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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Chicago Interview

Chicago Booth Interview Reports
2009 Tokyo alumni #1

I had my Chicago interview yesterday (at the last second, 
The format was 30 minutes of English interview going over normal questions, and dragging on to a chat-like Q and A session in Japanese. 

Total of 1 hour.
The key point in my eyes, was to convince Chicago was my top choice. She kept saying "Your English is so good compared to mine, and with your character, you will have no problem blending in with everybody." and "You probably have a long list of schools you were admitted to." and so forth. That is why I just emphasized Why Booth more than anything else. And I believe I did well on that. Just keeping my fingers crossed since as you say, the admission process is holistic, and an interview is not Make-or-Break.
Below are the questions I was asked:

Chicago Booth Interview with alum

March 3rd, 19:00-20:00 @ Alum's Office

1. Can you go through your professional career?
2. How did you convince your boss?
3. But in a Japanese company, do really junior staff convince the superior management?
4. What is LNG? Who uses it?
5. What do you think is the most important thing to keep in mind when doing business? (Or similar question along this line)
6. Career goal
7. When did you get interested in the energy industry? Why did you join Company X?
8. Any difficulties in your career?
9. Strengths / weaknesses
10. Why MBA / Why now / Why Chicago

2009 Tokyo alumni #2

Date/Time: Feb 21, 2009 11:00-12:00
Place: Starbucks @ Shibuya station 
Interviewer: Woman from class of 2007

-Why MBA
-Why Chicago
-To my answer - you said fit with freedom philosophy, but are you comfortable with Japanese companies' culture?
-What is your strength and weaknesses, and other things such as hobbies.

Any questions? I asked her if I can speak Japanese and she allowed me to do so.
(I thought she would be happier to talk her story in Japanese rather than in English)

She talked about her experience of Chicago Booth and advised me how to spend time in Chicago. (My strategy worked because she conversationally talked for more than 20 minutes.)

She said you can do well at Chicago Booth...May be OK in interview.

Impression: She is so energetic. She is like "Obachan in Osaka" (famous metaphor for energetic middle-aged women in Japan. .. )

2009 w/ 2nd year student on campus
I just had an on-campus interview of Chicago Booth on Feb. 11.

Actually, questions were standard, but my interview was not conversational, but rather Q and A session. (My interviewer was a little bit silent and non-responsive. He paid much attention to time because he had another interview just after mine.)

Place: Chicago Harper Center
Interviewer: 2nd-year student (Blind)

Time: 40 minutes
Questions asked:
  1.  Tell me who you are
  2.  Why MBA and Tell me your long-term/short-term goal
  3.  Tell me your experience in which your supervisor objected to your idea
  4.  What kind of impact current world recession have on your country and company?
  5.  What do you do when you are off?
  6.  Tell me a book you recently read.
  7.  Anything else to add? (I explained Why Chicago, since he forgot to ask me this question.)
  8.  Any questions?

2009 w/ alumni in JP #1
When she has something she doesn't fully understand in my answer, she required more detailed answer or additional questions. So, some interviewees would feel pressured. However, I found that the interviewer  just tried to figure out who I am from various angle. I also saw not biased professional attitude in her questions and answers. She kindly shared her own experiences and opinion in detail, answering my question.
I was impressed that she tried to present the reality of Booth and offer enough information so that I could figure out whether Booth is the right place to me. (At the end of interview, she told me that Booth would be a right place to me, mentioning my concrete action plans in Booth.) I enjoyed conversation with her. She seemed satisfied with my answer overall.

  1.  Ice breaking chat about today's weather.
  2.  Questions / Conducted all in English except the last part / Very interactive / Initially scheduled 30 minutes
  3.  but we talked over an hour.
  4.  Walk me your about your resume concisely. Tell me about your career development. Why did you join current employer?
  5. To my explanation about my major:   Why did you major in X?  After my answer:    Why were you interested in Y?
  6.    To my explanation about my first position in my company:    Please explain detail about Z Prefecture's local economy and market?    To my answer:    How did you analyze so?    To my answer:    You said that you persuaded your supervisor to allow you to conduct your own project which was not ordinary   practice in your company.    How did you persuade him? And explain why do you think he allowed you.
  7.    To my explanation about my current position:   What is your main responsibility?    Explain more detail about your industry.
  8.  Why Chicago?   She asked several questions against my answer and provided me with information of Booth.
  9.  S/T, L/T goal?    To my answer.   What do you think is my company's problem in sales strategy?   About my L/T goal -   Doesn't your company operate international operation now?   It seems to me that your S/T and L/T goals are not directly connected. Explain the relationship between L/T and S/T goals.
  10.    How did you gain your personal traits? Through your career, or other experiences?   (She said I had a strong trait in a good sense.)
  11.  Your English is very good. How did you learn your speaking skill?
  •  We talked in Japanese from here.
  •  I interview a lot of candidates. I might forget you. Please give me some key words or topics to help me remember you.
  •  She introduced herself.
  •  She gave me opportunity to ask her questions.


2008 - #1
By the alum (class of 2006)
Time: 1 hour
Language: 50% English, 50% Japanese
 (1)Self Introduction
 (2)Why MBA now?
 (3)Why Chicago GSB?
 (4)Strength and Contribution to GSB's study group.
 (5)Biggest Accomplishment
 (6)definition of teamwork and teamwork experience (so far in English)
 (7)Any Qs? (in Japanese)

Interviewers attitude: Her classmate was from BoJ and we was able to talk
about him and Japanese member of class of 2006 very

General note: reading reports in our database, it seems that some interview with alumni were conducted all in Japanese and others as much as 80% in Japanese. These reports were a few years old. We do not know if there has been any efforts made by Rose Martinelli and/or Japanese GSB alumni to increase use of English in interviews.

2008 - #2

Chicago GSB (admission interview in Tokyo)
Time: Approx. 40 minutes
1. Introduce yourself and follow-up question about the detail of the
past project I engaged
2. What is your motivation to conduct such the project
3. Future career goals (STG and LTG)
4. Why MBA
5. Why GSB
6. How have you developed since last application ( I am a reapplicant to GSB)
7. Contribution to GSB
8. Anything else
9. Q and A

More reports here:

You can also check's Searchable database:

-Updated by Vince on 14 March 2012

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