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Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants

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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 12 Feb 2013, 10:50
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Interviewed Yesterday on campus.

I'm pleased overall, I think it went well. I came up before the crazy blizzard because I didn't want to have to postpone. Selected the first interview slot for R2's and I'm glad because now it's over! I stayed with a friend in Soldier Field Park apartments. So even though the conference I planned to attend was cancelled due to the weather I still got a very real experience being couped up on campus the whole weekend. There were so many house parties that I was able to interact with students on a normal level and just get to know who they were as individuals. Geesh, everyone is so intelligent and doing amazing things already. Really great environment to be in. Once they found out I had an interview, everyone was so encouraging! Didn't get any of the stuffy vibe people stereotype ivy schools to have.

I explored a little once I could, and I'm glad to have had the full weekend prior to my interview since I had never visited before. I enjoyed that each interview is focused and tailored specifically for you, no one else. They asked me very particular questions about why my current job, current company, undergraduate school, what am I learning from it in terms of effective leadership, and what I was bringing to the table that others hadn't before. Definitely have a point of view on where your current and future employers are going and a reflection on past strategies that may not have worked out so well. I needed at least 30 seconds to answer a Q on: "Tell me something about the industry you are pursuing that I wouldn't know." Great one!

I kept a running tab of things to talk about in my post reflection all weekend so that made it easier to incorporate by the time I had to actually write it. I figured that going past a page wouln't be a good look given the two required essays were very short to begin with. Anyway, wanted to share. Don't let anyone tell you you can't prepare for your interviews. You definitely have to be yourself, but you still need stories in your toolbox that you can pull out at the right time!

Good luck to everyone else in R2 or waitlisted!

Last edited by RDeezy on 12 Feb 2013, 11:22, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 12 Feb 2013, 11:07
RDeezy wrote:
Interviewed Yesterday on campus.

I'm pleased overall, I think it went well. I came up before the crazy blizzard because I didn't want to have to postpone. Selected the first interview slot for R2's and I'm glad because now it's over! I stayed with a friend in Soldier Field Park apartments. So even though the conference I planned to attend was cancelled due to the weather I still got a very real experience being couped up on campus the whole weekend. There were so many house parties that I was able to interact with students on a normal level and just get to know who they were as individuals. Geesh, everyone is so intelligent and doing amazing things already. Really great environment to be in. Once they found out I had an interview, everyone was so encouraging! Didn't get any of the stuffy vibe people stereotype ivy schools to have.

I explored a little once I could, and I'm glad to have had the full weekend prior to my interview since I had never visited before. I enjoyed that each interview is focused and tailored specifically for you, no one else. They asked me very particular questions about why my current job, current company, undergraduate school, what am I learning from it in terms of effective leadership, and what I was bringing to the table that others hadn't before. Definitely have a point of view on where your current and future employers are going and a reflection on past strategies that many not have worked out so well. I needed at least 30 seconds to answer a Q on: "Tell me something about the industry you are pursuing that I wouldn't know." Great one!

I kept a running tab of things to talk about in my post reflection all weekend so that made it easier to incorporate by the time I had to actually write it. I figured that going past a page wouln't be a good look given the two required essays were very short to begin with. Anyway, wanted to share. Don't let anyone tell you you can't prepare for your interviews. You definitely have to be yourself, but you still need stories in your toolbox that you can pull out at the right time!

Good luck to everyone else in R2 or waitlisted!




Thanks so much for writing this.
How many people were in the room interviewing you?
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 12 Feb 2013, 11:24
huberhuber wrote:

Thanks so much for writing this.
How many people were in the room interviewing you?


~15 interviewed during each time slot. 1 interviewer, 1 observer in each room.
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 12 Feb 2013, 12:36
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 14 Feb 2013, 06:34
Well, I got my 2+2 ding. However, HBS is a long-term goal for me, and a stepping stone to an even longer-term goal.

