I Overview INSEAD MBA Interview

Every year, the INSEAD admissions committee extends invitations to a select number of applicants to interview for its MBA program. Esteemed MBA programs like INSEAD typically interview 2-3 candidates for each available spot in their upcoming MBA class. Receiving an invitation indicates that you are being considered for admission, but it also means you are now part of a highly competitive subgroup within 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.

Question Who conducts INSEAD MBA interviews?

INSEAD MBA interviews are conducted by alumni. At INSEAD candidates are assigned two alumni interviewers (each conducts their own, separate interview).

Question Are INSEAD MBA interviews resume-based or application-based?

The INSEAD MBA program conducts application-based interviews. That means that your alumni interviewers will have access to your entire application before meeting with you. The extent to which an interviewer will take the time to actually read through your entire application is debatable. Most will have at least read your resume and your goals statement (Discuss your short and long-term career aspirations with an MBA from INSEAD.) Go to your interview prepared to give your interviewer a 2-minute overview of themselves at the beginning of the interview if asked (note that this is often the first interview question anyway, ‘So 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.

Question How important is the INSEAD MBA interview?

The influence of the INSEAD MBA interview on the admissions decision is low to moderate.

The reality is that while a successful interview won’t guarantee admission to INSEAD’s MBA program, a failed interview can indeed negatively impact your application. With numerous students and alumni conducting interviews, it’s challenging for the admissions committee to standardize positive feedback; one interviewer might describe a candidate as “great” while another may find them “interesting.” However, the committee can readily take into account overtly negative feedback, such as comments about a candidate being unprepared, rude, or difficult to understand.

During interviews with current students or alumni, your primary objective is to make a positive impression and demonstrate your potential contributions to the school. This includes showcasing the professional insights you can bring to the classroom and the value you can add to the student community.

II Mock MBA Interviews

A mock interview session with mbaSTORY.builders offers the opportunity to develop and refine responses to specific MBA interview questions, such as “Tell me about yourself,” “What are your goals,” “Why pursue an MBA,” and “Why this particular school?” Additionally, more general inquiries like discussing strengths and weaknesses, as well as behavioral questions like “Tell me about a time when…,” are utilized to help you craft a core set of stories. Typically, individuals develop 4 to 8 core stories that they can adapt to address various interview questions.

Below, you can access recordings of former clients responding to MBA interview questions and receiving feedback on their answers. This resource enables you to gain insight into effective interview techniques and strategies.

An audit professional answers the question Tell me about yourself in part 1 and receives feedback in part 2. 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.

III INSEAD MBA Interview Questions

it’s crucial to be prepared to discuss diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) during MBA interviews as many schools have started incorporating questions about these topics. You should be ready to articulate how diversity, equity, and inclusion have influenced your work experiences and perspectives. Being able to speak thoughtfully about these issues demonstrates your awareness and commitment to contributing to diverse and inclusive environments. Make sure to reflect on your experiences and be prepared to provide specific examples of how you have promoted or supported diversity, equity, and inclusion in your professional and personal endeavors.

Here’s a list of core questions to practice before your INSEAD MBA interview:

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. What are your short-term goals and how can INSEAD help you achieve those goals?
  3. What would you get involved in outside the INSEAD MBA classroom?
  4. What would others say are your two core strengths and one area for improvement (weakness)?
  5. + Prepare stories for at least 3-5 behavioral questions of your choice. You can access a list of behavioral interview questions organized by categorically at our sister website, resumeSTORY.builders An example would be: Tell me about a time when you encountered pushback. Tell me about a time when you worked in a professional setting that was diverse. What was one challenge you encountered? Tell me about a time when you received constructive feedback.
  6. Have you ever encountered a diversity issue in an organization?
  7. Is there anything you’d like to talk about that we didn’t cover?
  8. + Prepare two solid questions for the interviewer.

Here are some mock interview sequences for the INSEAD MBA program. Studying the sequences will give you a sense of the questions INSEAD interviewers tend to ask.

Example 1 INSEAD MBA Interview Questions

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. What are your short term/long term goals?
  3. What exactly attracts you to operational management and specifically in Asia given that your experience to date has been in Europe?
  4. Have you had any difficult cultural experiences being European and working in Europe? Do you anticipate any in Asia?
  5. What is something that your colleagues/clients really like about you?
  6. What is your leadership style?
  7. (Behavioral Question) Can you tell me about a time when a team member was underperforming? What did you do?
  8. What do you like to do for fun?
  9. Any questions for me?

Example 2 INSEAD MBA Interview Questions

  1. Can you walk me through your work experience?
  2. What did the Innovation Team you were a part of do during the merger?
  3. It seems like you’re on a really great career track at your current employer. Why leave for an MBA?
  4. Why INSEAD specifically and which non-academic activities would you pursue at INSEAD?
  5. (Behavioral Question) Can you tell me about a time when more than one person in a group wanted to lead the group or project? (i.e. several people competing for one leadership role)
  6. Can you talk about your leadership responsibilities within the projects you manage?
  7. Can you tell me about a company you admire and why?
  8. What is your proudest accomplishment?
  9. (Behavioral Question) Tell me about a time when you wish you could get in a time machine, go back, and have a ‘do over’. (i.e. change history)
  10. (asked in second language) How would you compare North American culture to Spanish culture?
  11. (asked in second language) Do you have any questions for me?

Example 3 INSEAD MBA Interview Questions

  1. Walk me through your resume.
  2. Why did you opt for the international rotational program? How did you adjust to a new culture so quickly?
  3. What is your secret to managing others? (Question is akin to, Tell me about your leadership style.)
  4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? in 15 years?
  5. Why an MBA now, if you really want to be an entrepreneur you could start your own business without one?
  6. Why INSEAD?
  7. What is the most challenging part of your current job?
  8. What is your international experience?
  9. (Behavioral Question) Tell me about a time when you had to convince someone senior to you of your idea.
  10. Could you tell me about the extracurricular project/activity that you are most passionate about?
  11. Can I answer any questions about INSEAD for you?

Example 4 INSEAD MBA Interview Questions

  1. Tell me about your background.
  2. What are your short-term goals?
  3. Why an MBA? Why INSEAD?
  4. What professors and activities are you drawn to in INSEAD?
  5. Why not London Business Schoool or HEC?
  6. Explain the business model of the startup you would like to build.
  7. (Behavioral Question) Tell me about a time when you experienced conflict in the workplace.
  8. How do you find time to do all that you do? Could you tell me more about your work with the ABC Foundation?
  9. Could you share one strength and one weakness with me?
  10. What question do you wish I would have asked you?
  11. Any questions for me?

Example 5 INSEAD MBA Interview Questions

  1. Tell me about yourself?
  2. Why an MBA? Why INSEAD?
  3. Why not do an MBA in India (the candidate currently lives in India and plans to return to his home country)?
  4. What are your short-term and long-term goals.
  5. Please describe two strengths and two weaknesses.
  6. Have you managed people and what did you enjoy about it? dislike about it?
  7. (Behavioral Question) Tell me about a time when you coached someone.
  8. (Behavioral Question) Tell me about a time when a team you were a part of was underperforming.
  9. Any questions for me?

Example 6 INSEAD MBA Interview Questions

  1. Why an MBA? Why INSEAD?
  2. (Behavioral Question) Tell me a time when you created something / were creative.
  3. (Behavioral Question) Tell me a time when you deal with a difficult colleague.
  4. (Behavioral Question) Tell me a time when you were under a tight deadline.
  5. (Behavioral Question) Tell me a time when someone persuaded you to change your opinion.