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UNSW MBA Interview: A Detailed Analysis

The University of New South Wales (UNSW) MBA Program offers a challenging admissions process that identifies candidates with the necessary skills to succeed. This process is a thorough assessment of each applicant's academic qualifications, professional experience, and personal details. A significant component of this process is the UNSW MBA interview, which provides the Admissions Selection Committee with additional insight into the applicant's capabilities.

UNSW MBA Interview Questions

The UNSW MBA admissions process includes a crucial interview stage. This stage is essential for the Selection Committee to assess if there's an appropriate “fit” between you, the applicant, and the current successful applicant pool.

There are typically two sets of interviews in this process, each with its unique type of questions.

 UNSW MBA interview: SET 1

The SET 1 interview stage is an integral part of the UNSW MBA admissions process. The questions posed during this phase are designed to evaluate the applicant's potential and understanding of business concepts.

The first question typically revolves around the applicant's motivations for pursuing an MBA program. Interviewers want to understand not just why you chose to pursue an MBA but also why you selected UNSW. Here it's key to link your professional goals with the unique offerings of the UNSW MBA program.

Question: "Why do you want to do an MBA and why have you chosen UNSW?"

Tip: In your response, make connections between your career aspirations, personal growth ambitions, and what UNSW offers. Be specific about the courses, faculty, or opportunities at UNSW that align with your goals.

The second question often probes into how you deal with challenging situations or setbacks. Remember, they aren't just interested in the situation but also in your thought process and actions.

Question: "Can you describe a time when you faced a major hurdle at work? How did you handle it?"

Tip: Use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method to structure your response. Focus on demonstrating resilience and problem-solving skills.

Another common question involves teamwork and leadership - essential skills for any MBA student. You might be asked about instances where you led a team or managed a conflict within a team.

Question: "Tell us about a time when you had to lead a team or manage a conflict within a team."

Tip: Once more, use the STAR method to present a clear narrative. Highlight your leadership style, negotiation skills and how you build consensus within teams.

In SET 1, it's crucial to provide detailed responses that reflect self-awareness, strong interpersonal skills and clear career goals.

 UNSW MBA interview: Specialized Tips for SET 1

Ensuring a great impression during the SET 1 interview involves certain strategies. One key approach is to practice articulating your thoughts. SET 1 questions often require introspection, so having rehearsed answers helps in delivering them effectively.

Tip: Don't just rehearse your answers, but also the way you present them. Maintain a confident and calm demeanor.

Showcasing relevant skills and experiences is crucial. Tailor your responses to highlight how your background aligns with the program. If a question revolves around teamwork, for instance, discuss past experiences where you successfully collaborated with others.

Tip: Use the STAR technique (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your responses.

In addition, it's important to have a clear understanding of the MBA program's values. Incorporate these into your answers to show compatibility with the program's ethos.


UNSW MBA interview: SET 2 Interview Questions

The SET 2 interview questions during the UNSW MBA admissions process offer a deeper exploration of your skills, experiences and motivations. While these questions can vary, they typically center on more complex aspects of your professional journey and future aspirations.

Question 1: Describe a challenging situation at work and how you handled it.

This question aims to assess your problem-solving skills and resilience in the face of adversity. When answering, consider sharing an experience that showcases your ability to take initiative, communicate effectively, and navigate complex situations.

Example Answer: "In my previous role as a project manager, I faced a situation where two key team members resigned in the middle of an important project. To address this, I promptly redistributed their tasks among the remaining team members, including myself, ensuring everyone was comfortable with their new duties. I also expedited the hiring process to fill the vacancies. Despite these challenges, we successfully completed the project ahead of schedule."

Question 2: Why do you want to pursue an MBA at UNSW?

Your answer should reflect your understanding of the program's unique offerings and how they align with your career goals. Be as specific as possible—mention faculty members you admire or courses that excite you.

Example Answer: "I am particularly drawn to UNSW's MBA program because of its strong emphasis on leadership development and international business. The curriculum's focus on practical learning will provide me with hands-on experience that is crucial for my future career plans."

