Stanford Business School - Interview Tips

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Stanford Business School Interview pattern
Stanford Business School Mission
Stanford says: "Our mission is to create ideas that deepen and advance our understanding of management and with those ideas to develop innovative, principled, and insightful leaders who change the world." It is our advice to keep the mission in mind while you are aiming for the school.
Key areas taught at Stanford:
Stanford believes there are four critical components necessary to a complete general management education.

From the Stanford Business School website: FAQ section about the Stanford MBA interview

How does the Stanford MBA interview process work? Can I interview on campus?

We offer evaluative interviews on an invitation-only basis.

Interviews are designed to provide useful information about you that may not be easily captured on paper. They are also a good way for you to learn more about the MBA Program. This does not mean a diminished emphasis on the application essays and letters of recommendation; they remain a critical part of the evaluation process, with interviews as a supplementary information source.

We expect to interview between 800 and 1,000 applicants this year.

What happens during the 45-minute interview? The primary questions revolve around behaviors, skills, and attitudes that we believe are key to good citizenship here at the Stanford Business School and high-impact leadership post-MBA. There are no trick questions, but rather ones that ask you to reflect on your professional and personal experiences, what you've learned about yourself, and how to best manage people and situations. The Stanford MBA interview is both evaluative and informative, as it is an opportunity for us to learn more about you, and for you to learn more about the Stanford Business School. It is designed to be a positive exchange of ideas and information. The only information about you that the interviewer will have is your resume, which you will send to him/ her. If you are invited to interview, the interview will occur during the application round in which you applied. You will be contacted by the MBA Admissions Office to schedule an interview and you and your interviewer will set up a mutually convenient date and time to meet. The admission interviews are conducted almost exclusively by Stanford MBA alumni. On occasion, you may be invited to interview with an MBA Admissions Officer.

Our goal is to interview everyone who will be offered admission. However, given the strong caliber of our applicant pool, the majority of those interviewed will not be offered admission.

  • Please do not call or contact our office to request an interview.
  • Almost all interviews are conducted by Stanford MBA alumni. On occasion, you may be invited to interview with an MBA Admissions Officer.
  • We do not provide Stanford MBA interview feedback.
  • After you receive an email invitation, you and your alumni interviewer will set up a mutually convenient date and time to meet.
  • If you anticipate difficulty obtaining an official transcript from your undergraduate institution, we suggest that you request one when you are invited to interview. Do NOT send the transcript to the MBA Admissions Office until we request it.
  • If you are waitlisted without an interview, you will be interviewed after you accept your place on the waitlist.
A Sample Stanford MBA interview
Class of 2010 / Round 1 / Alumni Interview. As stated by candidate:
After a series of rescheduling due to busy schedule of alumnus and myself, I was able to schedule an interview at the office of alumni interviewer. To my surprise he and his assistant were the only two people working in the office that day.
As usual the interviewer was very laid back and friendly. He asked me to wait almost 15-20 min till he did some office work and took out print out of my resume and Stanford MBA Interview FAQs.
Started with his brief introduction and then the regular questions.
  • Walk me through you resume?(Lots of follow up question in between)
  • Why MBA? (He challenged my reason to do an MBA)
  • Why Stanford Business School? (Again I ran into some trouble here with some unauthenticated talks that i heard abt Stanford)
  • Question related to my family business
  • Question related to my current job
  • Leadership experience
  • What matters most to you and Why?
  • Failure
  • Social activity
  • Under grad college club activity
  • Conflict at workplace
  • Long term/Short term goals
  • Biggest achievement
  • Any questions for him
  • My future B Plan and how venture capital might help.

To my surprise again, he asked me almost all the possible questions but he was very friendly and looked genuinely interested in my answers.
When asked about his Stanford experience. he told that the thing he liked most about Stan was networking, partying and touring. :)
Overall it was an enjoyable experience and by the time i was out of his office, I had spent almost 2 hrs there.
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