News, advice and resources for business school applicants
Nov 18, 2014

Harvard MBA Admissions Interview Questions: Round 1 / AdCom / On Campus

A recent applicant shared their Harvard MBA admissions interview questions with us:

The interview started with some break-the-ice conversation, and she asked for my impressions about a new part of the campus tour.

She mentioned that her colleague in the room had only seen my resume but nothing else and asked me to introduce myself.  We then progressed through a series of questions:

Why [Ivy League undergraduate institution] for undergrad?

Why did I pick my major?

What was it like getting interviewed for [your first employer]?  Give me an overview of the hiring process.

I saw a few lower grades on your transcript?  What context can you provide on that?  She expressed knowledge that she knew I was in a competitive major and that courses weren’t graded on a curve.

What would [your first employer] say about strengths/weaknesses?

Why did you transition to [your current employer]?

Why do you want to get an MBA?

When did you have trouble working in an interdisciplinary group?

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Have I kept up with my singing and music [I had a lot of involvement in that in college]?

What would you like us to ask you?

For more reports with Harvard MBA admissions interview questions, see our Harvard Interview Reports Archive

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Nov 13, 2014

Harvard MBA Admissions Interview Questions: Round 1 / AdCom / On Campus

Happy businesspeople, or businesswoman and clientA recent applicant shared her Harvard MBA admissions interview questions with us: 

I interviewed with an associate director of admissions, plus an observer from the admissions team. The interview had a friendlier tone/vibe than i expected and conversational, BUT still no real indication of how you are doing/did

-Where do you want to start?  (they let me pick what I wanted to talk about)

-Ok you joined as the X# employee, what has changed since then?

-How was this role different from your first two?

-Why didn’t you like your previous industry?

-Long conversation about my industry. Lots of questions involved testing me on trends in the industry, what solutions I think exist to improve things, specific examples of companies in areas I mentioned, etc. Lots of probing. Felt like cross examination a bit to see if I was who I said I was.  Also asked specifically about a project/area I mentioned in the essay.  Wanted to know more specific details.

-What surprised you most about your industry?

-What comes easily to you? What comes harder?

-MBA is a major investment. What is it that would make it worth the time/money?

-What would be your dream job?

-And after MBA you would do X…? (X was what I’m currently doing now, which is NOT what I put on my application as post-MBA goals. So clearly they were checking to see if I could hold the story together.)

For more reports with Harvard MBA admissions interview questions, see our Harvard Interview Reports Archive

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Nov 12, 2014

HBS MBA Admissions Interview Report: Round 1 / Adcom / On Campus

Here is a recent HBS MBA admissions interview report: It was truly an enjoyable experience. From the time you check in until you leave, they work hard to help you relax and be comfortable. As far as the interview goes, they brought the group of us with interviews in our time slot up to a lounge area surrounded by small conference rooms. One-by-one, adcom members came out and called people into their room. In the room, my interviewer and observer introduced themselves. The interviewer explained that she is very familiar with my application and would be asking the questions. The observer would be quiet and taking notes. Then the interview started…

Continue reading…

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Nov 12, 2014

Demystifying the Mysterious World of Business School Rankings

DemystifyingMBAIG_finalWITH_LOGOIt’s not every day that MBA rankings end up trending on Facebook, and yet yesterday that’s exactly what happened. When Bloomberg BusinessWeek released its biennial ranking of full-time MBA programs, the results shocked many and created quite a buzz. According to Bloomberg BW’s most recent calculations, Duke’s Fuqua School of Business has stolen the number one spot, knocking Harvard Business School out of the top five for the first time in history.

Just how did Bloomberg BW decide which programs rose to the top and which fell from grace? As it turns out, the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University just a few weeks ago released an infographic that provides a clear and concise overview showcasing the rankings methodologies employed by five major publications: Bloomberg BW, along with U.S. News & World Report, the Financial Times, the Economist and Forbes.

Continue reading…

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Nov 11, 2014

Duke’s Fuqua School of Business Tops Latest Bloomberg BusinessWeek Ranking

fuquaDuke University’s Fuqua School of Business shot to the top of Bloomberg Businessweek’s biennial ranking of full-time MBA programs, released today, up from No. 6 two years ago. In the process, the North Carolina school unseated the reigning University of Chicago Booth School of Business and pushed Harvard Business School (HBS) out of the top five for the first time in the history of the rankings.

The formula Bloomberg BW employs to arrive at its rankings is as follows: 45 percent of the score is based on how recruiters rate MBA hires from the school, another 45 percent is determined by how graduating MBAs judge their program and the remaining 10 percent is based on faculty productivity, as measured by a tally of research published in leading journals. Continue reading…

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Nov 10, 2014

Harvard MBA Admissions Interview Questions: Round 1/ AdCom

English: Harvard Business School, as seen from...

