How to Prepare for the Lauder MBA Interview and Kill It -

Philippe Barr, PhD
11 min readDec 16, 2023

Are you ready to take your career to the next level and join the exclusive ranks of Lauder MBA graduates? Congratulations! The Lauder MBA program is renowned for its rigorous curriculum and the opportunity to develop global business acumen while also becoming fluent in a foreign language. But before you can join this elite community, you must first excel in the admissions process, starting with the interview. The Lauder MBA interview is your chance to demonstrate why you are the perfect fit for this top-tier program and showcase your unique skills and experiences. In this blog post, we will guide you through the essential steps on how to prepare for the Lauder MBA interview so that you can leave a lasting impression on the admissions committee and secure your spot in this coveted program. Get ready to elevate your interview skills and learn how to truly kill it in the Lauder MBA interview!

Navigating the Lauder Landscape: Research and Preparation

The key to learning how to prepare for the Lauder MBA interview is immersing yourself in a thorough understanding of the Lauder program’s values, vision, and key initiatives. Lauder’s philosophy is deeply intertwined with international exposure and cultural appreciation, with a strong emphasis on leadership and innovation. Understanding these nuances will not only enable you to align your responses with the program’s ethos but also demonstrate your genuine interest and commitment to the Lauder community.

Delve into the specifics of the key programs that Lauder offers and figure out how they align with your career objectives. This would provide a strong basis for your conversation with the interviewers. Furthermore, researching the interviewers and faculty on the Lauder website will give you insights into their academic interests and professional backgrounds. This knowledge could be instrumental in establishing a connection with the interviewer, asking relevant questions, and demonstrating your enthusiasm for the program.

Remember, the more you know about Lauder, the more confident and articulate you will be during the interview.

Understanding the Lauder Interview Process

The Lauder interview is typically scheduled in alignment with your regular Wharton interview in terms of timing. Conducted by a member of the Lauder admissions committee, the interview is usually conducted over the phone or Zoom without any negative impact on your application.

During the interview, your primary objective is to present yourself as a highly qualified, globally-minded professional with a genuine passion for Lauder. The questions you will encounter are likely to be tailored to your essays and your chosen track within the Lauder program. It is advisable to thoroughly review your essay before the interview to ensure consistency and make a lasting impression.

How much time is typically allocated for the Wharton Lauder interview?

Based on feedback from previous applicants, Lauder interviews typically have a duration of approximately 30 minutes. You can expect the questions to be more tailored to your specific case, so it would be beneficial to consider how questions provided below could be adapted to your situation.

The Ideal Candidate for the Wharton Lauder Program

The Wharton Lauder MBA Program seeks candidates who exhibit a blend of intellectual curiosity, a global mindset, and a demonstrated interest in international studies. They value applicants who not only demonstrate a sound academic background but also possess a profound understanding and respect for cultural diversity. Experience in foreign languages is highly regarded as it signifies an applicant’s willingness to embrace and adapt to diverse cultural settings. Furthermore, the admissions committee appreciates individuals who showcase leadership traits, impactful experiences, and a concrete career vision that aligns with the Lauder program. A strong application is likely to highlight the applicant’s potential contributions to the Lauder community and an unwavering commitment to global understanding. Thus, while the program is academically rigorous, the admissions committee is equally interested in candidates who bring vibrancy, innovative perspectives, and a collaborative spirit to the Lauder community.

What Are the Interviewers Looking For?

The best way to find out how to prepare for the MBA Lauder interview is to understand what interviewers are looking for. In the Lauder interview, the interviewers are seeking to delve deeper beyond your application and transcripts to decipher the unique attributes you bring to the program. They’re interested in candidates who demonstrate a deep-seated passion for international studies, evident through their academic pursuits, professional experiences, or personal interests. Besides academic prowess and linguistic skills, the interviewers are keen on understanding your leadership potential, vision, and the impact you envision making on the global stage. They are eager to identify candidates who are not only academically capable but also embody the spirit of the Lauder community, bringing in diverse perspectives, innovative ideas, and a collaborative mindset. The interview is also an opportunity for you to demonstrate your alignment with Lauder’s ethos and how your career goals are intertwined with the program’s offerings. Above all, they are looking for candidates who can contribute meaningfully to the Lauder community and champion its commitment to fostering global understanding.

