth and professional development throughout their careers, and to do so using a variety of formats – downloadable content, online and in-person coursework, and educational events are just a few of the current methods of delivery. For this discussion, imagine that your team has been asked for a recommendation on a new Lifelong Learning offering. Over the next 35 minutes, please work together to come up with one recommendation that reflects a topic and a method of delivery that you feel would be relevant and developmental to Wharton’s alumni who have been out of the MBA program for 0-5 years.
Your group needs to decide within 20 mts or so which idea to back and then spend the rest of the time honing it and backing it up with solid reasoning.
The interview part is quite light. Common questions include:
- How do you think the TBD went?
- Was your behaviour typical of how you work in a team? / Was your behavior in the Team-Based Discussion representative of the way you typically act in group settings?
- Introduce yourself. / Tell me about yourself. / Walk me through your resume.
- Discuss your career progress to date.
- Are there any changes to your resume since you applied?
- What do you do in your free time?
- Tell me about your international experience.
- Do you want to highlight anything in your application?
- Tell me about a time when you had to overcome an obstacle while working in a group and what you would do differently if you had to do it again.
- Tell me about a time when you worked in a group in which everyone did not agree and how did your team resolve the situation?
- Tell me about a how you have had to persuade others.
- What are the top 3 qualities you think a leader should have?
- Tell me about a time you failed, and what you learned from it.
- What the 3 things you look for in a business school, especially in Wharton?
- What do you see yourself doing at Wharton?
- Why do you want an MBA? Why now?
- Why Wharton? What will you do if you are not accepted?
- Do you have any questions for me?
We can help with your interview prep. Contact us: