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  • Writer's pictureMalvika Patil

Kellogg MBA Interview Questions 2023-24

Updated: Jan 31



Kellogg is a card-carrying member of the M7 group of top US business schools, ranked #2 in US News and #9 in the Financial Times rankings for 2023.


The interview is the one of the most crucial final steps in your Kellogg MBA application journey. Good job making it this far! But the journey isn’t over yet.


Now, it’s time to practice your interview-taking skills and review your application material. You’ll also want to revisit your school research and your reasons for choosing Kellogg. Set up a few more conversations with Kellogg students for fresh talking points and to get comfortable asking questions about the school’s culture.


Remember: Kellogg invites most of their MBA applicants to interview. This is your opportunity to stand out. Once you hit ‘Submit’ on your Kellogg MBA application, schedule a mock interview with us right away.


In this Kellogg Interview Guide, we’ll discuss all the different aspects of the Kellogg interview process, questions that previous applicants have been asked, and share our top tips to ace your Kellogg MBA interview.


The Kellogg MBA Interview Process


A Kellogg MBA interview is usually 30-45 minutes but occasionally lasts a bit longer (our clients have reported interviews lasting up to an hour). Interviewers are either with members of Kellogg’s alumni network or the Kellogg Admissions Committee.


Pre-COVID, these interviews took place on-campus as well as off-campus. As of 2023, all Kellogg interviews are conducted online.


When you receive your invitation to the Kellogg Interview, it will include scheduling instructions. Given that the demand for interviews can outstrip the number of available interviewers, Kellogg may offer you an Interview Waiver. This means that you do not have to sit in an interview, although you may be asked to provide additional information to help the admissions committee decide whether you are a good fit for Kellogg.


One of our clients sent us a snapshot of what scheduling their Kellogg interview looked like:



The Kellogg interview is blind: the interviewer will have read your resume but will not have access to your essays or the rest of your application. One benefit of this is that the stories from your application essays can be easily reused in the interview, and you don’t need to expect deeper questions based on the content of your application essays, as you might for HBS.


Specific points you can count on during your Kellogg interview are an analysis of your CV, the classic “what makes you want to do an MBA?” question, and a discussion of your post-MBA goals. This last point is crucial: make your goals clear, feasible, and realistic. Make sure you’ve planned these goals well, and be precise about why you need a Kellogg MBA to achieve them.

In recent years, the Kellogg interview has often included a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion-based question. Don’t worry if you come from a non-diverse background; here is our guide to answer the DEI question.


Kellogg themselves inform us that the interview is “behavioral style” and suggest answering in the STAR format to structure your answers for maximum impact.


Kellogg’s interviewees have mentioned that perhaps due to Kellogg’s standardized, thorough interview training, Kellogg interviews can seem more formal and “business-y” than interviews at other schools. Nevertheless, Kellogg specifically suggests that you “be yourself”: it’s better to have an open, natural discussion than for the interview to seem rehearsed or boilerplate. Expect a number of follow-up questions, as the interviewer will want to get a better understanding of your answers. Additionally, many interviewees have mentioned that the conversation becomes more natural and free-flowing as the interview progresses.



What Kellogg Is Looking For


Kellogg seeks to develop future leaders who have excellent interpersonal skills and intellectual acumen. So, it’s helpful to reflect on your leadership experience inside and out of your job. For example, how you have contributed to your company, community, and extracurricular engagements, and then explain what skills you’ve cultivated in that position. While not necessary for every example, it is worth specifically considering how one or more of these experiences demonstrates an interest in inclusion and equity.


When it comes to demonstrating your interpersonal skills, you need to present yourself as the type of person the interviewer would be happy to work with in a team situation. This is because much of the Kellogg curriculum is heavily focused on group work, and the interviewer is trying to assess how well you’d fit with a diverse cohort. Think of this as a combination of three key things, all interrelated: healthy collaboration, clear communication, and self-awareness.


Then, consider your intellectual achievements: it’s not just your GPA and GMAT, although those do help. Specify how you’ll be able to handle Kellogg’s demanding curriculum: commendations, competitions, distinctions, external courses, and certifications. Think about your academic interests and the specific steps you have taken (and will take at Kellogg) to pursue these.


In summary, Kellogg requires a mixture of hard and soft skills among its candidates: intellectually keen, self-reflective, curious, empathetic, and brave. Consider examples of how you meet any or all of these criteria.


Anecdotally, we found that our clients that went to Kellogg have been the “nicest” people. Not the most competitive, nor the most entrepreneurial, nor the most quant-y etc. But the most emotionally intelligent and nice to be around.


