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Can we carry a cheat sheet in a file to an interview ?

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New post 10 Oct 2019, 07:57
Hello folks,
I was preparing for the Booth interview and was wondering if we can carry a cheat sheet with some bullet points mentioned for questions like Why MBA / Why Booth / Tell me a time when type of questions ?

Is carrying such a document allowed and legal ?

Regards,
Amber A.
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New post 10 Oct 2019, 08:53
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If you're asking whether you can bring a cheat sheet just to prepare before you walk in, but not to actually have out during the interview, that is definitely permissible.

If you're asking about actually looking through your notes during your interview to make sure you hit on all your points, I believe that's highly discouraged. The interview is meant to be more of a free-flowing conversation, and using your notes as a crutch would probably interrupt that flow. I know how annoying it is (particularly post-interview) to forget to mention one or two bullet points, but just be sure to practice and be confident in your answers and you'll do great.

Best of luck with the interview Amber!
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New post 10 Oct 2019, 09:15
coltaylo94 wrote:
If you're asking whether you can bring a cheat sheet just to prepare before you walk in, but not to actually have out during the interview, that is definitely permissible.

If you're asking about actually looking through your notes during your interview to make sure you hit on all your points, I believe that's highly discouraged. The interview is meant to be more of a free-flowing conversation, and using your notes as a crutch would probably interrupt that flow. I know how annoying it is (particularly post-interview) to forget to mention one or two bullet points, but just be sure to practice and be confident in your answers and you'll do great.

Best of luck with the interview Amber!


Hey, to clarify - yes, I was asking about point 2 in your feedback.
I do understand your point and agree!

Thanks so much for the wishes.
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New post 10 Oct 2019, 09:38
I am not sure if there is a proper way of saying this but simply asking that question on an open forum compromises your application. Sincerely and respectfully

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New post 10 Oct 2019, 10:22
TonySko wrote:
I am not sure if there is a proper way of saying this but simply asking that question on an open forum compromises your application. Sincerely and respectfully

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Hey TonySko, with due respect, I want to emphasize that I do know "my story" and the reasons on why I like to go to Booth. And also, I honestly believe that we should be allowed to use a support document for the interview. Aren't we given ample time to write multiple versions of the application ? Don't we all know the questions coming up in the interview and prepare in advance ?

I tend to get nervous in face to face conversations and just don't want to do anything stupid to jeopardize my chances. Having said that, as I have already mentioned in my original post, I also don't want to do anything which is not ethically / legally allowed.

Hope this makes sense.

Regards,
Amber A.
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New post 10 Oct 2019, 13:11
Amber i am NOT an expert but with confidence i can tell you that this is not a legal related matter. Having said that if you walk in with a cheat sheet of 4-5 bullet points that you would like to address it will paint the picture as you described it above that you are nervous. In any case the interviews are very easy to go through. View them as an honest discussion and not an interview. Best of luck

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New post 10 Oct 2019, 13:45
I really disagree that even posting this question could "compromise" your application, that seems ridiculous and maybe even rude to suggest, adcoms know we are all human. However I do think you should strive to not have to bring any notes with you, you should be able to have most common stories in your memory. That said, i dont think there is harm in bringing some note sheet with say your own notepad for questions at the end, if you get dreadfully stuck on a question then maybe it is appropriate to ask if you can check your notes. I think it might vary by who you interview, but if its a unique/difficult question I think some might even look favorably on doing the preparation to have some notes drawn up. Also, having a note sheet for maybe some specific names (professor/class) might be appropriate as well, as that is something difficult to memorize compared to your own experiences.

I will stress though that I still do think it could work against you if you frequently refer to a note sheet, or do so for some of the basic questions (why MBA, why school).
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New post 10 Oct 2019, 14:29
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TonySko wrote:
Amber i am NOT an expert but with confidence i can tell you that this is not a legal related matter. Having said that if you walk in with a cheat sheet of 4-5 bullet points that you would like to address it will paint the picture as you described it above that you are nervous. In any case the interviews are very easy to go through. View them as an honest discussion and not an interview. Best of luck

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sure Tony, I understand. I guess I’ll just go there with a smile and see how it goes! Thank you for the wishes :)
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New post 10 Oct 2019, 14:30
wraider84 wrote:
I really disagree that even posting this question could "compromise" your application, that seems ridiculous and maybe even rude to suggest, adcoms know we are all human. However I do think you should strive to not have to bring any notes with you, you should be able to have most common stories in your memory. That said, i dont think there is harm in bringing some note sheet with say your own notepad for questions at the end, if you get dreadfully stuck on a question then maybe it is appropriate to ask if you can check your notes. I think it might vary by who you interview, but if its a unique/difficult question I think some might even look favorably on doing the preparation to have some notes drawn up. Also, having a note sheet for maybe some specific names (professor/class) might be appropriate as well, as that is something difficult to memorize compared to your own experiences.

I will stress though that I still do think it could work against you if you frequently refer to a note sheet, or do so for some of the basic questions (why MBA, why school).


thank for the feedback Sir. However per the discussion here and my conversation with a couple of other current students, I think I will be better off without any notes.

I’ll keep you folks posted on how the interview went!

cheers!

