The admissions interview is one of the most important parts of the business school application process, because it’s the only time that the admissions office get a chance to meet the real, live you. Business schools rarely employ the “stress interview” technique, trying to make you squirm and seeing how you perform under pressure. The process is stressful enough, and they’re more interested in getting answers to their questions and getting to know the real you, than in seeing how well you can stand up to stress.
Still, every year we hear from applicants who were surprised by weird MBA admissions interview questions. Most often these come from alumni interviewers, which makes sense since they come from multiple industries, have different levels of experience conducting interview, and sometimes are keen to “try out” some interview questions they’ve heard on the job.
Just to keep you prepared for the slight chance that you may encounter these questions, below are ten of the most unusual ones we’ve ever heard:
- Sell me this pen.
- Look at this painting. What does it mean to you?
- If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?
- How many golf balls are in the air around the world, right now?
- Why would [school name] ever want to admit you?
- What’s the best email address you’ve ever seen? Why?
- If they did a movie about your life, what actor or actress would you choose to play you?
- Are you a dog or a cat person? Sell me on why that animal is better.
- If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
- I’m trying to land an airplane but don’t know what to do. Talk me through it and help me land.
You’ll notice that these questions are all over the place. The common thread running through the most useful ones is that they all have to do with YOU, while some of the other ones are just plain unusual. Either way, if you encounter such a question, know that how you react to it matters just as much as what your answer is. So, keep your cool, pause for a few moments (Don’t fear silence… it’s a powerful communications tool!), and have fun with your answers. If you want more help, Veritas Prep offers MBA admissions interview preparation as a standalone service.
Have you ever been asked a weird or unusual interview question, either for admission or for a job interview? If so, let us know!