HEC Paris normally arranges for 2 interviews with members of its alumni. Normally, at least one of them is kept f2f. However, in my case, both of them were to be taken via Skype. One of the interviewers was a project manager in an insurance company in Zurich, Switzerland and the other interviewer was, again, a project manager in an Agri business. Since both of them were in skype, I decided to put them on the same day to compartmentalize HEC and prepare exclusively for HEC interviews that week.
The format of the interviews are such:
1) A Presentation (on any topic the candidate chooses – I chose the topic to be “the future megatrends in the auto sector”) I chose this topic as it could both act as a presentation topic and would double down as answers to “What exactly is my job in a car company?” and questions of that kind regarding my work experience. I used this presentation for both the interviews. The interviewers were responsive and at the end asked some of their prepared questions (you’d have to send the slides of the presentation beforehand, so the questions that are asked are a bit prepared). This part of the interview was very routine and not very remarkable.
2) Post this, they asked the usual questions that you might expect such as why MBA now? Why HEC Paris? What are your post MBA goals? and Why are those your post MBA goals? -> Be sure to research the school heavily, and come up with 3 good reasons why you’d want to go to HEC and that would be your first choice. These 3 reasons should have watertight supporting points as there would be counter questions.
-> When answering post mba goals, make sure to create clear connections between your post mba goals and your pre mba work experience and/or extracurriculars
3) After this, one of the interviewers asked me a couple of behavioral questions such as give me an example when you showed X quality etc. Before the interview, have an idea of which story to use for which quality/ trait (unlike some other schools, HEC’s behavioral questions were quite predictable so no hazard here also)
4) In this part, the interviewers asked if I had any questions for them. I asked them about the St. Cyr camp and a couple of other questions. They emphasized on applying for housing in HEC campus for at least first 8 months and taking up a french language course.. the mood of both the interviews were formal, definitely not casual..but definitely not grilling as well. One of the interviewers did vent out some of the drawbacks of HEC as well.
Additional Point: After getting accepted by HEC, I actually went to visit the school in Jouy en Josas in France to explore its viability. Here are my takeaways -> if you have consulting as a post mba goal, its important that you have french language proficiency at C-1 level. Even B-2 level would not suffice.
-> Career Services office of HEC is slightly underwhelming..at least that’s what the chatter is among current HEC students I met there.
->But at the same time, they said people were landing jobs in the middle east (if Europe fails) and some people managed to get cool roles in Luxembourg, Amsterdam, and even London.
After your HEC Paris MBA interview, be sure to add your first-hand interview report to the Clear Admit Interview Archive.