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The MIT Sloan Interview Guide – 2024 Format + Sample Questions

February 29, 2024
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Understanding the MIT InterviewAbout Your InterviewerPreparing for the MIT Sloan InterviewThe MIT Sloan Interview FormatSample MIT Sloan Interview QuestionsTips for a Successful MIT Sloan InterviewFAQs

Do you have an upcoming MIT interview and need help preparing? This guide provides tips and valuable information that will help you ace your admissions interview!

Earning an MIT admissions interview at MIT Sloan is a major achievement on the path to acceptance. As one of the most prestigious MBA programs in the world, with a highly competitive acceptance rate of 4.8%, MIT Sloan can afford to be extremely selective in its evaluation process.

“We want people who are academically curious and passionate, people who will bring their various talents to MIT and share them with others, people who will be good roommates, good mentors, good friends. We do not admit test scores. We admit people.”

Securing one of the coveted interview slots means your application has impressed the admissions committee and differentiated you from over 7,000 other applicants vying for a spot in the incoming class.

Now comes the most critical part of the process - acing the MIT Sloan interview. This interview will determine whether you move from the "maybe" to the "definitely admit" pile.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know to have an excellent interview and get that precious MIT Sloan acceptance letter. From what to expect in the behavioral event-based format to sample questions and answers, you’ll gain the confidence and skills for interview success.

Understanding the MIT Interview

If you’ve been offered an interview, take it. If you decide to accept the offer, ensure you accept it within the MIT interview deadline.

If the interview is waived, it won’t affect MIT’s final decision, but it’s not a good look to turn down an interview offer. Educational Counselor (EC) Chris Su’s primary advice is, “Please do it. We like talking to you. Really!”

If you’ve been selected for an interview, the first step in the MIT admissions interview process is receiving an email from your EC. This is where the relationship starts. Be prompt in responding to your MIT interview invitation email, and be friendly and respectful throughout further correspondence. 

First impressions are very important, so you’ll want to show them the best of who you are from the beginning. 

The interview won’t be too formal, so there’s no need to wear your best dress or a three-piece suit. As long as you’re looking professional and feeling comfortable, you don’t need to worry too much about what you’re wearing. 

The interview can last approximately an hour, although it could range from 30 minutes to 2 hours. Whatever the length, don’t take that as a good or bad sign. As long as the conversation flows smoothly, the interview length isn’t an indicator of how you’re doing.

MIT suggests you “think through stories or examples that will give your interviewer a vivid sense of your passions and aspirations.” What are your ambitions? What drives you? Passion and excitement are contagious, so if you come prepared to talk about your favorite things, you’ll set yourself up for success. 

What’s important is to avoid one-word answers. You’ll shine in the interview when you answer their questions genuinely and thoughtfully. You don’t need to follow a script, but you’ll do well if you show that you’re engaged in the process and excited to talk about it. 

Come prepared with questions of your own. EC Kim Hunter says she loves answering questions about her experiences at MIT. It’s a two-way conversation, after all. So she’s always happy to provide information. She emphasizes, though, that the questions should be intelligent. 

“Just like you wouldn’t go to a job interview and ask what the company does, don’t come to your MIT interview and ask overly simplistic questions,” Hunter says. She wants to see that you’ve researched and know what you’re looking for in a school. 

Try not to be too nervous. Of course, that’s easier said than done, but they don’t want to put you through any undue stress. There are no “correct” answers to the interview questions. Every interview is unique because, at its core, it’s just a conversation between two individuals. 

Chris Su’s main advice is to be sincere, punctual, and polite. If you’re hitting those notes, you should be absolutely fine. It’s a conversation, he emphasizes, not an oral exam. 

What If You Don’t Get An Interview?

With over 5,000 volunteer alumni conducting interviews, there might not be enough resources to interview every applicant. Not being selected for an interview doesn't automatically impact your application or reflect on your qualifications.

About Your Interviewer

Alumni conduct the interviews, so there’s a ton of diversity among the pool of ECs. The Alumni Association has a series of profiles on notable alumni who run the gamut of entrepreneurs, engineers, research scientists, and data analysts, to name a few. 

