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Stanford GSB MBA Admissions Interview Questions: Round 1 / Alumnus / Off-Campus

My interview was scheduled with an ’04 GSB alum late in the day at his office. It started about 30-45m late.

At the time, the alumnus – a CEO of a small business in an industry adjacent to mine – was looking for a CFO and started off by discussing a potential candidate whom I knew given my work background (a little awkward). This, in turn, led to a brief discussion of our mutual connections / acquaintances. I got the sense that he didn’t think too highly of some of them, an opinion with which I disagreed (and stated as professionally as I could). I was unsure whether this portion of the conversation (~10m) was chit chat before the interview or part of it, but it didn’t help my already fraught nerves.

The interview then turned to more traditional behavioral questions: tell me about a time you failed, tell me about your proudest professional experience at [first job], tell me about [resume bullet point on my current job], what’s the one thing Stanford should know about you? I was nervous and (in retrospect) unprepared, and so I rambled in my answers to many of these questions.

We then proceeded to discuss Stanford (last ~10m). The alumnus argued pretty enthusiastically on behalf of the school, saying that the defining quality of the school and its students were the “niceness” of the students, and made a convincing case that it changed his life and certainly his career. This last bit left me feeling even more positive and enthusiastic about Stanford.

This was my weakest MBA interview, and I suspect it contributed to a rejection a week or so later.

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