Getting an invitation from the most prestigious B School in the world is every candidate's dream! An HBS invitation interview is rare and prestigious! You have successfully completed the most difficult process of applying to a business school and now your day has come - enjoy it!
HBS interviews are unique! It differs from interviews at other higher education institutions in its uniqueness and rigour, being one of the most stressful parts of the application process! In addition, the half hour interview involves 30-40 questions at a fast pace!
The nature of the interview
The nature of the interview at HBS is very similar to the case study method used in MBA programmes. Which means that even if you have prepared for a lot of standard questions, adding an unexpected twist to the case scenario can throw you off your game! Such paradigm shifts are designed to weed out candidates who are too comfortable giving standard answers which they have spent hours practising.
Of course, this is done deliberately and the main purpose of such case study questions is to keep candidates in suspense and to help them find a solution in the high-pressure environment of spontaneous questions!
However, rest assured that the bulk of your interview will only be about your HBS application. So the first step of preparation should be quite serious - make sure you know everything about your application and CV.
HBS INTERVIEW QUESTIONS: TOPIC
Be prepared to answer any questions about anything on your profile!
Questions can range from your hobbies and interests to key headlines, industry experience and skills!
The interview will cover many aspects of your life choices. Provide compelling reasons for changing industry/role/geography/experience and for making important career/life decisions! Answers to these questions show character traits and the capacity for deep introspection. Get to know your professional and personal experiences and talk about the situation and its context.
The interviewer knows exactly what you can answer. So your job is to make the interview interesting for your listeners so that they get excited about you. This is something that you can only master in a mock interview with an experienced or well-trained person!
EXAMPLES OF HBS QUESTIONS BASED ON EXPERT ANALYSIS
1) General information: background questions
How does your family live?
What was your childhood like in a country like yours? And why did you move to the USA to pursue higher education?
Which college did you attend and why (specifics and values), and why did you choose (major)?
2) All about the field of work and career progression
Where do you work now (country/industry/company)?
What does it mean to you to be in charge of such a big project?
How does your working day usually go? Give me some specific examples.
Name a few companies that you like. (Could be industry specific/common look)
Why do you want this position (the position you currently hold) - e.g. why product management/investment impact?
3) Leadership qualities at their best!
What is unique about your leadership style? What do those you supervise say about you?
Tell us about situations where you have had difficulties in subordinating employees. How have you dealt with this problem?
At what point in your life have you reflected on the fact that life should be filled with great influence?
Who influenced you?
Describe a situation/task/project that was difficult for you.
Expand this statement (decision/project experience/leadership/example of practice) in your CV.
How do you convince potential clients/customers of your opinion?
4) MBA: a path worth describing!
Why an MBA?
Name a specific subject/specialty/course that you think will help you get the knowledge you need and enable you to achieve your goals after your MBA.
What subject/major/class would you struggle with at HBS?
Is there anything else you would like to talk about?