What To Expect In Your Harvard MBA Interview
Maria |
February 7, 2024

In this insightful episode of Business Casual, the hosts delve into significant trends reshaping the MBA world. They discuss the launch of a one-year MBA program by London Business School, a move that reflects the changing preferences and needs within global business education. The conversation also touches on the emotional rollercoaster experienced by MBA applicants during Harvard Business School’s interview notification period, highlighting the high stakes of this phase in the admissions cycle.

John brings a fascinating perspective to the episode with his recounting of the experience at Michigan Ross’s Leadership Crisis Challenge, illustrating how top MBA programs are utilizing simulations to develop practical leadership skills. The hosts then share invaluable tips for navigating the MBA interview process, emphasizing the importance of authenticity and strategic communication while cautioning against common pitfalls.

This episode provides a wealth of guidance for anyone navigating the MBA application process or interested in the evolving landscape of business education.

Episode Transcript

[00:00:07.290] – John

Well, hello, everyone. Welcome to Business Casual, our weekly podcast. This is John Byrne with Poets and Quants. And I have along for the ride, of course, my co hosts, partners in crime, Caroline Diarte Edwards and Maria Wich-Vila. We are going to talk about a few things today. London Business School has announced a one year MBA program. That’s not unusual for Europe, but it is unusual for LBS, which has long had a more flexible kind of format, up to a two year degree, much more traditional in the US than, of course, in Europe. But now they’re going to go with a one year and we’re going to talk about what you can expect if you got an invite from Harvard Business School to interview Harvard for their round two applicants sent out invites and rejections last Wednesday. Big anxious day for candidates and the bulk of them in the round two and really final round at Harvard Business School for regular MBA applicants. And then I want to talk a little bit about. Let’s start with a recent trip that I took to Ann Arbor, to Michigan Ross, where I was embedded in a fascinating simulation which is basically called their leadership crisis challenge.

[00:01:33.590] – John

And this happens every year. It’s been around for a long time. It’s a 24 hours challenge. And this year’s event was the biggest ever in its history, attracting 416 graduate and undergraduate students, something like 30 faculty members who run the thing, 15 communication coaches and over 80 alumni. And it’s sort of a really incredible simulation for students to basically stretch their leadership muscles. What the simulation does is, first off, it puts people who really don’t know each other into teams of five to seven students, then throws them into a meeting room where they essentially act as a senior leadership team for a company that’s in the smart home and home security space. Over the course of the first 4 hours, from six at night until ten at night, they received nearly two dozen emails, voicemails, text messages and a tsunami of social media posts. And what happens to this company is it just launches a partnership with the university to take over their security and electrical systems and then everything goes haywire. At one point, a dog leaves a dorm room, is locked out in the bitter cold, and essentially dies. In another case, a student comes out of the shower and can’t get back in his room because the doors are automatically locked.

[00:03:18.200] – John

It turns out that there’s a hacker who got into the system who’s demanding ransom. And the team is judged on how it responds, what its strategy is, its ability to analyze the financial and legal implications of the crisis, and basically how well it presents to a board of directors composed of alumni, because after the six to ten session of different crises that appear over that four hour period in the morning, you actually have to walk into a boardroom and present to about a half dozen board members. After that, there are finalists who actually present in a press conference and have to be grilled by five actual journalists. It’s really a fascinating simulation. Simulations are a common thing in business school campuses and this has got to be one of the more elaborate, more compelling ones. If you want to read about it, go to the site it’s called. From angry voicemails to a dog’s death, these students grapple with a leadership crisis. I think it’s fun reading and I think if you’re not a student, it’ll get you kind of familiar with what a simulation is like at the best level and what you can expect when you go to business school.

[00:04:38.490] – John

Now, one of the big items in the news is London Business School’s decision to launch a one year MBA. Caroline, you’re a graduate of a one year MBA from a rival of LBS, INSEAD. What do you make of.

