Best #HarvardHBS #MBAinterview tips

Congratulations! You have been invited to interview with HBS. Now what?

  • I provide school-specific training for HBS interviews
  • I am receiving many inquiries from new clients who want help preparing for an HBS interview
    • First, l need to take care of my comprehensive clients
    • If time allows, I would be happy to prepare a few interview-only clients, as well
  • Please agree to follow the seven steps below if you would like to secure my time

We hope you find these videos useful.

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel for the latest updates.

SAMPLE HBS INTERVIEW

SAMPLE HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL INTERVIEW

  • I asked one of my HBS admitted clients a slightly modified list of the questions he answered at his actual Harvard interview. Here are the answers that got him admitted.
  • In this first of three sections, he discusses his motivations for MBA and HBS.
  • Please note - HBS Admissions Board interviewers do not usually start interviews by saying, "walk me through your resume." Why? They have already read your entire application. Still, in the case of this mock interview, we decided to start that way to give viewers a general introduction to the applicant and set the context for follow-up questions and answers.
  • In the second of three sections, he discusses his perspectives on Japanese trading companies, his goals, his personal weakness, and his potential contributions to the HBS community. Please watch.
  • In this third and final section of our mock HBS interview, my client answers questions related to his plans at his company, his academic skills, and his test scores. HBS interviewers can sometimes try to make applicants defensive during interviews.
  • I think my client did a decent job of answering the questions without taking them personally. Finally, he answers the famous "anything else?" or "surprise me" question that often comes at the end of an HBS interview.


We hope you find these videos useful. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel for the latest updates.

STEP ONE

CONTACT ME

AT LEAST 15 DAYS

BEFORE YOUR INTERVIEW

  • Please complete my intake form
  • Let me know when you plan to interview, and when you want to practice with me
  • I will confirm if I have the capacity to help you


STEP TWO

COMMIT to doing

THREE MOCK INTERVIEWS

with Vince

  • Most of my successful clients practice HBS interviews with me for at least 3 hours (three fifty-minute sessions)
  • Others meet me five or even ten times
  • As a professional actor (improv and Shakespeare), I believe that interviewing is physical
  • Just like sports, you improve with practice
  • Due to increasing demand and limited availability, I am no longer able to provide stand-along, one-off HBS mock interviews
  • Unlike some popular "gurus" in this space, my goal is not to destroy your confidence in a single session
  • Rather, I like to explore "deep dive" topics that might be of interest to your interviewer
  • Over a series of sessions, I hope to provide an authentic experience that emphasizes realistic follow-up questions in high-stakes, two-way conversation
  • I realize this service is not for everyone and I apologize in advance if I am unable to help you

STEP THREE

ARRANGE PAYMENT

HOW TO PAY

  • If I agree to help you, I will provide market rates and payment details
  • Once payment clears, we can schedule our first session

STEP FOUR

SCHEDULE OUR FIRST SESSION

TO OCCUR AT LEAST 10 DAYS

BEFORE YOUR HBS INTERVIEW

  • One mock interview training session lasts 50 minutes
    • I ask customized questions for the first 30 minutes
      • Why 30 minutes?
        • Because that is how long your real HBS interview will last
  • We spend the last 20 minutes reviewing your answers
  • I can help you brainstorm more effective ways to answer the questions I asked
  • We can also discuss other ways that HBS Admissions Board members might ask you to discuss the same information (different questions that solicit the same core contents that I wanted you to discuss during our 30-minute mock interview)
  • Finally, if time permits, we can discuss other types of questions that might be of concern to you
  • Once payment clears, please email me three options for days and time you want to meet
    • I am based in Tokyo until the end of March 2015, so please convert meeting times to JST (Tokyo time)
    • I am usually at my office in Shibuya on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
    • If you are based outside Japan, I can chat with you via Skype most morning after 11am JST
  • Finally, please follow my cancellation policy
    • If necessary, requests to reschedule appointments should be made at least 24 hours in advance of the originally scheduled appointment time
    • Rescheduling requests made less than 24 hours prior to an appointment will be granted at Vince’s discretion

STEP FIVE

SEND ME YOUR

ENTIRE HBS APPLICATION

as a single MS Word or Google Docs file

HBS Admissions Board members read your entire application before interviewing you. I want to do the same.

Once our session is scheduled, please attach and send me your

  • resume
  • application data form short answers
  • transcript
  • essays

Also, if you have access to your recommendation letters, please send those, as well

After reading your application, I will prepare a custom list of questions to fit your case.

  • I ask questions that test your ability to discuss issues that might be of concern to the HBS Admissions Board
  • I also assess your communication skills
  • I cannot predict what questions the Admissions Board will ask at your real interview, but I can help you boost your confidence by practicing with an expert who understands what HBS expects from admitted applicants
  • When I met with a veteran member of the HBS Admissions Board at her on-campus office in May 2011, she mentioned that HBS wants to admit applicants who will be able to participate in fast-paced classroom discussions
  • Therefore, in HBS mock interview sessions, I will check your logic and presentation style to find weak points that might be of concern to Admissions Board interviewers
  • After your interview, I will destroy all hard and soft copies to maintain client confidentiality

STEP SIX

PRACTICE BEFORE and

AFTER EACH SESSION

STEP SEVEN

KEEP IN TOUCH and SHARE YOUR RESULTS

  • I want to know if my service helped you
  • I am to provide the most effective, authentic HBS interview training in the world
  • By agreeing to work together, we are entering into a partnership and I hope you will respect that by sharing your final result

How to prepare?

