My NYU Stern Interview Questions: Tax Advisor’s Tale
Ever gulped a beer can in under 60 seconds celebrating having got something after a long time ? Well, that’s what I did after hearing about my NYU interview invite. My MBA Admissions consultant assured me that NYU Stern was bit of a stretch. Anyway, he was wrong, and I did make it all the way through to the interview (and even matriculated at Stern)!
My Background: I was a tax adviser at a non big-4 audit firm in Chicago. I really wanted to transition into consultancy and eventually to private equity. It was too ambitious for me. Anyway, I had an undergrad in finance from a little known, no-name university. I think I had decent GMAT – 720, and a decent GPA – 3.8/4. I had been working for over 4 years at my job and had been promoted from an analyst role.
My Interview Prep: Like I said, B-School was a pretty big deal for me, particularly, Stern. I prepared for the interview quite sincerely and earnestly. I looked through all interview questions and took prep packages from a big-shot MBA admissions consultant. Cant tell if it helped, but it certainly helped calm my nerves in making me feel prepared.
The D-Day: I think if there’s one thing I could go back and changes in my interview, it would be my nerves. I was unnecessarily nervous. The pressure that I had to convert this interview was too heavy on me. Even in the first couple of minutes, I could hear my voice shuddering as I started my first answer. I think I made it through because the adcom was incredibly understanding. Offering me water and suggesting that she was really impressed with my app so far. I regained confidence and was able to give a great interview. Since I panicked I forgot many of the answers I prepared, but decided to calmly reflect the real reasons, and genuinely make an attempt at the answers. In the end I would like to think that I wiped out the blot of a nervous start. This could be you, if you are looking for advise on beating the NYU Stern interview, there’s just one thing I would like to tell you: don’t over-prepare! While you must always prepare, don’t obsess. I think in my case my undoing was that I thought way too much of the consequences of messing this interview up. Don’t think about those things. Do your best and leave the rest to God (if I may). That was just my 2 cents, here are the questions:
- Tell me about yourself. What is the one interesting thing about you that I wouldn’t know by looking at your resume and the rest of your app so far?
- What is the biggest regret you have so far in your career and why?
- Think of a time when you motivated your team to complete a difficult project which required lots of cooperation. How did you achieve this?
- Why have you chosen to do your MBA at NYU Stern?
- What are the risks professionally for you in giving up 2 years of your work-life to do an MBA?
- Why do you think this is the ripe time for you to get an MBA? Why not later?
- What values has your work experience in audit taught you?
- Several candidates have made the switch from audit/advisory to management consulting after an MBA from Stern. However the path is incredibly difficult and several others have failed. Why do you believe you can make this switch?