How to Nail Your Kellogg MBA Interview: Overview, Questions, & Tips

Ace your Kellogg MBA interview with our comprehensive guide! Learn about the interview process, common questions, and top tips to help you impress the admissions committee and secure your spot in this prestigious program.

Posted January 9, 2024

Free Event

Forming an MBA Application Strategy + Ask Me Anything w/ HBS '24 Coach

Starting Thursday, June 20

10:00 PM UTC · 45 minutes

undefined's profile

Featuring Erik R.

Table of Contents

The Kellogg MBA interview is a crucial step in the admissions process for applicants seeking to join the prestigious Northwestern Kellogg School of Management. This article provides an in-depth overview of the interview process, a comprehensive list of common interview questions, expert tips from admissions consultants, general MBA interview tips, and answers to frequently asked questions about the Kellogg MBA interview.

Kellogg MBA Application Overview

Before diving into the interview itself, it is essential to understand the Northwestern Kellogg MBA application process and the role the interview plays in it. The Kellogg MBA application consists of various components, such as:

  • Academic achievements
  • Professional experience
  • Essays
  • Recommendation letters
  • Test scores
  • Interview

Once an applicant submits their application, the admissions committee thoroughly reviews it to assess the candidate's fit for the Kellogg MBA program. The committee carefully examines the applicant's academic achievements, looking for a strong academic background that demonstrates the ability to excel in the rigorous curriculum at Kellogg. They also consider the applicant's professional experience, seeking individuals who have demonstrated leadership, teamwork, and a track record of success in their careers.

In addition to academic and professional qualifications, the committee pays close attention to the applicant's essays. These essays provide an opportunity for applicants to showcase their personal and professional goals, as well as their motivations for pursuing an MBA at Kellogg. The committee looks for applicants who have a clear sense of purpose and a strong alignment between their goals and what Kellogg has to offer.

Recommendation letters also play a crucial role in the application process. These letters provide insights into the applicant's character, work ethic, and potential for success in the Kellogg MBA program. The committee values recommendations from individuals who have worked closely with the applicant and can speak to their abilities and potential for growth.

Finally, test scores, such as the GMAT or GRE, are considered as part of the application review process. These scores provide a standardized measure of the applicant's academic abilities and help the committee assess their readiness for the rigorous academic environment at Kellogg.

Role of the Interview

Once the application has been reviewed, selected candidates are invited for an interview. The interview serves as an opportunity for the admissions team to learn more about the applicant beyond what is stated in their application materials. It allows the committee to assess the applicant's communication skills, leadership potential, interpersonal skills, and overall fit with the Kellogg community.

During the interview, applicants may be asked a variety of questions to gauge their fit with the Kellogg MBA program. These questions may delve into the applicant's motivations for pursuing an MBA, their career goals, their leadership experiences, and their ability to contribute to the Kellogg community. It is therefore crucial for applicants to prepare thoroughly to make a positive impression.

Preparing for the interview involves researching the Kellogg MBA program, understanding its values and culture, and identifying specific aspects of the program that align with the applicant's goals and aspirations. It also involves practicing common interview questions and developing thoughtful and concise responses that highlight the applicant's strengths and unique qualities.

Overall, the interview is a crucial step in the Northwestern Kellogg MBA application process. It provides the admissions committee with a deeper understanding of the applicant and helps them make informed decisions about who will be a good fit for the Kellogg MBA program. By thoroughly preparing for the interview, applicants can increase their chances of making a positive impression and securing a spot in this prestigious program.

50 Common Kellogg Interview Questions

To help applicants prepare for their Kellogg MBA interview, we have compiled a list of 50 common interview questions. These questions cover a wide range of topics, including the applicant's career goals, experiences, leadership abilities, and personal values.

