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Recommendation Questions

Find out what top MBA programs ask recommenders. Clear Admit will keep you up to date. Need more help? Check out our recommendation guide. And don’t miss our tips on selecting your recommender and dealing with recommendation dilemmas.


INSEAD Recommendation Questions 2015-2016

insead-mba-recommendationINSEAD’s MBA application for their September 2016 intake went live several weeks ago, making their recommendations available for Class of 2018 applicants. INSEAD asks recommenders to provide their responses within a PDF that is emailed through the online application, which recommenders then upload through the online portal.

The recommendation begins with several background questions:

Have you attended an INSEAD Programme? if yes, please specify which one?

Please, specify your relationship to candidate: (select Professional, Educational, or Personal)

How long have you known the candidate? Define your relationship with the candidate and the circumstances whereby you met. Continue reading…

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Columbia Business School Recommendation Questions 2015-2016

columbia mba recommendation questionsColumbia Business School’s early decision and regular decision online applications are live online, meaning that the Columbia MBA recommendation questions are now available. The CBS adcom requests that recommenders indicate whether they have an MBA, and asks that they address two prompts in the course of a recommendation of no more than 1,000 words.

The Columbia MBA recommendation questions for 2015-2016 are as follows:

Do you have an MBA? (drop-down menu)

Please consider the following guidelines when writing your recommendation:

How do the candidate’s performance, potential, background, or personal qualities compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples.

Please describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response.

Please limit your recommendation to 1000 words. Thank you once again.

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Stanford MBA Recommendation Questions 2015-2016

stanfordgsbThe Stanford GSB online application for 2016 is live, which means that the Stanford MBA recommendation questions are now available for those supporting applicants who are targeting the Class of 2018. This recommendation asks for brief information about the nature of the recommender’s relationship with the applicant, as well as some longer essay-style questions about the candidate’s salient strengths and important feedback. Rather than a grid-based ranking system of the applicant’s skills and abilities, Stanford presents recommenders with abilities and tailored multiple choice response options for each.

The Stanford MBA recommendation questions for 2015-2016 are as follows:

How long have you known the applicant? (months and years)

During which period of time have you had the most frequent contact with the applicant? (start and end date mm/yyyy)

Are/were you the applicant’s direct supervisor? Continue reading…

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HBS 2015-2016 Recommendation Questions

HBSThe 2015-2016 HBS MBA recommendation questions are up on the Harvard Business School admissions website. The HBS recommendation comprises identifying information about the recommender, a brief explanation of the recommender’s relationship with the applicant, and a question about how many HBS MBA applicants the recommender is supporting this year, followed by a grid on which the recommender is asked to rate the applicant on a series of skills and qualities.

The program then poses two questions about the candidate’s potential and response to a past piece of feedback.

The HBS MBA recommendation questions for 2015-2016 are:

Context of Relationship (drop-down menu)

Are you an HBS graduate? (drop-down menu)

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. (250 characters) Continue reading…

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HBS Looks Ahead to Next Application Season

300px-Inside_a_Harvard_Business_School_classroomDon’t worry—if you’re applying to Harvard Business School (HBS) in Round 3, you haven’t missed the deadline. It’s next week, May 13th. But the school’s admissions committee is already thinking about the Class of 2018, according to a recent post by Director of Admissions Dee Leopold.

If you are a prospective applicant also thinking about the Class of 2018 at HBS, some words of advice from Leopold: “I would encourage any potential Round One applicant who would like to see the case method in action to come now since class visits in the fall don’t begin until after the September deadline.” Class visits continue through mid-May, and there is still sign up availability, she notes. Continue reading…

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Columbia Recommendation Questions 2014 – 2015

Columbia-150x134Columbia has just released its recommendation questions, and we’ve already got clients submitting their requests.  Columbia has one of the simplest recommendation forms–a single, free-form letter with no rankings. But it’s still going to be substantial work for your recommender. The strongest submissions will be about 1,000 words.

Here is what Columbia asks recommenders to include in their letter:

  • How do the candidate’s performance, potential, background, or personal qualities compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples.
  • Please describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response.

Further instructions to recommenders: Continue reading…

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Harvard Recommendation Questions 2014 – 2015

300px-Harvard_business_school_baker_library_2009aHarvard’s application is up, and our clients have begun sending out their recommendation requests.  Here are this year’s recommendation questions.

Recommender Info

The first question that may require some thought from your recommender is the following:

Please provide a brief description of your interaction with the applicant and, if applicable, their role in your organization. (250 character limit)

The character limit is hard, so your recommender will have very little space.  The main point of this section is to get the basic facts of the relationship out of the way: how long your recommender has known you (preferably with specific quantities), what the nature of your relationship was (if possible, with quantified statements about how often you met and in what context), and perhaps a quick statement of your biggest accomplishments as your recommender describes your role.

Short Answers

The core of Harvard’s recommendation are two short answers:

1. How do the applicant’s performance Continue reading…

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London Business School Recommendation Questions 2013 – 2014

London Business School has begun sending recommendation questions to recommenders.  See the full list below, collected and confirmed by Clear Admit.

Please answer the following questions regarding the applicant, making sure to save your work regularly. As a guideline for completing the reference form you should aim to write no more than 500 words per question. Please note that 500 words is the maximum amount and not a requirement.

  1. How do you know the applicant? How long have you known them for?
  2. What would you say are the applicant’s key strengths and talents?
  3. What would you say are the applicant’s key weaknesses or areas for improvement?
  4. In which areas of development has the applicant progressed most in the time you’ve known them?
  5. What do you think this person might be doing in ten years’ time? Why?