You’ll know who your EC is when they reach out to schedule the interview. At that point, of course, you can Google them—Kim Hunter says this doesn’t put her off, but you shouldn’t rely too heavily on what you find. 

She cautions against connecting with them on social media before the interview, which will seem unprofessional. 

“The interview is about you,” says Chris Su, so while it never hurts to “be inquisitive,” you should come prepared to talk extensively about yourself. He wants to advocate for the prospective students he interviews, but he can only do that if they first advocate for themselves!  

MIT values wellness and a balanced life, as does former admissions director Matt McGann. He once advised a student concerned about her test scores to “have a picnic” instead of retaking the SATs. 

The most important thing to remember is that ECs are people too. They’re not sitting in the room with a secret checklist or waiting for you to say the wrong thing so they can reject you. They’re invested in your education, and they want you to succeed.

Preparing for the MIT Sloan Interview

Preparation is key to acing the comprehensive interview. Unlike other business schools that use a more conversational interview approach, MIT is known for its challenging, behavior-based interview style aimed at evaluating candidates’ leadership potential, problem-solving abilities, and communication skills. Even if you don’t meet the minimum qualifications, you can still be accepted into the program.

Researching MIT Sloan’s MBA Program

Thorough preparation entails researching the MIT Sloan program in-depth to understand its values and culture, identifying stories from your background that demonstrate desired leadership attributes, and connecting with current students or alumni to gain insights from their firsthand experiences.

Identifying Your Strengths and Weaknesses

You should spend time reflecting on pivotal moments in your personal and professional journey and articulate with confidence how these experiences exhibit the strengths that MIT Sloan prioritizes. Think of stories that convey important skills such as overcoming conflicts, spearheading change initiatives, solving complex problems, or persuading team members.

Connecting With Current Students and Alumni

It also helps to connect with current MIT Sloan students, admittees, or alumni to learn more about the student experience and gain advice to stand out in your interview. Leverage your network through clubs, events, and social media to find those connections.

The MIT Sloan Interview Format

The MIT interview is conducted by a single member of the admissions committee, usually an alum or student. Having an interviewer with direct experience at MIT Sloan provides candidates with the opportunity to gain valuable insights about the program and student experience.

Overview of the Interview Structure

The MIT Sloan interview is a 30-45 minute behavioral event-based interview (BEI) conducted by an admissions committee member. The interview focuses on evaluating candidates' leadership potential, problem-solving abilities, and communication skills through their responses to questions about specific past experiences and actions.

Virtual vs. In-Person Interviews

MIT Sloan is currently conducting all interviews virtually. Candidates should prepare similarly to an in-person interview, testing technology setup and internet connection in advance and ensuring a professional environment.

Special Considerations for Group Interviews (If Applicable)

If MIT Sloan opts to conduct any group interviews, candidates should aim to demonstrate collaborative skills and teamwork without dominating the conversation. Poise and active listening when others are speaking are key.

Does Every MIT Applicant Get an Interview?

MIT interviews are not a required part of the application process. The school does try to offer as many interviews as possible; they only have limited spots. If your interview is waived, it will not put you at a disadvantage in the admissions process.

Sample MIT Sloan Interview Questions

The interview focuses heavily on behavioral questions, though you should also be prepared for other types of inquiries. 

What’s important is to avoid one-word answers. You’ll shine in the interview when you answer their questions genuinely and thoughtfully. You don’t need to follow a script, but you’ll do well if you show that you’re engaged in the process and excited to talk about it. 

The interview questions at MIT Sloan can be broken down into three different categories: traditional, behavioral, and case questions.

Traditional Questions

The MIT Sloan interview starts with an overview of the candidate's background and interests to set the context. Interviewers typically ask candidates to walk through their resume, discuss why they are pursuing an MBA at this point in their career, and share why they selected MIT Sloan and how they will engage with the community. 

These questions allow candidates to highlight their motivations, goals, and fit with the program. Sample questions include:

  • "Why do you want an MBA, and why MIT Sloan specifically?"

This is the most common interview question you can expect to hear. With this question, the interviewer wants to know that you’ve done your research on the school and have made an informed decision. Be precise about what MIT offers and what you hope to learn if you attend.

  • "Walk me through your resume."

