I Overview Stanford GSB MBA Interview

Every year, the Stanford admissions committee extends invitations to a select few applicants to interview for its MBA program. Prestigious MBA programs such as Stanford typically interview 2-3 candidates for each available spot in their upcoming MBA cohort. Receiving an invitation indicates that you are being considered for admission, but it also means you are now competing in a highly competitive subgroup within the larger 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 Stanford GSB MBA interviews?

Stanford GSB MBA interviews are conducted by alumni.

Question Are Stanford GSB MBA interviews resume-based or application-based?

The Stanford GSB MBA program conducts resume-based interviews, meaning the interviewer has reviewed your resume but not the rest of your MBA application (recommendations, essays, short answers, etc.).

For in-person interviews, it’s courteous to bring a paper copy of your resume. For online interviews, consider having a PDF copy ready in case the interviewer requests it via email. Sometimes, busy current students or alum interviewers may not have thoroughly reviewed the applicant’s resume beforehand. Therefore, Stanford GSB MBA applicants should be prepared to provide a brief, two-minute overview of themselves, as this is often the first interview question asked (“So, tell me about yourself…”).

Question How important is the Stanford GSB MBA interview?

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

A successful interview may not guarantee admission to Stanford’s MBA program, but an unsuccessful one can potentially harm your application. With numerous alumni conducting interviews, it’s challenging for the admissions committee to standardize positive feedback; one alum interviewer might describe a candidate as “great,” while another might find them “interesting.” However, blatantly negative feedback such as “The candidate was unprepared to answer even simple questions” or “The candidate was rude” can significantly impact the evaluation.

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 both the professional insights you can bring to the classroom and the value you can add to the student community.

II Mock MBA Interviews

In addition to practicing interview questions independently, utilizing a mock interview service can be invaluable for refining your professional anecdotes and receiving constructive feedback. Common MBA and EMBA interview inquiries often revolve around topics such as career goals (“Tell me about yourself? What are your goals? Why pursue an MBA? Why our school?”), strengths and weaknesses, as well as behavioral scenarios (“Tell me about a time when…?”).

Below, you can access recordings of previous clients responding to MBA interview questions, along with feedback on their responses. For instance, in part 1, an audit professional addresses the question “Tell me about yourself,” followed by feedback in part 2. Similarly, an employee compensation consultant tackles the behavioral prompt “Tell me about a time when you mentored someone” in part 1, with feedback provided in part 2.

III Stanford GSB MBA Interview Questions

It’s important to note that many schools now include questions about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in their interviews. Therefore, it’s essential to be prepared to discuss these topics and how they have manifested in your professional experiences.

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

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. What are your short-term goals and how can Stanford GSB help you achieve those goals?
  3. What would you get involved in outside the Stanford GSB 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 Stanford GSB MBA program. Studying the sequences will give you a sense of the questions Stanford GSB interviewers tend to ask.

Example 1 Stanford GSB MBA Interview Questions

  1. Walk me through your resume.
  2. Why pursue an MBA at Stanford GSB?
  3. How would you spend the summer between first and second year?
  4. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced at your current employer?
  5. What was it like mentoring an at-risk high school student?
  6. (Behavioral Question) Tell me about a time when you feel you added value to a team effort.
  7. (Behavioral Question) Give me an example of a time when you overcame a hurdle.
  8. Any questions for me?

Example 2 Stanford GSB MBA Interview Questions

  1. Why an MBA and why Stanford GSB?
  2. What is one thing that you did that you’re really proud of?
  3. (Behavioral Question) Tell me about a time when you had to collaborate with someone who had a different working style or a different communication style from you.
  4. (Behavioral Question) Can you tell me about time when you convinced someone or a group of people to see things your way?
  5. How do you work with all the different people that you do? How do you communicate with them?
  6. (Behavioral Question) Can you tell me about a time when you received a piece of constructive feedback. What did you do to address the issue raised?

Example 3 Stanford GSB MBA Interview Questions

  1. What is the world’s biggest misconception about the pro tennis world?
  2. Why Stanford GSB?
  3. What made you decide to choose philosophy as your major at university?
  4. Tell me about the hardest situation you’ve ever been in at work? What did you learn from it?
  5. (Behavioral Question) Tell me about a time when you stepped outside of your defined role.
  6. (Behavioral Question) Tell me about a time when you mentored someone.
  7. (Behavioral Question) Tell me about a time when you failed.
  8. What else should I have asked you?

Example 4 Stanford GSB MBA Interview Questions

  1. Tell me about yourself
  2. (Behavioral Question) Tell me about a time when you took initiative.
  3. (Behavioral Question) Tell me about a time when you were part of a team that was struggling.
  4. (Behavioral Question) Tell me about a time when you failed to meet a goal you’d set for yourself.
  5. Tell me more about your thesis in college.
  6. Do you have any questions for me?

Example 5 Stanford GSB MBA Interview Questions

  1. What made you decide to start your own company during college?
  2. Tell me something you’ve learned about yourself.
  3. Why were you selected over more experienced colleagues to be the project lead?
  4. Was it difficult managing those same colleagues (given that they were older/more senior)?
  5. (Behavioral Question) Tell me about a time when you identified a new way to do something or to approach an issue.
  6. (Behavioral Question) Tell me about a time when you encountered an obstacle or someone prevented you from doing something?
  7. (Behavioral Question) Tell me about a time when you showed initiative.
  8. What questions do you have for me?

Example 6 Stanford GSB MBA Interview Questions

  1. Why an MBA? Why Stanford GSB?
  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.