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2020 Haas Interview Requests Now Automated

2020 Haas Interview Requests Now Automated

In a surprise move, possibly due to the coronavirus, the Berkeley Haas interview segment for business major applicants is now totally automated. 

The set-up is not ideal by a long shot, and I assume it will be tweaked next year.  However, in 2020 you’re stuck working with what you have.

There are six questions and six minutes to answer them in total, separating the six minutes anyway you wish, while keeping track via a timer. You are also allowed one do-over.

It starts with an approximate one minute set-up where you see all the questions and can brainstorm.  Assuming everyone has the same questions, they are listed below.  Beneath the list I have a few suggestions to help elevate your outcome.

The six questions for the Haas interview:
  1. Why do you want to study Business?
  2. What made you want to apply to Berkeley specifically? What can you contribute to the community?
  3. Describe a situation or event or organization where you show your leadership skill
  4. If someone just meets you for the first time, how would you describe yourself to them?
  5. Tell me an example when you have to work with people coming from different backgrounds than yours and what did you learn from them
  6. Describe a time when you are different and had a difference of opinion, how did you handle this?
How to optimize your results:
  1. First, you want to be looking at the camera and not looking down.
  2. You want to look engaged and smile — don’t have a smile plastered on your face all the time like Meghan Markle, but try to appear calm and upbeat.
  3. Study the questions and write each answer on its own separate post-it note, using bullet points. Attach three post-its on either side of the camera at the top of your computer so you appear to be looking at the camera as you answer.
  4. If you need to start over there is a redo button at the end of the six minutes. You can re-answer one time only.
There are two extra sections at the end:
  • Do you have anything you want to ask us?
    • With one-on-one interviews I always stress that it is crucial to ask a question, such as What was your time at Haas like? or Do you have any suggestions about how to get a great running start?  Really, it could be any question to show interest and engagement. However, since this is automated and no one is on the other end, I’m not sure what you could really ask. So this question might be a non-starter.
  • Is there anything else we should know about you?
    • The only thing to add here would be if something has come up since you submitted the Haas Supplemental essay in January — such as a new internship, leadership position or award. I suppose if there was an emergency (besides COVID-19) that would have some bearing you could add that. For most applicants there will be nothing to add.

I know this is a stressful interview but just plan it out and it should go quite smoothly. Good luck everyone!


  Also, regarding the selection process for interviews, there are students who get admitted without the request and students who get admitted with the request.

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Lindy King

Lindy is an independent UC admissions consultant, who works with both transfers and freshmen. She also has just completed her first novel, a supernatural thriller set in San Francisco.

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