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Oxford Said MBA Interviews

If you are selected for an Oxford Said MBA Interview, you will be invited to come to the School and have your interview here. The School also offers interviews at key locations in other countries – your invitation to interview will specify all options available at that time. Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend an in-person interview whenever possible. However, if you are not able to attend in person Oxford will arrange a Skype interview for you. This will not affect the final decision. For applicants based in the UK an in-person interview at Oxford is required.

Your interview will be a one-to-one discussion with a senior member of the Admissions Team, the Careers Development Team, Faculty or an industry advisor. Industry advisors are a select group of senior executives who have experience of working for leading firms across a broad range of sectors, who also work closely with our careers team.

The Oxford Said Interview

Oxford Said MBA Frequently Asked Interview Questions

  1. Tell me something about yourself?
  2. Walk me through your resume?
  3. Why MBA? Why Oxford 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?

Oxford Said MBA Interview Questions – 1

A pleasant conversational interview with a senior member of the admissions committee. Be prepared not only with answers to “expected” questions but also with a delightful attitude (dress formally, smile, think of questions, etc.) . Lasted for almost 25 minutes and was structured as follows:

  1. Why Oxford in general and why Said in particular?
  2. How will you add value to Said business school?
  3. What do you expect from Said business school?
  4. How did you prepare for the interview today?
  5. Have you ever came to Oxford?
  6. Tell me about a failure and the lessons you have learned?
  7. Do you have a role model(s)?
  8. Have you applied to any scholarships?
  9. Questions for me?

Expect an answer in the first week of March.

Oxford Said MBA Interview Questions – 2

I interviewed on-campus at Oxford Saïd with ~30 other candidates who had traveled to Oxford from all over the world. Interviews lasted 30 mins – spread throughout the day – and were all with ad-com. The ad-com I interviewed with had read my entire application, and referred to it on her laptop while we were talking.

Her questions were pretty straight forward:

  • Why an MBA now?
  • Tell me about what you’ve learned from previous jobs (my background is non-traditional so I had to make the connection to what I wanted to get out of business school)
  • What motivated you to switch careers?
  • What do I want to do post-MBA?
  • Tell me about a time you failed and what you learned from it.
  • Tell me about your greatest accomplishment.
  • Why Oxford Saïd?
  • What other schools did you apply to?
  • What questions do you have for me?

The overall interview was quite conversational and I felt like I established good rapport with her.

When we weren’t interviewing, we had information sessions about Oxford Saïd, Career Services, the GOTO class, Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, and even one from Prodigy Finance (the student loan company). We got to have lunch with current students, then went on a tour of the Said building. At the end, we were given bus tickets for the Oxford Hop-on-Hop-off bus to tour the whole campus, which was very beautiful.

Oxford Said MBA Interview Questions – 3

The interview took place at a business in downtown San Francisco with a member of the admissions teams. It was clear they had read my entire profile and knew my post-grad goals well. It was a formal interview but it was also very conversational and welcoming; you can tell the admissions team wants to engage with you on a deeper level to see if you are a good fit for the program. I had a low GMAT Quant score that the interviewer asked about, which I had been expecting, so I had an answer prepared in regards to how I’d still succeed in the program. I was asked about my experience with Oxford, the Open Day I attended, my work experience, my goal organizations and what I had done to research my post-grad goals/ career path. Be prepared to explain what unique qualities you’d bring to the program.

The entire interview process with Oxford has been wonderful. I appreciate that they tell everyone the same day whether you have been accepted or not, so you are not checking your email every five minutes throughout the entire week. The staff are there to give candid answers about life at Oxford, availability of programs and faculty. I also get the feeling they are really interested in growing and continually improving the program.

Oxford Said MBA Interview Questions – 4

The interview wasn’t as casual as some reports suggest. My interviewer had a investment banking background and I definitely got the impression he was trying to push my buttons. It is the sort of interview I would expect for a front office role so nothing strange there. And as “pushy” as he maybe I think the interview was fair.


– Why MBA? Why Saïd?

– Tell me about your role at XYZ company.

– Give me an example of a time you lead a group.

– Give me an example of a time you were involved in a dysfunctional group? How did you cope?

– What would your friends say your strengths/weaknesses are?

I did not visit Oxford before the interview and I definitely got the impression he did not approve. For my next application I will definitely go in person and visit first. He did ask which college I will apply to make sure I had done my research.

Overall tough but fair interview.

Oxford Said MBA Interview Questions – 5

Just had my interview last week, and it was a very pleasant experience. The interviewer had clearly read my application and even quoted a line from one of my essays.

I was extremely nervous going into it because I have a background in humanities (art history), scored very low on the GMAT (610), and have only 3 years of work experience (Oxford average is 6 years). However, the interview was relaxed and friendly, all the staff at Saïd were generous and kind, and it felt very positive afterwards. A few years ago I started a relatively successful social enterprise in Oxford and we mostly talked about this.

The first thing he said was “Welllllll, this is a very interesting application…”


– Please walk me through the structure of your business.  How did you come up with it, and how do you make decisions within the business?

– Are there criteria for what makes a co-operative business work successfully?

– Go back in time and tell me what brought you to this stage

– Why are you interested in bicycles? (My business works primarily with bikes)

– Your GMAT score is pretty low, how would you cope in class and what are your feelings about actually doing the course?

– What would you do afterwards, and what if you can’t stay in the UK to continue your business?

– What would you do differently if you could start your business again?

– Is there a difference between failure in the US and the UK?

The interview was in person and very relaxed, more like a conversation. At the end I asked a few questions:

– What are some examples of summer projects/internships that non-finance students have done?

– What is it like to be a woman on campus and what is Saïd doing about recruiting more women?

About me: Humanities/Art History background, 26y, female, 610 GMAT, USA but live in the UK

Status: Admitted

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