Congratulations on getting an invitation to a Stanford GSB interview!
The MBA from Haas is consistently ranked as one of the top three in the US, so though your test scores, grades, essays and letters of recommendation have gotten you this far, it pays not to be complacent and prep for the interview as intensely as you prepped for everything else so far.
The Stanford GSB interview format
Stanford GSB usually interviews applicant through its alumni pool. Normally, those interviews can be in person, but given the current COVID-19 crisis, interviews are being done through Zoom/Skype and last anywhere between 45 to 60 minutes.
In either case, interviews are usually friendly and the interviewer will not have read your application, which means this is a blind interview. This also means that there is little room for deep probing questions. Probing questions – if they are asked at all – will usually be superficial and based on potential issues raised in your response.
Questions will be split into three broad categories:
Firstly, classic MBA interview type questions (for example, “why do you want to get an MBA?”).
Secondly, light probing questions that seek to shine some light on issues that the interviewer might have picked up in one of your verbal responses.
And last but not least, behavioral questions – these are such a staple of MBA interviews that I have written an extensive article on how to deal with behavioral questions here. Stanford GSB tends to focus on questions designed to probe how much of a team player you are.
Stanford GSB MBA interview sample question list
- Tell me about yourself/walk me through your resume
- Why do you want an MBA?
- Why Stanford?
- Why is now a good time for you to go into an MBA program?
- How will you contribute to Stanford GSB?
- What was the toughest challenge you faced?
- What was the best piece of advice someone gave you?
- Tell me about a time you had uncooperative teammates
- Tell me about a time you were a champion for diversity
- Are you lucky?
- Tell me about a time you failed
- What do you plan to do after leaving Stanford GSB?
Even though Stanford GSB does not stray too far from the norm when it comes to its MBA interviews, it pays to practice – and practice a lot. Ultimately, it is repetition that will make you feel more at ease with the format, the questions and answering them in a clear, concise and convincing way.
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