I have found the people on this thread to be really nice so far though, and I have a request for some general advice from those who have made it to HBS this year (sincere congratulations by the way): If you could give me some pointers, or advice on what steps I should take over the next few years to better align myself with what HBS expects from the applicants that it admits. I know that most people say HBS is a 'crapshoot', but you must have done something right! :)

I don't want to list out my current life plan fully here, but if you are willing to offer some advice, do let me know somehow. Via a private message, your email address, whatever really, and I could give some more information that way. I would be really grateful :)

Cheers everyone!
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 14 Feb 2013, 09:46
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RDeezy wrote:
Interviewed Yesterday on campus.

I'm pleased overall, I think it went well. I came up before the crazy blizzard because I didn't want to have to postpone. Selected the first interview slot for R2's and I'm glad because now it's over! I stayed with a friend in Soldier Field Park apartments. So even though the conference I planned to attend was cancelled due to the weather I still got a very real experience being couped up on campus the whole weekend. There were so many house parties that I was able to interact with students on a normal level and just get to know who they were as individuals. Geesh, everyone is so intelligent and doing amazing things already.....Good luck to everyone else in R2 or waitlisted!


@RDeezy - I also interviewed on Monday. We probably passed each other at some point during the day!

Much like what RDeezy said, the day was great. Participated in a class visit, campus tour, had lunch, faculty and student Q&As, career development session, a session with Dee and chair of the MBA program (RC year), and finally a reception with current students. The faculty, students, and facilities are incredible! Was pleasantly surprised how hands-on (and so nice!) Dee was from the start of the day to the end. Also, the admissions staff was fantastic; everyone was incredibly warm and helpful. In fact, during the class visit, the professor made it a point to introduce us to her students; who then clapped and wished us good luck for the interview (even provided some advice) -- all before the first cold call! Couldn't have been a warmer welcome.

Tip: Try to schedule your interview later in the day. For me, it was a great opportunity to first get to know the campus and program a bit (useful for the interview later), also it helped me calm my nerves -- a little.

The Interview: a group of us was led upstairs in Spangler and we checked-in with two admissions staffers who recorded our names and told us who would interview us, and then we waited. I suppose I could have Googled this person during the wait, but was too nervous. I was interviewed by an admissions officer and one person who observed silently. While I walked into the room on the verge of being physically sick (due to anxiety), the interviewer couldn't have been more pleasant. This definitely helped me to calm down and focus on listening, answering, and smiling. The interview was very conversational and the questions flowed naturally (no jumping around like others have experienced). They seemed more interested in the progression of my career (with some questions about what I did in some of these positions). Absolutely no behavioral questions, none on strengths/weaknesses, teamwork, challenges, etc. Only one question that I prepared for (where do I see myself next and how does an MBA fit into it?) came up.

Biggest surprise: how FAST the 30 minutes flew by. Honestly, it felt like only 15 mins. There must have been a wall clock behind me because I didn't see them check their watches.

How I Prepared: I bought the latest HARBUS interview guide and did a mock interview (after which I felt terrible -- it was meant to be hard, though), and looked up all the interview feedback experiences/questions from HBS that I could find online. None of this prep, in hindsight, was useful (though I suppose in a way they helped me to get into the proper mindset). I could have just read my resume once, and would have done pretty much the same.

Tip: Remember to smile, more than once!

After I walked out back to the waiting room, I was given a business card for each the interviewer and the observer (not a real business card because this one just had their name and a generic email address). Tip: if you want to email your interviewer directly, the standard format is first initial then full last name "at" hbs.edu. They also gave us a nice HBS totebag! :-D Also, took out my iPhone and started a mind dump of everything I could remember from the interview (to reference later for the reflection).

Post-Interview Reflection: Like RDeezy, I kept it right to a page. Nothing special here. Just reflected on the time with my interviewers, thanked HBS for the opportunity, addressed a point brought up during the interview, and addressed one that did not come up.

Now it's the wait that is making me anxious!

Good luck everyone!

PM me if you have any questions.
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2013, 11:09
Does anyone know whether the person who interviews you was someone who might have intially reviewed your application whether to grant an interview or not?
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2013, 14:11
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So I just came back from my interview this morning in New York. First thing that happens:

Interviewer - "Hello, My name is Dee Leopold"
In my head - "Holy shit!"

