Wharton’s Team-Based Discussions Tips

Process: Wharton MBA Admission Interviews are by invitation only. Unlike interviews in other schools, the admission team facilitates a team-based discussion (TBD) with the goal of figuring out how you approach problems, opportunities, and leverage teamwork for achieving learning goals.

Interview Schedule

• 35 minutes for TBD
• 10 minutes one on one conversation with the Admission team

Style of Interview: Team Discussion with groups of 4-5 applicants, followed by a small 10 minutes one on one interview with the admission team (second-year student or the admission officer)

Selection Criteria: Adaptability, Awareness, Decision Making, Leadership, and Communication style. Persuasive communication has a clear advantage in the selection process.


1) Before the discussion, a prompt will be given with an end goal, mostly to reach a consensus or a solution.

2) The Admission team prefers that local applicants attend the interviews on-campus. For International applicants, there are off-campus locations where the TBD will be scheduled.

3) The Admission team also recommends that you visit and attend a sample class to experience the MBA program first-hand.


1) One Minute Pitch

The Admission team provides the prompt, and you have to present the case within 1 minute. Often applicants tend to feel that this is the only opportunity to be heard and exceed the allotted time. Stick to the 1-minute timeline. When you are presenting your position, bring your industry insight and unique experience with team management, into the pitch.

Think from the audience’s point of view.

• What is interesting?
• What is informative?
• What will leave a lasting first impression?

The opening statement is crucial as it was in your essays. So make sure that you write, rewrite, and prepare to say at least 10 to 20 times. The tempo of the pitch, the impression that your pitch would have on the evaluators and the dynamics that you develop with the team will depend on the statement. But don’t try to script the follow-up talking points, but instead, write down the main points. How you frame and bring the points to the discussion depends on the relevancy of the topic in the timeline.

2) Visit the Campus

If you get the opportunity to visit the campus and attend a Wharton MBA class, use that experience strategically in the discussion. As we had discussed in our Interview Guide about familiarizing yourself with the environment, campus visits will expose you to the hallways and the support staff at Wharton. During the interviews, you won’t be overwhelmed by the architectural beauty of the glass-steel interplay that is on full display at Vance Hall, where the TBD would most likely be held.

3) Network before the Discussion

No matter how much you prepare, a certain amount of anxiety is good for the discussion, but an overwhelming awareness about performance can hinder your admission chances.

First, pat yourself on the back for clearing the Essay round. Not many in the ‘world’ could do it. If you feel that you are competing with some of the best in the world, take solace in the fact that you are also among the best. They are feeling nervous and worried about you dominating the discussion.

To ease your nerves, start talking with other applicants. The cliché is that most of them would be outgoing and fake the conversation out of their need to overcome the nerves. Go beyond the pleasantries and engage in a real conversation, and your mind will get away from the big moment, and into a potential classmate or a future friend. Don’t discuss about the discussion, but if that is the only thought on your mind, start with TBD, and then diverge into the personal story of the applicant.

Download MBA Admission Interview Guide for Complete Dos and Dont's For Wharton's TBD

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.

The Guide includes commonly asked MBA Admission Interview Questions for:

1) Booth School of Business
2) Columbia Business School
3) Ivey Business School
4) Johnson Graduate School of Management
5) Insead
6) Kellogg School of Management
7) Stanford Graduate School of Business
8) London Business School
9) Harvard Business School
10) MIT Sloan School of Management
11) Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Download MBA Admission Interview Guide

Top 31 MBA Programs + Analysis of 24 Industries (United States)

We analyze the MBA Curriculum, Class Profile, Total Cost and Post-MBA Salary of Top 31 MBA programs in the US.

+ Industry Trends

+ Future of Aerospace, Agriculture, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Automobile, Clean Tech, Education, Energy, Fashion, Financial Services, Insurance, FinTech, Government, Healthcare, Life Sciences, Military, Manufacturing, Maritime, Media/Advertising, Technology, Tourism, Trade, Transportation and Logistics, Virtual Reality (VR), and Augmented Reality (AR).

Pages: 327


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"I bought the ultimate guide after a friend recommended it for me. The guide covers a lot of ground on the history of each prominent US states and goes into the reasons why a certain industry emerged from each state. In addition to the analysis of the economy, trends and expected changes in the next 5 years, the book features top MBA programs in each state with an extensive study of its curriculum. Ultimate guide is an essential reference book for MBA Applicants if they want to shortlist MBA programs based on value and cost, and not just ranking. " - Verified Purchase (14th June 2017)

"Should be a required reading before applying for an MBA. School events and MBA Tours are PR events disguised as a Q&A. On the contrary, the book is an unbiased analysis of each Top MBA program in the US supported by a large dataset and historical context on each industry. The guide builds a case for indstries that are likely to emerge as favourite for MBA graduates. Thorough and a valuable book." - Verified Purchase (15th June 2017)

"What I liked: The breadth of the information. Some of my favorite nonfiction books have taken the same approach as the ultimate guide have - cover background information in-depth. In the book, the author uses parallel threads to demonstrate the history of the state and the rise of industries. Will make you think how schools thrive based on the policy set by the state. California's obsession with Technology has revolutionized how we do Business and changed post-MBA trends. Many MBA applicants will be consulting or doing marketing for a Technology company. That is one key finding from the book. The latest development in AI, FinTech, and Automation is an additional context that I found valuable in the book.

Very informative. I would recommend that you read the book at least once in chronological order before using Table of Contents." - Verified Purchase (2nd July 2017)

Download How to Choose the Best MBA in US: The Ultimate Guide
(2018 Entering Class)

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