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Harvard Business School MBA Interview Questions & Report: Round 1 / Adcom / Off-Campus Hub

I am a re-applicant and I interviewed with Andrew Elrick (Executive Director of David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies) in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It seems like he does all interviews in Brazil, and I did not have another HBS person in the room.

After greeting my interviewer, he thanked me for putting together a great application and for coming back as a re-applicant. That was a great ice breaker and made me feel at ease. It was clear that he knew all the details in my application and had already outlined points he wanted to touch upon.

The first question was “Explain Private Equity to me as if I knew nothing about it. After that, defend the Private Equity from claims that it is an evil industry.” It was clear that he wanted to see how I can think on my feet. After that, he got into common resume questions like “explain why you Job A to Job B” and “how did you manage to do X at Job B. Could you give me more detail?”

Seeing that I was a first generation Brazilian, he used that also asked me about my family background and I also ended up talking about my personal values. The interview felt very conversational and the 30 minutes flew by. There were many additional points that I had prepared and I wanted to share, but also understood that I should let the interviewer dictate what he wanted from me.

Overall, the interview was consistent with I had read in forums/guides. HBS interviews seem to include a small thinking-on-your-feet component, and the rest is getting more details on stuff that is already in your application/resume.

The best advice I can give is definitively prepare for it – that means know your application, talk to alums/current students to show you are serious about HBS, know what are the 3 main points you want to get across and have stories to back those up, and go through sample questions lists to practice how you would weave the stories and points into your answer. Preparing does not mean memorizing answers for a given list of questions.


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Posted in: Interview Questions & Reports

Schools: Harvard Business School

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