Sunday, February 25, 2007

2 More Interview Reports ... (Fuqua and HBS)

Hello all, I hope the application season is continuing to go well for everyone! I am happy to be heading to the end of the proverbial "road" and at least being done with everything I can do from my end and leaving the rest in the hands of fate and destiny.

Everyone keeps asking me how my interviews are going, and my honest answer is "I don't know". It's really difficult for me to gauge my performance, because I basically go in there and just talk and come out and thats about it. How do other people out there rate their interview performances?

Ok, now onto the actual interview recaps:

HARVARD: I did this interview on-campus (HBS actually sets a time and place for you to be, no choosing). The interview was early in the morning, so I showed up to the Admissions office and they directed me to another building where my interview would be held (by a part-time faculty who is on the Admissions Committee). I found my way to the lounge and waited and then my interviewer came and got me. (I think most ppl know this, but in case they don't, Harvard is one of the few places where the interview is not blind - the interviewer has thoroughly read your application). We went into a conference room and there were no pleasantries "Hi, how are you, blah blah blah", it was immediately "So, you made a pretty big career change, talk about it". I was a little dumbstruck for 1-2 seconds but I think I got out a good answer. Other questions:
-You've only been working in a corporate setting for a couple of years, how are you going to feel sitting in a finance or accounting class with peers who have spend 5 or 7 years immersed in those fields? Are you going to be intimidated?
-How does your company do _________?
-Tell me about your company, and your company's consumer
-What do you think XYZ recent happening in the news?
-A LOT of company/functional area specific questions involving finance, operations, product, etc. - I think he was trying to see what knowledge I had and would be able to contribute to my section while discussing cases
-Why Harvard
-A time when I turned a bad team situation into a good one
-And for the last questions he asked what I would have wanted him to ask that he hadn't. I said I'd like to outline my strengths as I see him and we discussed those.
There was no time to ask him any questions about Harvard. Overall the interview was about 30 minutes and I left with a decent feeling, but who knows? After that I had lunch with students, which was helpful and attended a class with a friend of a friend. The class was Strategy and was interesting, but I did feel like the time allotted was not enough to adequately cover all the aspects of the case. Then again, who am I to say? Overall, of course the facilities are impressive and it's interesting that there is a full campus instead of just a single building like at some other places.

FUQUA: I interviewed on-campus with a 2nd-year student. My day started early as I attended a class on accounting which started at 8 in the morning! The class was interesting, but students definitely seemed less engaged than they had been at HBS. However, this probably can be attributed both to the fact that it was 8 in the morning and that we're talking about accounting here. Fuqua is undergoing construction (which they really don't need since the building is already big and nice - ah, the cost of Real Estate in North Carolina), which won't be done until Fall 2008. After the class I sat and chilled in the lounge with other applicants until my interview. my interview came and picked me up from the lounge and took me upstairs to a conference room (I think in the Career Management Center). The interview questions (that I can remember):
-Tell me about your career change
-Why is now specifically a good time for your MBA
-Why Fuqua
-Tell me about a bad leadership experience
-What are your strengths
-Tell me about a good and bad team experience
-After you graduate in 2 years what do you think your peers and faculty would say your biggest impact was in your yeras here?
-What specifically are you looking for in a business school?
-What do you think your contribution would be to your learning team?
-Anything else you haven't told me?
Then I asked him some questions about Fuqua and that was it. All in all it was about 35 minutes, which he commented was "one of the shortest interviews he's ever done!". Of course, this made me very nervous and uneasy, and so I asked him if this is a negative point and he said "no no, not at all. It's good because I can tell that you've practiced and/or interviewed before because you got across the pertinent information without rambling". So I think it went well. After that I had lunch with students and a tour of the building. All in all a good visit and a quick turnaround (Decisions will be out March 8th!)

That's about all for now ... only one more to go (NYU - still no word from Stanford, but no big deal). I am excited to not be travelling and have the work be out of my hands and into the hands of the AdCom soon! Hope everyone is well! :)


Iday said...

The end of a really long (and interesting may i add) journey comes at the end of the next interview. I hope the journey gets an extension with an invite from Stanford as well :)

Nevertheless - Congratulations for all that has happened and all the best for all the results :)

Hilibilly said...

All the best. you seem to have covered a lot of questions at HBS in 30 minutes!!! I liked your analysis about him asking you some questions to see how u'd contribute to the class in cases. I'll have to go back and check if I got any similar q's.