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HBS MBA Admissions Interview Report: Round 1 / Adcom / On Campus

Here is a recent HBS MBA admissions interview report: It was truly an enjoyable experience. From the time you check in until you leave, they work hard to help you relax and be comfortable. As far as the interview goes, they brought the group of us with interviews in our time slot up to a lounge area surrounded by small conference rooms. One-by-one, adcom members came out and called people into their room. In the room, my interviewer and observer introduced themselves. The interviewer explained that she is very familiar with my application and would be asking the questions. The observer would be quiet and taking notes. Then the interview started…

1. Pretend it’s the first day of class. How would you introduce yourself to your new classmates?
2. Why did you choose [my undergraduate institution]?
3. Why did you choose to major in [undergraduate major]? Describe that decision process.
4. You talked a lot in your essay about how [activity] helped you grow and develop. Can you talk about that some more?
5. After college, describe your path to your current company.
6. Now, describe your industry and your role in it as if I have absolutely no knowledge of it. (This question was especially pertinent for me since I come from a different background and function than many applicants. She genuinely seemed to just understand what I do better.)
7. What are you best at in your current position?
8. What do you like the least about your current position?
9. Describe the analysis you did for [specific work project that I discussed in my application].
10. Why do you think you were selected for [my company’s leadership development program]?
11. What was the #1 takeaway you got from participating in that program?
12. You’ve talked a lot about networking internally and externally. How do you build relationships? What is most important about relationships to you?
13. What are you most looking forward to about getting your MBA?
14. What is your ideal summer internship?
15. What companies outside of your industry are you interested in? (I described the types of companies I’m intrigued by with examples). What company in your industry does that?
16. What other news do you follow, business or not?

Altogether, I thought it was a very good experience. Her questions were tailored to specific aspects of my application that she wanted clarification on or better understanding of. I was surprised that there were zero behavioral questions and very little probing on my goals or why an MBA/HBS. The time went very quickly and she promptly moved the conversation along so that I could answer all of her questions. She seemed genuinely interested in me and my story, nodding and smiling when appropriate. With that being said, it was hard to tell whether it went very well or poorly, and my fellow interviewees felt the same way. I am sure that is intentional.

The rest of the day was spent with the planned on-campus activities. They were incredibly insightful about HBS and it was very fun to spend the day with potential future classmates.

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