It’s that time of the year again when Harvard Business School admission officials turn on their Zoom sessions and interview the bulk of applicants to its MBA program.
With its unique interview approach, HBS has continuously vexed top MBA applicants. So what is an interview with Harvard really like?
To find out, Poets&Quants Founder & Editor John A. Byrne sat down with former HBS admissions interviewer Devi Vallabhaneni for a one-of-a-kind “mock” HBS interview simulation. Devi interviewed John just as she would an actual applicant.
An HBS alumna, former HBS alumni interviewer, former HBS admissions board member, and now the HBS interviewer-in-residence at admissions consulting firm mbaMission, Devi knows the drill better than anyone. While on the HBS admissions board, she interviewed HBS candidates in Boston, London, and Paris. Over her 20+ years in MBA admissions and readiness, she has conducted thousands of real and mock interviews helping candidates across all industries, geographies, backgrounds, and personal stories.
During this 30-minute mock interview and subsequent debrief, John and Devi illuminate common HBS interview concerns, such as:
What is anxiety-producing about the HBS interview?
What are the myths surrounding preparation and the interview itself?
How can someone prepare? Isn’t it hard to know what’s covered?
What does it mean to be authentic in the interview?
Does your interview have to be perfect for you to be accepted? What if you feel like you messed up an answer?
What is HBS really looking for in the interview? Can it make or break someone’s candidacy?