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. Why do you want to pursue an MBA?
  3. Why are you interested in Kellogg?
  4. What are your short-term and long-term career goals?
  5. How do you plan to achieve your career goals?
  6. What is your biggest achievement?
  7. Describe a time you faced a significant challenge.
  8. Can you give an example of when you showed leadership?
  9. How do you work in a team?
  10. Describe a time you had a conflict in a team. How did you handle it?
  11. What is your leadership style?
  12. How do you handle failure?
  13. What is your greatest strength and weakness?
  14. Can you discuss a time you had to make a difficult decision?
  15. What have you learned from your professional experience?
  16. How would your colleagues describe you?
  17. What can you contribute to the Kellogg community?
  18. What do you like to do in your free time?
  19. Discuss a recent book you read or movie you watched and its impact on you.
  20. Describe an ethical dilemma you faced and how you resolved it.
  21. How do you handle stress and pressure?
  22. What motivates you?
  23. Discuss your undergraduate experience and how it has shaped you.
  24. Why should we admit you over other candidates?
  25. Have you applied to other schools? If so, which ones?
  26. What will you do if you're not admitted to an MBA program this year?
  27. Can you discuss an accomplishment that is not on your resume?
  28. What role do you usually take on in a team?
  29. How have you grown professionally since starting your current job?
  30. What challenges do you expect to face in an MBA program, and how will you overcome them?
  31. Describe a time you had to persuade someone.
  32. What are your hobbies or interests outside of work?
  33. How do you define success?
  34. What book are you currently reading?
  35. Who is a leader you admire and why?
  36. What is the most interesting project you have worked on?
  37. How do you plan to finance your MBA?
  38. What questions do you have for me about Kellogg?
  39. What is the most significant feedback you have received, and how did you respond to it?
  40. Describe a situation where you had to work with someone very different from you.
  41. What trends in your industry excite you?
  42. Discuss a time you had to adapt to change.
  43. How do you prioritize tasks in a busy schedule?
  44. What do you believe is the biggest challenge facing leaders today?
  45. Describe a professional experience where you took a risk.
  46. How do you evaluate success in a project or endeavor?
  47. What has been your biggest regret and why?
  48. If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?
  49. How have you demonstrated teamwork in professional settings?
  50. What is something you would like me to know that we haven’t discussed?

Free trial!

Access a library of videos, templates, and examples curated by Leland’s top coaches.

undefined's profileundefined's profileundefined's profile

From 117 top coaches

Example Essays

Example Essays Image

Example Resumes

Example Resumes Image

Application Prep

Application Prep Image

Video Courses

Video Courses Image

Expert Tips for the Northwestern Kellogg Interview

Preparing for the Kellogg MBA interview can be daunting, but with the right guidance, applicants can excel. We have gathered expert tips from admissions consultants to help applicants navigate the interview process successfully.

Understand the Kellogg Culture

Kellogg prides itself on a student-centric, collaborative, and globally-minded approach. Before your interview, research the school’s values and consider how your experiences and goals align with them. Be prepared to demonstrate your understanding of Kellogg's unique culture and how you can contribute to it.

Emphasize Teamwork and Leadership

Kellogg values candidates who exhibit strong leadership skills and a collaborative spirit. Share specific examples from your past experiences where you effectively worked in teams, led group projects, or facilitated group success. Highlighting these experiences will resonate well with Kellogg's team-oriented approach.

Showcase Your Personality

Kellogg seeks candidates who are not only academically capable but also personable and engaging. The interview is a great opportunity to let your personality shine through. Be genuine, express your passions, and show them who you are beyond your resume.

Be (Very) Clear About “Why Kellogg?”

Articulate clearly why you are choosing Kellogg for your MBA. Discuss specific programs, clubs, or initiatives at Kellogg that interest you and how they align with your professional and personal growth plans. Demonstrating a clear and well-researched understanding of how Kellogg stands out from other programs will show your genuine interest.

Prepare for Behavioral Questions

Kellogg interviews often include behavioral questions. Prepare using the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your responses. This method helps you tell a compelling story and clearly highlight your skills and accomplishments.

Reflect on Your Career Goals

Be prepared to discuss your short-term and long-term career goals in detail. Kellogg is interested in how their MBA program fits into your career trajectory. Show them that you have a clear vision and that Kellogg is a crucial part of achieving that vision.

Practice, But Don’t Memorize

While it’s important to prepare and practice your responses, avoid memorizing them. Your answers should feel natural and conversational. Over-prepared responses can come off as insincere.

Prepare Thoughtful Questions

At the end of the interview, you will likely be asked if you have any questions. Prepare thoughtful, specific questions that show your interest in Kellogg and that you've done your homework. Avoid asking questions that are easily answered by a quick look at the website.

