"How would your parents describe you when you were twelve?" Shy? Unruly? Already reading The Economist front to cover every night before bed? Don't laugh; it's an important question. So important, in fact, that it could determine your admission status to Harvard Business School.
On October 24, CNN Money published an article by John A. Byrne entitled "Harvard Business School Students Dish On Admissions Interviews." Byrne's piece focused in on the latest publication of The Harbus, HBS's newspaper—a forty-three-page, all-inclusive informational guide to acing your HBS admissions interview. It's called the "Unofficial Harvard Business School Interview Guide." Among the questions taken from the book and mentioned in the article were, "How would your parents describe you when you were twelve?" and "What is your favorite kind of chocolate?"
In the spirit of keeping up with the Joneses, or in this case, not being outdone by the business school, Flyby has set forth a list of pertinent questions Harvard College hopefuls should be expected to answer in their interviews. Each fits into one of the six categories of HBS interview questions listed in Byrne's article: experience, leadership, career, current events, curriculum, and situational.
Experience: How many waffles can you eat in one sitting?
(Implied question: Are you really up to the challenge of meeting your weekly Veritaffle-consumption quota?)
Leadership: Given only your wits and a wheel of cheese, how will you save the world?
(Resourcefulness. Resourcefulness is key. Saving the world is okay, too)
Career: So you're thinking you'll concentrate in Economics, right?
(Nod and smile.)
Current events: Who was featured on the cover of this week's edition of Cosmopolitan Magazine?
(It's important to pay attention to what's going on in the world. Reading The Economist, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal just isn't going to cut it anymore.)
Curriculum: What is the most pretentious, overly verbose, unnecessarily specific course name humanly possible?
(Note: this is a trick question. You need to come up with something that's not in the Harvard Course Catalogue.)
Situational: Given the option of a pogo stick, a pair of roller blades, or a unicycle, which do you choose to navigate your way through the crowd of tourists gathered in the middle of the walkway?
(Just a straightforward question of practicality. There is a clear right and wrong answer to this one.)