September 2, 2021

Question Prompts for Interviewers

Interviews can certainly be daunting, but the best way to prepare for them is to practice. Practice answering possible questions the committee may ask you, but also practice questions that you should ask the committee.

–      For the Admissions Committee
If an admissions committee member is interviewing you, you should ask questions that show you have a fair amount of knowledge about the school already but have specific questions related to your academic or extracurricular interests.

  • You can assume the admissions committee member has the depth of program knowledge to answer such fine-grained questions. Avoid any questions that suggest anything negative about the school or display your anxiety about the admissions process.
  • “Is the *university* planning any major changes that will affect next year’s entering class?”
  • “At the University of *your undergraduate*, I was very active in convincing alumni to meet informally with students for professional networking opportunities. Will there be opportunities for me to help out the Career Services Office in any similar way?”
  • “I read that *bring up a current topic/trend you read about*. What changes are likely within the next year or so?

–      For Student Interviewers

If you are being interviewed by a current student, you can ask much more specific questions about the curriculum, professors, and the student experience. Never forget that students, more approachable though they may seem, are evaluating you as potential peers: stay positive and professional.

  • “Have you taken any courses with Professor *professor’s that you hold interest in*? What are they like as teachers?”
  • “Which student clubs are most popular in your class?”
  • “Can you recommend any off-campus neighborhoods for first-years?”
  • “What has surprised you most about *school/city location* since becoming a student?”

–      For Alumni Interviewers
Alumni interviewers are the most unpredictable. You may be lobbed softballs for an hour with an avuncular alum eager to smooth your way, grilled rigorously by someone with a mysterious chip on his shoulder, or be frozen out entirely by an alumnus who seems more interested in his own story than in yours. Don’t ask questions that assume they have current knowledge of the program, and remember that most People are flattered by questions about their own experiences.

  • “How has an * university* MBA helped you in your own career?”
  • “What aspects of your MBA experience have been most useful to you in your post-MBA career?”
  • “How helpful has the school’s network been to you since you graduated?”
  • “What are the opportunities for alumni to stay connected or involved with the school? Is the chapter here in *school location* pretty active?”

For more help with admissions and interview preparation, contact an expert Admitify coach!