[00:04:54.350] – Caroline

Well, I think it makes a lot of sense for them given that they have an increasingly large cohort of graduates from the pre experienced master’s programs. And I know from INSEAD’s experience that those graduates are often looking then to come back later on to complement their education. And whereas at INSEAD they come back and do the one year MBA, coming back and doing another two years at your alma mater may seem like a lot when you’ve already done one year at the school. So I think it’s a logical evolution for LBS. I imagine that it’s not going to be a huge class given the prerequisites that you have to have done one of those masters in management beforehand. So at first I was nervous for INSEAD and whether this is going to be a lot of competition for INSEAD, as the schools do typically have a lot of overlap in their applicant pool for the full time MBA. But given that prerequisite, I don’t think it’s going to make a huge dent to the INSEAD application pool. But I think it also reflects that a lot of schools are looking at how they can diversify their portfolio.

[00:06:08.470] – Caroline

And we’ve talked in the past about how there is a shift towards one year programs. And whilst I think that the top tier us programs, especially the M seven programs, will likely remain as they are as flagship two year programs elsewhere in the market, there was definitely more of a shift towards these one year programs. And so I think LBS has seen that the demand is there, and years ago they created more flexibility in their two year format. So you can exit the program actually at different stages. So you can do the program in 15 months or 18 months. Most people do stay for the two years because you’re paying for that in any case. Right. And if you’re signing up for the traditional flagship MBA, then you probably want the full experience. And so most people do choose to do the full two years. And it also makes sense given that their master’s graduates would have covered a reasonable chunk of the curriculum that you would cover in the two year program. So I think that it’s a very sensible addition to LBS’s portfolio.

[00:07:18.750] – John

Yeah, totally. And you’re right. I mean, this has got to be a fairly limited sized class because the prerequisite is a master’s in management program. School says it will open applications in July of this year. The cost of the program in terms of tuition is about 75,000 pounds. That roughly translates into about $95,000. And to get the MBA, essentially, you get it in eleven months. But I think this is also part of the trend that we’re seeing overall toward flexibility. Business schools are really innovating in their programming to do everything that they can to make business education accessible to larger numbers of people. And they’re doing it by offering all these different many options. This is not something for everyone, but it is something for a slice of the market that otherwise might not get an MBA at all, or might in fact decide to go a more traditional route and then end up with a lot of duplication. Because after all, as Caroline points out, most of the courses in a MIM program at a graduate level are the core courses in an MBA program. So you can eliminate a lot of that and give people a series of courses that don’t entirely overlap to allow them to get an MBA.

[00:08:47.930] – John

Now the other big news, of course, is the invitations and rejections that went out for round two candidates at the Harvard Business School last week. And that’s always a big know. Maria, I wonder if you can recall back when you were waiting around to hear about your acceptance. I guess back then you didn’t go into an online portal to discover your decision, right?

[00:09:16.050] – Maria

I’m old, John, but I’m not that old. Yes, the carrier pigeon arrived and it brought with it an abacus so that I could calculate my student loan payments. No, it was through a portal back then. Even in the 2002 error, back in those days. Yeah, I remember that they released the actual acceptance results at noon Eastern time, which was midnight Hong Kong time. So I stayed up and back then, when the Internet was so slow, the dial up and it took you 20.

[00:09:53.540] – John

Minutes for the page to download, you heard the phone clicking with the modem. Exactly. I imagine that then going into that portal at that time, it was a very anxious kind of experience, right?

[00:10:09.250] – Maria

Yeah. It’s certainly not a low stress moment, but yeah. So I think a lot of us can definitely empathize with people who might have gotten either good news or neutral news or bad news yesterday. So hopefully folks who got good news are starting to prepare for their interviews and we can maybe talk a little bit about what they might want to do to do that. And if they got waitlisted or didn’t get the news, they of. There’s a lot of different ways to get to where you want to get inwards and upwards. Onwards and upwards.