This is another pervasive question. Be prepared to give a concise but well-rounded answer—Chris Su, an admissions counselor at MIT suggests a one-minute response with key details about your upbringing, interests, and goals. This establishes a foundation you can build upon for the rest of the interview. 

When answering this, start with a very brief personal introduction, highlighting your academic background and any notable achievements. Then, discuss your extracurricular activities and interests outside of academics. 

It’s important not to speak about your academic achievements too much because the admissions committee already has that information on your application.

Finally, connect your experiences to MIT by demonstrating how they align with the institution's values and opportunities. Be authentic and enthusiastic, focus on aspects of your background most relevant to your application, and showcase your fit for MIT.

  • "Describe your short-term and long-term career goals."

The admissions team wants to see you have a clear vision for your career goals. When asked about your short and long-term objectives, avoid vague statements or generic ambitions. 

Articulate a strategic plan that outlines your professional trajectory - where you are now (point A), where you want to be in the coming years after earning an MBA (point B), and how you will leverage MIT Sloan's incredible resources to fill in the gaps during your studies.

Behavioral Questions

A significant portion of the MIT interview focuses on behavioral questions aimed at evaluating candidates' leadership, collaboration, and problem-solving abilities through examples. 

Common questions ask about handling team conflicts, persuading others, or overcoming setbacks on key projects. 

Strong answers will follow the STAR method:

  • Situation: Briefly describe the context - set the scene for your story. Outline details about the circumstances or challenges you were facing without getting bogged down.
  • Task: Explain the goal you needed to achieve in that situation. What were you trying to accomplish?
  • Action: Discuss the specific actions you took to address the situation and work towards your goal. Use the word "I" to emphasize what you did.
  • Result: Share the outcomes of your actions. What happened? How did the event end? What did you accomplish? What did you learn? Highlight positive results.

The STAR method allows you to provide structured, concise responses that showcase relevant experiences and abilities. When preparing for interviews, identify stories from your background that demonstrate the desired skills that MIT is looking for.

Sample questions include:

  • "Tell me about a time you faced a significant challenge. How did you approach it?"

MIT Sloan wants leaders who tackle obstacles head-on while remaining level-headed. Choose an example that showcases analytical rigor and perseverance in a high-pressure setting. Explain the complex challenge and structured process you used to diagnose root issues, ideate solutions, and drive consensus on the optimal path forward.

  • "Describe a situation where you had to lead or influence a team to achieve a goal."

Illustrate people-management finesse by leading with empathy and influence. Set the context of competing priorities or tough tradeoffs your team faced. Showcase versatility in motivational approaches used to align, inspire, and support diverse professionals, fostering ownership and accountability. Use data-driven communication to gain buy-in for decisions. Share a clear model for dividing responsibilities, tracking progress, providing feedback, and celebrating wins.

  • "Give me an example of a time you failed. What did you learn?"

MIT Sloan seeks reflective candidates who extract powerful lessons from setbacks. Frame the failure within a high-stakes project facing external volatility. Demonstrate curiosity, intellectual honesty, and humility in diagnosing root causes without excuses. Did certain assumptions, processes, or decisions prove flawed in hindsight? Share the emotional resilience and proactivity displayed to course correct despite uncertainty, frustration, or embarrassment.

Case Questions (Less Common)

Candidates can expect at least one case question focused on a hypothetical business scenario. The cases assess analytical thinking, strategic decision-making, and how candidates structure a response when presented with ambiguous information. 

Cases may involve developing a product launch strategy, advising a start-up on competition, or evaluating expansion opportunities. Sample questions include:

  • A theme park company is seeing declining profits and attendance. As a consultant, how would you approach identifying the root causes and developing solutions to turn around performance? What analyses would you conduct?

This is a typical strategy case question evaluating the candidate's framework for analyzing business issues and developing solutions. I would approach by clarifying objectives, analyzing visitor data trends, surveying customers, benchmarking competitors, evaluating pricing and promotions, looking at new attractions pipeline, and assessing cost structure.

  • A start-up CEO is facing new competitive threats from larger players. What factors should be considered in determining how to respond? What are some potential strategic options and associated risks and tradeoffs?

