Invited for an interview by Harvard Business School? Here are Harvard Business School interview questions from four different candidates.
Transcripts come from clients of HBSGuru.com founder Sandy Kresberg, who in any given year helps rehearse and prepare mock interviews for more than 100 invited applicants. Besides the few people on the HBS admissions team who actually lead 30-minute meetings, Kriesberg likely conducted more interviews with HBS candidates.
His sample size — more than 100 of the 1,900 people interviewed in any given year — gives him a unique perspective on who made the cut and who didn’t. His advice on How Not to Blow Your HBS Interview is essential viewing.
Harvard Business School interview questions from four candidates
The questions MBA applicants receive in their HBS interview can vary widely, as each segment is tailored to the individual candidate. At HBS, the interview is 30 minutes long and is conducted by a member of the MBA admissions committee who has reviewed the candidate’s application. Typically, one admissions officer asks questions while another takes notes.
It is important to remember what HBS looks for in a successful candidate, interview or submitted application. According to HBS, each candidate must possess three core qualifications: leadership habits, analytical skills and appetite, and active citizenship in the community. All three should be subtly reflected in one’s interview answers.
Here are four recent examples from four very different candidates: a project manager, an analyst at an investment banking firm, an analyst at a private equity firm, and a veteran of the US military.
Project Manager Interview Questions
How has Covid affected your work and industry?
Are people working from home?
do you work from home
How about it?
What technology do you use to stay in sync with remote colleagues?
Did you find that some people are better at working remotely?
OK let’s get rid of Covid.
What’s the most exciting project you’ve worked on this year?
What role do you play?
How did you improve?
Looking back on this project, what would you have done differently?
How do you deal with resistance?
Have you ever been criticized for something you thought was unfair?
What did you say?
What do you think is the most valuable feedback you have received?
What was the situation?
What kind of leader do you aspire to be?
Besides managing your time, what’s so difficult about HBS?
What would be less difficult?
How do you think you will be different after two years at HBS?
We receive applications from many highly qualified applicants in your industry –Why should we admit you?
investment banker interview questions
How has COVID impacted your business (lots of follow up on my impact on deals, clients, colleagues, etc.)?
Tell me about your favorite trade, your hardest trade, and one successful trade – why?
How do you market yourself to investors?
What is your company’s “secret sauce”?
What types of investors does your company attract and why?
What was the biggest challenge in raising capital?
tell me about your experiences influencing others
If you think about the roles you’ve had – dealmaker, working with your portfolio companies, team leadership and fundraising – which ones were the most difficult for you and why?
Do you want to run a business full time?
How does your impact differ as an investor and as a CEO?
How did you hear about Harvard Business School?
What do you want me to ask you?
Interview Questions for Private Equity Analysts
Can you talk about a recent deal on your resume (lots of follow up questions)
What do you do in your current role?
I see that you have worked in different offices, what are the cultural and operational differences in the different continents of your bank? Which office do you like best?
How would your supervisor describe you?
What constructive feedback have you received in the past?
What did you learn in JOB 2?
tell me your goals. where do you want to work What do you think you are doing if these goals are not achieved?
What will you gain from an MBA?
What are your thoughts on doing an exchange semester in D? 1
Can you tell us more about living in A and B?
Can you tell us about extracurricular activity A?
Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
interview questions for military veterinarians
What made you decide to join the military?
Tell me about the teams you are currently working with. Lots of follow up – what is team culture, who is the “leader”, how we make decisions,
Give me two words your teammates would use to describe you.
What kind of constructive feedback have you received from your teammates?
What goals have you set for yourself in the military?
When did you decide to pursue an MBA and why?
What are you interested in doing?
What company are you interested in working with? Why?
Is there anything else you want to tell us about yourself?