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New post 10 Oct 2019, 18:23
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coltaylo94 wrote:
If you're asking whether you can bring a cheat sheet just to prepare before you walk in, but not to actually have out during the interview, that is definitely permissible.

If you're asking about actually looking through your notes during your interview to make sure you hit on all your points, I believe that's highly discouraged. The interview is meant to be more of a free-flowing conversation, and using your notes as a crutch would probably interrupt that flow. I know how annoying it is (particularly post-interview) to forget to mention one or two bullet points, but just be sure to practice and be confident in your answers and you'll do great.

Best of luck with the interview Amber!


Hi Amber,

I definitely wouldn't carry a "cheat sheet" to any b-school interview, regardless of whether one is is allowed. Questions like "Why Booth?" and "What are you looking to do after your MBA?" should be so second-nature at this point that you shouldn't need any notes (and, if you do, that's a red flag in and of itself). My suggestion is to practice the most common MBA questions with MBA alums or even just colleagues you trust. This is especially true if you haven't interviewed recently. If you want to formalize your preparation, prepare note cards to *practice with* but not to bring to the interviews.

On one side of the note card, write a common question (e.g., "Tell me about a time when you led a team"?) and then on the other side write 3-4 bullet points (short phrases) to jog your memory of the order/organization which you want to follow to tell your story (e.g. 1 led X team members across different Y geographies / function to achieve Z goal with X $/% impact). *DO NOT* write out the whole story on the other side and try to memorize it verbatim. If you do that, and you get the question for which you prepared this way, you will sound like a creepy robot. If you instead use a notecard to remember the general outline of the story you want to tell and the salient details you want to get across, this can be a very useful way to prepare.

The Booth interview is pretty standard - no group interview or video component. Interviews like the Wharton interview that have a group component can be harder to prepare/practice. The Booth is pretty standard with 2nd year and AdCom interviews. You should be able to get through without any pre-prepared crutch.
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New post 10 Oct 2019, 18:56
Admissionado wrote:
coltaylo94 wrote:
If you're asking whether you can bring a cheat sheet just to prepare before you walk in, but not to actually have out during the interview, that is definitely permissible.

If you're asking about actually looking through your notes during your interview to make sure you hit on all your points, I believe that's highly discouraged. The interview is meant to be more of a free-flowing conversation, and using your notes as a crutch would probably interrupt that flow. I know how annoying it is (particularly post-interview) to forget to mention one or two bullet points, but just be sure to practice and be confident in your answers and you'll do great.

Best of luck with the interview Amber!


Hi Amber,

I definitely wouldn't carry a "cheat sheet" to any b-school interview, regardless of whether one is is allowed. Questions like "Why Booth?" and "What are you looking to do after your MBA?" should be so second-nature at this point that you shouldn't need any notes (and, if you do, that's a red flag in and of itself). My suggestion is to practice the most common MBA questions with MBA alums or even just colleagues you trust. This is especially true if you haven't interviewed recently. If you want to formalize your preparation, prepare note cards to *practice with* but not to bring to the interviews.

On one side of the note card, write a common question (e.g., "Tell me about a time when you led a team"?) and then on the other side write 3-4 bullet points (short phrases) to jog your memory of the order/organization which you want to follow to tell your story (e.g. 1 led X team members across different Y geographies / function to achieve Z goal with X $/% impact). *DO NOT* write out the whole story on the other side and try to memorize it verbatim. If you do that, and you get the question for which you prepared this way, you will sound like a creepy robot. If you instead use a notecard to remember the general outline of the story you want to tell and the salient details you want to get across, this can be a very useful way to prepare.

The Booth interview is pretty standard - no group interview or video component. Interviews like the Wharton interview that have a group component can be harder to prepare/practice. The Booth is pretty standard with 2nd year and AdCom interviews. You should be able to get through without any pre-prepared crutch.
hey, that's a great way to prepare! unfortunately for me, I have my interview tomorrow so kind of sticking to my notes instead of preparing flash cards at the last minute but I am sure other applicants will find this advice useful.
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New post 18 Oct 2019, 17:25
Don't bring a sheet or anything except maybe to take notes. I wouldn't even recommend that though, even if most agree that it's okay.

The interview should be conversational. While your interviewer will be taking notes, I personally think it looks a lot better for you to be always maintaining eye contact, use hand gestures, and really know your stories. You can't do that with a cheat sheet in front of you, or to stop and take notes periodically. I've been helping interviewers prepare these last few weeks and that would be my suggestion.
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New post 18 Oct 2019, 17:29
gunster wrote:
Don't bring a sheet or anything except maybe to take notes. I wouldn't even recommend that though, even if most agree that it's okay.

The interview should be conversational. While your interviewer will be taking notes, I personally think it looks a lot better for you to be always maintaining eye contact, use hand gestures, and really know your stories. You can't do that with a cheat sheet in front of you, or to stop and take notes periodically. I've been helping interviewers prepare these last few weeks and that would be my suggestion.


Agree. I had my interview at Booth and it was very conversational.

Wrote this query while preparing for the same and the stress of anticipation :)

Regards,
Amber A.

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Re: Can we carry a cheat sheet in a file to an interview ?   [#permalink] 18 Oct 2019, 17:29
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