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  • Writer's pictureMalvika Patil

Yale SOM MBA Interview Questions 2023-24

Updated: Feb 11



Yale launched its MBA program in 1976, making it a relative newcomer among the top business schools. But with its rank of #10 worldwide (#7 in the US) in the FT, #8 in US News, #15 in Bloomberg, and #16 in QS for 2023, the Yale School of Management (SOM) has proven itself as a rising force among the US business schools. The school also boasts a strong relationship with service organizations and NGOs as well as consulting firms.


Yale’s Class of 2025 size is fairly small, at approximately 340 students per year. They have an average of 5.1 years’ work experience. Diversity is important to Yale SOM: 13% of Yale’s students identify as LGBTQ, 16% are first-generation college students, and 50% are international passport holders. 48% of their US students are of color, of which 18% are underrepresented students of color. 


Yale’s median GMAT is 720 with a middle 80% of 680-760. Its median GRE is 330, split 164 Verbal and 166 Quant. 37% of students chose to submit the GRE rather than the GMAT.


If you’ve been invited to interview at Yale SOM, it’s important to know how Yale SOM structures its interview. In this guide, we’ll discuss the Yale SOM interview process, show you some sample interview questions, and give you effective tips to crush the Yale SOM interview.


The Yale SOM Interview Process


The Yale interview is blind, meaning that the interviewer will only have access to your CV and will not have seen the rest of your application material. Yale SOM interviews are often conducted by second-year MBA students who have been trained by the AdCom, although AdCom members may occasionally act as interviewers.


Interview invitations are sent on a rolling basis throughout the interview period, so there is no one fixed day to expect to hear whether you’ve been selected.


When possible, Yale encourages interviewees to visit the SOM campus in New Haven for their interview, but if this is too difficult, geographically or otherwise, interviews are also conducted online or with an alum in a major metropolitan area. 


The interview consistently lasts 30 minutes. No longer. This means that there is less time for a “get to know you” conversation with the interviewer, so the profile of the interviewer tends not to make as much difference as at other schools. 


This also means that, in the interest of time, your interviewer will not deviate from a standard list of behavioral questions. Similarly, the only follow-ups you are likely to get are in situations where the interviewer feels that you have not responded fully to the question.


Applicants report that many interviewers offer their email addresses to interviewees to ask any questions not covered in the interview. It is also advisable to bring your own questions if the interviewer gives you the time to ask. 


The Quote Question


In the 48 hours before your interview, you will be sent an email that asks you to submit a quote that is meaningful to you. You may be asked to discuss this quote during the interview. 


“We ask that you submit a quote that has special meaning or resonates with you. Please submit no later than 48 hours prior to your interview day (or as soon as possible if your interview is in less than two days).”


In previous years, applicants have reported that they were also given a quote by the Dean of Yale SOM, Kerwin Charles, to discuss with their interviewer. The 2021 question for Yale applicants was: 


“First, please consider this quote from Dean Kerwin Charles, “Preeminent universities disseminate and produce new knowledge, and some of the best ideas are ripe for revising. However, this demands different perspectives, genders, backgrounds, races, orientations, and points of view.” 


This year, applicants have reported they were not given a Dean’s quote at all in their pre-interview email.


When selecting your own quote, consider one that you have a personal connection to. It’s best to have examples that demonstrate how you have applied this quote in your own life. Another way to look at this quote is simply as a very long behavioral question. Aim for a quote that has guided your behavior or shaped your personal or professional values.


It is important to prepare around your quote, but remember that this is only one of several things that you will discuss in a relatively short interview. Have a few things to say, but don’t let focus on the quote overwhelm your prep!




Who is Yale Looking For?


Yale focuses on diversity, leadership, and giving back. Yale SOM is widely known for its commitment to social impact, but that’s not everything: it has a strong consulting focus as well, so if you’re looking to break into the Big 3 or otherwise, Yale SOM might well be your ticket.


Outside standard-issue advice such as “be yourself,” Yale’s Bruce DelMonico suggests that SOM is looking for impact in one’s professional and personal life, leadership ability, and collaborative skill. Particularly, Yale SOM is looking for “students who will be engaged community members both here at Yale and in their future organizations.”


Yale SOM Interview Schedule 2023 - 2024

Yale SOM Interview Schedule

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Application Deadline:

12 September 2023

04 January 2024

​09 April 2024

Interviews:

Rolling

Rolling

Rolling

Decisions:

05 December 2023

26 March 2024

16 May 2024

Yale SOM Interview Questions 


Given the short interview, Yale SOM’s interview questions are likely to be standard behavioral questions asked across business schools. 


Preliminary Questions


  1. Resume walk-through

  2. Introduce yourself.

  3. What occupies your time outside work?

  4. What have you been doing at work recently? What have you been proud of this year?

  5. Tell me about a recent personal goal.

  6. Why MBA? Why Yale? Why now?

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

  8. What extracurriculars would you like to get involved in?

  9. What does the Dean Charles quote mean to you?

  10. Tell me why you chose the quote that you chose.


Leadership / Teamwork


  1. Explain a time when you faced a challenge at work.

  2. Explain a time that you managed conflict within a team.

  3. Explain a difficult conversation that you have had with a teammate.

  4. Describe a time that you were on a team that experienced internal conflict.

  5. Describe a time that you had an underperforming teammate and how you dealt with the problem.  

  6. Explain a time that you took the lead in a project.

  7. Describe a time you had to convince a team member of something.

  8. Describe a time that you have been a mentor.

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

  10. Describe a time that you needed another’s perspective before making a decision. 

  11. What different perspective will you bring? (This relates back to the Dean’s quote)


Behavioral


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

  2. Describe a situation where your proposal was rejected. 

  3. Describe a time you took a risk. Did it work out?

  4. Talk about a time you had to ask for help. 

  5. Tell me how a client would describe you. A friend? 

  6. Tell me about a goal that you achieved.

  7. Describe a time that an outcome did not match your expectations.


Closing


  1. What would help me remember you as an interviewee?

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

  3. Do you have any questions for me?


Tips to Ace the Yale SOM Interview


Our Yale SOM-specific tips come from the interview experience of previous clients who have applied to Yale. Here’s what you need to know:


  1. The interviewer will NOT have access to anything outside your CV. You are free to use anecdotes, examples, etc. from your application material, but remember to focus on Yale SOM’s values of diversity, community, and leadership while choosing your stories. 

  2. The interview lasts a strict 30 minutes. Keep your answers concise and time yourself in mock interviews. Use the SCAR method to construct your stories and anecdotes to make sure you don’t go over time.  

  3. Questions will tend to be straightforward, but if you aren’t prepared for a question, pause for a moment to think (you can even ask to pause) before continuing.

  4. Yale SOM offers many online resources for applicants to prepare for their interviews, including behavioral mock interviews with 2nd year students and self-paced virtual interviews. Check them out here.


As always, check out more interview advice and practice, including video interview simulations, on MBAConsultant.com.

 

Test your interview skills with a mock interview. Book a free chat with one of our expert consultants to get started.

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