Stanford GSBBelow are MBA admissions interview questions and experiences submitted by Stanford GSB applicants. If you interviewed at Stanford, we encourage you to submit a report detailing your experience!
Interview was at the alumnus’ office. He had no information other than my resume, and while I often referenced my resume none of the questions were specific to anything on it.
- Why Stanford?
- Tell me about a time when you dealt with someone who was difficult. How did you handle that situation?
- Tell me about a time you worked well within a team
- Tell me about a time you faced a challenge at work and how you influenced the outcome
- What is your leadership style?
- What do you like to do outside of work?
- What do you plan on doing after business school?
Interviewer was overall very cordial, although he pushed me to discuss specifically what I had done in each of my stories. Spent the last 10-15 minutes hearing his story and asking him questions. Very conversational overall.
Typical info here: Blind interview by alum in my local City.
Questions: Did not start with the typical walk me through your resume, tell me about yourself. Instead we jumped right into the guts of the beast.
- Tell me about a time you worked with someone who was difficult.
- Tell me about a leadership experience.
- Why Stanford.
- Tell me about a time you stepepd outside your typical role.
A lot of conversation went with the interview, and there were some probing questions after I answered the original question.
I scheduled a breakfast meeting with a GSB alumnus this past Friday. Being that I had to drive 2 hours to get to the interview location, my interviewer might have been more flexible that usual when it comes to the meeting duration. It lasted for a little more than an hour and I was the one who did most of the talk. I did get 10 minutes or so to ask about his experience.
- Walk me through your resume. As I chose to start from my upbringing, he immediately asked how it affected as a person. The interviewer did interrupt a couple of other times to follow up on points I mentioned in passing.
- Why now? He said it is of particular importance given that I seem to really enjoy my current job (investment management)
- Why Stanford?
- Tell me about a time when you led a team
- Tell me about a time when you overstepped an authority
- Tell me about a time when you failed to reach your goals
Those are the bulk of his questions, though there were a few more that I can’t recall at the moment. A general theme is that were customized to my life stories.
My questions for the interviewer were focused on his experience, his expectations before matriculating at GSB and whether they were met/exceed/re-shaped. His answers were particularly helpful as we shared a few things in common (growing up in foreign country, dabbles in entrepreneurship etc.). Needless to say I am a lot more excited about the possibility of matriculating at GSB than I were a couple of days ago.
I had my GSB interview on December 7. It lasted for one hour and a half. All the questions given to me were behavioral questions. I was frequently interrupted and challenged, and was encouraged to dig more and more into the underlying reasons for my actions. Due to this approach, I cannot remember the exact questions. It went like: I started with Question A; 30 seconds later, I was re-directed to Question B, because my interview made a query about the part I just stated. I do remember that no questions are atypical, and you can find them on this page or through other resources. The only question I can remember is:
- Tell me about a time when you took an initiative and how you moved it forward.
One tip from me: please dig, DEEPLY, into your stories before you enter into the interview room.
Good luck to everyone!
I had my Stanford interview this morning. It was exactly on time (45 minutes) and I was given 4 behavioural questions. Overall, it felt neutral although the interviewer did comment that my skill set was well aligned with my target career.
- Saw an opportunity others didn’t
- Faced a roadblock in completing a project
- Why MBA/Why Stanford
- Pursued an initiative beyond my job authority
- Was effective on a team when I wasn’t in charge
At this point I guess I just have to wait and see what responses December brings.
Interview was conducted at a local dealership while alumni interviewer was getting his car repaired. Whole thing took about 60 minutes. The alum seemed a little gruff at first, but he opened up as we talked more, especially when I got him to start talking about his own experiences. Tone was really informal, perhaps the most informal interview I’ve ever done.
- “Why Stanford?” I asked if he also meant why MBA in general, and he said “Yeah, let’s start with that.”
- “What do you want to do?” I told him I wanted to eventually start my own company, and he asked “So why do you want to start your own company?”
- “How do you think a Stanford education will help you start a company?”
- “Describe a time when you lead a team and convinced someone to accept your ideas.” He followed up with “Did anyone recognize your efforts?”
- “Describe a situation when, while leading a team, you failed. How did you react? He followed up with “What did you learn from this?”
- Asked if I had any questions for him.
We spent almost half an hour talking about various things, like his experiences at GSB and the story of how he applied. We also talked about my chosen industry and economic issues with China. He spent quite awhile talking about how awesome Silicon Valley was and how Stanford was really plugged into that scene.
Also, he was very candid about the interview process, saying that it was more his job to keep out unqualified people. He said he thought I was good fit for Stanford and my reasons for getting an MBA were good, so I think it went pretty well.
