The Stanford GSB’s application essay prompts candidates to reflect on their truest core, asking them to discuss what matters most to them and why. The school’s interview process can be just as personal, requiring candidates to share not only their choices and actions but also their motivations, intentions, and values. The GSB has built a small and well-trained cadre of alumni to conduct the interviews, ensuring that interviewers can extract the information and observations they need to make a meaningful assessment of an applicant’s candidacy.
While each GSB interview has its own style and can vary from interviewer to interviewer, most of the program’s admissions interviews are characterized by the prevalence of “Tell me about a time…” interview questions. These questions are designed to elicit information about the applicant’s values and leadership traits.
We at Gatehouse have been studying the GSB’s interviews for years, collecting data and input from clients who have interviewed with the school. We have also leaned on the Gatehouse Consultants who are Stanford GSB alumni: Alex Salton and Hollis Kline. We find that success in the GSB interview requires both strategic thought and tactical practice. The strategic thought involves determining which examples to offer and what to emphasize; the tactical practice helps candidates guide the interviewer through a story and focus on the most important and compelling elements of that story. We also encourage interview candidates to be well-versed on GSB resources and why they hope to attend the school; these topics frequently come up in a GSB interview.
While at the GSB, Alex served as an Arbuckle Leadership Fellow, mentoring first-year GSB MBAs on their career and professional development. He explains,
“My training as an Arbuckle Fellow at the GSB was grounded in inquisitive coaching tactics geared toward pushing my mentees to reflect on their strengths, goals, and motivations. I spent my entire second year in the MBA program working with first-year students, helping them set intentions around their professional ambitions and develop tangible plans to achieve their goals. My experience as an Arbuckle Fellow has uniquely positioned me to help applicants interviewing for the GSB, as I have a deep appreciation for what the school values and is looking for—and the skills required to help applicants convey their stories in a personal way that will resonate with the admissions committee.”
To provide you with the most realistic Stanford GSB mock interviews, Gatehouse Admissions offers GSB mock interviews led by one of our GSB alumni who will not only coach you on your interview techniques and strategies but also share specific advice relevant to the GSB.
As a client of our GSB Mock Interview service, you will receive the following:
As a client of our Special Mock Interview Bundle with GSB Alumni service, you will receive all the elements included in the Gatehouse GSB Mock Interview service, plus the following:
The Stanford GSB ranks as the world’s most selective business school, having accepted as few as 6% of applicants in seasons past. Its interview process is comparably selective, with the school reporting that it interviews 12%–15% of applicants. According to its website, the GSB generally interviews “two to three candidates per available seat in the class.” So, if you are lucky enough to receive an interview invitation, your chances of admission rise considerably, to between 33% and 50%.
The Stanford GSB interview typically lasts from 45 minutes to an hour and consists of the interviewer asking you questions and giving you an opportunity to ask them questions as well. The interview will be conducted by a graduate of the GSB’s MBA program (most typically) or a member of the school’s admissions team.
Notably, your interviewer will have access to your resume but not to any of your other application materials. What examples and stories you bring to life during the interview in response to the questions is therefore up to you; your interviewer will have no expectations of what stories you might tell.
The GSB admissions team will match you with an interviewer, often based on elements of your candidacy. For example, you might be paired with someone who currently works in your industry. Your interviewer will typically be based in the geographic area as you, and your interview can be conducted either virtually or in person. No on-campus interviews are offered.
If you are invited to interview, congratulations! The GSB asks that you complete your interview within a fairly compressed time window (seven to ten business days) after you are matched with your interviewer. We therefore encourage you to begin preparing for your interview, even if only informally, as soon as the GSB’s interview window opens.
Read strategies from Alex based on his experience as a successful GSB interviewee and as an expert GSB admissions coach here.
*Subject to availability. We offer only a limited number of Special Mock Interview Bundles with GSB Alumni.