"One of those things that I read about, but didn't fully experience until I came to MIT Sloan, was the number and diversity of international students."
Preparing for Your MIT Sloan School Interview
Type of Interview
The MIT Sloan MBA Admissions Committee conducts Behavioral Event-Based Interviews. The concept behind Behavioral Event Interviews (BEI) is past behavior is a reliable indicator of future response in a similar situation. BEI is different from the traditional screening interviews:
- Instead of asking how you would behave in a particular situation, the interviewer will ask you 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.
- 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.
- 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 is Looking For
The interviewer will be looking for concrete and specific examples revealing one or several of the following traits during the interview:
- 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 a recent situation that showed favorable behaviors or actions, especially involving work experience, leadership, professional relationships, teamwork, planning, etc.
- Prepare short descriptions of each situation; be ready to give details when asked.
- Be sure to focus on examples not found in your application.
- Be sure 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. The interviewer will not give you the benefit of the doubt if there is something missing from your story.
You may send a thank-you through 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 2011, MIT Sloan School of Management
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“[The India Lab] program is one of the reasons I came to Sloan. ... The hands-on learning that MIT offers was a huge differentiator.”
"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."
“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!”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“For 35 years, we’ve been studying how companies get value from information. … We try to help organizations take a more holistic view of what they are trying to do.”
“Another plus is the international breadth of its student body. The students share their direct experiences and this greatly contributes to our understanding of various economic issues.”