Harvard MBA Interview Overview.

Each year the Harvard admissions committee invites a limited number of applicants to interview for its MBA program. Top MBA programs like Harvard generally interview 2-3 applicants for every available place in their upcoming MBA class. While an invite is sign that you’re in the running for an admit, you’re also now part of a highly competitive subset of the overall applicant pool. You can prepare for your interview with the help of this guide and, optionally, the Mock Interview Service.

Tip: Wondering if interview invites have already gone out? Check out MBA LiveWire for real-time updates.

Interviews conducted by trained admissions committee members.

During the 2022-23 MBA application season, Harvard MBA interviews are conducted by trained admissions committee members. In the past, candidates were interviewed by two admissions committee members (with one asking questions and the other taking notes). More recently candidates have been interviewed by just one interviewer.

Application-based Interviews.

The Harvard MBA program conducts application-based interviews. That means that your admissions committee interviewer(s) will have access to and will have reviewed your entire application before meeting with you. At Harvard, interview questions are tailored specifically to the candidate. Still, it’s a good idea to go to your interview prepared to give your interviewer a 2-minute overview of yourself at the beginning of the interview if asked (‘Tell me about yourself…‘).

If your MBA interview is in-person, bring a paper copy of your resume to the interview location as a courtesy to the interviewer. If the interview takes place online then applicants should have a PDF copy of their resume handy should the interview request that it be sent via email.

Influence of interview on admissions decision? High.

When a school relies exclusively on a small group of trained admissions committee members to conduct interviews (as does HBS), the interview plays a significant role in the admissions process. Because HBS relies heavily on the case method in its classrooms, during the interview process admissions committee members are looking for students who a) have ideas and b) are able to articulate them.

Harvard Mock MBA Interview Service.

In addition to practicing interview questions on your own, our mock interview service can be a great way to receive feedback on your responses (with a view to improving them).

A mock interview session with mbaSTORY.builders will help you develop and refine answers to a few specific MBA interview questions (like Tell me about yourself? What are your goals? Why MBA? Why school X?). More general questions (Strengths/Weakness?) and behavioral questions (Tell me about a time when…?) are then used to help you develop a core set of stories. Most people have 4 to 8 core stories which they learn to use to answer a variety of interview questions.

Below you can listen to former clients answer MBA interview questions and receive feedback on their answers. You can earn more about

An audit professional answers the question Tell me about yourself in part 1 and receives feedback in part 2 and an employee compensation consultant answers the behavioral question Tell me about a time when you mentored someone in part 1 and receives feedback in part 2.

Part 1. Candidate answers the mock interview question Tell me about yourself. The candidate responds by giving a chronological overview of his work experience (which is a common approach people take to this interview question).

Part 2. Feeback on candidate's response to the mock interview question Tell me about yourself. The candidate learns to structure his answer to this question in terms of professional growth (rather than chronologically).

Part 1. Candidate answers the behavioral mock interview question Tell me about a time when you mentored someone. The candidate gives a lengthy response (listen to part 2 for feedback).

Part 2. Feedback on candidate's response to the mock behavioral interview question Tell me about a time when you mentored someone. The candidate learns to provide necessary background information and a broader sense of the candidate's philosophy of mentoring.

Harvard MBA Interview Questions.

Note that a lot of schools have begun asking about diversity, equity, and inclusion during interviews. You should be prepared to talk about these issues and how diversity, equity, or inclusion have played out in your work. Here are some mock interview sequences for the Harvard MBA program. Studying the sequences will give you a sense of the questions Harvard interviewers tend to ask.

Sequence 1. Harvard MBA Mock Interview Questions.

  1. How do you want to start?
  2. Being a football player in college must have required time management. What was your game plan for managing your time?
  3. (Follow on question) Why did you decide to continue playing football, given the tradeoffs with your social life?
  4. I wasn’t able to find much information online about your current employer. Could you summarize their business for me?
  5. Tell me about your transition between Goldman Sachs and your current employer.
  6. What are some of the trends your watching in the credit card industry?
  7. What has been the biggest difference between working as an investment banker and your current role?
  8. Are there specific examples that highlight those differences?
  9. What do you like to do for fun?
  10. How would you explain an IPO to a high school student?
  11. I know your goal is to join a VC firm post-MBA, but what’s your dream job?
  12. Anything else you would like to add?

