Harvard MBA Admission Interview Tips

Harvard MBA Interview TipsProcess: Harvard MBA Admissions interview are conducted in one round. Interviews are conducted by the MBA Admissions Board member on campus, via Skype or in domestic or international cities (closest to your current place of residence). The MBA Admissions team has clearly stated that the date on which the interviews are scheduled (with respect to the application deadlines) does not affect the candidacy.

Interview Duration: 30 Minutes

No of Rounds: One

Style of Interview: Formal

Selection Criteria: Leadership, Well-Rounded Individual (well read, aware about their weaknesses and able to articulate their thoughts) and motivated to do an MBA.

Tips

Dos

Tip 1:  Prepare:
Although HBS will have the standard questions asked in most MBA Admissions Interview, the MBA AdCom will perform due diligence and would have read your essays and resume, several times.

  • Re-read your essays
  • Prepare to answer questions about your weaknesses, your career choices and your motivation.
  • Follow HBS on Twitter
  • Visit the Campus
  • Attend a few events conducted by HBS
  • Talk to Alumni and Current Students
  • Learn about the Students Clubs

Have at least 2-4 points that you plan to cover in the interview (that you have missed in the essays or have done recently - maybe a recent course on accounting)

Tip 2: Reading
A common question seen in HBS Interviews is the question about your reading habits. If you are not an avid reader (which is unlikely), read fiction or biography books (3-7 days before the interview). The AdComs are well read, so expect to answer some of the questions about the book(s) that you have read.

Tip 3: Arrive Early
As in any other interviews, reach your venue at least 20 minutes before the interview.

Tip 4: Dress code
Be professional in your dress code. Your dress code should be Business or Business casual
Men: No Jeans and T-shirt, No Jewelry except watch
Women: No revealing outfits. No Jeans and T-shirt. Minimal Jewelry

Don'ts

Tip 1: Don’t contradict yourself
While positioning yourselves, don't contradict your strengths or weaknesses (that you have mentioned in your essays)

Tip 2: Don't take the Interview lightly
Although the odds for being accepted have increased considerably from 12% to 64%, don't take the interview lightly. The interview will start with small talks but HBS AdCom members are famous for strictly following the timeline of 30 minutes for the interviews. Stop the small talk as soon as you can and wait for the real questions.

Tip 3: Don't Ask about the Results
You might know this by now. HBS has deadlines to announce the list of accepted candidates for each round. You will be notified of your admissions decision by e-mail. For waitlisted candidates, decisions are made on a rolling basis and the wait list is kept active through July.

Tip 4: Don’t be Overconfident
Showing the right level of confidence is a gift and to a certain extend can be developed with preparation. Don't sound over confident or be too humble with your answers.

Key Questions

Personal

1) Tell me about yourselves
2) In your professional experience, what was your biggest accomplishment?
3) What do you think has made you so successful?
4) Why did you choose your college?
5) Why did you choose your undergrad school and major?
6) Tell me something about you that would surprise me
7) What is something you want to start doing, stop doing, and continue doing?

Motivation

1) What's your career vision?
2) How will an HBS MBA help you?
3) When did you decide to get an MBA?
4) What made you decide to go after an MBA?
5) Why do you feel an MBA is necessary for what you want to do?
6) Where else did you apply?
7) What will you do if you don't get into business school?
8) What drives/motivates you?

Job-Specific Questions

1) How did you end up at your company?
2) How did you get that job?
3) What is the organizational structure of your company?
4) What is the work environment in your current job like?
5) How did you pick your current job?
6) What are your specific responsibilities?
7) How is this job different from your previous ones?
8) What are the best and worst things about your current job?
9) What do you feel you need to improve at most at your current job?
10) Tell me a little bit about the industry (where you work) and what are some of the issues and challenges faced?

Extra Curricular Activities

1) What's most important to you that you do outside of work?
2) What extracurricular activities are you involved in?
3) What do you do for fun?
4) What have been your favorite places to visit? (If you mention traveling as one of your hobbies)
5) What TV shows do you watch?
6) What's the best concert you've ever been to? (If you love music)

Reading

1) What book have you read recently? (Expect Questions about the Book)
2) What's the last book you read?
3) What's the last FICTION book you read? (Expect Questions about the Book)
4) How do you stay connected to what's going on in the business world (For candidates from Business background)
5) What are some of the latest trends that you see in the technology sector (If you are a Tech Geek?)
6) What sources do you use for news?
7) What's the most interesting article you've read lately? Did you agree with it?
8) What books are you reading?
9) How do you keep yourself informed? What do you read?

Leadership and Confidence

1) What kind of leader are you? (Be ready to back up your answer with specific examples)
2) What’s your leadership style?
3) Tell me about a company you admire.
4) What do you think makes you unique?
5) Who is a leader that you admire and why?
6) Tell me about a project that you’ve worked recently where you exhibited leadership.
7) What do you think are qualities of a good leader?
8) Describe a time you have helped someone at work.
9) Your recommender mentioned that you are a top performer, why do you think that is?

Mistake and Weakness Essays

1) Give me an example of a project that you had a difficult time and failed to achieve the core objectives.
2) What would your supervisor say is a weakness?

Teamwork

1) Tell me about a time when you had to work with someone who you did not get along with.

Maturity

1) What's a common misconception people have about you?
2) What would your 5 best friends say about you? Why? (Give Specific Examples)
3) What do you do when you have a really bad day?
4) How did you find the application process? Did any part of it surprise you?
5) How would your colleagues describe you?
6) Tell me a situation where someone who's senior to you let you down

Essay Specific Questions

1) In your essay you have mentioned <specific examples in your essays>, what did you mean?

Fit

1) Did you have time for a tour or class visit? What did you think?
2) How do you think you will like the case study method?
3) How will you contribute to the case method?
4) How do you want to impact HBS?
5) What can you contribute to HBS?
6) What is the biggest academic challenge you might face at HBS?
7) Tell me something about you that don’t appear in your application.
8) What differentiates you from the rest of the candidate?
9) In HBS class, from which colleague would you like to learn something?
10) What experiences outside the curriculum are you looking forward to at HBS?
11) How would you be different from your other classmates at HBS?

Commonly Asked Supplementary Question

1) Is there anything you wanted to talk about but weren't able to?

Download Harvard MBA Interview Guide and Get Sample Answers & Best Practices for the above questions