Business Administration

The Kooky Questions Harvard Business School Asks in Applicant Interviews

The Kooky Questions Harvard Business School Asks in Applicant Interviews
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Noodle Staff November 1, 2011

When it comes to your interview, get ready for some curve balls.

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Harvard Business School’s recent admissions revamp is the biggest change the school has made to their application process in a decade.

Applicants will submit two essays instead of four and the interview is moving front and center. Pull out your best suit and your close-toed pumps. Most importantly, get ready for some curveballs.

Last week, HBS began inviting the lucky applicants who made the first cut back for interviews. In their new unofficial interview guide, students reported questions like this to Business Insider

  • What is the brand of your undergraduate university?
  • What is your favorite kind of chocolate?
  • How would your parents describe you when you were twelve?
  • What is a company you follow other than Google or Apple and what do you think keeps its CEO up at night?

Sandy Kreisner, the founder of HBSguru told Poets and Quants that she expects this year’s interview questions to be similar to previous years and offered examples such as:

  • What is one interview question you expected me to ask?
  • What is a common misconception people have about you when they first meet you?
  • What advice would you give to 1) the President of your college? 2) Your prior bosses 3) Your current boss

After the interview, applicants will be given 24 hours to write a 400 word essay on what they wish they had mentioned during the interview but didn’t.

Harvard has never been one to play by the book. Their new application process and interview questions are definitely quirky but they accomplish the goals of any admissions office: to get to know their applicants.

For $50 you can download an unofficial interview guide from HBS or get more advice (for free!) on how NOT to blow the HBS interview from Poets and Quants.

About the Editor

Tom Meltzer spent over 20 years writing and teaching for The Princeton Review, where he was lead author of the company's popular guide to colleges, before joining Noodle. He has been managing editor of the website for over four years.

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