Your HBS Interview: Tips for the Required Post-Reflection Essay |

Your HBS Interview: Tips for the Required Post-Reflection Essay

By QS Contributor

Updated February 19, 2021 Updated February 19, 2021

We’ve all been there. We spent the summer pouring our blood, sweat, and tears into our Harvard Business School MBA application essay, and pressing that final ‘submit’ button by the September deadline never felt so good. For those lucky enough to move onto the next round, the preparation for the one-on-one MBA interview – the final, coveted step in the long and much anticipated MBA admissions journey – begins.

HBS interviews for the class of 2018 are currently taking place around the globe. Although the MBA interview is the final major step in the admissions process, there will still be one more important task to complete before you can sit back and relax. It’s called the 'post-interview reflection' and you’ll have 24 hours to submit this short essay after the interview ends.

Students at The Harbus, HBS’s student-run, historic online & print newspaper, are here to make your life a little easier by sharing insight from our own successful MBA interview experiences. The post-interview reflection is designed to allow the admissions board to get one more snapshot of who you are. For this reason, make sure what you submit is genuinely you. And although the admissions board says it is “generous in [its] reaction to types and grammatical errors”, exhibiting carelessness on this final step of the process would be foolish.

Some tips from The Harbus for the HBS post-reflection essay

It is important to factor the post-interview reflection into your campus visit plans. There is free Wi-Fi on campus and plenty of quiet spaces to write. Composing your thoughts in a cozy corner is a lot easier than writing in a crowded airport on your way back home.

We leave the content of the reflection to you – after all, it’s your MBA interview. If you can, try to include specific details from your interview, such as a particular topic that resonated with you, a humorous comment, an interesting current event, etc.

Most importantly, be reflective – don’t be afraid, for instance, to say that, having reflected on it, you would change or add to an answer you gave.

And lastly, give the admissions board a reason to say, “We have to take this person!”

For convenience, we have included below the latest instructions from HBS on writing the Post-Interview Reflection. We encourage you to visit the admissions website to confirm that you are working with the latest (and greatest!) information.

HBS admissions' general guidance on the post-interview reflection

The post-interview reflection is not intended to be another formal essay. Think of it instead as an email you might write to a colleague or supervisor after a meeting. We will be much more generous in our reaction to typos and grammatical errors than we will be with pre-packaged responses. Emails that give any indication that they were produced BEFORE you had the interview will raise a flag for us.

We do not expect you to solicit or receive any outside assistance with this exercise.

Your post-interview reflection is due within 24 hours of the conclusion of your interview. There is no word limit for the post-interview reflection. There is a file size limit for the document you will upload, but it is quite generous.

If you need more help, we at the Harbus have compiled the MBA Admissions & Interview Guide. The guide contains full, real examples of current HBS students’ successful post-reflection essays, plus dozens of additional pages of insightful and helpful admissions & interview advice, 

This article was originally published in November 2015 . It was last updated in February 2021

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