Tag Archives: HBS Interview

Ace Your Harvard Business School Interview

Harvard Business School interviews just 25% of applicants each season. On the bright side, HBS admits about half of interviewed candidates, so if you can successfully pass this hurdle in the application process, your chances …

HBS interview tips

Harvard Business School interviews just 25% of applicants each season. On the bright side, HBS admits about half of interviewed candidates, so if you can successfully pass this hurdle in the application process, your chances of admission skyrocket.

As I explained in my recent article published in Business Insider, the admissions team seeks applicants who can demonstrate that they share the values central to HBS culture: passion, self-awareness, maturity, integrity, focus on solutions, high-impact leadership, and case-method compatibility.

While you can’t predict which specific questions will come up during your interview, you can expect the types of questions to fall into three broad categories representing your past, present, and future. The interviewer will probe in great depth about your career goals, professional choices, and interest in the MBA program. He or she will be very familiar with your essays — so familiar, in fact, that your interviewer will seem determined to find a “hole” in your story.

The anecdotes you share about your past experiences — both successes and failures — will give the interviewer some insight into your self-awareness and maturity. Your story should reveal how you confront life choices, the values and principles that help you negotiate complex situations, your beliefs, and your worldview.

Expect to receive a number of questions that will help interviewers gauge how life has tested you, and how you responded to that test.

As you prepare for the interview, focus on the experiences, anecdotes, and answers that will showcase your strengths. To learn exactly how to successfully wow your interviewer for a shot of admission at this ultra-elite school, click on over to Business Insider to continue reading my article with the best HBS interview tips.

You may also be interested in:

5 Tips for Harvard Business School Applicants
Advice for the Harvard Business School Admissions Essay

Image credit: Flickr user Florian Pilz (CC BY 2.0)

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How to Make a Positive Impression on HBS Admissions Team

Round one application deadlines are less than two months away at most top MBA programs, and that means many candidates are currently hustling to put together an application package that will make a powerful impression …

Round one application deadlines are less than two months away at most top MBA programs, and that means many candidates are currently hustling to put together an application package that will make a powerful impression on the admissions committee at their dream school.

HBS interview adviceIf Harvard Business School is on your shortlist, take a look at two new articles published by Business Insider that share my experiences with the interview questions asked by HBS, as well as the ten qualities Harvard looks for in applicants.

While everyone knows HBS is looking to admit the leaders of tomorrow, you may not realize that the program also places a high priority on candidates with self-awareness and a commitment to service.

For those fortunate to receive an invitation to interview at HBS, you’ll want to know the best ways to answer some of the questions about past experiences, present attributes, and future goals that will surely come your way.

Maturity, accomplishment, and leadership are highly valued qualities at Harvard Business School, so make sure you know yourself, know HBS, and know how to match the two to demonstrate your fit for the school.

You may also be interested in:

2015 Harvard Business School MBA Application Essay Tips

HBS Admissions Director Talks GMAT/GRE Scores

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Tuesday Tips – The MBA Interview

Tis the season for interviews! This edition of Tuesday Tips is for the lucky round one applicants who have been selected to interview for their target schools. The role of the interview varies by program, …

Tis the season for interviews! This edition of Tuesday Tips is for the lucky round one applicants who have been selected to interview for their target schools.

The role of the interview varies by program, and it will certainly be helpful to reach out to your network of any current or former students at the school you will be interviewing for to seek some guidance on what to expect.

Most programs will offer you the option to interview on campus or with a local alumni volunteer. Whichever option you choose, the interview will be evaluated on the same basis and the interviewer will be required to submit the same information about you. Your decision about whether to interview on campus or with an alumni interviewer should be made on the basis of your own personal needs, not any concern about how it will look to the admissions committee. Certainly, if you have the time and resources to visit the school it will be a great opportunity to meet current students and attend classes. However, if you are stressed out about your big quarterly meeting the whole time, it will be far less beneficial.

To prepare for your interview you may want to start by reviewing your applications. It’s been a few weeks since you submitted, and you will want to return to the MBA applicant mindset by reviewing your overall application strategy. If the interview is “blind” (meaning that the interviewer has seen none of your application materials) it will help you remember what aspects of your background you will want to highlight. If the interview is not blind (HBS in particular) you will need to know your own story in detail to answer some of the specific questions the interviewer will pose.

The second step in your interview process is to review some typical questions. Many candidates post their experiences online, like this post on mbarunnergirl’s Columbia interview. Once you have a list of questions you can use them to practice. Being concise, focused and enthusiastic is your goal, and knowing what you want and need to say will help. Write out short bullet points to outline what you would say in response to your practice questions.

Once you know what you need to say, the only thing left to do is practice! Enlist the help of family and friends, and ask them to provide constructive feedback. Once you have “experienced” the interview a few times you will be more relaxed and able to focus on connecting with your interviewer and demonstrating your enthusiasm for the school.

Remember that you can also use the interview to learn more about the program. Think of a few interesting questions to ask at the end of the interview if there is time for questions. Alumni interviewers will enjoy reminiscing about their experiences, and will especially like any questions about clubs or activities they were part of. Current students can provide a great perspective on what they wish they had known, or the most interesting aspect of their MBA experience.

Now that you have done your interview homework, relax and enjoy the process!

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