At the end of his interview with Harvard Business School, Nabil Mohamed was asked: "What are the questions that you wish we had asked you, but didn't?"
He said he had hoped they would inquire about what he did in his free time.
So, they did just that.
"At first, I was unprepared because I thought we were out of time," Mohamed admits. But he quickly recovered by sharing his love of weird facts, piquing the interviewers' interest, and ending the meeting on a high note.
Mohamed's ability to swiftly compose himself worked in his favor — he was later admitted to Harvard — and his story shows how even simple questions can make a huge di fference if you're not prepared.
Now in his second year at HBS, and serving as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, The Harbus, Mohamed works with his staff to update and publish the paper's "Unofficial Admissions and Interview Guide." The newest version, released July 8, is 80 pages long and reveals the most prevalent questions asked in HBS interviews, many of which are seemingly innocuous, but can can catch y ou off-guard if you're not expecting them.
"How tough each one is depends on the person, their communication method and their background," Mohamed says.
Here, he gives us 12 common questions that every HBS admissions candidate should be prepared to answer:
- Why do you want to get an MBA?
- Why Harvard?
- What do you want to do after you get your MBA?
- What are the biggest challenges/hurdles to doing it? Have you thought about them?
- Why not do it right now?
- What do you believe you can add to the class?
- Do you consider yourself a leader?
- What do you think makes a good leader?
- What do your friends say about you?
- Tell us more about that project you did at work.
- What do you do during your free time?
- What did you hope we would ask you in this interview but haven't?
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