Harvard MBA Admissions Interview 2011 Round 2 (March 12)

6已有 789 次阅读  2011-03-22 01:01   标签Harvard  MBA  Admissions  Interview  2011  Round 
I recently completed my interview with HBS and found it to be very different from the other interviews I’ve had thus far (I’ve also interviewed with Fuqua, Booth, and Wharton). As opposed to the “blind” interviews at these other schools where the interviewer had not seen my application and had received my resume only shortly before the interview, the HBS interviewer had thoroughly reviewed my HBS application and referred to different parts of it throughout the interview.

The interview was exactly 30 minutes long and did not include time for questions. After a very limited amount of small talk, the interviewer dove into my application, asking questions about some of the vaguer, more macroscopic claims I made. For example, in my application I said that I was interested in pursuing an MBA with the goal of taking for-profit business knowledge and applying it to the private, non-profit sector and leveraging business strategy towards social impact. She pushed me to identify a specific business strategy and a specific example of a non-profit leader who had come from the for-profit business world and describe a for-profit strategy s/he had used successfully. She pressed me on exactly what business strategies I would bring to non-profits and, when I answered human resource strategy to gain competitive advantage, she asked me to identify a for-profit entity that I felt had leveraged a particular human resource strategy to gain a competitive advantage in its market. The interviewer concluded by asking me to devise an impromptu marketing strategy for a product I consume.

Overall, the interview was almost confrontational and the interviewer pushed me to be more and more specific and explicit and to back up my claims with real world examples and evidence. I think she had identified the weakness of my application as being my limited professional experience and honed in on it to see if I could demonstrate business skills under pressure and think on my feet. It seemed to almost be an exercise in the HBS Case Study pedagogical method. She did not ask any of the typical “Why an MBA, Why HBS, Why now?” sorts of questions.

As far as preparation goes, I would recommend a very thorough review of your application with even a critical analysis of its shortcomings and gaps to help anticipate what course the interview might take. Be ready to think on your feet and present compelling arguments for whatever claims you make. Good luck!

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