Darden MBA Interview Questions: A Consultant’s Account

I was working as an associate/analyst at a less-known consulting firm in the US, and was looking to climb up the corporate ladder. It seemed to me an MBA was very essential to make the climb, so I decided to go back to school. I applied to several mid-tier US schools like Darden, Tuck and UCLA. I got an interview invite from several schools and was successful at 2 of these. Finally chose to matriculate at Darden.

My Background: US Female, undergrad from a less-known state school. GPA around 3.6 and GMAT just below 700. Post-MBA goal I wrote in my application was to get into higher management positions within consulting, and use tools from MBA to be a better consultant.

Difficult Darden MBA Interview Questions

Prep for my Interview: I looked up all interview questions on the internet for Darden. Some places had frightening questions, for which I couldn’t think of answers.  I chose to be interviewed over Skype by an Adcom member.

Interview Questions: Before I get to my interview questions, if there’s one thing I’d like to tell all the readers, as far as Darden is concerned, while my interview questions may not be relevant to you – the interviewers are super friendly. This is based on the experiences of several of my friends, who interviewed at Darden. Don’t read off too many questions of the internet and get yourselves unduly burdened. Have a genuine story (which you should have by this stage), and reflect on the purpose of why you need an MBA and why an MBA from Darden, and that’s about it. Before I ramble further, here are my interview questions:

  1. Tell me about yourself. What is one interesting aspect about you that is not in your resume?
  2. What is your greatest strength and your greatest weakness?
  3. Why are you looking at getting an MBA particularly from Darden? Is it just that Darden is one among the several schools you have applied to, or is there a specific reason you have chosen to apply to Darden?
  4. Could you elaborate on your post-MBA goals and why Darden is the best place to achieve them?
  5. What are your unique qualities that will help you achieve your post-MBA goals?
  6. Could you narrate a time in your professional life when you were stretched to the limits and had a lot of ground to cover? How did you manage the situation?
  7. Tell me about a time when you went out of your way to help a struggling colleague? Why did you help him/her?

At the end of the interview, I really felt that I did my best. A few weeks later I got my accept and was thrilled. All the best to you!

Author: Homer

Homer has an MBA from a top-three US B-School. An Indian engineering graduate from a non-IIT (IITs are Indian equivalents of our tech schools such as Caltech and MIT), Homer is hope for all non-IITians looking to get into Harvard/Wharton/Stan. Homer has a BE degree in mechanical engineering from a college in the south Indian city of Bangalore. Homer says that he was never a great student in his earlier days or at engineering school. What then worked in his favor? Well he founded a mechanical engineering startup after working for a couple of years at a renowned German automobile company. Homer has the longest pre-MBA work experience in our family - 4 yrs at his first job in a no-name mechanical engineering firm + 2 yrs at the German automobile maker + 3 yrs at his startup. Homer sold his startup back to his former employer and is now a top consultant (MBB consulting). Watch out for posts by Homer (to avoid them, of course!).

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