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Duke Fuqua MBA Interview Guide 2023 - 2024

Updated: Jan 31




Duke Fuqua may not be part of the M7 group of business schools, but it is a force to be reckoned with. Ranked #11 in the Financial Times, #11 in US News, and #14 in the US in Bloomberg for 2023, Fuqua is one of the best business schools in the US. It also boasts alumni such as Apple’s Tim Cook, Melinda Gates of the Gates Foundation, and former NFL star Lennie Friedman.


Fuqua’s class size is approximately 385 students (relatively small) with an average age of 29 and an average of 6.1 years’ work experience (relatively high). Fuqua prides itself on having a diverse cohort, with 40% of its class being students of color and 47% international. When it comes to test scores, Fuqua’s average GMAT score is 720 (middle 80%: 670-760) and its middle 80% GRE score range is 306-330.


If you’ve been invited to interview at Fuqua, congratulations! Make sure you’re up to date on the interview structure, relevant deadlines for your application, and any information about your interview type (Open vs By Invitation). 


This Duke Fuqua interview guide neatly compiles that information for you. We’ll also cover key aspects of the interview process, interview questions that previous applicants have been asked, and actionable tips for how to ace the Fuqua MBA interview.


The Duke Fuqua Interview Process


The Duke Fuqua interview is blind. This means that the interviewer has access to your CV but has not read your application materials.


All interviews are conducted by second-year Fuqua students or alumni. It is possible, though less likely, that a staff member will step in to interview. The interview will last 30-45 minutes. 


The Fuqua interview is a chance for the school to get to know you further as an applicant. Reports from interviewees suggest that Fuqua interviewers make a point to be friendly and approachable. By all accounts, the interviewer displays real interest in the interviewee’s responses.


However, the individual style of the interviewer may vary widely: reports have mentioned some interviewers taking a more personal approach, with others being relatively formal and businesslike. 



Types of Fuqua Interview


Duke Fuqua is unique in that the school offers two different types of interviews: the open Interview and the traditional interview. Let’s take a quick look at both of these: 


1) The Fuqua Open Interview

The “Open” part here means that anyone who has started an application online is eligible for an interview during what Fuqua refers to as “Open Season”. You can sign up for an on-campus or virtual Open Interview in the Personal Information section of your application portal. 


For a campus interview, you can visit the Fuqua website to secure the date for your in-person interview. These interviews are usually held in September and early October of each year. 


For the virtual Open Interview, you must provide a mailing address so that Fuqua can put you in touch with an alumni interviewer in a nearby time zone. After this, you will discuss the date and time of your interview with your interviewer. This period usually lasts from late August until early October each year.


If you do not opt for an interview during the Open Interview period, you will only be able to sit for an interview by invitation. 


Note: Early Action candidates must complete an interview during Open Season.


2) The Fuqua Interview (by Invitation)

This is the standard interview selection process that you would expect at other schools: you submit an application and if Fuqua is interested in you as a candidate, you are invited to attend an interview.


Interview decisions are generally released on specific dates (detailed below). However, if you weren’t granted an interview on this day, you may still be called for an interview later; certain applicants are processed on a case-by-case basis. 


Interviews by invitation can be conducted in-person in Durham or virtually over Zoom. Diversity Day interviews are invitation only and are held in-person in Durham. 


What Duke Fuqua Looks For 


Duke Fuqua prides itself on Team Fuqua - their name for the collaborative spirit that is a key feature of the school’s culture.  Students, alumni, staff, and faculty are encouraged to follow the Team Fuqua values, which prioritize collective success over individual success. Some terms to remember here are IQ, EQ, and DQ. 


What is DQ? Well, aside from Intellectual and Emotional Quotients - “the ability to excel academically and with the business community”- Duke looks for a Decency Quotient. That is, demonstrating transparency, respect, and a community spirit where students look out for others’ best interests alongside one’s own and lead by example. 


