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Top Tips for a Successful MBA Interview

This Insider advice come from the Texas McCombs Full-Time MBA Admissions Committee:

After you submit your MBA application, you may receive an invitation to interview. First, we hope you take time to feel excited to have made it to this stage of the process! But then you might have some questions: What interview format options are there? What sort of questions will I be asked? Who conducts the interview? How should I prepare?

Like anything else, your MBA interview is an opportunity.

Some applicants may look forward to an interview but many of us may feel nervous (which is natural). If you are nervous, some key advice: The interview affords one of the only formal opportunities for official face-to-face interaction during the MBA application process– seize it. This interview can be just the thing the Admissions Committee needs to stitch together the rest of your application elements and we really enjoy getting to know you!

Different schools have different interview processes. It’s important to be familiar with how the Texas McCombs MBA program runs its interview operations. Be sure to read all confirmation emails and instructions very carefully. There may be various formats, booking procedures, or location & parking information provided for you.

Interviews are by invitation only.

Full-Time MBA

There are four different interview types:

  • on-campus with a student,
  • via video conference/call with a student,
  • off-campus in your local city with an alumni interviewer,
  • at another city location with an admissions officer

There is an online calendar from which you can select an interview slot that works with your schedule. We will inform you of the last date your interview needs to be completed. The only exception to this is booking an interview in your local city with an alumni interviewer; that process is slightly different, but we provide the step-by-step instructions in our interview invitation communications if you decide to go that route.

All of our student interviewers, alumni volunteer interviewers, and admissions officers are fully trained on conducting an interview that is professional, fair, impartial and helpful. Interviews typically last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

Working Professional and Executive (WPE) MBA Programs

Please watch your email after you submit your WPE application to be able to respond to an invitation and secure your preferred time slot. All interviews are conducted by members of the Admissions Committee and can typically last from 30 minutes to an hour.

Interview invitations can come at any time during the application round.

All interviews are blind.

“Blind interview” means the interviewer does not have access to anything about you or your application, except for your resume. Even so, it’s always a good idea to bring a copy for the interviewer to reference during the conversation. (This is required if you are interviewing with an alumni interviewer for the Full-Time program.)

Most interviews follow the general framework of introductions, questions from the interviewer for you to answer, then some time is left at the end for you to ask your questions about the program and/or application process.

Our Top Interview Tips

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Executive MBA Test Waiver: Everything you Need to Know

This post was written by the Director of Executive MBA Admissions, Sharon Barrett.

The most common question I get from Executive MBA candidates is definitely:

“How does the test waiver work and do I qualify?”

So here’s the lowdown– First and foremost, the Executive MBA is the only MBA program that accepts applicants’ petitions to waive the GMAT or GRE exam requirement. (Key words being “applicant” and “petition.”)  And everyone’s case is different, so there’s no recipe to follow, no checklist, and no guarantee that if you do certain things, you’ll get a waiver.

The MBA Admissions committee views each applicants’ petition in the context of their entire application, and renders a decision on the application versus a separate decision on just the waiver.

Here are the areas of consideration when reviewing an application with a petition for a test waiver:

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By the Numbers: Executive MBA Class Profile

Texas McCombs had a very strong pool of applications when putting together the MBA Class of 2020, and the numbers certainly reflect that. Let’s take a look at the Executive MBA class that started this fall:

The Executive MBA program welcomed 59 top-caliber business professionals to the McCombs School of Business MBA network. These students are experienced in managing teams and decision-making, and many have their own businesses. These industry leaders will surely challenge and inspire one another to reach new heights in their careers over the next two years in Austin.

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Diversity & Inclusion at Texas McCombs

This post was written by Jaden Felix, Senior Admissions Officer for the Full-Time MBA.

Within the MBA program at Texas McCombs, we seek out thoughtful and talented students who want to lead in ways that positively shape organizations and society. Each student’s knowledge, skills, and talents are leveraged to create a dynamic learning experience that emphasizes collaboration, authenticity, and exploration. You can see this in action within study groups, cohorts, community conversations, and in how we design our courses. Global acumen, an understanding of diversity, and how to create a culture of inclusion are important components of the learning experience. The Texas McCombs MBA community strives to create a welcoming environment where all students can clearly see themselves.

The ability to succeed in business is no longer focused just on managing the diversity of teams, but on leveraging different perspectives and celebrating them. Our Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion, Raji Srinivasan, is leading school-wide efforts in this arena, and all departments and programs are working toward defining and sharing  what Diversity and Inclusion means to us to set strategic goals that will uphold our commitment to D&I in higher education and business.
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The Non-Traditional MBA Candidate

The following was written by Samantha Frapart, Texas McCombs MBA ’17, and originally posted in June of 2017. 

I thought I couldn’t get into business school. With my double-major in English and Ecology, five years in non-profits, and my natural aversion to words like “Nasdaq” and “synergy,” how could I convince admissions teams that I belonged in their MBA programs? Well, after graduating from McCombs in May of 2017, I’m here to happily debunk one of the greatest myths of business school: The non-traditional candidate.

Contrary to popular belief, business programs aren’t looking for human calculators. They are looking for students eager to foster strong teams, willing to negotiate & compromise, and ready to share diverse perspectives. In management classes, I was able to add a unique viewpoint to discussions on anything from government regulations to corporate social responsibility. Though I looked to my study-team for help with my finance homework, I was able to offer equally important business lessons like proper brief-structure and design thinking.

We all have something to offer, it’s just a matter of figuring out what that is and letting it shine through.

Though I assure you “non-traditional” is a thing of the past, I know this process can feel daunting. So with the Full-Time MBA application currently open for the next class, I’d like to share some helpful tips from my experience (before and during business school) in hopes that it might ease your worries about applying and prepare you for the fantastic two years ahead.

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