The interview was conducted at the office of my alumni interviewer. It lasted approximately 45 minutes. The interviewer did not bring my resume into the interview, but said that it had been reviewed. The interviewer also mentioned that the intention of the interview was to be informal and conversational. The interviewer proceeded to introduce himself/herself and provide a brief overview of his/her career progress to date. I was then asked the following questions:
- Tell me about a major goal that you have set for yourself. What have you done to achieve your goal? (Led to a follow-up question directly related to my career goals)
- Tell me about a challenging work environment and how did you respond?
- Tell me about a time when you received constructive criticism. What did you learn?
- Tell me about a time when you didn’t agree with an idea. How did you work to reach a resolution?
I was then given time to ask questions. I had prepared 2-3 questions, but had time to ask about 1.5 questions. The interviewer was nice and cordial and seemed interested in my story. Hope this helps and good luck to all who are interviewing with the GSB in the future.
Met an alum at his office in NYC. He was very nice, explained that he was going to ask me a few behavioral questions and that the interview would last 45min.
- Why Stanford?
- Why an MBA now? What do you hope to get out of it? (follow up questions really dug into my answer so I suggest really getting this one down pat)
- What did you like about your undergrad? Why don’t you want to go there for your MBA?
- Tell me about a time when you dealt with a problematic person, what was the situation and how did you react? What was the result?
- Tell me about a time when you worked on a really analytical project. What was the result and how was it used in your organziation?
- Tell me about a time when you went beyond the realm of your authority on a project. What was the result?
- Tell me about a time when you really led a team. How did you lead the team?
- How do you think you’ve made an impact on your organization?
- Tell me about a time when you took the initiative. What was the result?
- Do you have any questions for me? (I asked three)
Total interview time was one hour, we spent the last 15 minutes talking about his experiences there. Overall I like that Stanford tries to pair you with someone in your industry, it makes for a much easier and better flowing conversation.
Had my R2 Stanford interview in mid-February with an alum. Questions were pretty straightforward. These may not be the exact words as I can’t remember the questions verbatim, but these were the general themes/topics addressed:
- Walk me through your resume
- Why MBA / Why now
- Why Stanford
- Tell me about a time where there was not a defined leader and you took on that role
- Tell me about a time that you did something that was innovative / transformed your team
- Interviewer probed further on the two aforementioned questions and asked how I convinced my team to follow my approach given that I was at such a junior level
- Tell me about a time that you really leaded a team
- Tell me about a piece of important feedback you received and why you think that it was the most important feedback you received
- Tell me what you do for fun — or some interesting books that you’ve read
We spent the rest of the interview talking about her job and specific topics within her industry since we have the same professional interests. Interview lasted 75 minutes.
Interview occurred on Nov 12th, 2010. I was eventually rejected.
Interviewer seemed like a nice if stone-cold guy. He only really came alive when he was answering my questions for him at the end. He asked unhurried, open questions and seldom probed specifics. No read on response, though he scribbled quite a bit. Whole thing only lasted 30 mins.
Small talk – Travel a lot for your job? What’s that like? Is Mexico safe? He spoke about his background, etc.
Introduction: I’m going to ask mainly behavioral questions
- Tell me about a time when you made an impact. How did people respond to that? What was the long term result?
- Time when you went beyond your immediate realm of authority. How did you get the authority to do that?
- Tell me about a time when you identified a problem and solved it. How did you get people to use your solution? How did senior level people react to your solution?
- Tell me about a time when you had to take authority of a team
- Tell me about when you’ve dealt with a problematic person and what you said and did to resolve that. How did that person respond? What do you think others on the team thought about you playing that role? What do you think that person ultimately thought of your involvement?
Conclusion: OK – so that’s all for Stanford’s behavioral questions, do you have any questions for me?
I interviewed today with an alumni in New York City. We met at her office and the interview lasted about 45 minutes. The interviewer was very friendly, yet professional. The whole interview was very conversational and comfortable.
The interviewer started off by telling me about herself – where she went to undergrad, what she did after Stanford and what she did at her current job. Very high level. Then we dove into questions for me (see below).
- Why MBA?
- Why Stanford?
- Tell me about a challenging work experience? What did you learn?
- Tell me about a time when you failed or things did not go as planned? How did you respond?
- Tell me about a time when you took initiative and developed a project.
- What are your career goals?
- Are there any questions that I did not ask that you think I should have asked or pieces of information you think are critical for me to know?
- What questions do you have for me?
I asked her a few questions about why she went to Stanford, what her favorite part of the program was, and what advice she would give to an incoming student. Overall, I thought the interview flowed very well. She was very easy to talk to and there was no point in the convo where I felt uncomfortable or nervous. She took a lot of notes on my resume (which I had sent her beforehand, but it’s a good idea to take an extra copy just in case) and kept solid track of time to ensure we ended right around 45 minutes.