[00:10:45.430] – John

Now, Maria, I’m curious. There you are in Hong Kong, it’s midnight. How do you celebrate your invitation to interview?

[00:10:53.960] – Maria

I mean, I went to sleep. I was so tired. I was like, okay, I got in time to fall asleep. No, I mean, obviously it was very exciting. Everything was topsy turvy in terms of the time of day that I found out. But it was also good because I guess I didn’t have to be pretending to lock myself in my office and pretend to do work while I was actually frantically just reloading the page over and over again.

[00:11:20.330] – John

So what can people expect? Okay, if you get an invite for an interview, let’s start with the basics. If you can go in person, is that preferable than doing it via Zoom? You have an opinion on that?

[00:11:32.260] – Maria

I do think if all else is truly equal, then sure, go in person because you can obviously build a rapport with someone much better in real life than you can through a computer screen. That having been said, if going in person would create any sort of major barrier for you, whether that’s a financial or you can’t get a visa to travel to the US, or you can’t take the day off of work, don’t worry about it. I think every school wants to make sure that they are being as fair as possible and they don’t want to give just because someone happens to live in Boston or because someone happens to have an employer that gives them the day off or they happen to have enough money to travel to Boston. If they live far away, that should not in any way give them an advantage. So don’t feel that you are at a disadvantage if you are doing an online interview. However, if you can swing it, I just feel that it is. If the pandemic has showed us anything and the fact that offices are reopening and schools are reopening, it’s that, yes, you can convey information over a zoom, and you can certainly get things done, and you can certainly get to know people, but it’s always better to be face to face if you can be just to read the body language and know, use more of your interpersonal intuition in terms of where the conversation is going.

[00:12:49.430] – John

Now, I know that what Harvard really hates are scripted people, people who come off as overly rehearsed and basically answering the way they want, as opposed to what’s natural and genuine. That said, how do you prep for a Harvard Business School interview without coming off as scripted?

[00:13:13.000] – Caroline

Yes. Well, I think that it is important to practice, but sometimes candidates memorize answers, or they do so many rehearsals that perhaps it’s starting to sound overly rehearsed and lacking an authenticity. So there is definitely a balance to strike. But I do think that that practice is important because it’s a very intense interview, right? I mean, it’s literally like 29 minutes, whereas a lot of other business schools, especially if it’s an alumni interview, it can easily be an hour or more. And so it’s very intense. You will be speaking with someone who has read your file in depth and has prepared some specific questions that they want to dig into, whereas often alumni interviews are more of a general discussion, and they may not be as familiar with your background, and so maybe asking more questions to learn about you. The HBS interview, they will have, you can assume that they have in their heads everything that you’ve written in your application, and so you should not repeat that. But they will be looking to dig into things that they may have some questions about. So you need to be prepared to go into a lot of detail.

[00:14:33.430] – Caroline

So it’s really a balance to strike, right? That you need to prepare and rehearse and think carefully about how you want to present yourself and be prepared to go beyond what you said in your application. For example, sometimes candidates fall up because they’ve sketched out in their application. You don’t have much space in the application, so they sketch out what is their career plan. But they haven’t necessarily done a lot of research into which employers they’re targeting and how they see their career evolving over time. And you may get some quite specific questions about that. So be prepared to go into a lot more detail and show that you’ve done more research than is apparent from what you’re able to share in your application. And also schools will be digging into your motivation for joining the school. And again, you may not have a lot of real estate in the application to show the interactions that you’ve had with the school community and the research that you’ve done and the different things that you want to get involved in when you’re at the school. But you definitely need to be prepared to talk about that in that interview.

