"When I came to MIT Sloan, I felt immediately that everyone was here to help everyone else."
Preparing for Your MIT Sloan Interview
Type of Interview
The MIT Sloan MBA Admissions Committee conducts Behavioral event-based interviews. The concept behind the Behavioral event-based interview (BEI) is that past behavior is a reliable indicator of the future response in a similar situation. The BEI is different from traditional screening interviews:
- The interview will be a structured process that will concentrate on areas that are important to the interviewer, rather than allowing you to concentrate on areas that you may feel are important.
- Instead of asking how you would behave in a particular situation, the interviewer will ask how you did behave.
- Expect your interviewer to question and probe your answers.
- The interviewer will ask you to provide details and will not allow you to theorize or generalize about several events.
- You may not get a chance to deliver any prepared stories.
- Most interviewers will be taking copious notes throughout the interview.
What the Admissions Committee Looks For
The interviewer will be looking for concrete and specific examples that reveal one or several of the following traits:
- Influencing others: the ability to influence a person, group, or organization.
- Relationship building: the ability to build and maintain professional relationships.
- Drive: the ability to set an objective and achieve it.
Preparing for BEI
- Recall the recent situation that showed favorable behaviors or actions, especially involving work experience, leadership, professional relationships, teamwork, and planning.
- Prepare short descriptions of each situation; be ready to give details when asked.
- Focus on examples not found in your application.
- Ensure the story has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
- Be honest: don’t embellish or omit any part of the story.
- Be specific: don’t generalize about several events; give a detailed accounting of one event.
You may send a note to the interviewer via email or postal mail to the following address:
Name of Interviewer
MIT Sloan School of Management
238 Main Street, E48-500
Cambridge, MA 02142-1347
This document is solely for use by MIT Sloan MBA applicants. No part of it may be circulated, quoted, or distributed without prior written approval from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Copyright 2014 MIT Sloan School of Management. All rights reserved.
“I can honestly say that when I was planning on coming to business school I never thought that witnessing the birth of a child would be included in the education. It was definitely an experience.”
“It was really rewarding that they wanted to know what we thought. We left there being fairly certain that they will do some of the things that we suggested.”
“The conditions in the neighborhoods we were visiting were different than what we realized before getting there. Beyond that, what was surprising was that there weren’t surprises!”
“At MIT Sloan you have a lot of opportunities to explore entrepreneurship. Especially in a place like Kampala where you have a lot of development, entrepreneurship can be very exciting.”
“I love being in a place that is such a nexus of people and ideas — people coming to learn something new and to define themselves. Being a part of that process is a real honor and a real gift.”
“Because of the diversity of our backgrounds, when we hit the ground in Tanzania it almost was a natural play where different people assume different roles.”
“These companies are really excited to work with MIT students.They reach out to the community to set up these projects and are great to work with. They give us access to all their resources and are very open to us.”
“I knew about American business, but not enough about what’s really become a global economy. … You can read about it all you want, but there’s no substitute for being there and seeing the context and seeing how completely different these [other countries] are.”
“The concept behind enterprise architecture is that you have all these machines, you have all these business processes, you have all these people doing things, how do you make sure they all come together and achieve business objectives that make you more competitive.”
“We’re very interdisciplinary. Among the faculty in the group are an economist, a political scientist, a sociologist, and an industrial relations specialist. We’ve always made a big effort to be open to a variety of perspectives, but also to go beyond being open to them, to want to bring them in, because it makes for a richer environment.”
“You could talk about watershed management and conservation of energy all you want. But until you put numbers to it and financial analysis to it, you’re not going to get much done. I came to business school to speak that language, speak with people in terms of numbers, financial numbers so that I can get projects done.”
“One of the reasons I came to Sloan was because I wanted to be at a top MBA institution worldwide. But I also wanted access to working with the latest innovations and the highest technology that was coming out of the MIT labs.”
"The relationships that we forged helped us to turn out a better project. We were able to test our hypotheses with the people that we spoke with every single day. And really, I think the friendships that you develop really propel the work that you’re doing."
“We are very much an action-learning environment. The way to learn leadership is not only through reading cases, not only through learning theory — in fact we don’t want people to regurgitate the theory. We want people to take theory and to live it, use it.”
“By training tomorrow’s leaders to manage the risks of the financial system effectively and ethically, we’ll have a fighting chance of surviving even the largest crises.”