The Dillon House Questions: What Harvard Asks MBA Applicants

Forget that I read your application, and tell me about yourself.

“You should have a prepared story that you rehearse over and over throughout the coming weeks. You know you’re going to get some kind of intro question that’s specific to you and specific to your story, so practice it like an elevator pitch. If you’ve got one minute, what are you going to tell people about yourself?”

How did you decide to attend your undergraduate college?

“Business school is a situation in which you’re constantly making big decisions, and you need to be able to convey what your assumptions were and what your thought process was in three bullet points. Likewise, that’s how you should attack any question asking why you made a big decision. Say this is what I was looking for in my undergraduate college, and this is what my college of choice offered. Be rational, be honest and be professional.”

How would your friends (or boss, or network, etc.) describe you, in three words?

“First off, you can certainly be more eloquent than others would be if tasked with describing you! This is your chance to show how you want to be portrayed. Use this question as an opportunity to showcase your strengths, especially those you feel may not have come across in your application. Though relatively exhaustive, the HBS application is by no means a complete representation of anyone. That’s why you’re interviewing in the first place!”

Our favorite questions on the list of 50?

“Explain to me something you’re working on as if I were an 8-year-old” and “What will you do if you don’t get into HBS?”

Now those are real curve balls.