[00:15:43.480] – Caroline

So it can be very wide ranging. And you also need to be prepared to get questions that are unexpected because they’re also looking to see if you can think on your feet. Right. So you can’t anticipate all of the questions. So you also need to be prepared to know how to handle your anxiety in that situation, because sometimes candidates start to ramble because they are sort of perturbed by a question and struggle to think on their feet. So it’s important to manage your stress. Be able to take a pause, be able to have the confidence to take a moment to think about it before you dive into your response. And also just keep your answer succinct, because remember, you’ve got 29 minutes. So if you take too long to explain all the background when you’re giving a response, then you might frustrate your interviewer because they may have other questions that they need to get to and they may run out of time.

[00:16:46.310] – John

Right? Yeah. And are there tricky questions, Maria?

[00:16:51.090] – Maria

Definitely. I mean, as Caroline was saying, part of what they’re trying to do is they’re trying to get a sense of, can you think on your feet? I mean, for me, the HBS interview is trying to get at two core pieces of information. One is authenticity. Did you actually do the things that you said you did in your essay? Do you actually care about that industry that you said, oh, I want to go work for a middle market private equity company in the midwest? Okay, great. So who’s your favorite firm? What investment have they made recently that you like? Are you full of it, or did you actually write what you meant? And you said you’d led that project, so didn’t somebody protest when you brought up that new idea? How did you handle that? So they’re trying to get a sense of authenticity, but they’re also trying to get a sense of fit. And because of the pedagogy, I mean, HBS is so committed to the case method as its core pedagogy. And so that’s a situation where you literally have no idea, walking into any class, where the conversation is going to go and the direction it’s going to go in.

[00:17:54.840] – Maria

And you might get to speak once every three classes, and you’ll probably get maybe 20 seconds to make your point. So they’re looking for people who can think on their feet, who can deal with the unexpected, because every case conversation is going to have twists and turns that you never anticipated. And so if you walk into a case discussion with a memorized answer of what you’re going to say if you get called on, it’s not going to work well for you because you’re probably not going to get a chance to say that beautiful little thing that you prepared. And it’s not going to be beneficial for your classmates, because it’s only a beneficial conversation if it’s a truly organic, if it’s all 90 people in the class organically trying to come to the same conclusion. So in terms of the unexpected questions, that’s actually, as someone who, when I give mock interviews, I try to come up with questions that they won’t expect precisely to test that aspect of can they think on their feet? So the more you prepare, in fact, if anything, if I start asking questions and I get the sense that the person has, like, aha, I was ready for this question.

[00:18:55.290] – Maria

I was ready for that question. Then I will go to my less expected questions on the list precisely for that reason, to see how they will.

[00:19:07.630] – John

No, you’re prepping people for good performance. And, Caroline, what are some of the questions? I mean, you get some typical ones, like, walk me through your resume, talk about a challenge at work or what you learned from a failure, things like that. What are some other questions that a candidate might expect?

[00:19:30.470] – Caroline

Well, schools often like to ask behavioral questions, so then they are asking for a specific example. So rather than asking about, tell me about your greatest achievement or asking something that’s quite general, they may hone in on something very. An example of a very specific behavior. So it could be, tell me about a time that you have faced an ethical challenge, and you need to sort of walk them through that situation and what you did, or tell me about a time that you had a clash with a colleague and how you managed that situation. So they’re looking to really hone in on specific experiences because they’re looking to understand how you handle situations and what your pattern of behavior is. And a good framework for handling those questions is the star framework. So you describe the situation, you describe the task that you face, and then you describe your action, and you describe the result. So essentially, you describe the scenario, and then what it is that you did and what was the outcome. So that’s a useful way to think about how to structure your response to those questions.

[00:20:52.510] – John

And I am imagining that clarity, conciseness is essential here, along with what you just said. It’s a linear framework, not all over the.

