- Tell me something about yourself?
- Walk me through your resume?
- Why MBA? …
- Why MBA now or Why MBA at this stage of your career?
- What is your short & long term goals?
- What is your Plan B if consulting/Investment banking does not happen?
- What are your key strengths?
Everything You Need to Know About the INSEAD MBA Interview
Interviews for Top Jobs at INSEAD
I applied online. I interviewed at INSEAD in Feb 2022
L’accueilLa présentation du candidatLa présentation de l’entreprise et du poste proposéLa discussion autour de l’expérience du candidatLa conclusion et la finÉcoutez, observez le candidatRepérer les points clés du CV/ lettre de motivationPrévoir un lieu calmePréparer des questionsEnvoyer un mail clair et précis au candidat sur les infos pratiques du RDVPréparer le test d’aptitude/ personnalitéPréparer une présentation vendeuse de l’entreprise
- Qu’apportez vous a notre entreprise de plus que les autres
I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at INSEAD (Singapore)
Very exhausting. I felt drained after the interview. Now I understand what energy vampire means. The hiring manager and their hr didn’t even offered me water for 2hr interview.
- Asked me why I wasn’t agree to wear a red lipstick to make more sales at my previous job
Tip: If you’re wondering if interview invites have already gone out for the 2021-22 application season, I recommend checking out the MBA LiveWire for real-time updates.
When faced with an impending interview, you may be tempted to scour the internet and amass an exhaustive list of interview questions. What will you do with all those questions? Most INSEAD MBA interviewees will think through answers to each and every one in their head. Sometimes they’ll write out their exact answers on paper and then practice them verbatim. The problem with those strategies is that the first one isn’t very efficient and then second one will leave you sounding robotic when you rattle off your answer out loud.
While each MBA program has a slightly different approach to the types of questions asked in interview, generally speaking there are no big surprises. The goal of your INSEAD MBA interviewer isn’t to throw you curve balls but to offer up questions that give you the opportunity to highlight your professional and personal accomplishments, your strengths/weaknesses, your goals, your decision to pursue an MBA and why INSEAD is of interest to you in particular.
INSEAD is unusual in that its MBA applicants interview with two separate alumni. At INSEAD, MBA interviews are conducted by alumni and take place off-campus (usually at the alumnus’ or alumna’s office or in a nearby restaurant/coffee shop.
Imagine you’re the INSEAD MBA Admissions Committee. For the 2021-22 MBA application season you’ve secured more than 100 alumni volunteers, scattered across the globe, conducting MBA admissions interviews for INSEAD. Jane concludes in her report to the admissions committee that MBA applicant #1 is ‘great‘ and Bill reports in that another applicant, applicant #2, is ‘a good fit‘. You (the INSEAD MBA admissions committee) only have one place left to fill in the upcoming MBA class. Which applicant would you choose?
8 Tips for a Successful MBA Interview with INSEAD
It’s common for alumni interviewers to open with, “Walk me through your resume,” or “Tell me about yourself.” Your approximately one-minute MBA elevator pitch should be a compelling and concise conversation opener that speaks to who you are, what you’re passionate about, and what’s driving you to pursue your business school degree. Your goal is to both create a positive first impression and open the door to further conversation by generating interest.
INSEAD is among the top schools that enlist alumni to conduct MBA admissions interviews.
In doing so, the Fontainebleau, France-based program strives to pair you with one alumnus of a similar profile to yours and, for diversity’s sake, another with a very different background. It’s a signal of how deeply the school values the perspective its grads can bring — both to the interview process itself and to you as a candidate.
Participating in an interview prep session with Fortuna significantly increases your chance of admission: 89% of clients invited to interview at a top European school in Round 1 were admitted (far above the estimated 40-50% that schools say they admit). You can sign up directly online for MBA Interview Prep or explore MBA Packages.
By design, INSEAD’s alumni-led format fosters a conversational experience. Unlike an interview with a member of admissions, it is an invaluable opportunity to gauge the school’s fit for you from someone who has been in your shoes. In a typical year, you can expect to be matched up with two interviewers in your current city of residence (interviews are not held on campus). This year, however, many interviews will be virtual; depending on your location, you may be invited to interview in person or online.
Given that INSEAD draws upon a pool of thousands of alumni interviewers, there’s a lot of variability in terms of format. And this is where it gets dynamic, because INSEAD gives its interviewers some latitude. The tone, style, context, and even length will often depend on your interviewer’s personality and profession. Average length, for example, is about an hour. But some interviews can be as short as 30 minutes, while others range up to two hours long. One of my Fortuna Admissions clients had an interview that topped four hours (that was pre-pandemic and in person, which can lend itself to longer chat time). This is unlikely – especially if your interview is conducted virtually – but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
Given the high degree of variability, what can you expect and how should you prepare for the INSEAD MBA interview? Below are my top tips for preparing for a successful INSEAD interview, informed by my experience as a Fortuna expert coach and former assistant director of the INSEAD MBA program.
In addition to the top tips below, you can view my short video strategy session with Fortuna co-founder and former head of INSEAD Admissions, Caroline Diarte Edwards:
How do I prepare for an INSEAD interview?
What percentage of INSEAD applicants get an interview?
How many questions are in INSEAD video interview?
What does INSEAD look for in a candidate?