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HBS Recommendation Questions 2017-2018

HBS Recommendation Questions

The 2017-2018 HBS MBA recommendation questions are up on the Harvard Business School admissions website. The HBS recommendation questions comprise of identifying information about the recommender, a brief explanation of the recommender’s relationship with the applicant, and a question about how many HBS MBA applicants the recommender is supporting this year, followed by a grid on which the recommender is asked to rate the applicant on a series of skills and qualities.


2017-2018 HBS Recommendation Questions

Context of Relationship:

  • Current employer
  • Previous employer
  • University/academic
  • Extracurricular/community
  • Other

Are you an HBS graduate?

If yes, please list year of graduation:

Please provide a brief description of your interaction with the applicant and, if applicable, their role in your organization:

Number of applicants you are recommending to the HBS MBA Program this year:


See the grid on which HBS asks recommenders to rate the applicant’s interpersonal, communication, leadership, and academic skills using the following scale: No Information, Area of Concern, Opportunity for Development, Solid/Meets Expectations, Relative Strength/Exceeds Expectations.HBS Recommendation Questions Grid

Traits and Skills:

  • Awareness of Others
  • Humility
  • Adaptability/Resilience
  • Imagination, Creativity, and Curiosity
  • Initiative
  • Integrity
  • Interpersonal Skills (with subordinates/colleagues)
  • Interpersonal Skills (with superiors)
  • Maturity
  • Self-awareness
  • Self-confidence
  • Teamwork
  • Skills: Analytical thinking
  • Skills: Listening
  • Skills: Quantitative Aptitude
  • Skills: Verbal Communication
  • Skills: Writing

Please feel free to comment on the ratings you have assigned:

Recommendation Upload

Finally, HBS poses two questions to be answered in a separate document and uploaded to the online recommendation:

Please respond to both questions below in a single document.

1. How do the applicant’s performance, potential, background, or personal qualities compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples. (Recommended: 300 words)

2. Please describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. (Recommended: 250 words)

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Posted in: Recommendation Questions, Recommendations

Schools: Harvard Business School

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