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Stanford GSB Interview Questions & Report: Round 2 / Alumnus / Off-Campus

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I don’t think I’m adding much new information here with this report, as my interview was very similar to all the other reports here. I called the interviewer the day I got the invite and we set up a time that worked with his schedule in the 7-10 day window requested by the GSB. We used a walk-up conference room off the lobby of his office for our scheduled 1-hour meeting.

We began by exchanging pleasantries and chatted for a bit before he explained the usual (behavioral interview, he’d be writing notes, don’t be bothered by it, time for questions at the end, etc.).

He kicked it off by asking me to walk him through my resume, which he had read already, so easy question there. I really only remember two behavioral questions:

  • Tell me about a time you felt particularly effective
  • Tell me about a time you stepped outside of your formal role to accomplish something

I told my stories and he followed up with the expected questions that allowed him to understand my motivations and tendencies. I felt comfortable to ask if I was answering his question fully, and he elaborated/rephrased that allowed me to give a better answer. To be honest, my stories were better suited to other behavioral questions, but I was able to massage them to fit. This was my first interview of the application rounds so I wasn’t as eloquent as I would have liked at first, but I found my stride soon enough.

He took about a page of notes and seemed satisfied. I was surprised that the formal part of the interview was so short, but I guess he gathered enough info to make his assessment. The rest was about 20 minutes of banter as I asked him questions about his time / the GSB. He was checking the clock constantly because he was time restricted and had meetings until 8PM. A bit distracting, but I understood. We ended after about 50 minutes, and he gave me his card and told me to contact him if I had any further questions. He explained the candidate interviews were his way of giving back to the school because it’s hard for him to be involved in the Midwest where there are very few alumni.

I followed up today with a very brief “thank you” email. Overall I think it went fairly well, but it’s really just a conversation to see if you fit the GSB environment. The interviewer more or less wants you to get in, so I think he/she will just collect enough data to make a recommendation (as long as you don’t give him/her a reason to not recommend you). I’d say if I don’t get in, it won’t be because of anything that was discussed in the interview. Now 6 weeks of waiting until final decision!

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