Please rate the applicant, comparing them with other members of his or her peer group, on the qualities listed below using the following scoring system:
1 = Low   3 = Average   5 = High

  • Intellectual or academic ability
  • Quantitative skills
  • Initiative / Ability to take decisions
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Team skills
  • Impact / Charisma
  • Self confidence
  • Self motivation
  • Spoken English communication skills
  • Written English communication skills

Please indicate your overall recommendation on a five point score from (1) Not Recommended to Highly Recommended (5).

Please feel free to elaborate on your recommendation. (Note: If you prefer to submit additional comments in a separate letter, please email this to apply.mba@london.edu.)

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NYU Stern Recommendation Questions 2013 – 2014

NYU Stern has begun sending recommendation questions to recommenders.  See the full list below, collected and confirmed by Clear Admit.

Thank you for providing a recommendation. Candid comments from those who can evaluate the applicant’s performance and motivation through direct experience are extremely valuable. We appreciate the time you are taking to provide the information.

Is the applicant currently employed by your organization?

  • Yes
  • No

I am the applicant’s :

  • current supervisor
  • past supervisor
  • other

If other, please specify:

Are you an alumna/alumnus of the NYU Stern School of Business?

  •  Yes
  • No

If yes, what year did you graduate?

If yes, what was your degree?

Please make your overall recommendation regarding this applicant’s admission to NYU Stern:

  • I strongly recommend this applicant for admission.
  • I recommend this applicant for admission.
  • I recommend this applicant for admission with some reservation.
  • I do not recommend this applicant be admitted.

Please use this scale to rate the applicant in relation to his or her peers:

Scale

  • Outstanding (Top 5%)
  • Excellent (15%)
  • Good (Top 1/3)
  • Average (Middle 1/3)
  • Below Average (Bottom 1/3)
  • Unable to Judge

Traits

  • Analytical / Quantitative ability
  • Oral communication skills
  • Written communication skills
  • Initiative
  • Integrity
  • Leadership
  • Maturity
  • Teamwork
  • Professionalism

Written Assessment

 Please respond to the following questions, using specific examples when possible. You may answer each question separately in the boxes provided OR upload a Word document which includes all of your responses.

  1. How long have you known the applicant and in what capacity? (1000-character limit)
  2. What do you consider the applicant’s strengths? (3000-character limit)
  3. In which areas could the applicant exhibit growth or improvement? (3000-character limit)
  4. How would you describe the applicant’s interpersonal skills? (1000-character limit)

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INSEAD Recommendation Questions (January 2014 Intake)

INSEAD has begun sending recommendation questions to recommenders.  See the full list below, collected and confirmed by Clear Admit.

Please give your answers to each of the following questions. (text entry forms, no hard limits).

  1. Comment on the candidate’s career progress to date and his/her career focus.
  2. What do you consider to be the candidate’s major strengths? Comment on the factors that distinguish the candidate from other individuals at his/her level.
  3. What do you consider to be the candidate’s major weaknesses?
  4. Comment on the candidate’s potential for senior management. Do you see him/her as a future leader?
  5. Describe the candidate as a person. Comment on his/her ability to establish and maintain relationships, sensitivity to others, self-confidence, attitude, etc. Specifically comment on the candidate’s behaviour or skills in a group setting/team environment.

Please, specify your relationship to candidate:

  • Professional
  • Educational
  • Personal

How long have you known the candidate? Define your relationship with the candidate and the circumstances whereby you met.

How do you rate the candidate on the following criteria?

Criteria

  • Outstanding – Top 2%
  • Very Good – Top 10%
  • Above Average – Top 25%
  • Average – Top 50%
  • Below Average – Bottom 50%
  • Unobserved

Traits

  • Competence in his/her field
  • Professionalism
  • Focus on the task at hand
  • Readiness to use opportunities for achievement
  • Creativity and resourcefulness
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Energy and drive
  • Personal integrity
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Organizational ability
  • Oral communication skills
  • Written communication skills

How do you rate the candidate’s potential for becoming a responsible and successful manager in international business compared with other students or employees whom you have known in a similar capacity?

  • Excellent – Top 2%
  • Very Good – Top 10%
  • Above Average – Top 25%
  • Average – Top 50%
  • Below Average – Bottom 50%

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UCLA / Anderson Recommendation Questions 2013 – 2014

Are your recommenders ready? Our clients have started submitting their requests for UCLA Anderson. Stay ahead of the curve. Check out the full list of UCLA Anderson’s recommendation questions, collected and confirmed by Clear Admit.

Questions

  1. How strong is the candidate’s focus in terms of being results-oriented, strategically-minded, and career-driven? (700-character limit in online form)
  2. How does the candidate demonstrate leadership by creating a vision, motivating others, managing resources, and taking risks? (700-character limit in online form)
  3. How strong are the candidate’s interpersonal skills as shown by their professionalism, teamwork, attitude, and conflict management? (700-character limit in online form)
  4. How effective is the candidate in communicating clearly, eloquently, and confidently (in written and oral form)? (700-character limit in online form)
  5. What are the areas in which the candidate could develop further? (700-character limit in online form)

Optional: If you have a separate document that addresses points not covered above, please feel free to upload it here.

Ratings

Options

  • Exceptional (Top 2%)
  • Excellent (Top 10%)
  • Good (Top 25%)
  • Average (Top 50%)
  • Below Average
  • Inadequate Opportunity to Observe

Traits

  • Analytical/problem solving skills
  • Motivation/initiative
  • Leadership
  • Ability to work with others
  • Respect from peers
  • Respect from management
  • Maturity
  • Written communication skills
  • Verbal communication skills
  • Your overall impression of the candidate

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