[00:21:05.450] – Caroline

Yes, yeah, for sure. And something else to keep in mind with the HBS interview is that compared to other interviews, the interviewers are often quite poker face, right? They’re often quite standoffish in their manner, almost, compared to, for example, alumni interviews, where they’re often very friendly and their demeanor is much more warm and therefore more likely to put the candidate at their ease. So I think that it’s important for candidates to keep that in mind, that there’s quite a specific manner that the interviewers will have. And sometimes candidates can feel a bit perturbed by that and maybe thrown off their game because they feel it’s hard to establish a rapport with their interviewer, or at least harder than it would be with someone who’s more friendly and chatty and wants to break the ice before they dive in and so on. So it’s important to prepare yourself for that style as well.

[00:22:03.190] – John

I’m thinking that because at Harvard, admission officials do the interviews as opposed to trained students or alumni, should I presume that Harvard puts more weight on the interview than maybe other schools or not?

[00:22:20.190] – Maria

I don’t know that it’s about the waiting, per se. I think it is, though, to the extent that everyone is trained and everyone is a staff member of the admissions committee, it is going to be a more standardized experience. Again, they’re trying to eliminate variability in terms of what if you get an alumnus who’s having a bad day? What if you get an alumnus or a current student who maybe they worked for a competitor company that you worked for? You never know. You’re trying to eliminate bias wherever you can. So I don’t know that it means that the interview is more or less important, but I do think that the interview, if someone comes back, writes their report on the interview, and comes back and says, like, look, I really, really loved this kid. I really think we should let them in and take a chance on them. Or conversely, look, they were great on paper, but when I talked to them, they were a little standoffish, they were a little full of themselves. I think it carries more weight in terms of there’s a lot of credibility with whatever the interviewer says because the interviewer is a trained professional member.

[00:23:23.740] – Maria

A lot of the interviewers will often spend some time observing interviews first, it’s not uncommon, especially if you go in person, for you to have a primary interviewer and then someone in the back kind of basically taking notes. And oftentimes that’s an interviewer in training. So given the amount of training that the interviewers get, I can’t speak to weighted is per se, but I do think that the interview has a lot of. If the interviewer says, look, this kid was just, they were terrific on paper, but when I met them, they were really stuck up, that is going to carry a lot of weight. Versus, I think I would suspect, if I were to get an alumnus report on someone that was equally negative, I might say, well, but does this person have an agenda? Maybe this person was having a stomachache on that day, or you never know. So I guess from that perspective, it probably does have more. I think the interviewer probably has more credibility in terms of whatever they report one way or the other.

[00:24:17.320] – John

I’m also thinking that if it goes to committee, that person is sitting, perhaps sitting at the table and hearing from a fellow admissions officer directly about a candidate and how an interview went would form a more powerful sort of assessment of the candidate than a piece of paper submitted by an alum.

[00:24:42.150] – Maria

Because you could ask questions, too. You could be like, well, where is it that they were full of themselves? Or were they just confident? I’m sure there are probably situations where you could push back on someone, and since they were the one who gave the interview, they could answer instead of speculating.

[00:24:56.590] – John

So besides a scripted or rambling answer, what are the pitfalls to avoid? What are the biggest mistakes that a candidate could make? I mean, surely coming off arrogant, you’re dead on arrival, right?

[00:25:11.890] – Maria

Yes. I think the other one is keeping in mind, Caroline mentioned before that a lot of times the interviewers are poker faced. Sometimes it might even blend into, again, thinking about, how is this person going to be in our classroom? It might even blend over into confrontational types of questions, right? Like, why did you do that? Or did you really do this? Just to sort of see how do you deal? Know, if you say, like, well, I really want to work for Nike because of whatever. And if I’m like, yeah, but don’t they use child labor in Asia? Like, how can you possibly. Whatever it is that you say, I can come up with a devil’s advocate reason why what you just said is bad, which is something that I attribute to having gone through the case method myself as an education.

[00:25:55.970] – John

So, Maria, if I’m asked a child labor question and I say, what’s wrong with that? At least a better profit margins.

[00:26:01.960] – Maria

There you go. That’s the right.