This dedicated approach to community makes prospective students feel that Fuqua is a unique place among the global MBA elite: a school committed to the idea that a rising tide lifts all boats. According to Fuqua, its students desire to “succeed while making positive changes in the world.” Applicants who seek a business school that puts collaboration and community first will find Fuqua to be the perfect match. 


Think about how you can demonstrate these qualities yourself during your Fuqua interview. 


Duke Fuqua Interview Schedule 2023 - 2024


Fuqua Interview Schedule

Early Action

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Round 4

Application Deadline:

7 Sep 2023

28 Sep 2023

9 Jan 2024

22 Feb 2024

4 Apr 2024

Interview Decision:

21 Sep 2023

26 Oct 2023 

2 Feb 2024

13 Mar 2024

19 Apr 2024

Final Decision: 

19 Oct 2023

8 Dec 2023

12 Mar 2024

5 Apr 2024

10 May 2024


Duke Fuqua Interview Questions

Fuqua’s interview questions are fairly standard and can be mostly applied to other business schools as well. However, watch out for a few Duke-specific ones in there, e.g. the 25 Things and the Decency Quotient. Based on our interview reports, here are some of the questions you can expect:


Preliminary Questions


  1. Why do you want to do an MBA?

  2. What drew you to Fuqua?

  3. Where else have you applied?

  4. What is your plan if you are not admitted to the schools of your choice?

  5. How do you spend your time outside work?


School / Community


  1. Explain how you will contribute to the Fuqua community.

  2. Explain your idea of the Decency Quotient.

  3. Explain an ethical choice you have had to make in your career.

  4. Describe what “Team Fuqua” means to you.

  5. Describe the campus activities you will get involved in. 


Leadership / Teamwork


  1. When have you led even if not in an overt leadership role?

  2. Describe a leadership role model and why this person is effective.

  3. Describe a time one of your team did not perform well and how you handled this. 

  4. Describe a time that you helped a team overcome a difference of opinion. 

  5. Describe a time you worked with a difficult team member. 

  6. Describe five qualities you look for in a team member.

  7. Describe a particular quality that you feel a leader should possess.

  8. Describe your own style of leadership.


Behavioral


  1. Describe a situation where you were given negative feedback that you perceived as incorrect.

  2. Describe a situation where you gave feedback that you believe was incorrect.

  3. What is the weakest of your soft skills?

  4. Describe your most significant accomplishment.

  5. Describe regrets from your career. 

  6. Tell me about your biggest achievement or accomplishment.

  7. Describe a failure in your professional life.

  8. Describe how workplace diversity has affected your professional life.

  9. Describe a weakness that you are trying to overcome.


Closing


  1. If you had 60 seconds to make your case to the admissions committee, what would you say?

  2. What would you like Fuqua to know about you or your application?

  3. What do you wish that I had asked you?

  4. Do you have any questions for me?


Tips to Ace the Duke Fuqua Interview


Here are a handful of Fuqua-specific tips that we have developed after working with numerous clients.


  1. You can use anecdotes and examples from your application material in your interview. What you’ll need to do differently is frame them according to Duke Fuqua’s values. For example, focus on demonstrating your Decency Quotient as well as IQ and EQ in your stories. 

  2. Keep Fuqua’s focus on diversity and community in mind. What unique benefit do you bring to Team Fuqua?

  3. Stick to your core narrative and ensure that your goals and motivations are aligned. 

  4. Use the SCAR method to construct your stories and anecdotes. You can share your information while keeping your stories logical, concise, and clear.

  5. Be prepared for anything: from extremely personal questions about your family and childhood to extremely formal, career-specific questions from the interviewer.

  6. If you’re asked a question you haven’t prepared for, just take a deep breath and ask for a moment to reflect if you need it. Take a sip of water to buy some time if that helps. 

  7. Try to stick to real life with your anecdotes, but if that fails–that is, you really don't have a topical situation that comes to mind–use a relevant hypothetical situation. 


Practice makes perfect. Book a free chat with one of our expert consultants to get started with mock interviews!


Want more interview advice? Our Interview Guide course on MBAConsultant.com has everything you need.





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