So yeah, I had the distinct privilege of getting interviewed by the Dean of Admissions herself.

The interview itself was really, really chill. I had two people, and Dee was leading the interview while her colleague was taking notes. Dee was incredibly friendly throughout. I had prepped really hard with the Harbus interview guide and while it was useful just to have thought about these questions, not a lot of the questions I prepped for actually came up. We just talked a lot about my background and my high school and college choices. I am a first generation immigrant / first to go to college, so I think that was why. I also talked about my senior thesis in college, and walked her through some of our positions (I work at a hedge fund). We also talked a lot about my outside hobbies, and some book recommendations. Finally, she did ask - "What due diligence have you done on HBS" which gave me the opportunity to talk about why I wanted to go there.

Overall, the interview was very tailored to my application and what I had written in my essays. There were some more oddball questions like - "Who was your best friend in high school and why." But just a very nice, pleasant conversation overall. I really felt like they were trying to get to know me instead of grilling me with hard questions.

And perhaps of interest to other interviewees, Dee asked me what I was going to do for the rest of the day, and said explicitly - "don't say the post-interviewer reflection." Which I think speaks to how this is not supposed to be an additional personal essay, and more like an email to reflect on the interview.

So I just have my fingers (and toes) crossed until Match 27th!
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2013, 15:07
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Hello woofbearus

I had my interview on campus last Friday, and everybody I have spoken to so far have said that the interview was casual and personalized and went well overall. I don't know how 50% of the interviewees will be rejected. Fingers crossed!
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2013, 15:14
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query007,

That's fair enough. I think perhaps the takeaway is that HBS will always do a good job getting to know you in the interview (thus the casual interview that "goes well"), and will decide based on how much they like your story versus how well you were able to convey it? I guess that makes sense?

It could also be that people who didn't have their HBS interviews go well aren't as likely to share this information? So we are seeing some selection bias. In any case, the finger crossing seems useful!
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2013, 16:08
thank you for your answer! I've decided on Mumbai but still don't know who is the interviewer there
SARAH LUCAS IS DOING DUBAI, ROUND 2, AND THAT OFTEN MEANS SHE WILL BE DOING MUMBAI.
DO NOT SUE ME IF CHARLES ALLISON SHOWS UP. LUCAS ASKS TYPICAL HBS QUESTIONS, WHY THIS JOB, WHAT DID YOU LEARN, WHY THAT COLLEGE, TELL ME ABOUT CURRENT COMPANY, WHAT IS COMPANY YOU ADMIRE, WHAT KEEPS CEO UP AT NIGHT, ETC. ETC. FOR CHARLES ALLISON ODDBALL QUESTIONS, SEE DIRECTLY BELOW. PREPARE FOR BOTH. IF ANYONE CAN CONFIRM LUCAS IN MUMBAI WE WOULD ALL APPRECIATE IT.

Lundy wrote:
also do you know the differences among interviewers at these 3 locations? I went through the discussion but still couldn't conclude which one is the most preferable

would appreciate any advice you have :)
thanks a lot!
[/quote]

HBS GURU WROTE
Quote:
Charles Allison did the interviews in Mumbai and Dubai (HBS usually sends one person to cover both ) and Eileen Chang does Shanghai. Past performance is no guarantee, etc. Sarah Lucas has also done Shanghai, and they used to have some freelancer who is now not with HBS do Shanghai but lately it has been Chang.
There is a HUGE diff between Allison and Chang--Chang is no day at the beach but she asks typical HBS questions, Allision is a lively guy with a set of questions unique to him, and they can throw you, esp. if you are unprepared. E.g. what would your best from from High School say your 3 strengths and weaknesses were? Your best friend form College.? No offense, but that is a moronic question, and even worse, it is not a normal question and it can cause you a good deal of trouble as a lead off versus,"Hi there, tell me what you are doing now at work?" which gets you started on the right foot most of the time, and is a Q you can prepare for.
Anyway, the only thing that matters in choosing between Shanghai and Mumbai/Dubai is who is doing the interviews.


