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HBS Invites & Dings Go Out Oct. 2 & 5

Inside a Harvard Business School classroom (Photo by Natalie Keyssar)

Harvard Business School said today (Sept. 20) that it would begin to send out interview invitations to round one applicants on Oct. 2 and Oct. 5.

The school sends out invites in two batches rather than one to spread out the traffic on its web-based sign-up pages.

Interviews with HBS admission officials will occur between mid-October and mid-November. In addition to interviews on-campus in Boston, the school admissions team also plans to conduct interviews in Shanghai, Tokyo, Dubai, Mumbai, São Paulo, New York City, the California Bay Area, London, and Paris. For applicants who can’t travel for an interview, HBS will arrange a session by Skype.

INTERVIEW INVITEES STAND A 50% TO 60% CHANGE OF GETTING AN ADMIT

HBS Admissions Chief Chad Losee

Last year, Harvard received 10,351 MBA applications, up from 9,758 a year earlier. The last time HBS received more than 10,000 applications was in 2002 when just 31 more people applied to the MBA program. The school, which has an overall acceptance rate of 11%, interviews about 1,900 candidates, or slightly less than one in five in the applicant pool, to get to 1,100 admits which yields down to a class of 930 to 940. Candidates who are invited to interview have a 50% to 60% chance of ultimately being admitted.

What if you don’t hear back on Oct. 2? Then, you no doubt have an anxious three-day wait. “On October 5, you will hear one of three things from us,” writes HBS Managing Director of Admissions Chad Losee. “1) invitation to interview 2) ‘release’ or 3) ‘further consideration.’ By ‘releasing’ those of you who we cannot move forward in the process, rather than waiting until December to let you know—we hope to give you time to explore other potential options. For group 3, we would like to ‘further consider’ your applications in Round 2, and more details will be shared directly about next steps.”

What can candidates who get an invite expect? In an in-depth interview with Poets&Quants, Losee says that “the interviews for us are very different than at least other interview processes I have been a part of. They are different in the sense that we are trying to get to know someone in a really deep way and again project how they will perform in the program. Things that come up that are different in our interview process is we have an incredibly small group of people who do interviews. We do that because we want them to be very well trained and try to eliminate as many biases as we can.

NO STOCK LIST OF QUESTIONS FOR INTERVIEWS AT HBS

“But there is no stock list of questions. Each interview is tailored to each candidate, and the interviewer will have read the application in full. That’s different. The reason we like that is it allows us to get beyond the surface of the resume and go to something really interesting you might have said in your essay or something your recommender might have mentioned that you accomplished that we want to hear more about. Or you might say something really interesting in the interview and we might spend a lot of time there. So we are looking for all the same things in the interview as we are in the application. At the end, we write up notes about your interview and those notes go into your file. But it’s not that the interview is more important or less important than the application. Everything is read in full along with the interview notes before we make a decision. It’s really important for us to get to know you well, but it’s not more important than the application or any other part of the process.”

Losee made the timetable for round one admissions decisions public in a blog post today. Here is the post in its entirety:

Round 1: Next Steps

For those of you who applied in Round 1, didn’t it feel good to hit the “submit” button? I distinctly remember that feeling—the culmination of some serious self-reflection and work. We don’t take that for granted and thank you for applying to HBS. On our end, every application is read in its entirety by two separate members of the Admissions Board. We’re trying to get to know you holistically.

What’s next? Interview invitations will go out on October 2 and October 5. We do it in two batches to spread out the traffic on the interview sign-up pages. On October 2, you may receive a message inviting you to interview, or you will hear nothing. On October 5, you will hear one of three things from us: 1) invitation to interview 2) “release” or 3) “further consideration.” By “releasing” those of you who we cannot move forward in the process, rather than waiting until December to let you know—we hope to give you time to explore other potential options. For group 3), we would like to “further consider” your applications in Round 2, and more details will be shared directly about next steps.

Interviews are my favorite part of the process because we finally get to meet you in person. Interviews will occur between mid-October and mid-November. In addition to on-campus interviews, we also conduct interviews in Shanghai, Tokyo, Dubai, Mumbai, São Paulo, New York City, Bay Area CA, London, and Paris. Where you interview does NOT affect your likelihood to be accepted (all interviews globally are conducted only by members of the Admissions Board). Choose what’s most convenient for you, and if you aren’t able to travel, we will work something out via Skype.

So, we’ll be back in touch in about two weeks!

DON’T MISS: HOW NOT TO BLOW YOUR HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL INTERVIEW or AN INTERVIEW WITH CHAD LOSEE, HARVARD’S NEW MBA GATEKEEPER