Question 3: How do you plan to contribute to our MBA community?

This question seeks to understand your potential impact beyond academics. Speak about any extracurricular activities or community initiatives you’ve been part of in the past and how you plan to bring those experiences into the UNSW MBA community.

Example Answer: "During my undergraduate studies, I was actively involved in our local entrepreneurship club where we organized networking events and workshops for students interested in starting their own businesses. If admitted into the MBA program at UNSW, I would love to bring a similar initiative here."

Remember that authenticity is key in these interviews—your answers should reflect who you are as an individual rather than what you think the admissions committee wants to hear.

UNSW MBA interview: Specialized Tips for SET 2

In the SET 2 interview, it's imperative to demonstrate your ability to add value to the MBA program and your future career. Here are some strategies:

  • Showcase Your Expertise: Use examples from your work history where you made significant contributions or led projects. Remember, the goal is not only to talk about what you did, but also how you achieved it and what outcomes it led to.
  • Highlight Your Skills: Discuss specific skills that would make you a valuable addition to the MBA program and differentiate you from other candidates. These could be technical skills, leadership capabilities, or industry-specific knowledge.
  • Detail Your Experiences: Share experiences that demonstrate your ability to perform under pressure, lead teams effectively, or solve complex problems. These instances can underline your readiness for the intense pace of an MBA program.

How to Handle  UNSW MBA Interview (as per school values)

When preparing for your UNSW MBA interview, it's crucial to align with the program's values. This is not just about showcasing your skills and experiences, but also about displaying your personal attributes and leadership potential.

The UNSW MBA program places a high value on its mission of developing leaders who make a difference. It seeks students who are not only academically capable, but also socially aware and committed to ethical business practices.

To demonstrate alignment with these values during the interview:

  • Understand the Program's Values: Dig deep into the ethos of the UNSW MBA program. Understand what they stand for and how they aim to shape their graduates.
  • Reflect on Your Experiences: Identify instances from your professional or personal life where you've lived these values. It could be a project that made a significant social impact or an instance where you upheld ethics over profits.
  • Communicate Effectively: Be prepared to discuss these experiences succinctly yet powerfully during your interview. Use storytelling techniques to make your responses engaging and memorable.
  • Show Enthusiasm for the Program: Make it clear why you want to be part of this specific program. Show genuine enthusiasm for what UNSW stands for and how you plan to contribute towards it.

Remember, every question asked during your interview is an opportunity to demonstrate these values. Approach them with this mindset, and you're one step closer to standing out in your UNSW MBA interview.


This article offered an in-depth look at the UNSW MBA interview. We explored typical questions, dove into the specifics of SET 1 and SET 2 interviews, and examined strategies for showcasing relevant skills and experiences. A significant focus was placed on aligning with the school's values during the interview.

Remember, preparation makes perfect. Hence, applicants are urged to invest ample time in understanding the nuances of these interviews. Harness this information and prepare diligently for your upcoming UNSW MBA interview - your success awaits!

Know Your Author
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Abhyank Srinet
Study Abroad Expert
Abhyank Srinet, the founder of, is a globally recognized expert in study abroad and admission consulting.His passion lies in helping students navigate the complex world of admissions and achieve their academic dreams. Having earned a Master's degree in Management from ESCP Europe, Abhyank's expertise in data-driven marketing strategies has driven growth for some of the most competitive industries. As the founder of, he has helped thousands of students get into top business schools with a strong emphasis on research, shortlisting, and applying to schools from a single platform. His dedication to education has also led him to create MentR-Me, a free-to-use social platform that simplifies the study abroad process for students, while providing universities with a powerful recruitment tool. As a leader in the field of admission consulting, he is constantly researching and implementing the latest strategies to ensure that his clients receive the best possible guidance. He leads the Business Development and Digital Marketing side of both companies, and has grown both ventures to 7 figure revenue.His unique insights, experience, and dedication to his clients make him a valuable resource for anyone seeking to advance their education or career.
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