Johnson MBA Admission Interview Tips

Johnson at Cornell University MBA Admission interviews are by invitation only. The admission team provide a variety of interview options namely campus visits, alumni interview in your country and Skype interviews.

Interview Conducted by:
AdCom, Alumni or Current Students (In some cases, AdCom and Current Student will be present in the interview)

Duration: 30 Minutes to 1 Hour and 30 minutes

Style of Interview: Pleasant to Formal by AdCom, and Aggressive to Formal by current Students/Alumni



Tip 1: Read your resume

Like any top MBA Admissions interview, interviewers at Johnson MBA will use the resume as the first point of reference. Make sure that your strengths and achievements are highlighted.  Download resume guide for reference. Read your resume several times so that you have a clear idea on how to articulate the projects, extra-curricular and other achievements.

Tip 2: Visit the Campus

You might think that this tip has nothing to do with the interview. But the Johnson MBA AdCom advises applicants to visit the campus and register for a class visit.  Your previous interactions with the AdCom team will help you ease your nerves when you meet them during the interview.  When you answer the why Johnson MBA question, the class visit will provide you with added reference on why the program is unique. The class participation and team spirit can only be experienced through a class visit.

Tip 3: Steer the Conversation

Most interviewers will have a set of standard questions – why MBA, why Johnson MBA etc. but presenting yourself effectively depends on how well you are able to steer the conversation towards your profile strengths. With practice, you can master this. Download Admission interview practice videos

Tip 4: Choice of Other Business Schools

Interestingly, Johnson MBA Adcom will go into the details of your Business School choices. Be prepared to answer questions like why you have Stanford or Booth in your top five B-School list.  Try to differentiate the qualities of each Business School so that Johnson Graduate School of Management stands out.

Tip 5: Relax

The interview can be pleasant or a little aggressive. In any case, if you are prepared, you have nothing to worry. The interviewer will have a form with questions and she would be taking notes. Don’t get distracted by it. Relax and focus on presenting yourself effectively.


Tip 1: Do not dress in casuals

Although the interview is conversational, do not dress in casuals.
Men: Suit and tie
Women: Pants, Suit or a skirt suit

Tip 2: Be on Time

As in any other interview, be on time. If it is a campus-based interview, make sure that you confirm the interview schedule with the Adcom. Note down the route to Ithaca campus.
Extra-attention should be given to interviews conducted by Alumni. They might be in the middle of a busy schedule. It is your responsibility to confirm the location and time of the interview.

Tip 3: Be Confident and Articulate

Confidence in the way you speak is crucial. Be articulate and relevant when you present your profile. There is a thin line between confidence and arrogance. Interviews are not a platform to boast about your achievements. When you mention your achievements, structure them in such a way that you are presenting them as evidence on how well you fit with the rest of the class.

Key Questions

1) Walk me through your resume

2) How did you choose your career path?

3) Tell me something about you that is not mentioned in the resume

4) Walk me through your employment history and why you made the changes (in job or industry)

5) Why MBA? Why now?

6) Why Johnson?

7) Johnson is a small program. Why do you think you will be a good fit?

8) What are your short-term goals immediately after the MBA?

9) What research have you done for you post MBA job. Where would you like to work after you graduate?

10) What are your career goals and how would Johnson help?

11) What immersion program are you interested in?

12) Tell me about your leadership Experience

13) What 3 qualities do you believe a leader must have? Which of these is your weakest?

14) Are you a team player? What are things that you don’t like about working in teams?

15) What is the role you play in a team environment

16) Discuss a time at work where you faced a conflict

17) What did you achieve at your recent job? How?

18) What have you done to change the organization where you currently work? How?

19) Name and explain one difficult professional decision you were forced to make.

20) How do you plan on being involved in Johnson?

21) Which clubs interest you at Cornell? Why? Are you interested in leading any of them?

22) Discuss a time at work where you had to make a difficult decision

23) Tell me about a time when you worked with a challenging team member.

24) Tell me about a time when you did not agree with your supervisor.

25) What are some of the extra-curricular activities that you are interested in?

26)  What are some of the other MBA programs that you have applied? How is Cornell  

27) What are your strengths? Which three qualities make you unique?

28) What are you weaknesses?

29) How do you deal with failure?

30) How would your friends describe you?

31) What are you reading right now?

32) What do your parents do?

33) What are your long-term goals?

34) What have you done to learn about your future career path in greater depth?

35) What measures are you taking to ensure that you are academically prepared for the
rigorous coursework at Cornell?

36) Do you have any questions for me/us?

MBA Admission Interview Guide

The Guide offers detailed examples and strategies to answer about yourself, career summary, innovation, frequent job switch, managing change, handling conflict, the greatest accomplishment, low grades, difficult boss, backup plan, industry, role and gives you tips on managing first impression, improve likeability and lists the questions that you should ask the MBA Admission interviewer.


"I bought three interview guides from so called 'Experts'. Nothing comes close to what F1GMAT has written! Great Job"

"The guide teaches you how to control first impression. A concept that I tested during my interview. I got admitted to HBS!"

"Quick Read for anyone preparing for MBA Admission Interview. Very informative!"

"Extensively covers how to answer commonly asked MBA Admission interview questions. Highly recommend this book" 

Download MBA Admission Interview Guide