What Happens When You Apply to Stanford B-School

What to expect during an interview? Bolton says the interview focuses on past actions rather than hypothetical situations. “The primary questions revolve around behaviors, skills, and attitudes that we believe are key to good citizenship in the Stanford community and vital to high-impact leadership post-MBA,” he writes in an article on Stanford’s website. “There are no trick questions. The interviews are intended to be conversational. We ask you to reflect on your personal and professional experiences, what you’ve learned about yourself, and how best to lead people and manage situations. You’ll probably surprise even yourself with the many ways you’ve demonstrated leadership in your life; take advantage of this opportunity to think about the people, situations, and events that have shaped you. The interview is both evaluative and informative: it is not only an opportunity for us to learn more about you, but also for you to learn more about the GSB. Our goal is for the interviews to be a positive exchange of ideas and information.”

How important is the interview? It’s hard to tell. Stanford contends that it is menat to provide “supplemental information.” Given the extreme selectivity at this school, everything is important. Less than half of those interviewed get offers of admission so you should give the interview significant importance.

Stanford requires that you sign an honor code that the application is your own work and strongly discourages applicants from getting help from consultants or professional essay writers. “At the end of the day, it’s you who are applying,” says Giannangeli.


Apply early in the first round. Send your completed application package to Stanford a full month before the Oct. 6th deadline.

Give yourself a lot of time to reflect on who you are and who you want to become. What experiences have you had that have shaped you? What experiences do you want to partake in to become the person you want to be?

Address in a consistent way the three core attributes Stanford is seeking in a successful MBA applicant. Your essays, interview, and recommendation letters must smartly answer these three questions.