Harvard Business School Interview Questions

Harvard Business School Interview Questions

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Invited to an interview from HBS? Here are the Harvard Business School interview questions from four different candidates.

The transcripts come from clients of Sandy Kreisberg, founder of HBSGuru.com, who in any given year helps more than 100 invited applicants practice and prepare for mock interviews. Apparently, Kriesberg conducts more interviews with HBS candidates than with anyone other than a few people on the HBS admissions team who conduct the 30-minute sessions.

His sample size–100+ out of 1,900 interviewed in any given year–gives him a unique look at who makes the cut and who doesn’t. It is essential to look at his advice in How Not To BLOW The Harvard Business School interview.


The questions an MBA applicant receives in a Harvard Business School interview can vary significantly as each session is tailored to the individual candidate. At HBS, interviews last 30 minutes and are conducted by an MBA admissions board member who reviews a candidate’s application. Typically, one admissions staff member asks the questions and another takes notes.

It is important to remember what HBS is looking for in a successful candidate, interview or application. There are three core things that every candidate must have, according to HBS: leadership, analytical ability and desire, and active community citizenship. All three should be clearly reflected in one’s interview responses.

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Here are four recent examples from four very different candidates: a project manager, an analyst at an investment banking firm, an analyst at a private equity firm, and a veteran of the US military.


How is Covid affecting your job and your industry?
Are people working at home?
Do you work at home?
How was that?
What technologies are you using to keep up to date with remote collaborations?
Do you feel that some people are getting used to remote working?
Ok, let’s leave the Covid.
What’s the most exciting project you’ve worked on this year?
What was your role?
How did you go up?
What would you do differently, looking back on this project?
How do you handle pushback?
Have you ever been unfairly criticized in your opinion?
What did you say?
What would you say is the most valuable feedback you’ve ever received?
What were the circumstances?
What kind of leader do you want to be?
What will be difficult at HBS besides managing your time?
What will be less difficult?
How do you think you will be different after your two years at HBS?
We receive applications from many highly qualified applicants in your industry-why should we acknowledge you?

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How is COVID impacting your business (lots of follow-ups about how I’m impacting markets, clients, co-workers, etc)?
Tell me about your favorite deal, your most difficult deal, and your successful deal – and why?
How do you market yourself to investors?
What is your business’ ‘secret sauce’?
What types of investors are attracted to your business and why?
What is the biggest challenge in raising money?
Tell me about a time when you had an impact on someone else
When you think about the roles you’ve had – deal maker, working with your portfolio companies, team leadership, and fundraising – which are the most difficult for you and why?
Have you ever wanted to run a company full time?
How would your impact be different as an investor vs as a CEO?
How did you learn about HBS?
What would you like me to ask you about?


Can you talk about the recent deal on your resume (Lots of follow up questions)
What do you do in your current role?
I see that you have worked in different offices, and on different continents of your Bank, what are some of the cultural and operational differences? Which office did you like the most?
How would your supervisor describe you?
What constructive feedback have you received in the past?
What did you learn at JOB 2?
Tell me about your goals. Where do you want to work? What would you see yourself doing if those goals don’t happen?
What will you get from an MBA?
What did you think about doing your exchange semester in D? 1
Can you tell us more about living in A and B?
Can you tell us about A’s extra-curriculars?
Is there anything else you would like us to know?

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What made you decide to join the army?
Tell me about the team you currently work with. A lot of follow-up – what is team culture, who is the ‘leader’, how do we make decisions,
Give me two words that your peers would use to describe you.
What is a piece of constructive feedback you have received from your team mates?
What goals have you set for yourself in the army?
When did you decide to do an MBA and why?
What are you interested in doing?
What company would you be interested in working with and why?
Is there anything else you would like to tell us about yourself?


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