Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Duke interview experience

I interviewed with a Fuqua Alum in Bangalore a couple of weeks back. It was a very pleasant experience. My interviewer gave me a good picture of life at Duke. It was nice to meet someone so passionate about his alma mater.

The interview was pretty much on expected lines. We went on to discuss almost everything I could pack in my application. Some questions I remember were:

1) Tell me about your family
2) Info about my undergraduate institute
3) My decision to join IT after graduating in a non-computer science field
4) Experiences at work. Why job switch?
5) What is my idea of a leader? What are my leadership experiences
6) Which leader inspires me the most and why
7) Why MBA
8) Why now
9) Why Fuqua
10)What other schools have I applied to and why
11)If he were the director of admissions and asked me why Duke should take me, what would my reply be in 30 seconds
12)A situation where I have let someone down.
13)Any questions I have for him.

Mid-way he said he is very candid in his feedback to applicants. He mentioned that I would make a good fit at Fuqua. However, he also said that off the record, he feels that another year of work experience (I currently have 3.5 years of work ex) would do me no harm since my career is yet to hit a plateau and since I am the kind of person who learns from his experiences. He also commented that I have excellent academics though I personally do not think so :)

I think I was able to express my love for Duke in a convincing manner, and he was impressed with most of my answers. The best part of the interview was when he told me enthusiastically about his own experience at Duke. How they used to camp outside for days to get tickets for basketball matches. How everyone is so friendly and involved, and how education at Duke has really made a difference to his outlook.

Considering that I have been waitlisted by Duke, I feel that the interview should do me no harm.

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