  • I ask questions that test your ability to discuss issues that might be of concern to the HBS Admissions Board
  • I also assess your communication skills
  • I cannot predict what questions the Admissions Board will ask at your real interview, but I can help you boost your confidence by practicing with an expert who understands what HBS expects from admitted applicants
  • When I met with a veteran member of the HBS Admissions Board at her on-campus office in May 2011, she mentioned that HBS wants to admit applicants who will be able to participate in fast-paced classroom discussions
  • Therefore, in HBS mock interview sessions, I will check your logic and presentation style to find weak points that might be of concern to Admissions Board interviewers
  • The HBS Admissions Board sometimes claims that you cannot prepare for their interviews since the questions are never the same
  • The fact is, you CAN and SHOULD prepare for your HBS interview, but not in the same way you would prepare for a blind interview like you would experience with Stanford, Kellogg, Columbia, Chicago, or Tuck
  • HBS questions are mostly "common sense"
  • HBS Admissions Board members sometimes ask MIT-style behavioral interview questions
  • Unlike MIT, HBS interviewers have also been known to ask about your industry and other "macro" issues to check your critical thinking skills
  • They assume that if you cannot analyze your industry and function from a critical perspective and explain it to them in non-technical terms, you will be less likely to represent your industry in case discussions and project teams
  • HBS interviews conducted on campus often contain at least one "curve ball" question, like, "What is your favorite cartoon"
  • HBS interviewers do not usually ask McKinsey-style "brain teaser" questions to check your quantitative reasonaing skills, like, "How would you move Mt. Fuji?"

Step seven

HELP ME IMPROVE MY SERVICE

  • Please, note that I would appreciate hearing from you after the interview
  • I will send you a short one page feedback request form that asks if you experienced any surprise questions and/or challenging follow up questions that I could done a better job prepare your to handle with confidence
  • I will keep your replies confidential and use them to improve my service (internally, not externally on my website)
  • Finally, I expect you will tell me about their final admission result after HBS informs you
  • By knowing your result, I will know if my service was effective or not
  • I aim to provide the best HBS interview training in the world


PLEASE NOTE

  • I will keep the time of our mock trainings to 50 mins exactly (30 mins of questions and 20 mins of feedback / tips / next steps)
  • I will review your HBS application free of charge
  • If you are not my comprehensive client, I will not be able to engage in lengthy email exchanges with you between or after our sessions

CANCELLATIONS

  • If necessary, requests to reschedule appointments should be made at least 24 hours in advance of the originally scheduled appointment time
  • Rescheduling requests made less than 24 hours prior to an appointment will be granted at Vince's discretion

What are Vince's fees?

Interview service fees in effect until March 31, 2020 (prices thereafter to be determined)

  • Three-hour minimum at my hourly rate of 44,000 JPY (or US dollar equivalent at current exchange rates) = 132,000 JPY

from Vince's Comprehensive Clients

Harvard Business School Class of 2012

Preparing admissions essays for MBA programs can be a lonely process, involving much introspection and contemplation. Throughout this process, Vince was an invaluable partner to me, providing objective and professional advice that was critical to my success; ultimately, I gained admissions to 5 top programs in the US, including HBS, Wharton and Northwestern’s JD-MBA program.

Initially, I was somewhat skeptical of receiving advice from essay counselors. I had been educated in the US through college and had confidence that I could pull it off all by myself. Yet, once I started working with Vince, my initial doubt quickly dissipated, as I realized the importance of having a good listener and thinker give objective feedback and advice. I could not have integrated my myriad of ideas into coherent essay portfolios without Vince’s support.

I was also impressed by Vince’s professionalism. He gave tremendous personal attention (almost to a fault!) and usually worked outside of designated time slots; I believe this separates him from other commercially-minded essay counselors.

Having advised many successful, top-notch Japanese clients in the past, Vince has an excellent understanding of the MBA application process and a keen insight into what admissions officers from top programs look for in candidates. Such intelligence could be hard to gather in Japan, where only several hundred people apply to MBA programs each year.

Last but not least, Vince possesses a dry sense of humor that made every one of my twice-a-week face-to-face sessions enjoyable.

Harvard Business School Class of 2012

(also admitted to Wharton)

In short, Vince Ricci:

  • knows what admission committees think and feel: he said, "Essay is an art as well as a science."
  • leverages technologies as a Stanford alum: non-Tokyo based applicants can work with him without stress.
  • is a nice guy: he has a broad network which helps applicants learn about target schools.