-How did you choose (your investment bank)?
- How did you find (your private equity firm)?
- Did you find (your area of interest) or did it find you?
- What is your most proud accomplishment at (your private equity firm)?
- What has made you successful at what you do?
- You seem to have a good amount of experience in negotiations, what component of negotiating is art and what part is science?
- Tell me about times when you’ve struggled?
- When you meet new people, what is their first impression of you and is this in line with how you actually are?
- Explain the way that you aligned interests as discussed in your essay regarding (a major work project).
- Assuming I know nothing about (the topic of your work project), explain to me the landscape of (the topic of your work project) in Africa.
- If there was no such thing as an MBA program, what would you do next in your career?
- What is your dream internship?
- Tell about a company outside of (your area of interest) that you appreciate?
- How would you like Amazon as an employee or vendor?
- How does your life outside of work look?
- What is the next country that you would like to travel to?

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Oct 31, 2014

Stanford Graduate School of Business Calls It Quits for MBA Admission Blog

stanford new residential buildingDon’t look for future posts on the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) MBA Admissions Blog. In a final entry earlier this week, the school announced that it was saying goodbye to its blog. All prior blog content will remain accessible through mid-December, after which prospective applicants will need to keep up with news and developments regarding Stanford MBA admissions via other means.

“Our blog has begun to resemble a Tesla at a gas station,” wrote admissions staffer Victoria Hendel De La O as part of a final post on October 29th. She attributed the decline of the blog to the school’s increasing reliance on other forms of social media to communicate updates. Indeed, posts to the Stanford MBA Admissions blog have grown increasingly infrequent over the past year – with the last post going up back in June. Continue reading…

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Oct 14, 2014

Harvard Business School to Release Remaining Round 1 Interview Invites Tomorrow

300px-Aerial_of_the_Harvard_Business_School_campusFor all those anxious Harvard Business School (HBS) Round 1 applicants still waiting to learn their fate, tomorrow will be a telling day, according to Managing Director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid Deirdre Leopold. About 150 additional interview invitations will go out tomorrow, October 15th, adding to the roughly 800 invitations extended last week, Leopold shared in a recent post to her Director’s Blog.

Another group will also learn tomorrow that HBS wants to “further consider” their applications as part of Round 2. “We anticipate that there will be ~200 applicants in this group,” Leopold wrote, adding that the email communicating this decision will also provide information regarding a timetable and communication plan for this group. Continue reading…

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Oct 7, 2014

Harvard Business School Professor Launches U.S. Cluster Mapping Tool

michael_porterRenowned Harvard Business School (HBS) Professor Michael Porter has launched a new tool that provides data on the presence of “clusters” – regional groupings of related industries – and regional economies throughout the United States. By providing a view of economic development through the lens of clusters rather than specific types of companies, industries or sectors, the new U.S. Cluster Mapping tool can help identify important links and potential synergies between technology, skills and information.

Porter launched the new tool, based on his path-breaking research, as part of a two-day conference called Mapping the Midwest’s Future, held late last month at the University of Minnesota. The conference drew business leaders, policymakers, economic development officials and academics from multiple Midwest states and Canadian provinces. Continue reading…

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Oct 6, 2014

New Loan Program Launches for International MBA Students at U.S. Schools

tuition hikesA new pilot loan program will provide expanded options for international MBA students at a number of top programs in the United States, according to a recent report in Poestandquants. The program, offered by Prodigy Finance, will extend to international students and U.S. residents with non-permanent status who are studying at 16 top schools, including Harvard Business School, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and MIT Sloan School of Management.

Especially in recent years, banks have been reluctant to lend to students who are studying internationally. Prodigy Finance seeks to fill this need using a “community finance” model. Basically, alumni from participating schools fund loans for current students, banking on the value of a degree from their alma mater and the likelihood that future alums will repay. Interest rates on the loans vary between 6 and 12 percent, depending on the school, the individual borrower’s profile and current rates. Continue reading…

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Sep 25, 2014

Reaching Out to Host LGBT MBA Conference Next Week in San Francisco

reaching outNonprofit organization Reaching Out will host a conference for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) business school students and prospective applicants next week in San Francisco. The Reaching Out LGBT MBA Conference expects to draw more than 1,400 students, business leaders and recruiters for three days of events, including a full afternoon of programming for prospective LGBT MBA applicants. This year’s conference will take place from October 2nd through 4th.

Now in its 16th year, the Reaching Out MBA Conference was established to provides future lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender leaders from around the world the opportunity to network, learn and improve their skills and advance in the business world. From its beginnings in 1999 as a student-run conference organized by students at Harvard Business School and Yale School of Management, Reaching Out has grown into a year-round operating organization “dedicated to educating, inspiring and connecting business students to impact change in the classroom and workplace.” Continue reading…

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