In a surprise announcement, Harvard Business School today said that it plans to send out a third of its round two interview invitations on Jan. 30. Typically, only very few invites go out in the second wave of invites along with rejection notices.
HBS sent out two-thirds of the round two invites at noon EST today. Applicants who received an interview invitation will be able to schedule their sessions starting tomorrow, Jan. 26, at noon EST. Interview slots and locations will be available on a first come, first served basis.
The announcement was made in a blog post by Chad Losee, managing director of MBA admissions and financial aid. “You have the opportunity to shine in the interview process,” he wrote. “We want to get to know you beyond what we can learn on paper. The best advice I can give is to be yourself. Each person who comes in to interview has a different experience and background. Bring your individual perspective, your voice, to the table.”
VIEW AN INVITE AS A ‘POSITIVE INDICATOR OF INTEREST’
Last year, 10,351 candidates applied for admission to Harvard’s MBA program. The school accepted 11% of the applicants, or roughly 1,140, while 91% of those admits ultimately enrolled in a class that numbered 928 this past fall.
Round two represents the largest applicant pool at Harvard and most other prominent business schools. At HBS, in fact, the number of people who typically apply in round two–estimated at about 6,200 last year–exceeds the entire yearly applicant pool at most other MBA programs in the world. Unfortunately, that also means more hopeful candidates will be getting disappointing news this month than at any other time or any other school.
HBS says that while an interview invite is a “positive indicator of interest,” it is not a guarantee of admission. Generally, 55% to 60% of those who get interviewed ultimately get admitted. “It serves as one element among many that are considered as we complete a final review of your candidacy,” according to HBS’ admissions.
INTERVIEWS WILL BE 30 MINUTES LONG WITH AN ADMISSIONS BOARD MEMBER
Interviews are scheduled on campus, in domestic or international hub cities, or via Skype. HBS claims that neither the timing of your interview invitation nor its format, whether in-person or via Skype, implies anything about the status of your application or affects your candidacy.
Interviews are 30 minutes and are conducted by an MBA Admissions Board member who has reviewed a candidate’s application. The interview are tailored for each applicant, according to HBS, and “is designed for us to learn more about you in the context of a conversation.”
Within 24 hours of an interview, applicants are then expected to submit a brief written reflection.