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  • Writer's pictureMalvika Patil

Berkeley Haas MBA Interview Questions 2023-24

Updated: Jan 31



It’s not a member of the M7 group of US business schools, but UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business beats M7 members on several rankings.


It is ranked #7 worldwide (#4 in the US) in the FT, #8 in US News, #10 in Bloomberg, and #11 in QS for 2023, jumping several places up from 2022 to firmly take its place as a rising star in the MBA world. Haas’ location in Berkeley also gives it better access to Silicon Valley than most schools, except Stanford. 


Haas’ class size is a relatively small 250 or so students with an average of 5.8 years’ work experience (middle 80%: 3.4 to 9.0 years). In terms of diversity, 47% of the class are US minority students, and 13% are underrepresented minorities. Women comprise 41% of the class, 14% identify as LGBTQ+, and 7% are veterans. 


Haas’ median GMAT is 740 with an average of 733 and a middle 80% of 680-770. Its GRE median is 327 with an average of 324, split 161V, 163Q. 


If you’ve applied to Haas and were invited to interview, that means you are a strong candidate. Knowing how to tackle the Haas interview is key to getting over the finish line. In this Berkeley Haas interview guide, we’ll discuss the Haas interview process, give you sample questions from previous Haas interviews, and provide useful tips for your Haas interview.


The Berkeley Haas Interview Process


Haas offers two types of interviews:


1. Traditional (Live) Interview


Haas interviews are conducted by current students or alumni. The interview is blind, which means that the interviewer has access to your CV but not your application materials. Helpfully, that means you can use the stories from your application again, and discuss them in more depth with your interviewer!


Note that if you wait too long before signing up for a live interview, a video interview may be the only option available. So if you prefer a live interview, make sure you schedule it in plenty of time. You may choose to interview with an alumnus off campus or a current student on campus. 


The interview tends to be around 30 - 40 minutes. Interviewers are, by all accounts, friendly and personable. Interview topics may range significantly, however. Applicants generally reported that questions focused more on their personal growth, values, and cultural fit with the school rather than their career goals or CV. In almost all cases, applicants were asked a question about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace or outside it. 


2. Video Interview


Recently, Haas has started offering another interview option: the Video Interview. 


In the pre-recorded Video Interview, you will be asked five total questions. For each question, you will have 45 seconds to think and three minutes to answer. This doesn’t mean you have to speak for the full three minutes; you can always submit your answer early. 


Questions 1, 2, and 5 of the Video Interview will always be the same: 


Question 1: Tell us something that shows how you will be able to contribute to diversity and inclusion on campus.


Question 2: Why do you want to complete an MBA and why Haas? (We suggest you mention your goals before diving into this answer!)


Question 5: Is there anything else that you would like to add?


Questions 3 and 4, on the other hand, tend to be reasonably standard behavioral questions. Previous clients were asked the following: 


  1. Describe a situation where you built trust among your colleagues and what you learned from the process.

  2. Describe a time that you helped your team focus on a goal.

  3. Describe a risk you took professionally. Did it work out? Describe what you took away from this experience.

  4. Describe a time that you had to encourage colleagues to step outside their job roles and the process you used to convince them. 

  5. Describe a time when humility won the day.

  6. Describe a time that you worked with an interdisciplinary team, including what was difficult about the process.

  7. Describe a situation when, under your leadership, a situation was stressful and morale was low. How did the situation work out?

  8. Describe a time that you argued for something that turned out to be wrong.

  9. Describe a situation where you worked among teammates with strong opinions.


Haas insists that there is no disadvantage to submitting a Video Interview. They say that whichever interview option you choose, it will not affect your chances of admittance. 


However, you’re speaking into a camera rather than to a person, which is a different skill. So good video interview etiquette is essential. Above all, practice speaking into the camera until you sound natural and make sure that your internet connection is stable. 


Importantly, silly as it sounds, practice with the video interview technology first. If the first time you use the system is when you’re giving the actual interview, you might spend time managing the tech rather than your interview. It’s a no-brainer: practice, practice, practice!