[/quote]
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2013, 16:15
hbsguru wrote:
thank you for your answer! I've decided on Mumbai but still don't know who is the interviewer there
SARAH LUCAS IS DOING DUBAI, ROUND 2, AND THAT OFTEN MEANS SHE WILL BE DOING MUMBAI.
DO NOT SUE ME IF CHARLES ALLISON SHOWS UP. LUCAS ASKS TYPICAL HBS QUESTIONS, WHY THIS JOB, WHAT DID YOU LEARN, WHY THAT COLLEGE, TELL ME ABOUT CURRENT COMPANY, WHAT IS COMPANY YOU ADMIRE, WHAT KEEPS CEO UP AT NIGHT, ETC. ETC. FOR CHARLES ALLISON ODDBALL QUESTIONS, SEE DIRECTLY BELOW. PREPARE FOR BOTH. IF ANYONE CAN CONFIRM LUCAS IN MUMBAI WE WOULD ALL APPRECIATE IT.



I don't know if this is indicative of anything, but I'm pretty sure I had Charles Allison as my second (silent) interviewer in New York yesterday.
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2013, 16:23
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Hmmmm, they interview sorta 1800 people and admit 1000 which gets boiled down to an entering class of 910-25 or so (yield is 90 pct). So post interview odds are 1800/1000. People screw up interviews by talking too much and getting lost, not sounding lively or confident, rubbing the interveiwer the wrong way, or just not being a person they feel for a variety of subjective reasons would thrive in case method environment. You can leave interview feeling that it went well and still flunk for those reasons. Dee Leopold will accept, on a hit or miss basis, phone calls from kids who were interviewed and dinged, and sometimes hints at why you got dinged--I have spoken to over 20 of those kids AFTER they have spoken to Dee. Most common interview screw up is that interviewer thought you sounded 'scripted' that is Dee's word. What it means is that you were 1. actually over scripted. 2. Not sure of your answers, and trying to say what you thought they might like to hear. And many variants of that, where answers are not flowing, internalized, and honest sounding (they dont care if they are honest, this is business school, after all). Scripted is a catch-all phrase --it includes BS, lack of flowing speech (regardless of content), insincere sounding or just stupid answers. As noted, you can leave interview feeling that it went well and still flunk for those reasons.
Sometimes interview goes OK and you get dinged anyway--you basically lose out in a beauty contest to other kids in your cohort (e.g. other bankers, other consultants, other military, other engineers). "We just liked other applicants more than you . . ." is a famous adcom remark, and unlike many other adcom remarks, this remark is often true.




query007 wrote:
Hello woofbearus

I had my interview on campus last Friday, and everybody I have spoken to so far have said that the interview was casual and personalized and went well overall. I don't know how 50% of the interviewees will be rejected. Fingers crossed!

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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2013, 16:26
thanks, it means he is not in Dubai at the moment, dude, you may have ducked a bullet by having him as the observer. He's a good guy, but there is a much higher chance of a forced error with him than anyone else.

woofbearus wrote:
hbsguru wrote:
thank you for your answer! I've decided on Mumbai but still don't know who is the interviewer there
SARAH LUCAS IS DOING DUBAI, ROUND 2, AND THAT OFTEN MEANS SHE WILL BE DOING MUMBAI.
DO NOT SUE ME IF CHARLES ALLISON SHOWS UP. LUCAS ASKS TYPICAL HBS QUESTIONS, WHY THIS JOB, WHAT DID YOU LEARN, WHY THAT COLLEGE, TELL ME ABOUT CURRENT COMPANY, WHAT IS COMPANY YOU ADMIRE, WHAT KEEPS CEO UP AT NIGHT, ETC. ETC. FOR CHARLES ALLISON ODDBALL QUESTIONS, SEE DIRECTLY BELOW. PREPARE FOR BOTH. IF ANYONE CAN CONFIRM LUCAS IN MUMBAI WE WOULD ALL APPRECIATE IT.