Mastering Self-Reflection: A Crucial Step in Preparing for the MBA Lauder Interview

Successful preparation for the MBA Lauder interview necessitates a deep level of self-reflection. This process emerges as a crucial step, designed to identify and appreciate your unique strengths, weaknesses, achievements, and failures. By scrutinizing your personal and professional journey thus far, you can pinpoint key experiences that have shaped your worldview, moulded your skillset, and propelled your ambitions. This careful contemplation can help you to articulate what motivates and inspires you and how these driving forces have manifested in your actions and decisions. Furthermore, a comprehensive and honest self-reflection prepares you to anticipate and thoughtfully answer even the most challenging questions about your background. By meticulously dissecting your experiences, you can develop a coherent and engaging narrative that seamlessly weaves together your life experiences, aspirations, and suitability for the Lauder program, thus setting the stage for a compelling and memorable interview performance.

Crafting Your Narrative: Conveying Fit, Passion, and Impact for Lauder’s MBA Program

The key to figuring out how to prepare for the Lauder MBA interview is connecting the interview process to crafting your personal narrative. This narrative should succinctly illustrate why an MBA from Lauder aligns seamlessly with your professional goals and personal skills.

Begin by identifying key milestones in your educational and professional journey and explore how an MBA from Lauder would enhance this path. Discuss your passions and how they have shaped these milestones-whether they lie in entrepreneurship, technology, social impact, or any other field-and illuminate their relevance to the Lauder ethos.

Next, delve into the impact you wish to make post-graduation, and how the Lauder MBA would facilitate these ambitions.

Finally, address the unique attributes of the Lauder program that make it your preferred choice, demonstrating a strong fit with the institution. Remember, while prestige is noteworthy, it is your passion, potential impact, and fit with Lauder that will make you stand out. Crafting a compelling narrative is about authenticity and resonance with the Lauder community, and this effort will undoubtedly shine through in your interview.

Enhance Your Interview Performance: Reviewing Your Resume and Highlights

One key component of mastering how to prepare for the Lauder MBA interview is realzing the importance of reviewing your resume and highlighting the impactful experiences and soft skills you have gained throughout your career. Taking the time to refresh your memory on these key aspects will not only boost your confidence but also provide you with valuable stories to share during the interview.

Start by thoroughly going through your resume, paying close attention to the different roles and responsibilities you have held. Reflect on the projects you have worked on, the challenges you have overcome, and the accomplishments you have achieved. By doing so, you’ll be able to identify and extract 2–3 compelling stories that showcase your abilities and demonstrate your expertise.

These stories will serve as powerful examples that can naturally be shared when relevant questions arise during the interview. They will allow you to provide concrete evidence of your skills and experiences, making a lasting impression on the interviewer. Remember to choose stories that align with the program and highlight your strengths.

By taking the time to review your resume and highlights, you will not only refresh your memory but also gain the confidence to discuss your experiences clearly and concisely. Embrace the opportunity to showcase your skills and achievements, and let your passion shine through in the interview. With thorough preparation and compelling stories at your disposal, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle any interview questions with confidence and poise.

Interview Questions for Lauder

  1. Please share some insights about your career journey, starting from your university experience. Why did you choose that specific university and major? Feel free to elaborate on any significant milestones. Anticipate follow-up questions, particularly regarding your global exposure and experiences.
  2. Briefly discuss your professional background in a different country. Highlight the differences you observed compared to working in emerging or developed markets.
  3. Could you please explain why you are interested in joining the Lauder program? You can find more information about Lauder here.
  4. What are your short-term and long-term goals, both professionally and personally?
  5. Provide insights into why you have chosen your target language and region. For instance, if you have selected Latin America and Spanish, please elaborate on your reasons. Expect follow-up questions on this topic.
  6. When did you start learning your target language, and how has your progress been so far? Have you had any immersive experiences before?
  7. In what ways do you plan to contribute to the Wharton/Lauder community beyond your professional interests?
  8. Have you had any interactions with current Lauder students? What do you already know about the program?
  9. Have you considered any specific locations for your summer internship?
  10. Do you have any initial ideas or preferences for your Global Knowledge Lab (GKL) project?
  11. How do you envision the summer immersion program enhancing your overall business education?
  12. What motivated you to choose both Wharton and Lauder instead of pursuing just the Wharton program?
  13. How do you plan to successfully manage the demands and commitments of both the Wharton and Lauder programs?
  14. Do you have any questions for me?