Overall, by working with Vince, I experienced great results, good ideas for essays and strategies for interview, and a lot of networking opportunities.


Harvard Business School MBA Class of 2009

The two greatest aspects of Vince and his counseling are his capabilities to push the client to his/her best potential and his abilities to listen and cheer for the best results.

My first confident essay draft was so easily referred to by Vince as “a mess”. This pure shock hit me hard to realize that he was not there to help and support me no matter what, but was there for me to convince him (later myself and the admissions) that I could make it into business schools. The difficulty of business school preparation is fundamentally changing the mindset to think deep in who you are and what makes you valuable to an admit, and Vince was capable to push me each time I tried to slack off the process. Not to mention that without him convincing me, I would have not applied to Harvard Business School/third round, where I am now today.

Also, business school prep move forward by multiple waves. I could not always execute what I had promised Vince the week before whether it was due to work, or emotional fluctuations. Within each one hour counseling session, I sometimes spent the time just talking with Vince about what was going on in my life in general. This helped me through the tough times and kept me from completely falling apart. Vince is truly a great listener and the best cheerleader I had during my prep period.

Vinceをカウンセラーとして起用して良かった点 は、私の魅力を最大限に引き出してくれた事と、私の話をいつも聞いてくれ、励ましてくれた点です。彼の 所に最初に持っていったエッセイは自信作であった割には「it’s a mess」とコメントされ、沈没でした。駄作であったとしても、よいものに直してくれるであろうと気楽に構えていたのですが、ビジネススクール合格はそん なに簡単ではありません。まずは、Vinceを乗り越えなければ合格にたどり着かないのだなと、その時強く思いました。ビジネススクール受験の辛さは今ま でのマインドセットを変え、自分の経験と将来像を深く考え、いかにビジネススクールに進学する事が自分にとって重要なのかを合理的に追求していく事です が、ちょっと手を抜くたびにVinceが後ろから押してくれていました。HBSへ3rdでも出したほうがよいと、彼にしつこく説得してくれなければ私は今 日HBSで勉強をする事ができなかったでしょう。

ビジネススクール受験はよく言わる通りに、マラソンであり、幾度も山や谷を経験しま す。Vinceに約束したことさえも実施できない週が続く事もめずらし くありません。そんな時に彼はセッションの時間の中で、私の悩みを辛抱強く聞き、励まし、エッセイカウンセラー以上のアドバイスを下さいました。この時間 がなければ機能低下はもちろんの事、受験もあきらめていたかもしれません。Vinceは人の話を聞いてくれますし、一緒になって受験をがんばってくれま す。

HBS Admissions Criteria

Genuine business talent cannot be narrowly defined. Instead of looking for an "ideal" candidate, HBS invites MBA applicants who exhibit a variety of skills, accomplishments, and temperaments. The true common characteristics of our students are demonstrated leadership potential and a capacity to thrive in a rigorous academic environment.

Indeed, to create the most stimulating environment possible for all students, we consciously select a diverse student body, one that not only reflects a variety of backgrounds, cultures, and nationalities, but a wide range of personal interests and professional ambitions.

A Habit of Leadership

We recognize — and welcome — leadership that may be expressed in many forms, from college extracurricular activities to academic or business achievements, from personal accomplishments to community commitments. We appreciate leadership on any scale as well, from organizing a classroom to directing a combat squad, from running an independent business to spearheading initiatives at work. In essence, we are looking for evidence of your potential - a portfolio of experiences, initiatives, and accomplishments that reflect a habit of leadership.

Capacity for Intellectual Growth

Harvard Business School is a demanding, fast-paced, and highly-verbal environment. We look for individuals who will thrive on sophisticated ideas and lively discussion. Our case-based method of learning depends upon the active participation of prepared students who can assess, analyze, and act upon complex information within often-ambiguous contexts. The MBA Admissions Board will review your prior academic performance, the results of the GMAT or GRE, and, if applicable, TOEFL IBT and/or IELTS, and the nature of your work experience. There is no particular previous course of study required to apply; you must, however, demonstrate the ability to master analytical and quantitative concepts.

Engaged Community Citizenship

So much of our MBA experience - including the case method, section life, and student-organized events - requires the active collaboration of the entire HBS community. That's why we look for students who exhibit the highest ethical standards and respect for others, and can make positive contributions to the MBA Program. The right candidates must be eager to share their experiences, support their colleagues, and teach as well as learn from their peers.

Please note that there is no minimum work experience requirement for the MBA Program. Successful candidates are able to demonstrate strength in the criteria outlined above, regardless of their number of years of work experience. They include college seniors with significant leadership experience, as well as individuals with as little as one to two years of full-time work experience. It is important for you to assess your own readiness when deciding when to apply.

NON-INTERVIEW LINKS

  • Vince's most recent HBS Essay Tips are here
  • Vince's comprehensive HBS Admissions Tips are here

Link highlights:

DISCLAIMER

As a bit of a cheap bastard and control freak, I manage this website alone.

Thus, I do not always have time to update it as I would like.

Information is subject to change. Please, verify all data with the schools.