Saturday, August 21, 2010

Feedback interview - Tepper, Carnegie Mellon

Last night Laurie Stewart of Tepper called me for feedback interview. It was a scheduled interview but I wondered why my interviewer, Linwood Harris, didn't give me feedback. The duration of interview was not mentioned in the mail but it went for just 13 minutes, and seemed more like a formality. But seems feedback interviews happen this way only, in which they tell you everything but tell you nothing!

She started thanking me for applying to Tepper and asked whether I'm considering Tepper MBA again. Then she emphasised on listed four points:

* It was a very competitive pool this year, and it is too tough to point out strengths and weaknesses of an applicant in this kind of pool.
* My GMAT is fine and no need to retake it.
* Continuity to work on your leadership and give examples like contribution, problem solving, difference you make in company and so on.
* Apply preferably in later rounds like in round 2 or 3 - This one was a little strange to me. When I asked why she said to have more time to improve my profile.

To my surprise, without even asking me for any questions, she was about to hang up wishing me all the best with reapplication when I said "I had a few of questions to ask, may I?" 
1. What are the strengths and weaknesses in my application? - As, I told you in the starting that it was very competitive pool this year, and it is too tough to point out strengths and weaknesses. But yes your strong GMAT and work experience is definitely your strength and you should build on them. Show more work on your leadership and give examples.

2. Did my story make sense to you or do I have to work on it? – Yes, as I read your story, it was convincing. That’s why you were in waitlist, which means you are qualified for the school. 

3. Would Tepper consider my old application with my new one? If my career goals have become clearer now and thus would change a bit from the last time, how would Tepper consider them? – You have the option to submit complete new application or just additional essay telling your accomplishments since last time you applied. Yes, Tepper do have access to your previous file. And, if your career goal has changed, you must acknowledge the same it in your new essay.

4. Did my 740 GMAT score make up for my GPA enough, and if not, by how much do I need to compensate for that in other areas, and how? – Don't retake GMAT as it is very strong, plus you have good professional experience. GPA still matters but not to that extent as it would for a applicant with less years of experience. Additional course is not recommended from my side but it is completely your choice.

5. Do you get a huge number of applications from (software) engineers from India? If yes, by how much am I succeeding to stand out?

6. What do you recommend that I work on from now until the application submission in order to maximize my chances for admission?

It was 13 minutes over, and she said she had to leave and couldn't continue any further, and my last 2 questions remained unanswered.

Nonetheless, it's better than nothing!


  1. Yeah sound like a formality. you have for Ross as well?

  2. For Ross its not sure, no communication from their side yet.

  3. That's great ! Can u please let me know how the feedback interviews are scheduled ? Is it done by all schools ?

    Thanks in anticipation !

  4. That's great ! Can u please let me know how the feedback interviews are scheduled ? Is it done by all schools ?

    Thanks in anticipation !

  5. Shivraj, it depends on the school basically. I requested Tepper for feedback and they kept me in loop while scheduling feedback interviews, but with Ross they indirectly denied for any such. But ya in any case you need to let school know your willingness for feedback.

  6. Hey 'A', thanks for sharing your feedback. ATB for the apps this time around!

  7. Thanks anothermba for dropping by and ATB to you too :)

  8. Quick question... Did you visit Tepper for your interview? If so, did they have a current student email you several weeks later asking if he/she could provide any additional info. on the school? I in the second round, had my interview 2 weeks ago (in Pittsburgh), got the email at the end of last week saying a decision had been made (but they can't tell me what it is until March 14th), and then just got an email this week from a current student asking if she could answer any questions I may have. I am trying to figure out if this newest email from a current student is encouraging, or if I am just reading into it...

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