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INSEAD MBA Admissions Interview Questions: Round 1 / Alumnus / Off-campus

INSEAD requires two interviews with alumni who live in your country of residence. I had to catch a short flight and managed to do both interviews in the same morning, last week. Here’s my report.

The first interview was with a director of a large petrochemical company. The interview took place at his office and was quite informal. He was around 40, quite busy, but very open and friendly. English is not our first language, so we chatted a bit in Portuguese to break the ice and then we started the interview in English. He asked me to talk about myself and my career and we talked about that for at least 30 minutes. Then the usual questions: why MBA, why INSEAD and what’s next (no ‘why now’ question). He asked me about other schools I had applied to and then we talked a bit on extracurricular activities, which is my weak point. He did not leave time for my questions, and I did not point it out.
On a whole, the interview took a bit more than one hour. He gave me his business card and asked to let him know about the result.

After a 15-min ride by taxi, I met my second interviewer (whom the first one knew). He is a former consultant and banker, and is now in PE, a bit more senior but nonetheless very friendly. The interview was conversational, covering the same standard topics but spotted with many questions challenging my professional path and my choices, my understanding of the industry I work in, my motivations and my language skills (I spoke mainly English and Portuguese, but also a bit Spanish and Italian).
After more or less one hour, he asked if I had questions, on which we spent 5 minutes. Once again, he gave his business card and asked to keep in touch.

In general, my point about INSEAD interviews is about confirming the good things you put in your essays. I also believe it is an acid test to check if you will integrate in the culture of the school and your maturity. As a result, it is very important to be sure and firm on your message, but also cool and friendly in your attitude.

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