Top 10 Interview Tips for Graduate School Students Considering an EMBA

If you’re thinking about applying to Wharton’s MBA Program for Executives, don’t wait until you have submitted your application to schedule an interview. Wharton interviews candidates during any point in the application process. As you prepare for your campus visit, check out these interview tips from staff, alumni, and current students:

Barbara Craft

Barbara Craft, Director of Admissions

Campus: San Francisco

1. Have a good understanding of the program.

Don’t come to the interview with basic questions that can be answered easily on our website. This is not the place to be asking about how long the program is or where students stay. You should have thoughtful questions that pertain to your situation or about the Wharton experience as it relates specifically to you.

2. Expect questions.

The interview is a two-way conversation. It’s a time for you to ask questions, but also for us to find out more about you as a person. We ask questions that help us understand your journey and how you got to where you are and where you see yourself going forward.

3. It’s about fit.

Students learn as much from each other as they do from professors in this program so we want people here who like to learn and want to help others learn too. We’re trying to determine if someone is a good fit for this program and if the program is a good fit for them.

Diane SharpDiane Sharp, Director of Admissions

Campus: Philadelphia

4. Schedule an interview as soon as you can.

Your application does not need to be complete to interview. However, we do prefer that you’ve taken steps toward admission, such as started an application, attended an information event, or started preparing for the GMAT or GRE — in other words, you should be able to demonstrate that you are familiar with the admissions process.

5. Treat it like a job interview.

The interview is a one-on-one discussion with a member of the Admissions Committee and is an opportunity to share the kinds of things that may not come across on paper. It’s also an opportunity to discuss if you have the background and qualifications to be a competitive candidate.

Jun FanJun Fan, WG’18

Campus: Philadelphia
Partner/Portfolio Manager at FDO Partners, LLC
Cambridge, MA

6. Observe a class.

I observed a Technology Strategies class and saw how Wharton EMBA classes are unique. The professor was highly engaged with students and there was a lot of interaction among the students. It was interesting to see how students were learning from the professor as well as each other. As students shared their experiences and perspectives in class, I saw the diversity of their backgrounds. I wanted to get my MBA because I was an expert in one narrow field, and I wanted to broaden my knowledge. I was excited to see how Wharton EMBA students would help me achieve that goal.

7. Talk to students.

During the class break and lunch, I talked to current students about what it’s like to be a student in the program. That was helpful because I could ask about their experiences in the program and the impact the program is making on their careers.

8. Enjoy the interview.

As for the interview, I enjoyed that two-way conversation. I told them why I was looking for an EMBA program and about my goals. There was time to ask questions too.

Edgar OreEdgar Ore, WG’16

Campus: San Francisco
Consultant at Boston Consulting Group
Lima, Peru

9. Make the most out of your visit.

Commuting from Peru, I came to campus for a full class weekend so that I could attend classes, dine with students, and participate in the evening activities. Current students are very welcoming of prospective students. They know how difficult it is to balance school, work, and families and they will share their perspectives. By spending time with students, you can get a better sense of what the program is like and determine if it’s a good fit for you.

Todd WilsonTodd Wilson, WG’17

Campus: San Francisco
SVP of Information Technology, Clif Bar & Co.
Emeryville, CA

10. Get different perspectives.

Coming to campus to sit in on classes and meet students is very valuable. When you come, try to talk to as many people as you can to get different perspectives. If I had stopped at the first guy I met that day, I wouldn’t have gotten the full picture. Talking to several people gave me a better feel for what it would really be like.

If you are ready to schedule an interview, contact the office to which you are applying.