A Coin Flip’s Chance for a Booth Interview?

Not much happened this week in terms of business-school related news, in part because one of the schools I am waiting to hear from, Chicago Booth, encountered a historic blizzard this week. Still, I was interested to know what my chances were at securing an interview at Booth, since there seems to be a steady stream of invitations going out to other applicants.

As I read about others receiving an interview invitation while my application had yet to be even reviewed, it was encouraging to read Booth’s Top 10 Myths – especially #6, which says that “The process of inviting applicants to interview is entirely random, and the point at which you hear from us is not a reflection on the strength of your application or the timeframe in which you submitted it…”

I had also read on the online forums that Booth interviews about half of their applicants, but I never saw an official source for this. So, after digging a little further, I was glad to discover that this indeed appears to be the case. In reviewing the transcripts of online chats with Booth admissions staff over the past three years, the admissions staff consistently says that about 50% of applicants get an interview invitation.

Most recently, in November 2010, Donna Swinford, a member of the admissions office, stated that “We interview approximately 50% of the applicants and admit 20 to 40% of those interviewed.” Similarly in November 2009, Rose Martinelli, a former admissions officer, said that “I expect that we will interview between 50-60% of those applicants, depending upon quality.” Rose was referring specifically to Round 1 applicants, but I think the numbers are similar for Round 2 applicants, since elsewhere in the chat another admissions officer says “there is very little difference between round 1 and round 2 in terms of your chances of acceptance.”

The conclusion of all this is that within a couple weeks time (since all of Booth’s Round 2 interview invitations will go out by February 16th), I’ll know whether my application is on the right side of the coin flip or not.

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