Engage with the Interviewer

Remember, the interview is a two-way conversation. Engage with your interviewer, show enthusiasm, and be attentive. This interaction is as much about determining if Kellogg is the right fit for you as it is for them to assess your fit for the program.

General MBA Interview Tips: How to Stand Out

While the Kellogg MBA interview has its unique aspects, there are general MBA interview tips that can help applicants stand out in any business school interview. These tips apply to both virtual and in-person interviews and can significantly increase the chances of success.

Firstly, it is essential to dress professionally and present oneself in a confident manner. Maintaining good eye contact and practicing active listening demonstrates respect and engagement. Additionally, applicants should focus on articulating their thoughts clearly and concisely, using relevant examples to support their responses.

Moreover, applicants should exhibit enthusiasm and passion for their chosen career path and demonstrate alignment with the values and culture of Kellogg. Finally, it is beneficial to ask thoughtful questions about the program during the interview to showcase genuine interest and curiosity.

Kellogg MBA Interview FAQs

As the Kellogg MBA interview approaches, it is natural for applicants to have questions and concerns. To address common queries, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions about the Kellogg MBA interview.

  1. What is the format of the Kellogg MBA interview?
    The Kellogg MBA interview is typically conducted in a one-on-one format. It can be held on campus with a member of the admissions team, or off-campus with an alumnus or admissions representative. The interview usually lasts about 30 to 45 minutes and is conversational in nature.
  2. Is the Kellogg interview by invitation only?
    Yes, Kellogg follows an interview-by-invitation-only policy. Candidates are selected for interviews based on their submitted application materials. Receiving an interview invitation is a positive indicator of interest from the admissions committee.
  3. How should I prepare for the Kellogg interview?
    Prepare by reviewing your application, especially your essays, to ensure consistency in your responses. Practice answering common MBA interview questions and focus on examples that highlight your teamwork and leadership skills. Research Kellogg's culture and programs thoroughly to demonstrate your fit and interest.
  4. What kind of questions are asked in the Kellogg interview?
    Kellogg interview questions often focus on understanding your career goals, leadership experiences, teamwork abilities, and how you handle challenges. Behavioral questions are common, so be ready with specific examples that showcase your skills and achievements.
  5. How important is the interview in the Kellogg MBA admissions process?
    The interview is a crucial component of the admissions process at Kellogg. It provides the admissions committee with insights into your interpersonal skills, fit with the school's culture, and your potential contributions to the Kellogg community.
  6. What should I wear to the Kellogg MBA interview?
    Business professional attire is recommended for the Kellogg MBA interview. Dressing formally demonstrates your seriousness about the interview and respect for the interviewer.
  7. Can I get feedback on my Kellogg interview?
    Kellogg does not typically provide individual feedback on interviews due to the high volume of candidates. However, if not admitted, you can request general feedback on your application, which may include some insights into your interview performance.
  8. How can I make a good impression in the Kellogg interview?
    To make a good impression, be punctual, courteous, and professional. Be authentic in your responses, show enthusiasm for Kellogg, and articulate clearly how the MBA program aligns with your goals. Engage in a two-way conversation and express genuine interest in the interviewer's questions.
  9. Should I bring anything to the Kellogg interview?
    Bring copies of your resume, a notebook, and a pen to the interview. You may not need them, but it’s good to be prepared. Also, have a list of questions ready to ask the interviewer.
  10. How soon after the interview will I hear back from Kellogg?
    The timeline for hearing back after your Kellogg interview varies, but it typically takes a few weeks. The admissions committee reviews your entire application, including the interview report, before making a decision.


Successfully navigating the Kellogg MBA interview is a key step towards gaining admission to this prestigious business school. By understanding the application process, preparing for common interview questions, following expert tips, and keeping in mind general MBA interview advice, applicants can increase their chances of making a positive impression on the admissions committee. Additionally, addressing frequently asked questions can help alleviate any concerns or uncertainties applicants may have. With proper preparation and a well-executed interview, applicants can nail their Kellogg MBA interview and move one step closer to achieving their academic and career goals.

Browse hundreds of expert coaches

Leland coaches have helped thousands of people achieve their goals. A dedicated mentor can make all the difference.

Browse Related Articles