I Overview Cornell Johnson MBA Interview

Each year the Cornell Johnson admissions committee invites a limited number of applicants to interview for its MBA program. Top MBA programs like Cornell Johnson generally interview 2-3 applicants for every available place in their upcoming MBA class. While an invite is sign that you’re in the running for an admit, you’re also now part of a highly competitive subset of the overall applicant pool. You can prepare for your interview with the help of this guide and, optionally, the Mock Interview Service.

Question Who conducts Cornell Johnson MBA interviews?

Cornell Johnson MBA interviews are conducted by students and admissions committee members.

Question Are Cornell Johnson MBA interviews resume-based or application-based?

The Cornell Johnson MBA program conducts resume-based interviews, wherein the interviewer has reviewed your resume but has not examined the rest of your MBA application (recommendations, essays, short answers, etc.).

For in-person interviews, it’s courteous to bring a paper copy of your resume to the interview location. In the case of online interviews, applicants should have a PDF copy of their resume readily available in case it’s requested via email. Occasionally, a busy current student or alum MBA interviewer may not have had much time to review the applicant’s resume beforehand. Therefore, Cornell Johnson MBA applicants should be prepared to provide a brief, two-minute overview of themselves at the beginning of the interview if prompted. This introductory summary often serves as the first interview question asked (“So, tell me about yourself…”).

Question How important is the Cornell Johnson MBA interview?

The influence of the Cornell Johnson MBA interview on the admissions decision is low to moderate.

Cornell’s admissions committee members are highly skilled in conducting interviews, and their student interviewers receive training as well, albeit to a lesser extent. Interviews conducted by admissions committee members are likely to carry more weight in the admissions decision-making process compared to those conducted by students, which have only a moderate influence.

Due to the large number of students conducting interviews, it can be challenging for the admissions committee to standardize positive feedback. For example, one student interviewer might describe a candidate as “great,” while another might characterize them as “interesting.”

II Mock MBA Interviews

In addition to practicing interview questions on your own, the mock interview service can be a great way to receive feedback on your professional stories (with a view to improving them). Typical MBA and EMBA interview questions include goals  (Tell me about yourself? What are your goals? Why MBA? Why school X?) on strengths/weaknesses, and behavioral questions (Tell me about a time when…?).

Below you can listen to former clients answer MBA interview questions and receive feedback on their answers. An audit professional answers the question Tell me about yourself in part 1 and receives feedback in part 2. An employee compensation consultant answers the behavioral question Tell me about a time when you mentored someone in part 1 and receives feedback in part 2.

III Cornell Johnson MBA Interview Questions

Note that a lot of schools have begun asking about diversity, equity, and inclusion during interviews. You should be prepared to talk about these issues and how diversity, equity, or inclusion have played out in your work.Here’s a list of core questions to practice before your Cornell Johnson MBA interview:

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. What are your short-term goals and how can Cornell Johnson help you achieve those goals?
  3. What would you get involved in outside the Cornell Johnson MBA classroom?
  4. What would others say are your two core strengths and one area for improvement (weakness)?
  5. + Prepare stories for at least 3-5 behavioral questions of your choice. You can access a list of behavioral interview questions organized by categorically at our sister website, resumeSTORY.builders An example would be: Tell me about a time when you encountered pushback. Tell me about a time when you worked in a professional setting that was diverse. What was one challenge you encountered? Tell me about a time when you received constructive feedback.
  6. Have you ever encountered a diversity issue in an organization?
  7. Is there anything you’d like to talk about that we didn’t cover?
  8. + Prepare two solid questions for the interviewer.

Here are some mock interview sequences for the Cornell Johnson MBA program. Studying the sequences will give you a sense of the questions Cornell Johnson interviewers tend to ask.

Example 1 Cornell Johnson MBA Interview Questions

  1. Why an MBA?
  2. What are your career goals?
  3. Why consulting?
  4. How would Johnson help?
  5. What clubs do you see yourself getting involved in?
  6. What type of leadership roles would you want in those clubs?
  7. Tell me about a time you were a leader.
  8. What is an example of you being a team player?
  9. What is your role in your organization?
  10. What other programs are you applying to? Why?
  11. What is it about finance that you don’t like?
  12. What have you done to connect with Cornell students?
  13. Have you reached out to any current students?

Example 2 Cornell Johnson MBA Interview Questions

  1. What is something you would like to share that is not already on your resume?
  2. What is your day-to-day like? How is your team made up?
  3. (Behavioral Question)  Tell me about a time when you had an opportunity to be innovative or make decisions on your own?
  4. Why not Dartmouth? I hear Hanover is also a great place to live.
  5. What do you plan to do while at Cornell?
  6. Since you are already in a Consulting role, why do you want to come to Johnson just to do Consulting again?
  7. What other schools are you applying to? Why did you select these, other than clearly wanting to be in New York?

Example 3 Cornell Johnson MBA Interview Questions

  1. (Behavioral Question) Tell me about a time in your career where you’ve handled responsibility.
  2. How would colleagues describe your leadership approach?
  3. What job are you seeking post-MBA? Why do you need an MBA to achieve these goals?
  4. What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?
  5. Do you like you current job? Why do you want to leave it?
  6. (Behavioral Question)  Tell me about a time when you were taken outside of your ‘comfort zone’.
  7. To which other schools are you applying?
  8. Do you have any questions for me?

Example 4 Cornell Johnson MBA Interview Questions

  1. Tell me why you chose the college major you did.
  2. Why MBA? Why now?
  3. Why consulting?
  4. What’s the best part of your job?
  5. (Behavioral Question)  Tell me about a time when you were in a leadership position (either formally or informally).
  6. Why Johnson?
  7. What other schools did you apply to?
  8. How would your coworkers describe you?
  9. Tell me where you see your current industry in 10 years.
  10. How have you prepared for the heavy quantitative emphasis at Johnson?
  11. What would you bring to the Johnson community?
  12. How would you be involved with outside of class?
  13. Is there anything you would like to add?

Example 5 Cornell Johnson MBA Interview Questions

  1. Tell me about yourself
  2. Why an MBA now?
  3. Why Johnson?
  4. How would you define a leader?
  5. (Behavioral Question)  Give me an example of when you were a leader.
  6. (Behavioral Question)  Tell me about a conflict you faced in the workplace?
  7. If I called your supervisor, what would he/she say about you professionally and personally?
  8. How would you contribute to our community?
  9. Is there anything you would like me to tell the admissions committee?
  10. Do you have any questions for me?

Example 6 Cornell Johnson MBA Interview Questions

  1. Walk me through your resume.
  2. What do you do at your work?
  3. Why an MBA?
  4. Why Now?
  5. Why Johnson?
  6. How would your friends describe you?
  7. What are your weaknesses?  What would your friends say your weaknesses are?
  8. (Behavioral Question)  Describe a time when you had to influence others to do something at work.  Tell me how you changed their initial thoughts or approach to a problem.
  9. If I could tell the Admissions Committee just one thing about you what would you want me to say?
  10. The admissions committee reviewed your file and commented that your GMAT score is a little low compared to our other applicants, and that you don’t show a lot of quant work at your current job position.  How will you prepare for the tough workload at Johnson?  The quant classes might be hard for you.
  11. Do you have any questions for me?