[00:26:03.410] – John

You say that’s the wrong answer. Right.

[00:26:05.930] – Maria

That’s exactly the right answer. You say making money is the only thing that matters, and those kids are in tough luck. No, but it’s more just to see, like, I think there is more of a chance that you might get a question that’s meant to make you uncomfortable or that’s meant to see how you deal with things that you weren’t expecting or pushback that maybe you might not get in another interview. And so I think the worst thing you could do in that situation is to dig in your heels and to say, like, no, I’m right, and you’re wrong because it’s not a productive way to have a conversation with someone. So that’s the other thing to do, is if the conversation starts taking a harder turn, don’t think that that means that you’re doing poorly. It might even mean that I have a higher opinion of you as a candidate. And so I’m really going to test you sometimes. Some of my nicer interviews are when I’m not very impressed with someone, and I’m like, I’m just going to, why make this more painful? They’re probably not going to get in, so why make this more painful than it has to be?

[00:27:11.160] – Maria

So just because you start getting tough questions doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re doing badly. It’s kind of like, what is it, the GMAt? If you do well enough on the easier questions, they’re going to throw harder questions at you. It might be the same sort of thing. So don’t lose your cool and just be open to other people’s opinions. But also, don’t be a pushover.

[00:27:28.660] – Caroline

Right.

[00:27:28.850] – Maria

If they say, well, why Nike? Don’t they use child labor? And you’re like, you’re right. Nike’s terrible. I hate them. Then you’re not doing yourself any favors either, because you just cave so easily. What’s wrong with you? So just keep things civil and don’t let them see you sweat.

[00:27:47.100] – John

Yeah, Caroline, any other pitfalls that candidates should avoid?

[00:27:51.600] – Caroline

Well, there is a balance to strike, as you said, between, you don’t want to come across as arrogant, but you need to show humility, but you also need to stand up for yourself, as Maria said. And sometimes candidates find that a fine line to tread. One of my colleagues used to interview for Harvard and remembers a candidate. She was in the observer role, and the interview had asked a question, and the candidate said, actually, the question that you should have asked me a it is an important balance to strike, that you are there to sell yourself right as a candidate, but you don’t want to come across as overly full of yourself. And sometimes candidates do struggle with getting that balance right, because arrogance is a huge turn off. And as you said, that can immediately torpedo your chances. But on the other hand, you don’t want to be too humble because, after all, it is an extremely competitive process and you want to walk away feeling that you have been able to convey some really positive aspects of your experience and your strengths. So it’s important to strike that balance quite carefully.

[00:29:18.370] – John

What should I wear now? If I work on Wall street and I come in in the three piece suit with a pocket handkerchief in suspenders, I don’t think that’s probably good, right?

[00:29:31.110] – Caroline

Well, I think it’s fine to wear what you would wear in a business context. So I would err on the side of being too smart than too casual and wear what you would wear to an important business meeting, depending on which industry you come from. That’s absolutely fine.

[00:29:51.790] – John

Maria, you have any thoughts about dress?

[00:29:55.230] – Maria

Yeah, I think don’t overthink the dress. And if you don’t work in an environment where you have a three piece suit, don’t go out and buy a suit just for this occasion. I wouldn’t stress too much about it. I think, again, these are highly trained interviewers, and I would like to think that that means that they’re not going to be swayed one way or the other. Someone shows up with pink cowboy boots, that they’re not going to be opposed to them or in favor of them simply because of their sartorial, you know, obviously, as Caroline said, sure, err on the side of formality, but don’t feel that you have to go out and buy that brand new suit. That’s going to be the thing that matters.

[00:30:42.270] – John

What about tattoos and piercings? If I have tattoos that can be hidden, should I hide them?

