TBE has gathered the best advice from former Admissions Fellows who shared the Do’s and Don’ts of interviewing.
Admissions Fellows are current Booth students who serve as representatives of the Admissions Committee and conduct interviews with prospective candidates. Here is a list of their honest advice on how to succeed.
- Make sure you’ve researched your interviewer. It was always impressive when a candidate would reference things I was involved in at Booth and ask more questions about my experience. Or if they were recruiting for a similar industry that I interned in, I appreciated when they referenced, “I saw you interned at XYZ firm…” It’s so easy to take 5 minutes looking at your interviewer’s LinkedIn profile and it showed that applicants had taken time to personalize the conversation.
- Be sure to add anything else you want to share after the formal questions are completed. Sometimes an interviewer may ask if there is anything else you want to share that hasn’t been covered. If the interviewer doesn’t prompt this, you could simply say something like – “I’ve really enjoyed our conversation so far, but if time allows, I want to be sure you and the admissions team are aware of this part of my background as it’s very meaningful to me.” Always keep it humble, but it’s helpful when there are specific things that you want Admissions Fellow interviewers to highlight in their feedback on you. Help them help you by highlighting the most exciting aspects of your application and background.
- Share your ideas of how you will uniquely contribute to the Booth community. All interviewers are looking to understand how you will succeed at Booth and a big portion of that is by how you will be involved. Are you from a country with small representation at Booth? Share more about how you will represent your region and build the Booth community back home. Have specific industry experience that will allow you to take a leadership role within a Student Group at Booth? Make sure you’ve expressed this to your interviewer so they can help envision your future at Booth.
- Don’t ramble. If you realize that you’ve been talking nonstop for more than 5 minutes, chances are you’re rambling. Keep your talking points organized and tight. The best candidates often presented their answers using three crisp points or by using a “STAR”-esq framework (STAR being: “Situation, Task, Action, Result”).
- Don’t read from scripted notes. This seems like an obvious one, but especially in a virtual environment when notes can be kept nearby, it may be tempting to reference your notes. While referencing notes, is okay, if done discreetly, don’t be the candidate that is reading a rehearsed answer. While we do encourage you to practice your answers to typical interview questions out loud, make sure you’re not sounding too robotic. I once interviewed a candidate who was clearly reading a script as I could see his eyes looking to the side. I figured he must be nervous so I tried to assuage him by saying, “we can keep this conversation very casual, don’t worry about any notes” – but he couldn’t let go of the krutch and it made the discussion feel insincere.
- Don’t be generic. If you’re asked about what you want to be involved in at Booth or “Why Booth?” you need to very specific. For example, don’t just say you’re interested in finance classes, name drop a few specific courses that you plan to take. Interested in travelling with classmates, make sure to reference a few of the traditions like “Random Walk”. Every business school has their way of calling specific programs or groups, so make sure you’re using Booth’s specific terminology.
Best of luck on your interview and congratulations on making it to this next step!