This tests strategic decision-making abilities in a start-up context. Relevant factors include competitor differentiation, resources/capabilities, customer overlap, market landscape, and start-up's core advantages. Response options range from partnerships to aggressive innovation but must balance risks.

  • You are advising an emerging market financial services company that wants to expand internationally. What factors would you analyze to determine which new country markets are attractive targets?

This market entry case evaluates the ability to identify and analyze key factors when considering geographic expansion, including market size, competitive landscape, regulatory environment, cultural fit, required localization, and financial projections.

Top 10 Tips for a Successful MIT Admissions Interview

1. Be Authentic and Genuine

Rather than overly rehearsing answers, focus on having an authentic, genuine conversation. Your interviewer wants to understand the real you. This applies not just to your interviewing capabilities but also to your writing.

2. Practice With a Mock Interviewer

Ask a friend or career coach for mock interviews. Practicing responses using the STAR method (situation, task, action, result) can help refine your answers and build confidence.

3. Showcase Your Knowledge of MIT Sloan

Research MIT Sloan thoroughly to integrate specific aspects of the program that excite you into your responses. Articulate how the collaborative environment and offerings align with your goals.

4. Highlight Your Qualities and Contributions

Emphasize skills and perspectives not highlighted in your application. Provide examples exhibiting your principles and potential impact on the MIT community.

5. Follow-up Etiquette and Expressing Continued Interest

Send a timely, personalized thank-you note reiterating your strengths and genuine enthusiasm for MIT Sloan.

6. Dress Appropriately 

Ensure you dress appropriately for the interview. However, this doesn’t mean you should show up in a three-piece suit. It is perfectly acceptable to wear the same clothes you wore to school that day, whether a uniform with a blazer, your team jersey with sneakers, or jeans and a non-offensive t-shirt. 

7. Understand the Behavioral Interview Format

Familiarize yourself with the Behavioral Event Interview (BEI) format used by MIT Sloan, which focuses on past actions and behaviors as indicators of future performance. Prepare to discuss specific instances from your past experiences using the STAR method.

8. Prepare for the Unexpected

Despite thorough preparation, you may encounter unexpected questions. Stay calm, take a moment to think, and provide a structured response. If needed, take a sip of water to buy time for thought.

9. Demonstrate Fit with MIT Sloan's Culture

Reflect on how your personal and professional experiences align with MIT Sloan's values, such as enhancing the student experience and thoughtful leadership. Prepare to articulate this fit during your interview.

10. Bring New Information to the Table

Use the interview as an opportunity to introduce new aspects of your profile that weren't covered in your application. This can provide a more comprehensive picture of your candidacy.


Acing the interview is no easy feat, but hopefully, you now have more insight on how to prepare for the big day. If you still have questions, check out our FAQ section below.

1. Does MIT Sloan Do Interviews?

Yes, MIT Sloan conducts interviews as a required part of the MBA application process. An interview invitation signals your application has reached an advanced stage of consideration.

2. What Is the Acceptance Rate for MIT Sloan Interviews?

MIT Sloan interviews around 25-50% more candidates than they plan to admit, implying an interview acceptance rate near 60%. Thorough preparation is critical for the interview as it allows candidates to best showcase their strengths.

3. Does Getting an Interview for MIT Mean Anything?

Yes, getting an interview invite from MIT Sloan means your application is very competitive and has passed the initial screening stages. MIT Sloan extends interview invites to a subset of applicants after reviewing their entire application package.

4. How Hard Is It to Get Into MIT Sloan?

Gaining admission into MIT Sloan's prestigious MBA program is highly competitive, with an extremely selective overall acceptance rate of 4.8%. The admitted student profile is very strong, with a median GMAT score of 730 and a median GPA of 3.6.


The interview can seem daunting because of how prestigious MIT is, but the admissions team wants to see you succeed. Remember, the MIT Sloan interview is not an interrogation. It’s a conversation with a person.

With extensive practice using mock interviews, research to understand MIT Sloan's competency-based approach, and crafting compelling stories using the STAR method, candidates can confidently tackle the rigorous 30-45 minute behavioral interview.

By staying authentic, using skillful communication of your leadership abilities, and sending a professional follow-up note, you can use this opportunity to move from applicant to admittee in no time.

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