Prepare for Your HBS Interview with a Former HBS Interviewer

Prepare for Your HBS Interview with a Former HBS Interviewer: Devi Vallabhaneni, mbaMission

Devi Vallabhaneni, mbaMission’s HBS Interviewer in Residence

One of the most critical steps in the MBA application process is the interview, and none is more legendary—or stress inducing—than Harvard Business School’s (HBS’s). The HBS interview is particularly fast-paced and can cover a wide range of topics, all based on your specific application and personal story. It is designed to help the admissions representative get to know the real you.

Devi Vallabhaneni, a veteran admissions interviewer with years of experience interviewing hundreds of HBS candidates and mbaMission’s HBS Interviewer in Residence, emphasizes how much preparation goes into an HBS interview. “Your submitted HBS application includes so many different elements—your essay, your short answers, your transcripts, your letters of recommendation… I review everything extensively so that during our interview, I already know your story and can push deeper into the areas that interest me. You’ve worked so hard to show HBS who you are through your application; the interview reflects this same intensity back to you.”

Although the HBS admissions interview is specialized and unpredictable, Devi asserts that preparing for it is still both important and possible, and she encourages candidates to take steps to ready themselves for this pivotal discussion. “In just 30 minutes, even though you have no control over the questions, you have to convey the kind of HBS student and future leader you will be. To prepare, make sure that you know everything you submitted in your application. This sounds elementary, but I have seen people forget details about their own experiences! Practicing ahead of time is more than worth your while.”

With that in mind, this winter, Devi will be offering intensive interview simulations online via webcam to help HBS applicants prepare for the real thing. She will also hold an HBS Interview Workshop exclusively for mbaMission Complete “Start-to-Finish” Package clients.

The live interview simulation includes

  • Two or three 30-minute interview experiences customized to your application. Before your first session, Devi will spend several hours reviewing your written application, following the same process she used when conducting candidate interviews for HBS. This allows her to target her questions based on what she discovers about you from your application.
  • Personalized feedback. After each interview session, Devi will provide you with targeted feedback, talking you through her impressions and offering strategic advice for improving your HBS interview skills.
  • Reflection period. You will have time between your interview sessions with Devi so that you can internalize the feedback and adjust accordingly before trying again.

For more information and to secure your spot, please visit our HBS Intensive Interview Simulation page.

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