MIT Sloan MBA Interview Advice
We’re on the cusp of MBA interview season at MIT Sloan School of Management. Dawna Levenson, assistant dean of admissions, has some tips to help nervous applicants prepare for the MIT Sloan MBA interview.
This year, all interviews will take place virtually weekdays during business hours in local Boston time. These Zoom interviews will last approximately 30 minutes.
In previous years, Levenson has noted that the MIT Sloan adcomm interviews around 20–25% of the Round 1 applicant pool. Those invited to interview will be asked to respond to two additional questions prior to the interview. Details for submitting your essay will be included in the interview invitation.
MIT Sloan emails interview invitations on a rolling basis up until the decision deadlines. For Round 1, that is December 15, 2021.
What to Expect During the MIT Sloan MBA Interview
In this video, Levenson explains that she thinks of the interview as having three components. In the first portion, your interviewer will clarify any remaining questions about your application. This might include anything on your resume, within your essays, or in the pre-interview questions.
The majority of the interview will focus on behavioral questions. Here, they will ask you to reflect on how you handled specific experiences in the past. For example, “Tell me about a time when you were part of a team working on a project, and the project started not to do so well. How did you recognize that, and how did you turn it around?”
You’ll also have a chance to talk about your experiences as a leader and as a teammate.
“We believe your past experiences are some of the best indicators of future successes.” —Dawna Levenson
For more guidance, you can check out our B-Schooled podcast episode #28, which goes in-depth on how to answer behavioral interview questions. Also, applicants should be prepared to answer these questions: “Why an MBA” and “Why MIT Sloan is the best match for you” during their interview.
Finally—and Levenson called this perhaps the most important part of the interview—comes the opportunity for you to ask questions of your interviewer. These questions should be relevant to you and your interests, she advises. Levenson stresses that you should avoid asking anything you can easily find answered by browsing the school website.
Her biggest tip: It’s important to be yourself. Think of this as a conversation between you and your interviewer.
Who conducts the interview?
Many other business schools have a blind interview process. Not MIT Sloan. All interviewers are members of the admissions committee—not alumni or students—and therefore will have reviewed your application and watched your video before meeting you.
Candidates should come armed with stories and experiences not already touched upon in the application or essays. These stories should convey your passions and interests. Applicants should have a well-rounded suite of examples ready to deliver as answers. They should also have a level of detail and depth for each of their examples that will satisfy a more inquisitive admissions interviewer.
Besides focusing on the quality of an applicant’s answers, the admissions committee is also evaluating your potential fit. Here, you need to combine your research and a clear understanding of your profile strengths to deliver nuanced and impactful answers.
“At MIT Sloan, we’re looking to create a diverse class of students,” Levenson says. “There is no one size fits all.”
It should go without saying, but you still need to dress professionally for a virtual interview. Also, be mindful that the adcomm pays attention to every interaction you have with the school. From your application to the day of your interview, to the thank-you note you send afterward, all of it will help Sloan evaluate your fit with the school.