Adcom Questions From HBS, Yale, MIT

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Interview Questions Being Asked at Harvard, MIT…and More

Remember take home tests in school? No, they weren’t only for jocks. And they weren’t given just so you’d pass (most times). No, these essays had a specific purpose. Your teacher expected you to think, to explore what you learned and fashion something original. It wasn’t a regurgitation of what you could write in ten minutes. It was a measure of how you could apply the lessons to your life.

MBA interviews are really no different. By now, you should have a good idea of what adcoms want to learn. Chances are, you’ll get a week or two to formulate and rehearse your answers. But there is nothing like the big day, where you’re bound to be thrown a few times by phrasing or format. Sure, you know they want to see if you can think on your feet. But are you really ready to explain why manhole covers are round or how you’d use a stapler without staples?

Sure, you learn little from studying to the test. But wouldn’t you feel more at ease if you knew what was coming?  Well, Clear Admit might be able to help. This month, this MBA consulting firm has been posting interview questions courtesy of prospective students who applied early. Want to know what you might be asked at interviews with Harvard, Yale, MIT, Columbia or Duke? Here are some samples:

Columbia Business School:

  • Why did you choose your undergrad major?
  • What do you expect out of an MBA?
  • What can you contribute to [the MBA program] at Columbia?

MIT Sloan School of Management

  • Anything new since you submitted your application?
  • Tell me about a time you had to deal with inefficiency in a team?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to take over a broken arm project?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to solve a conflict between two people?
  • Why an MBA?
  • Why MIT?

Harvard Business School

  • Pretend it’s the first day of class. How would you introduce yourself to your new classmates?
  • Why did you choose [my undergraduate institution]?
  • What are you best / least at in your current position?
  • You’ve talked a lot about networking internally and externally. How do you build relationships? What is most important about relationships to you?
  • What is your ideal summer internship?
  • What companies outside of your industry are you interested in? What company in your industry does that?
  • What other news do you follow, business or not?
  • What surprised you most about your industry?
  • What comes easily to you? What comes harder?
  • What has made you successful at what you do? 

Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business

  • What kind of a role do you take in a team?
  • How would you deal with a team member who wasn’t pulling their weight?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Greatest professional accomplishment?
  • What is something you regret?
  • What is your leadership style?
  • What clubs are you interested in joining?

Yale School of Management

  • What is a current trend in your industry?
  • What company would you want to work for after the MBA?
  • Okay, I’m that CEO. Take 30 seconds and tell me why I should hire you.

In these interviews, adcoms also asked questions tailored to applicants’ resumes. At Harvard, for example, an applicant was asked, Why do you think you were selected for [my company’s leadership development program]?” The interviewer then followed up with, “What was the #1 takeaway you got from participating in that program?” In addition, adcoms generally walked applicants through their resume. For the most part, interviews lasted 30-45 minutes.

The interview reviews were part of Clear Admit’s “Tell Us Tuesday” initiative, where applicants who share their interview experience receive a $10 Amazon gift card. The program will continue through November 18th.

To read additional interview questions, click on the Clear Admit links below.

DON’T MISS: The Craziest Interview Questions

Sources: Clear Admit (Columbia), Clear Admit (MIT), Clear Admit (Harvard), Clear Admit (Fuqua), Clear Admit (Yale)

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