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Cambridge Judge MBA Interview

As per the Cambridge Judge Business School website – “We want people who have:

  • excelled in previous academic achievements (top 25 per cent of class in undergraduate degree)
  • are highly motivated and ambitious, thrive under pressure, and have already exhibited clear progression within their career
  • have had some international experiences through their work and have a global outlook
  • are confident, creative, innovative, with strong interpersonal and collaborative skills
  • an interesting and varied life outside their work

Typically we would invite to the Cambridge Judge MBA interview about half the applicants in each round but this is not exact and really depends on the quality. Ultimately we have a small class (approx. 160) compared to many schools so the application stage is competitive.

All interviews are conducted by faculty members – either at our on campus day or by telephone/Skype. We NEVER use alumni or other staff so the process is fair and consistent.

A telephone interview will not undermine your chances. But you would of course have greater scope to assess the programme and environment of the business school if you attended in person.

Cambridge Judge MBA Frequently Asked Interview Questions

  1. Tell me something about yourself?
  2. Walk me through your resume?
  3. Why MBA? Why Cambridge Judge school?
  4. Why MBA now or Why MBA at this stage of your career?
  5. What is your short & long term goals?
  6. What is your Plan B if consulting/Investment banking does not happen?
  7. What are your key strengths? Can you give some examples please?
  8. What is your biggest weakness ? Can you give some examples please?
  9. How can you add value to the Class?
  10. Why should we take you?
  11. One reason that we should not select you?
  12. Interests and Hobbies – Be prepared!.. questions as basic as “Why do you do poetry (or any other activity” may be asked.
  13. Some Situational & Behavioral Question
    • What would you describe are your greatest achievement to date?
    • Give me an example of a time you faced a conflict while working on a team. How did you handle that?
    • Give me an example of a time when you did not meet a client’s expectation. What happened, and how did you attempt to rectify the situation?
  14. Case questions are fairly common in MBA interview especially for consulting aspirants. Below are a few sample for to practice for:
    • How many Golf balls can fit in a Boeing 747?
    • What’s the global market size for smartphones?
  15. Do you have any Question for us?

Cambridge Judge MBA Interview Questions – 1

The interviewer asked me:

  1. To walk him through my resume.
  2. Why MBA? Why Now?
  3. Why cambridge? What’s something you like?
  4. If you had one minute to appeal to the Admission Committee, what would you say?
  5. What makes a good leader?
  6. Tell me about an experience where you worked in a team?
  7. Your proudest achievement
  8. One thing you regret in your career

The interview went well indeed!

Cambridge Judge MBA Interview Questions – 2

The questions asked were easy and normal. It went on for around 30 minutes or so.

  1. Walk me through your resume
  2. What are your career goals? Why do you want to do an MBA?
  3. What has been the biggest achievement in your life?
  4. What is your management style?
  5. Describe a time when you failed in a team.
  6. What do you think are your weaknesses?
  7. Any questions you would like to ask?

Overall the interview went well.

Cambridge Judge MBA Interview Questions – 3

My interviewer was a professor on operations management and research and we had the interview in her faculty chamber. It lasted about 25 minutes and I saw it more as Story-boarding exercise rather than an interrogative deep dive into your resume or behavioural questions (since most of these are covered in the essays). And it definitely was a 2 way process with the professor talking a bit about what Cambridge can offer in line with my goals.

– Why MBA (I also did a 1 min elevator pitch with her permission so that she knows my background and how the MBA fits into the larger picture)

– Why Cambridge (Some exaplanation from her on what are Cambridges values and expectations from a Candidate, after I completed my answer)

– We discussed a bit about Cambridge’s faculty, books etc.

– Why 1 yr and long-term goals (got answered in the above 2 questions)

– What would be your post-mba job? why?

– She talked a bit about Cambridge’s learning centres and Entrepreneurship, which gave me an opportunity to talk about my role in Clubs and what activities I will do while on-campus

– we broke out talking a bit about running/extra-curriculars in-between.

She then requested a few questions and I had 3, which meant we spent some more time talking. Towards the end of the interview, when we walked back to the common room she asked me about other schools I applied too and was surprised I did not apply to Oxford Said, despite working in Oxford city. I had a solid rationale to explain and that was a great closing note for us to part.

Cambridge Judge MBA Interview – What to expect

We invite candidates to come to Cambridge for an evening and a day to interview with a member of faculty, talk about their career ambitions with a professional coach, and network with fellow candidates at a Cambridge College dinner. Compared to many programmes, this process is fairly extensive – so why do we do it like this and what do candidates gain from the experience?

College dinner

The evening before the interview, we invite candidates for dinner at one of the University’s Colleges. Candidates have a chance to get to know each other, and most importantly, start to develop their Cambridge network. We encourage candidates to foster their network at the earliest opportunity, through the interview day as well as careers treks and welcome events. The 12-month programme is incredibly intense, and candidates will be at an advantage if they start getting to know their classmates early – alumni have been known to form business partnerships at this dinner!

Candidates also get a taste of one of the unique aspects of Cambridge College life – the formal hall, one that has underpinned the traditions of networking and academic debate here in Cambridge. We’ve previously hosted interview dinners in the beautiful Cripps Dining Hall at Queens’ College, and among the stained glass crests of Trinity Hall’s dining hall.

Interview with a member of faculty

The Cambridge MBA is one of very few MBA programmes where all prospective candidates must be interviewed by a member of the academic faculty. This means that candidates get to meet the people who will actually be teaching them, and the professors themselves can assess academic ability, and contribute to the profile of the class, giving their vital insight into who they think will work well together in that year’s cohort.

Meeting with careers coach

Small groups of candidates meet with one of our external careers coaches, and have the opportunity to talk about their career plans and ideas, and how the Cambridge MBA could help them to realise their aspirations.

Crucially, the careers coaches have worked in industry, and know what employers are looking for in an MBA candidate, and have an insight into if candidates’ ideas are realistic and achievable. The discussions are very much led by students’ interests and provide them with a raft of ideas to think about once they have left Cambridge, regardless of if they ultimately receive an offer.

Lunch and tour of Cambridge

At lunch, candidates (and their partners, if they have come along) can meet current students and ask them in detail about Cambridge life and their experience so far. After lunch, candidates and partners are given guided tour of Cambridge, to give them a feel for the wider University and the city in which they are coming to study.

Vivian Li, from the current Cambridge MBA class, says:

“One of the things I remember strongly about my interview was the welcoming feeling that the admissions team provided. Chatting during the welcome dinner, it was clear that they knew each of our backgrounds very well, and that they had dedicated time getting to know all of our applications, as well as telling the candidates what they could offer in order to find a mutual fit.”

Natasha Takhar, MBA Admissions Coordinator, offers her advice to candidates preparing for their interview day:

“My advice is firstly to be honest and open about yourself and your future goals.

Bring your partner with you if they are going to be moving to Cambridge with you. Your choice of business school is a big decision and your success will depend on the support of those around you.

And finally, enjoy the day! Cambridge is a wonderful city and location for study and we hope to give you taste of this at the interview. Talk to people and be curious – you will make connections here, wherever you finally undertake your MBA!”

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