I don't know if this is indicative of anything, but I'm pretty sure I had Charles Allison as my second (silent) interviewer in New York yesterday.

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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2013, 16:31
hbsguru wrote:
thanks, it means he is not in Dubai at the moment, dude, you may have ducked a bullet by having him as the observer. He's a good guy, but there is a much higher chance of a forced error with him than anyone else.

woofbearus wrote:
hbsguru wrote:
thank you for your answer! I've decided on Mumbai but still don't know who is the interviewer there
SARAH LUCAS IS DOING DUBAI, ROUND 2, AND THAT OFTEN MEANS SHE WILL BE DOING MUMBAI.
DO NOT SUE ME IF CHARLES ALLISON SHOWS UP. LUCAS ASKS TYPICAL HBS QUESTIONS, WHY THIS JOB, WHAT DID YOU LEARN, WHY THAT COLLEGE, TELL ME ABOUT CURRENT COMPANY, WHAT IS COMPANY YOU ADMIRE, WHAT KEEPS CEO UP AT NIGHT, ETC. ETC. FOR CHARLES ALLISON ODDBALL QUESTIONS, SEE DIRECTLY BELOW. PREPARE FOR BOTH. IF ANYONE CAN CONFIRM LUCAS IN MUMBAI WE WOULD ALL APPRECIATE IT.



I don't know if this is indicative of anything, but I'm pretty sure I had Charles Allison as my second (silent) interviewer in New York yesterday.


Interesting point. Thanks for the insight!

I was actually lucky enough to be interviewed by Dee. She was incredibly friendly and we had a very flowing conversation, which covered my entire story. I felt that she was an extremely good interviewer. I guess she's had a lot of practice by this point.
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2013, 16:59
woofbearus wrote:

I was actually lucky enough to be interviewed by Dee. She was incredibly friendly and we had a very flowing conversation, which covered my entire story. I felt that she was an extremely good interviewer. I guess she's had a lot of practice by this point.


Dee is a good interviewer and a fair one, and it sounds like you did fine. She is also pretty good at playing it close to the vest, so it could be harder to tell. All that said, flowing conversation is good sign. Did she ask you what books you like or are reading?-- famous Dee question, she is big reader.
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2013, 17:14
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hbsguru wrote:

Dee is a good interviewer and a fair one, and it sounds like you did fine. She is also pretty good at playing it close to the vest, so it could be harder to tell. All that said, flowing conversation is good sign. Did she ask you what books you like or are reading?-- famous Dee question, she is big reader.


Yes. In fact, I am a big science-fiction/fantasy lover and Dee said that she didn't like the genre and to recommend her something that would change her mind. I talked about a fantasy book derived from an African folktale which explored human reaction to power and chaos, as well as a sci-fi book which imagines a future devoid of oil and ravaged by environmental disasters as a cautionary tale for the consequences of, in this case, corporate shortsightedness. So basically I gave it the old college try to change her mind. :)
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 20 Feb 2013, 09:10
woofbearus wrote:
hbsguru wrote:

Dee is a good interviewer and a fair one, and it sounds like you did fine. She is also pretty good at playing it close to the vest, so it could be harder to tell. All that said, flowing conversation is good sign. Did she ask you what books you like or are reading?-- famous Dee question, she is big reader.


Yes. In fact, I am a big science-fiction/fantasy lover and Dee said that she didn't like the genre and to recommend her something that would change her mind. I talked about a fantasy book derived from an African folktale which explored human reaction to power and chaos, as well as a sci-fi book which imagines a future devoid of oil and ravaged by environmental disasters as a cautionary tale for the consequences of, in this case, corporate shortsightedness. So basically I gave it the old college try to change her mind. :)


ooh, PM me - both sound like interesting reads :-D
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 21 Feb 2013, 03:47
Any idea who is currently interviewing in London, and will interview next week in Paris? Thanks a lot!
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Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 23 Feb 2013, 04:52
Who will be the interviewer in Shanghai this year?
Re: Harvard 2013 (HBS) - Calling All Applicants   [#permalink] 23 Feb 2013, 04:52
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