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Harvard Business School MBA Recommendation Questions

MBA Admissions Brief: Harvard Business School

The 2019-2020 HBS MBA recommendation questions are up on the Harvard Business School admissions website. Below you will find more details on those questions that only your recommender will see when you submit their name for a recommendation.

2019-2020 Harvard Business School (HBS) Recommendation Questions:

Recommender Information

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:

hbs mba recommendation questions


HBS asks recommenders to rate the applicant’s traits and skills using the following scale: No Information, Area of Concern, Opportunity for Development, Solid/Meets Expectations, Relative Strength/Exceeds Expectations.

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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