[00:30:48.430] – Caroline

Well, if it’s part of your identity and it depends how you feel about it, I think you don’t need to flaunt it and I don’t think you need to hide it. I think you need to be comfortable. I think that’s really important in whatever you wear or however you present yourself, that it needs to feel authentic and you need to be comfortable. I had a candidate once who wore a suit that was too tight and was struggling to breathe through the interview. And so, poor guy, you don’t want to be in that situation. Where you’re sitting there fidgeting in your seat because you’re concerned that maybe your pants are too short or the waistband is too tight or your dangly earrings are bothering you or your hair is falling in your face. Just whatever it is that you wear, make sure that it’s comfortable and it feels authentic to you so that you’re not thinking about it. Right. You need to put a. Concentrate on what you’re saying, so you don’t want to have to put any mental energy during those 30 minutes into what it is that you’re wearing or how you’re appearing physically.

[00:31:56.230] – John

Now, one last question about the interview. If you’re invited, what are your odds of receiving an actual invite to be part of the class. You have an idea of what percentage of those who are interviewed are invited and what percentage are rejected.

[00:32:14.010] – Maria

I think the general rule of thumb is roughly 50%, maybe a little bit higher. Probably around there.

[00:32:22.290] – John

Exactly. So the interview, in a way, is meant to essentially cancel you out, isn’t it?

[00:32:30.820] – Maria

Well, we’re both very quiet. We’re like, put it that way.

[00:32:36.870] – Caroline

I mean, it’s an amazing achievement just to get to the interview, I think. And that’s important for candidates to keep in mind that they’ve got very far in the process, if they’ve got to that point, and they should be very proud of themselves, regardless of whatever happens at the end of the day. So they’ve got to the interview. It shows that the school believes that they would be a great addition to the school. And what happens after the interview? It doesn’t all depend on the interview. Right. The final decision is not just looking at what happened in that interview. It’s looking at a number of factors, including who else is in the pool and they’re building this incredible diversity. And so it depends who else who looks similar to you has also got to the interview stage. So I wouldn’t encourage candidates to go into it feeling like it’s make or break time at the interview. You don’t need to put that stress on yourself.

[00:33:33.990] – John

Now, I know both of you do mock interviews to help people prepare for the actual session. When should someone do a mock interview with consultant, and when do you think it’s not necessary.

[00:33:47.450] – Caroline

I think everyone can benefit from practice. Right. And whether that is a coach or whether that’s someone else that you trust, that you feel has the right background and the right understanding of the situation that you’re going into, it’s helpful to be put through your paces, and sometimes it’s helpful to do a practice interview with more than one person to get a different style and to practice facing a different conversation. Right? And sometimes actually it’s harder to do the practice in some cases than it is to do the real interview because you may be doing a mock interview with someone that you know and that can feel very weird and artificial and that can throw you off a little bit. And also, of course, you don’t have necessarily the same adrenaline pumping through your system that you have when you do the real interview. So sometimes people find that they struggle a little bit more with the mocks than with the actual interview. But I think practice is great. So sign up with a coach or practice with a colleague or a friend or a family member. Ideally someone who is familiar with what the school is looking for and has some familiarity with the process and with what the MBA is about.

[00:35:03.480] – John

Yeah, all good advice. Well, listen, if you have been invited to Harvard, either by Zoom or in person for an interview, good luck to you. And if you are in the mood for a one year MBA from London Business School because you already have the MIM, go for it and know that sim emulations will likely be a part of your MBA experience when you finally get there. Thanks for listening. This is John Byrne with Poets and Quants.

What To Expect In Your Harvard MBA Interview
Maria |
February 7, 2024

Maria

New around here? I’m an HBS graduate and a proud member (and former Board Member) of AIGAC. I considered opening a high-end boutique admissions consulting firm, but I wanted to make high-quality admissions advice accessible to all, so I “scaled myself” by creating ApplicantLab. ApplicantLab provides the SAME advice as high-end consultants at a much more affordable price. Read our rave reviews on GMATClub, and check out our free trial (no credit card required) today!