Kellogg Interview Schedule 2023-24

Kellogg Interview Schedule

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Application Deadline:

13 September 2023

10 January 2024

​3 April 2024

Interviews:

Mid-October 2023

Mid-February 2024

Mid-May 2024

Decisions:

13 December 2023

27 March 2024

8 May 2024

You will receive a more specific timetable for organizing your interview if you reach the interview stage. This may take some time–sometimes up to six weeks at Kellogg–to organize. Frustrating as this may be, Kellogg is clear that the amount of time it takes to organize an interview has no relationship to the strength of the candidate’s application.


Kellogg MBA Interview Questions 2023 - 2024


The Kellogg interview questions fall within one of several broad categories: career, Why Kellogg (or Why an MBA)?, Leadership, Teamwork, Behavioral, and standard Closing questions. Here are some questions that you can expect from each type:


Career


  1. A standard walkthrough of your CV + follow-ups

  2. Why did you choose your field / change to your field?

  3. Why your particular undergrad major?

  4. How is your current role growing / changing?

  5. How have you learned/grown over the years?

  6. Describe your current responsibilities.

  7. Tell me what you do outside of work.


Why MBA / Why Kellogg?


  1. Why do you want an MBA? Why now, etc.

  2. Why specifically a Kellogg MBA?

  3. Describe your career goals.

  4. What is Plan B if these goals do not work out?

  5. What makes Kellogg best suited to help you achieve these goals?

  6. How will you be involved in the Kellogg community? Clubs, particular courses, initiatives, etc.

  7. How can you enhance the diversity of the Kellogg class? (particularly important for overrepresented demographics)

  8. What other schools have you applied to? Which is your top choice OR if accepted at all schools, which would you choose?

  9. What challenges do you anticipate facing during your MBA?


Leadership


  1. Whom do you look to as an inspiring leader?

  2. Describe a time you acted as a leader.

  3. What, to you, is the most important part of leadership?

  4. What makes someone a good leader? A poor leader? How have you handled poor leadership in the past?

  5. How might someone else describe your leadership style?


Teamwork


  1. How might another person on your team describe your teamwork?

  2. Describe a situation where you were part of a diverse team.

  3. Discuss a team failure you were part of. What did you do to rectify/improve the situation?

  4. Discuss a situation where another team member compromised the team’s efforts. How did you handle this? What did you do to improve the situation?

  5. Describe a time you depended on someone else.

  6. When have you found working in a team with different viewpoints challenging/rewarding?


Behavioral


  1. Describe a time when you were faced with an ambiguous or unclear situation. How did you deal with this?

  2. If you could do anything in your life over again, what would you do differently?

  3. Expand on what you perceive as a weakness in your application.

  4. Describe how you have grown over time.

  5. How has feedback helped you grow?

  6. What might someone perceive incorrectly after meeting you for the first time?

  7. Describe a time when you were confronted with an ethical or moral dilemma and how you dealt with it.

  8. Describe yourself in three words.

  9. Describe the importance of diversity in the workplace.

  10. Describe your own experiences of diversity in the workplace.

  11. Describe a particular risk you have taken. How did you grow from this?


Closing Questions


  1. Is there anything further that you would like the admissions committee to know when considering your application?

  2. Is there anything that I did not ask that you would have liked me to ask?

  3. Do you have any further questions for me?





Tips to Ace the Kellogg MBA Interview


While working with hundreds of applicants, we’ve learned the following top tips to help you perform your best at the Kellogg MBA interview:

  1. Given that this is a blind interview, the interviewer will not necessarily know everything about you. Assume they don’t. They will be hearing for the first time about your work, setbacks, goals, passions–that is, everything that’s not on your CV.

  2. Unless the interviewer has significant experience in your industry, refrain from using industry jargon or acronyms that they may not be familiar with. Remember that your company may use a different name for a certain role, process, or function than what the interviewer is used to. With any question, aim for simplicity; the interviewer is instructed to ask for detail when necessary, so respond clearly, simply, and graciously.

  3. Since the interview is behavioral style, you’ll be telling plenty of stories. So, we suggest you use the SCAR method; this allows you to share relevant information while keeping your stories logical, brief, and clear.

  4. In many cases, interviewees have reported that the interviewer spent a lot of time on behavioral questions. Make sure to prepare thoroughly for these. Be clear on your core narrative and career plan. To learn how to answer behavioral questions in your interview, head over to our comprehensive guide.


Check out more interview advice and practice using mock interviews with the Interview Guide course on MBAConsultant.com.

 

Thinking of applying to the Kellogg MBA? Book a free chat today.

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