What should you do when faced with an unexpected question?

The key to understanding how to prepare for the Lauder MBA interview is making peace with the fact that you might not have an answer to every question. So what do you do when you seem to find yourself speechless?

First and foremost, remain calm and take a deep breath. Remember, you’ve already come this far in the process, and one question won’t throw you off track!

Secondly, ensure that you directly address the interviewer’s question. For instance, if they inquire about a time when you had to deal with a challenging manager, share a story detailing your experience and how you handled the situation.

If you’re struggling to come up with an answer or an example to support your response, take a sip of water to buy yourself a few more moments to think. And if you truly can’t recall a relevant personal or professional experience, you can provide a hypothetical answer about how you would handle a certain situation.

Lastly, keep in mind that the interviewer may be assessing your ability to think on your feet and respond to unexpected questions. While your answer might not be as polished as if you had weeks to rehearse, smile and confidently deliver your response to demonstrate your agility in handling any curveball they throw your way.

The Power of Post-Interview Thank-You Notes

In the competitive world of MBA admissions, it’s necessary to utilize every tool at your disposal to stand out. One such tool, often overlooked, is the post-interview thank-you note. This simple yet powerful gesture can make a lasting impression on an admissions committee, setting you apart from other candidates.

A well-crafted thank-you note not only conveys your appreciation for the opportunity to interview but also gives you an additional chance to reconnect with the interviewer and reinforce your interest in the position. It’s an excellent platform to highlight an interesting point from your discussion, reminding the interviewer of your unique perspective, and the value you could bring to their team. This subtle follow-up serves to keep your candidacy at the forefront of their minds while decisions are being made.

Remember, the power of a thank-you note lies in its sincerity, relevance, and timing. Be genuine in your gratitude, remind them of your shared discussion, and send it promptly after the interview. This thoughtful reflection of your conversation can help strengthen your connection with the interviewer, leaving a positive lasting impression.

The Daunting Challenge of the MBA Lauder Interview

Navigating the complexity of the MBA Lauder interview can be a daunting task, even for the most prepared candidate. The interviewers are typically seasoned professionals and academics who are skilled at identifying potential weaknesses and pushing candidates out of their comfort zones.

They probe and challenge your thoughts, ideas, and abilities with an intensity that can be unnerving. Their questions are often unpredictable, designed to test not just what you know, but how you think, react, and adapt in high-pressure situations. The stakes are considerable, and the competition is fierce.

Fumbling the interview could mean losing an invaluable opportunity. This combination of factors could make even the most confident candidate anxious. The intense scrutiny and the high stakes involved underline the importance of honing your interviewing skills. Therefore, seeking professional help to prepare for the Lauder interview could be a strategic move. A coach or mentor can provide invaluable insights, feedback and practice opportunities, assisting you in presenting your best self to the admissions committee, and ultimately increasing your chances of success.


We hope you now have a clearer idea of how to prepare for the MBA lauder interview. Now all you need to do is focus on doing your best in the Lauder MBA interview and showing the admissions committee why you’re the perfect candidate for this renowned program. With our step-by-step guidance, you’re well-equipped to ace the Lauder MBA interview and make a lasting impression on the admissions panel. Moreover, if you feel that more support would be beneficial, our dedicated interview prep services are here to give you an extra edge and help turn your dream of becoming a Lauder MBA into reality! So take what you’ve learned today and use it to show off your skills with confidence and ease — good luck!

With a Master’s from McGill University and a Ph.D. from New York University, Philippe Barr is a former professor and assistant director of MBA admissions at Kenan-Flagler Business School. With more than seven years of experience as a graduate school admissions consultant, Dr. Barr has stewarded the candidate journey across multiple MBA programs and helped hundreds of students get admitted to top-tier graduate programs Follow Dr. Barr on YouTube for tips and tricks on navigating the MBA application process and life as an MBA student. all over the world.

Originally published at on December 16, 2023.



Philippe Barr, PhD

I am Philippe Barr, founder of The Admit Lab, a graduate school admissions consultancy that helps students get admitted into grad school: