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  • Malvika Patil

CMU Tepper MBA Interview Questions 2023-24




Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business is ranked #33 worldwide in the FT for 2024, #18 (in the US) in Bloomberg, #18 in US News, #19 in Fortune, and #43 in QS for 2023. The university is known for its tech focus and specialization in fields such as computer science and robotics, so it’s no surprise that the Tepper MBA is a data-driven, tech-friendly MBA program. 


CMU’s location in Pittsburgh gives students access to Pittsburgh’s vast resources, particularly in the industrial and technical sectors, and is also nearly equidistant from powerhouse cities as New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Toronto. Tepper’s analytics focus will find you well placed for internships and recruitment in any of these places, and Tepper’s STEM designation for its MBA program will secure international students–a majority at the school– visa access to the United States. 


Tepper’s class size is approximately 170 students with an average of 5.8 years’ work experience and an average age of 29. The class is 36% female and 53% international, representing 26 different countries. CMU Tepper’s average GMAT is 705 (655 on the GMAT Focus) with a middle 80% of 650-750 and its average GRE is 324 with a middle 80% of 314-338.


In this post, we’ll discuss the interview section of your Tepper MBA application. Learn how CMU Tepper structures its interview, who conducts it, what CMU is looking for in its MBA cohort, and a set of interview tips to help you get a place in the Tepper class!


The CMU Tepper MBA Interview Process


Tepper typically has a quick turnaround time for interview notifications. If you’re accepted for the interview, you will likely hear within a week or so after submitting your application. 


The Tepper MBA interview is blind. The interviewer only has access to your CV but no other application materials, including test scores. 


All interviews will be held with members of the Tepper admissions team. The interview is scheduled for 45 minutes, but interview reports suggest that these often run longer.


Notably, reports suggest that Tepper interviews are remarkably conversational, with fairly basic questions about the CV and traditional behavior and leadership questions similar to other schools. Remember that the interviewer will be assessing your fit for Tepper in general so consider your motivations for attending Tepper in the first place.


Tepper MBA interviews will be held either in-person on the CMU campus, or online. While an online interview will not negatively affect your chances, it is worth considering a trip to Pittsburgh: in our experience, schools definitely appreciate candidates who take the effort to attend their interview in person. 


Who is CMU Tepper Looking For?


Tepper’s MBA program has a focus on Management Science and its core principles of Leadership and Analytics. Tepper’s cohort is composed of future leaders who want to improve the world at the intersection of business, technology, and research. Consider Tepper’s “Intelligent Future” branding: Tepper focuses on the intersection between data and humanity, and how human analytical, creative, and emotional intelligence can harness the power of data to improve business practices.


Tepper likes to say that there is no “traditional Tepper student”, given Tepper’s keen focus on diversity. The cohort boasts impressive diversity, being over 50% international and including a wide range of previous careers.


Furthermore, Pittsburgh may seem like an unusual location for a business school, but it’s an extremely appealing city with good affordability for a city its size, which has brought a thriving startup industry. It also contributes to the city’s population being fairly young. Remember that one of the major draws of Pittsburgh is CMU itself, so it is important that candidates show a broader interest in the CMU community. 



CMU Tepper MBA Interview Schedule 2023 - 2024

CMU Tepper Interview Schedule

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Round 4

Application Deadline

02 October 2023

05 January 2024

12 March 2024

01 May 2024

Decisions Released

06 December 2023

06 March 2024

08 May 2024

05 June 2024


CMU Tepper MBA Interview Questions 2023 - 2024


Here are the CMU Tepper MBA questions that applicants have been asked previously: 


Introduction


  1. Tell me about yourself (plus follow-ups)

  2. Why did you choose your undergraduate program? What was the experience there like?

  3. What do you do for fun?

  4. What are your short- and long-term career goals?

  5. What is your backup plan should these not work out?

  6. What are three firms where you would like to work post-MBA?

Career


  1. Describe your current job role.

  2. What sort of knowledge gap did you face at the beginning of your career? How did you overcome it?

  3. What is a work accomplishment you’re proud of?

  4. What is an accomplishment outside work that you’re proud of?

About the School


  1. How will you contribute to the Tepper MBA?

  2. How will you contribute to the CMU community?

  3. What clubs at Tepper are you interested in?

  4. Have you visited campus? Spoken to alumni?


Motivational


  1. Why MBA? Why now? 

  2. Why Tepper?

  3. If you’re accepted at multiple schools, how will you choose?


Leadership and Teamwork


  1. Discuss a time you disagreed with a superior. How did you navigate the situation?

  2. Describe a time that your leadership proved successful.

  3. Discuss a time that you experienced conflict within a team. How did you handle this?

  4. Describe your leadership style.

  5. Tell me about a time that you worked in a culturally diverse team.

  6. Describe a time when team members disagreed with your decision.


Behavioral


  1. When have you taken a risk?

  2. Tell me what a friend would say about you. 

  3. Tell me what a superior would say about you.

  4. Describe your strengths and weaknesses.

  5. What is a time when you helped someone else achieve a goal?

  6. Describe one of your greatest skills.

  7. Discuss a time you had to adapt to a new situation.

  8. Discuss a time you had to compromise. How did you handle this?

  9. Discuss what sets you apart from your peers; give three examples.

  10.  Explain a difficult decision you had to make.

  11. When have you failed?


Concluding


  1. What else would you like Tepper to know about you?

  2. What would you have liked me to ask you?

  3. Do you have any questions for me?


Tips to Ace the CMU Tepper MBA Interview


Here are our top tips to nail the Tepper MBA interview, including insights from previous clients who were admitted to Tepper: 


  1. Consider Tepper’s Intelligent Future plan: how analytics, data, and humanity intersect. How has this affected/will affect your career? Weave this into your conversation.

  2. Expect the interview to run over time, but there’s no reason to worry if the interviewer sticks to the official 45 minutes.

  3. It may not show up as an interview question, but remember this from the application? The Tepper community is dynamic and unique. Each community member’s individual journey has shaped them into classmates who are collaborative and supportive. Describe how you have overcome adversity during your journey. What did you learn about yourself and how has that shaped who you are? Given the class profile, it’s clear that Tepper values diversity of perspectives, so consider how you can contribute to diversity even if you’re an overrepresented demographic.

  4. Consider Tepper’s pioneering Management Science approach and how this deviates from the traditional wisdom of the Case Study method. In short, how does someone solve a problem without precedent? (Hint: not a Case Study.) How have you followed your own path, blazed your own trail, etc., just like Tepper did? How have you solved a problem without a precedent? Bring this into your conversation.

  5. Tepper focuses on the human side of analytics, trying to take “quant” back from its pigeonholing as “number crunching” and propping up analytics as a vital part of decision-making for modern leaders. Think about your own leadership and decision-making approach.

  6. The CMU Tepper interview might be notably conversational, but don’t be caught off-guard: stick to your core narrative, and focus on what you want to remember about you: use the SCAR method to construct your stories and anecdotes. This will help you share information while assuring that your stories are logical, concise, and clear.

 

Want personalized support for your Tepper MBA Interview? Book a chat with us today!

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