In all interviews, Haas will be looking for the following: a clear, focused story about who you are and what you have achieved, how a Haas MBA will help you in your career goals, how you have demonstrated specific behavioral traits including teamwork, leadership, and communication, and how you have supported DEI in your career thus far.


Remember, MBAconsultant.com users can access the Kira Talent Coach, which simulates video interviews like this.





Who is Berkeley Haas Looking For?


Berkeley Haas looks for candidates who embody their four Leadership Principles or, commonly, “the Four Pillars.” 


  1. Question the Status Quo: take calculated risks and don’t assume that the traditional way to do something is always the right way to do it.

  2. Confidence Without Attitude: demonstrate how your confidence comes from reason, research, communication, trust, and humility.

  3. Students Always: seek different perspectives and be open to learning. 

  4. Beyond Yourself: envision growth for the community and society, not just for yourself. 


In Haas’ own words, this means they are looking for leaders who can put new ideas to work and do so responsibly.” A key point to focus on here is how each of the leadership principles come back to the core concept of responsibility: that is, responsibility towards others and to society at large. 


Think about ways that you can factor these four Leadership Principles into your stories and interview responses.




Berkeley Haas Interview Schedule 2023 - 2024

Berkeley Haas Interview Schedule

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Application Deadline:

14 September 2023

04 January 2024

​28 March 2024

Interviews:

Mid-October 2023

Mid-February 2024

Mid-April 2024

Decisions:

07 December 2023

21 March 2024

02 May 2024

Berkeley Haas Interview Questions 


Berkeley Haas’s in-person interview questions will be similar to those at other schools, but will focus more on personal growth and DEI. Here are questions applicants have been asked previously:


Preliminary Questions


  1. Resume walk-through.

  2. Give me a short pitch for your spot in this year’s class.

  3. Describe what success is for you.

  4. Do you particularly identify with any one of the four Leadership Principles (Four Pillars)?

  5. Describe your short- and long-term goals.

  6. Why MBA? Why Haas? Why now?

  7. Explain how you will help make Haas more diverse.

  8. Describe how you would  contribute to the Haas community inside and outside of the classroom.

  9. Describe how you embody each of the Four Pillars.


Behavioral Questions


  1. Explain a time you came up with an innovative solution to a problem.

  2. Describe a time you “challenged the status quo.”

  3. What are two weak points you’d like to improve during your MBA?

  4. Tell me how your supervisor would describe you. What would they say you need to improve?

  5. Describe an experience with diversity.

  6. Describe “confidence without attitude” and give an example.

  7. Describe a challenge at work. 


Leadership / Teamwork Questions


  1. Describe a difficult decision and how you made it.

  2. How would you react to being a subordinate rather than a leader?

  3. How would a teammate from a group project describe you?

  4. Describe a time that you wanted to employ a different tactic from that of your supervisor.

  5. Explain a time that you developed a creative solution.

  6. Describe a time you had to convince a team member of something, particularly when it went against the team’s general consensus.

  7. Describe a time that you have managed others. Explain the process. 

  8. Describe a time when your leadership made a team successful.


Closing


  1. Is there anything you wanted to add that we haven’t discussed?

  2. Is there anything you would have liked me to ask?

  3. Do you have any questions for me?


Tips to Ace the Berkeley Haas Interview


Our Berkeley Haas interview tips come directly from our admissions consultants, including Jon Cheng, a former member of the Berkeley Haas admissions committee, and previous clients who have aced the Haas interview in the past. 


  1. Consider the value that Berkeley Haas places on diversity, community, and leadership: in particular, memorize the Four Pillars and aim to demonstrate one or more of these in your responses.

  2. The interview is meant to last only 30 minutes; however, reports suggest that it may go on for an hour depending on your rapport with your interviewer. Follow your interviewer's lead when it comes to interview length. 

  3. Keep your answers concise, but don’t skip important points about your values and learning experience. As we’ve seen, Haas deeply cares about your cultural fit with the school.

  4. Use the SCAR method to construct your stories and anecdotes. This will help you share information while ensuring that your stories are logical, concise, and clear.


Practice for both the in-person and video interview using our complete guides and video interview simulations on MBAConsultant.com.

 

Practice with one of our expert consultants! Get in touch to book a mock interview

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