My Haas MBA Interview: Oil Drilling to Consulting
Delighted as I was at having received an interview invite from Haas (UC Berkeley), I began furiously preparing for the interview. I had gotten interview invites from other schools such as MIT Sloan and Chicago Booth and I preferred both these schools to Haas. Nonetheless, I decided to give Haas a shot, since MBA admissions are uncertain and its difficult to predict outcome. In the end, of course I didn’t make it at Chicago Booth and MIT Sloan, and chose to matriculate at Haas. Today as I look back, some of my mates who did get into MIT Sloan and Chicago Booth haven’t done as well as me. I realize that its only up until a certain point that the brand name of your school can help, beyond that its your own hard work and dedication. Though initially I chose Haas since I didn’t have an alternate, I have to this day never regretted the decision. I have had the best time of my life at Haas. The cohort has been amazing and most of them have done very well for themselves.
My Background: My pre-MBA work experience revolved around oil exploration and prospecting. I worked as an engineer at a lee-known American oil drilling company. Had a pretty good GMAT – 750 and a GPA of 3.7, which were both above the Haas stats. Had several extra-curricular activities under my belt, the only problem however was that I never had any promotion after my 4 years of work experience.
My Interview Prep: I unfortunately didn’t choose application rounds wisely. Instead of distributing my applications, I applied to all 3 Booth, MIT Sloan and Haas in the same round. So most of my preparations were targeted at Sloan and Booth. I did however notice that many past interview questions were similar in all the 3 interviews.
My Interview: I chose to be interviewed by an alumnus off-campus. The interviewer was friendly and war. The interview tried to make this seem more like a conversation than an interview. Of course there were interjections and he deeply probed some of my responses, but that helped me better so that I knew where I had to emphasize. This helped me save quite a lot of time. The interview went on a little longer than expected, and this was a very positive sign for me. Below are questions from my interview:
- Why have you chosen to apply to Haas? What makes you believe that Haas is the ideal place to get an MBA given your profile?
- Your stated goal was to convert from Oil Drilling to management consulting. How feasible is this given the specialized nature of oil drilling?
- What are some important milestones in your career? How has your responsibilities within the organization changed over the past 4 years?
- You have a good GMAT and GPA, can you narrate times when you had to overcome difficulties to achieve these?
- What is your greatest weakness? What steps have you taken to overcome your weakness?
- Someone under you in your firm seemed to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. How do you deal with this person? What actions will you take?
- If selected to Haas what clubs will you join and why?