Post-interview acceptance rates & the curious case of Tuck

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This past weekend, we got fed-up with having to hit Google every time we wanted to find an arbitrary stat about a school. It didn't make sense to us that there wasn't a big, easy-to-use repository of business school stats, so we built one.
A few of you noticed a stat we'd included in the table, '% Interviewed,' and we wanted to write a bit about where that number comes from.

What does '% Interviewed' measure?

Starting with the easy answer: it measures the portion of applicants to a school who interview, either by invitation or through an open interview structure. This last point's important for schools like Tuck, where anyone can (and is encouraged to) interview.
Now, if you're like us, you might be wondering: if anyone can interview at Tuck, why isn't Tuck near 100%? We'll cover this, but first, it's important to understand where this number comes from.

Post-interview acceptance rates

We started thinking about this metric after reading a post on GMAT Club. In his post, the author analyzed GMAT Club's applicant data to find out what portion of people who interviewed ended up getting admitted. We've reproduced the findings here, but if you're curious about the author's methodology, definitely take a minute to read the author's post.

Portion of b-school interviewees accepted


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This number's critical to anyone interviewing, since it really quantifies just how close to the finish-line you are once you get an invitation to interview. So, we thought it was great analysis, but we wondered: what are the chances of being interviewed at a school, period?

The fine art of making stuff up estimation

We considered doing an analysis from scratch to determine how many people get interviews, but it turns out we didn't really need to. Since the author of the 'post-interview acceptance' article connected the dots between interview invitations and admittance, all we had to do was take that one step further.
If you've ever built an Excel model (or, I guess, done any algebra), you probably see where we're going. For each school, we simply used the success rate of interviewees, along with the number of applicants and number of admits, and backed-out the interview rate from there.
Example: Booth got 4,674 applications last year, and extended 1,100 offers (around a 24 % acceptance rate). Since the GMAT Club analysis suggests that 52 % of interviewees get accepted, we can infer that there are around 2100 interviews, for an interview rate of 45 % (i.e., 2100/4674).
Here's a chart with the post-interview acceptance rates for the rest of the schools in our data set:

Portion of b-school applicants interviewed


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But what the Tuck?

Earlier we mentioned that we'd expected Tuck's interview rate to be near 100 % (because of its open-interview policy), and were surpised to see that (while still the highest interview rate) it was only 55 %.
The simple answer here is: we're not sure why this is. We have a few theories:
  • lots of people in the GMAT Club data set aren't reporting their interviews
  • there's a mistake in the analysis (ours or GMAT Club's)
  • the GMAT Club sample doesn't reflect the broader applicant pool
  • a ton of people don't take advantage of Tuck's open-interview policy
While the first three explanations are all probably true to some degree, we don't think they explain all of the delta here between observed and expected interview rates at Tuck. Besides, numbers around Harvard and Stanford (19 % and 12 %, respectively) make a lot of sense, so we think the analysis is probably sound.
That leaves the last option, then: a lot of people don't take advantage of Tuck's open-interview policy (and, subsequently, those people aren't invited to interview). If we had to guess, it's probably a lot of international applicants (or domestic applicants that just can't make it to Hanover). At some point, we'll take a look and try to see if whether or not you interview has a big impact on your odds.

So, now you know how a little bit of the sausage was made for our new b-school stats table. Got any stats you want added to the table? Leave us a note in the comments.
Next-up in the hopper: we'll be adding some of our Optics data to the table. Since we collect & analyze our own primary data, Optics can tell you things about a school you won't find anywhere else, like: over half of the incoming Stanford GSB students are 26 or younger, or that Stanford places more grads in founder roles (and fewer in consulting roles) than almost any other top school.

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