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  • Malvika Patil

UVA Darden MBA Interview Questions 2023-24




The University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business offers one of the most top rated MBA programs in the United States, even beating some of the M7 schools in the global business school rankings. Darden is placed at #16 worldwide in the FT for 2024, #3 (in the US) in Bloomberg, #14 in US News, #13 in Fortune, and #57 in QS for 2023.


Darden’s location near Washington, DC offers excellent access to US government bodies and contractors, as well as the entire Eastern Seaboard. The school leans heavily into Tech, AI, and data analytics; it also carries a Tech STEM designation that allows its international students better visa access. Darden is widely recognized for its Case Study method of learning, where the core curriculum is taught through immersive experience rather than traditional lectures.


Darden’s class size is approximately 350 students who have an average of 5.9 years’ work experience and an average age of 27. The class is 37% female and has 41% international students (from 33 different countries). UVA Darden’s average GMAT is 716 (approximately 665 on the GMAT Focus) with a middle 80% of 680-750. Its average GRE is 321 with the middle 80% score ranging from 309-333. 

If you’re scheduled for a Darden interview, you’ll need to know how UVA Darden structures its interview process, who will conduct your interview, what Darden looks for in its students, and important deadlines. Don’t miss our set of UVA-specific interview tips to help you ace the Darden interview!


The UVA Darden MBA Interview Process


Darden often mentions its policy of “anonymous” interviews, but that doesn’t mean that the interviewer will sit behind a partition or scramble their voice. Rather, it simply means that the interviews are blind: that is, the interviewer does not have access to your CV or application materials before the interview. This gives you more flexibility to refer to examples and anecdotes from your application materials during the interview.


Interviewers are either members of the Darden Admissions Committee or second-year MBA candidates who are part of the Student Admissions Committee. The interview will typically last for 30-45 minutes. It is offered in-person at UVA as well as virtually. While a virtual interview is in no way held against your application, we know from experience that schools appreciate it when an interviewee takes the effort to travel for an in-person interview (particularly if traveling far!). 


Note also that Darden does not have a fixed date for releasing interview invitations. Given that interviews are conducted on a rolling basis, you may in fact receive an interview invitation up to the decision release date for your round. If you are applying in the Early Action round, you can schedule an interview on campus during the open interview period in late August and early September. If you choose this option you will need to complete the entire application before the Early Action Deadline or you will not be considered for admission.


Who is UVA Darden Looking For?


Darden has a strong focus on academic ability and impactful work experience. They are keenly interested in students who want (and show promise) to use business to make the world a better place. Darden says that that its graduates can not only navigate change, but also create change.


Darden also looks for specific classroom skills, particularly as they relate to the Case Study method that the school uses. This values intellectual curiosity, allowing students to come up with new insights within the cases, and the open-mindedness to change based on feedback from professors as well as peers. Given the Darden Case Study method relies on active participation from students, this also means that the school looks for students who can support and challenge each other to perform at their best. The school also seeks students who are good communicators, confident at presenting, defending, articulating, and challenging arguments. While you will improve these skills in the Darden classroom, your interest and experience in these areas will always be a bonus.



UVA Darden MBA Interview Schedule 2023 - 2024

UVA Darden Interview Schedule

Early Action

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Application Deadline

07 September 2023

04 October 2023

04 January 2024

03 April 2024

Decisions Released

18 October 2023

06 December 2023

13 March 2024

01 May 2024


UVA Darden MBA Interview Questions 2023 - 2024


Here are the UVA Darden MBA questions that applicants have been asked previously: 


Introduction


  1. Why Darden?

  2. Why an MBA? Why now?

  3. Tell us about some defining experiences along your journey.

  4. Discuss your short- and long-term career goals.

  5. How have you prepared for these goals?

  6. What excites you about joining the Darden community?

  7. How would you contribute to Darden personally and professionally?

  8. What connections do you have in Charlottesville (at Darden or otherwise)?

  9. Have you previously spoken to Darden alumni?

  10. Have you visited the Darden campus?

  11. If you are accepted at each school that you apply to, how will you decide which school to attend?

  12.  How would you like your career to progress after your MBA? Name three firms you’d like to work at.

Leadership and Teamwork


  1. Tell me about a time that you handled conflict within your team. 

  2. Tell me about a disagreement with your superior. How did you handle this? 

  3. Let’s say a team member at Darden isn’t pulling her weight. How would you address this?

  4. What is your leadership style? Give a concrete example.

  5. Who is a role model for you as a leader? Why?


Behavioral


  1. Tell me about a situation where events didn’t go according to plan. How did you navigate this?

  2. When have you felt challenged at work? How did you deal with this?

  3. What is a bold step you have taken? What made you do this?

  4. Tell me about a time that you supported someone else’s success.

  5. What are some of your key strengths? Where are some areas in which you’d like to grow?


Concluding


  1. Is there anything you wish I had asked?

  2. Is there anything you’d like to ask me?


Tips to Ace the UVA Darden MBA Interview


Here is a collection of Darden-specific tips that have come from working through the UVA Darden interview with our clients.


  1. For Darden, the MBA written application is almost an introduction, to say “this is someone we’d like to learn more about”, while the interview is where the AdCom explores this interest. Think about how your written application and interview together reinforce your core narrative. 

  2. The Darden interview is conversational. It is a chance for Darden, as part of its “holistic admissions process,” to assess your soft skills and how you will fit into the prospective cohort in and out of the classroom. Let your charm and conversational skills glow; it’s not only your answers that are being assessed, but your ability to maintain a healthy dialogue. 

  3. Bear in mind Darden’s focus on the Case Study method and expect questions that will address your ability to work in such an environment: in particular, focus on 1) intellectual curiosity; 2) self-awareness; 3) ability to give and receive feedback; and 4) open-mindedness regarding change.

  4. The Case Study method relies on a small “learning team” cohort with whom you will work throughout the Core Curriculum. Make sure to place special attention on your teamwork skills in the interview!

  5. According to Darden’s blog, interviewers will be thinking about these factors as they assess candidates, even if they don’t ask these exact questions directly:  - What will this candidate contribute to classroom conversations? - What kind of teammate and classmate will this candidate be?  - Is this candidate passionate about learning?  - Is this candidate resilient?  - What is it about Darden’s program that stands out to this candidate?  - Is this candidate open to others’ perspectives? - Is this candidate collaborative? - Is this candidate self-aware? - What will be this candidate’s impact outside of the classroom?

  6. To weave these points into your answers, use the SCAR method to construct your stories and anecdotes (also known as the STAR method). This will help you share information while assuring that your stories are logical, concise, and clear.

 

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

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