Sequence 2. Harvard MBA Mock Interview Questions.

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. Tell me about specific college activity you were involved in. Are you still involved?
  3. Did you get the offer to join McKinsey because your dad is a partner there?
  4. Who is a business leader you admire and why? (Follow on question) What’s one weakness you need to address in order to be a leader like him/her (the leader cited in first part of question)?
  5. What are your goals further down the road?
  6. What’s an interesting story you’ve read about recently in the news?
  7. (Follow on question) Can you argue for and against (news story that was cited in the previous question).
  8. What role has roller derby played in your life?
  9. Which of the two businesses you founded was your favorite?
  10. Anything else you’d like to share with us?

Sequence 3. Harvard MBA Mock Interview Questions.

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. Tell me about the assisted living industry (Follow-up questions included: Who are the best-in-class operators? Describe the assisted living customer. How will the industry evolve over the next 5-10 years?).
  3. Drawing from your experience at PE firm X and consulting firm Y, tell me about your favorite project
  4. Given the amount of deal activity at the moment, what is your prognosis of the future of the PE industry?
  5. Now that you’ve experience both Consulting and PE, do you have a sense for which you prefer/where you’d like to focus in the future?
  6. Recommend something to me.
  7. Tell me about XYZ story from your essay.
  8. Explain the concept of founder equity dilution to me.
  9. What’s the hardest part of your job?
  10. What is some constructive feedback you’ve received recently?
  11. What is some constructive feedback you gave recently?
  12. Is there anything else you wish we’d covered?
  13. How have you had such great experiences while traveling?

Sequence 4. Harvard MBA Mock Interview Questions.

  1. Pretend that I haven’t read your application – tell me about yourself.
  2. If you came to HBS, what is one industry or sector you would like to learn more about from your classmates?
  3. Why did you choose to start your career in Peru?
  4. Which industries that are currently doing well in South America?
  5. How is Peru different from Ecuador and other countries in South America?
  6. What would you miss about your current life in Texas if you came to HBS?
  7. I want you to argue for and against employee unions.
  8. What are two things that differentiate you from your peers?
  9. From your resume I can tell that you are interested in renewable energy. What should I know about current trends in energy policy and renewable business initiatives?
  10. What is your short-term career goal? and how will you use an HBS internship to help you advance toward that goal?
  11. (Follow on question) What if that doesn’t work out (internship plans)?
  12. Imagine that we’ve already made you an offer at HBS. Tell me what sort of students you’d like to have sitting next to you in class.
  13. Do you like the outdoors? Why or why not?
  14. What are you reading currently?
  15. Is there anything that I haven’t asked that you wish I had?

Sequence 5. Harvard MBA Mock Interview Questions.

  1. Tell me your story, starting with decision to study literature at Stanford.
  2. What did it feel like to not be challenged before transferring schools?
  3. Teach me something you’ve learned since graduating college.
  4. I know you’re interested in entrepreneurship. If you had the funding to start a company right now, what would the company be like?
  5. What are you reading right now?
  6. What is one thing you read online this week?
  7. (Behavioral Question) Tell me about a time when you had to persuade someone at work.
  8. How would your peers/colleagues describe you?
  9. What would they say is one area in which you could improve?
  10. When are you most effective at persuading others – when you’re in a small group or in a large group?
  11. Do you have any questions for me?

Sequence 6. Harvard MBA Mock Interview Questions.

  1. Why study at the University of Wisconsin and why physics?
  2. Was joining Tri Delta sorority a distraction from your studies?
  3. When did you know you wanted to work at Fermilab in Illinois?
  4. Can you explain how the Large Hadron Collider works (in terms that a high school student could understand)?
  5. How did your work help lower the Large Hadron Collider’s annual operating cost?
  6. If we invited your coworkers into the room, what would they say are two of your strengths and two opportunities for improvement?
  7. (Follow up question) Most of your colleagues are scientists. Do you think that a group of business people would highlight different strengths and weaknesses?
  8. Who is a business person you admire who doesn’t have a STEM background?
  9. How do you get your news?
  10. (Follow up question) What’s an interesting article you’ve read recently in The Atlantic?
  11. Can I answer any question you might have about HBS or the admissions process?