Ace Your Yale SOM MBA Interview

Quick Facts 

Who does Yale SOM interview?

Yale SOM invites only some applicants to interview after an initial round of eliminations.

Who conducts the Yale SOM MBA interview?

The Yale School of Management interview is conducted by either a member of the Admissions Committee or a trained, second-year MBA student. Which you get is dependent on the interview site. Jump ahead to read more about the Yale interviewer.

How long is the Yale MBA interview?

The interview is 30 minutes and ends with unfailing regularity at that mark. Jump ahead to read more about the consistent length.

Where is the interview held?

Yale SOM applicants who are invited to interview come to campus to be interviewed by a second-year student. If such a trip is impossible, virtual interviews or interviews in major metropolitan hubs are conducted by members of the Admissions Committee. For the 2020-2021 app cycle, all interviews are being conducted virtually. Jump ahead to read more about the Yale MBA interview location.

What is the format?

Yale conducts a blind, one-on-one interview where the interviewer has access only to your resume. Jump ahead to read more on the format.

Deadlines and Decision Schedule 

App SubmissionSchedule Interview ByDecision
Round 1Sep 15, 2020RollingDec 8, 2020
Round 2Jan 7, 2021RollingMar 26, 2021 
Round 3Apr 13, 2021RollingMay 18, 2021

More information available on Yale’s Application Deadline Page

Video Essays

The Yale SOM admissions team gives every applicant three randomized questions to which they must respond in a recorded video message. No two applicants will have the same set of questions. It should be noted, however, that these video questions are not considered part of the interview process: the video questions are given to every person who submits an application, whereas interviews are only offered to certain applicants after an initial elimination round. Two of the questions will give you a twenty second prep period before giving you one minute to anwer. The final question has a 30 second prep period and a 90 second answer period. You do not need to fill the entirety of the time provided.

Detailed Overview

Drawing from Menlo Coaching’s extensive client database of first-hand interview reports, this section offers the most up-to-date information on Yale’s MBA interview process.

Interviewer profile

Yale School of Management interviews are conducted by trained, second year students if the interview is held on-campus and by admissions officers if the interview is conducted virtually or at an off-campus location.

As AdCom members or current students in the Yale SOM program, the interviewers have a clear understanding of the ideal applicant. However, due to the extremely regular nature of the interviews (see “Length” section below), there is less room for the personality of the interviewer to come through in the conversation. 

Clients interviewing in 2019, before the pandemic, noted that even though interviews were conducted by current students, Admissions Committee members were present at all stages.

Length

The Yale SOM interview is exactly 30 minutes. The vast majority of Menlo Coaching clients noted the strict time limit and that the interview process was spelled out very clearly by the interviewers. Many clients reported that there were no substantive introductory remarks or resume walk-throughs, which makes sense given that the interview time is so strictly observed. Similarly, interviewers have a standard list of questions from which they do not deviate.

One client reported that follow-up questions are only asked when the interviewee fails to completely answer a question; in this particular case, the client related that, when asked about a time they had failed and what they had learned, they were not clear enough in the second half of their answer, prompting the interviewer to ask for clarification.

Despite the strict time limit, many clients reported that interviewers gave out their school email addresses and encouraged them to reach out with any questions that they did not have time to ask during the interview itself.

Location

In previous years, applicants invited to interview were encouraged to fly to New Haven where the interview was conducted by a current student, trained by the Admissions Committee. 

COVID-19 disruptions have led to changes in some of Yale’s admission policies. Because interviews are available both at off-campus locations around the world and virtually, there is currently no need to fly to New Haven for the interview.

As with any virtual business engagement, applicants should make sure that they have a high-speed wired Internet connection, good lighting, and that they point their computer camera at eye level.

Format

The format of the Yale SOM interview is “blind,” meaning that the interviewer receives only a copy of the candidate’s resume.

Because many Yale interviewers are current students, the 30 minute interview draws from a list of standard questions, with follow-ups only in cases where the question has not been answered completely. These questions, even if there is a slight difference in topic, also follow a very recognizable sequence (which is listed in the Sample Questions section below).

The interview typically ends with a 5-10 minute cushion, during which the applicant can ask questions of the interviewer. This usually leads to the exchange of emails mentioned above.

Yale SOM MBA Interview Sample Questions

This section follows the Yale MBA interview “question-by-question,” or in rough chronological order. Like the details in the section above, these questions are sourced from Menlo Coaching’s client database of first-hand interview reports.

You can use the questions below to conduct mock interviews that mimic an actual conversation with a Yale interviewer, be they second year student or AdCom member. In this particular case, the first three questions were asked interchangeably while the last three were always present. 

For best results, however, consider seeking expert help via Menlo Coaching’s interview prep service.

The Yale SOM MBA interview, question-by-question

  1. Proudest Professional Accomplishment and How You Achieved It
  2. Biggest Professional Failure and what you learned from it
  3. A time when you listened for other people’s perspective
  4. Why pursue an MBA? Why now? Why Yale SOM?
  5. What different perspectives will you bring to the Yale School of Management? (this question is related to a quote from the Dean)
  6. Questions for the Interviewer