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INSEAD MBA Admissions Interview Questions: Round 2 / Alumnus / Off-Campus

First and foremost, this is my first time drafting any MBA related report; this website has helped me out immensely both during the application process and the interviews themselves, hence I thought it’s the least I can do to help others who’ll be in my situation sooner or later 🙂

I applied in round 2 and received the interview decision which I was absolutely ecstactic about. It took some time for the admissions coordinator to locate alumni members in the country I’m in (funny enough there’s 4 or 5 different INSEAD grads at the organization I’m currently at), and initially told me that I might have to do an exceptional Skype interview which I was not too happy about. I strongly believe an interview is your chance to shine and to up your chances of getting in.

Anyways, I did receive the interviewers details shortly after – One was a Vice President (late 30’s) at an asset management firm and the other was an entrepreneur (mid to late 30’s).

My first interview was with the VP which frankly I was kinda nervous about given that I had heard from previous candidates that he tends to ask A LOT of questions and challenges your decisions. Although I come from a different industry, he’s a very sharp man who threw a lot of challenging questions at me regarding how I go about doing my job (I work in Business Development / Strategy) and tried to corner me on several occasions (yes, it sucks). I believe the intention of him doing that is to see your thought process and to judge your ability on putting a sound and logical argument. My advice here would be to ALWAYS make sure have a response to any counter argument on any part of your essays / career choices / etc. and prepare for such situations. He then asked me some standard questions such as:

– Why MBA
– Why now
– Example of a situation where I iniated something
– And several more of the quite typical MBA questions at any school

The interview lasted for one hour exactly and I came out not really knowing whether I did well. Towards the end he threw a question at me ‘What will you do if you do not get accpeted at INSEAD’ which left me thinking ‘oh crap’. However, I did say that I would sharpen my application / GMAT scores / etc. and re-apply once again because I do believe in pursuing realistic goals in life. He had a poker face on throughout the interview which left me re-thinking things over in my head and how I could have answered differently etc. Nevertheless, I’d say it went fairly well but was just difficult to assess how I did.

The second interview was a few days later and I can confidently say this one went well. It was a much more relaxed interview (actually more like a conversation) that went over the very general application, career progress, international exposure that I’ve had and more a ‘fit’ kind of interview. The interviewer was very friendly and the general vibe was relaxing. Likewise, and as expected, it covered general questions such as;

– Why an MBA
– What would be your next step if you were to remain with your employer
– What do you hope to get out of INSEAD
– How will you contribute
– Where else have you applied and why do you think you got accepted/rejected at other schools (do not BS here, just be honest)
– and several similar questions.

Long story short, I think my first interview went fairly well and the second went as I had hoped – very well. One was there to challenge my decisions and see my thought process, and the other looks to see if you’d fit into the INSEAD culture.

Best piece of advise I can give to all candidates out there is be yourself, be confident with what you say and don’t be monotonous. Sound like you’re excited about what you do and how you want to contribute to the school. Also, make sure you thoroughly read your essays and develop counter arguments in your head so you can be prepared for any challenging questions an interviewer can throw at you.

Now it’s time for me to get back to work and to constantly refresh my email in anticipation of the final decision 🙂

Good luck to all applicants!

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