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What is the GSB Interview Process?


Stanford GSB interviews differ from HBS interviews in that alumni conduct them blindly. An interview typically lasts 45-60 minutes and features a brief initial introduction followed by 30-40 behavioral questions and 15 minutes for discussing interest in Stanford.

Be mindful of how you highlight experiences and accomplishments from your past that fit with Stanford’s values and resources, including resilience and being able to collaborate across diverse teams.

Behavioral Interviews

Interviewers at Stanford GSB will focus on your past behaviors and skills to assess your suitability for admissions. They may ask about specific examples from both work and life experience as they probe your responses with follow-up questions.

One common interview question asks you to describe an uncomfortable or challenging situation and how you handled it while showing your resilience, strategic thinking capabilities, leadership capacities, and teamwork skills. The interviewer wants to hear a narrative that illustrates these qualities.

Interviewers will also probe your career goals and how an MBA from Stanford can assist in meeting them. Be ready to explain that GSB resources and faculty could contribute to your success; interviews may occur virtually or in person and be “blind,” meaning the interviewer has only seen your resume before the interview.

Situational Interviews

Situational interviews require applicants to present a hypothetical situation and then explain how they would handle it, aiming to evaluate their problem-solving abilities, analytical skills, and potential success in business.

Answering this question can be challenging as applicants should avoid providing generic responses that state what would happen or list actions they would take if faced with this scenario. A good approach would be to focus on providing steps you would take versus listing all possible responses.

GSB interviews assess how an applicant would tackle problems, work as a team, and balance multiple projects. Therefore, when approaching situational interviews, it is wise to be strategic and emphasize those experiences and achievements that support your goals directly. For assistance in your MBA interview prep, contact Tatiana Nemo of Fortuna Admissions Expert Coach, a Stanford GSB graduate, and former admissions interviewer – an ideal partner.

Personal Interviews

Assuming you make it this far in your Stanford GSB admissions process application, reaching the personal interview stage represents a significant feat. With only a 7% acceptance rate, an invitation to this interview demonstrates Stanford recognizes you as a strong candidate – something to be proud of and celebrate.

Personal interviews may be conducted by members of the admissions team or alumni from Stanford and may take place remotely or on campus. Personal interviews typically last 45-60 minutes but could extend further occasionally.

An interview can cover various topics and frequently explore experiences not included in an application. Stanford GSB may ask how you handle criticism or what interests or passions lie outside of work. Below are examples from Menlo Coaching’s client database of firsthand interview reports to indicate the types of personal interview questions being asked in personal interviews.

Group Interviews

Many applicants report that GSB interviewers can be direct and no-nonsense, quickly diving into behavioral questions without much introduction and often interruptive. Interviewers usually read your application before making inquiries about specific parts.

Interviewers typically ask candidates in group interviews how they define success to better assess GSB as a partner in helping you meet long-term career objectives. The initial question typically includes, “How do you measure success?” Interviewers want to learn your perspective of professional accomplishment and ensure that participating at GSB contributes towards meeting long-term career objectives.

GSB interviewers are mainly focused on leadership. Therefore, they often inquire about your experience leading teams or mentoring others. Furthermore, they’ll want to know how you would use your MBA skills to collaborate with others and address global challenges; your answers should demonstrate your capacity for building and leading diverse teams that enable others to realize their full potential.