Congratulations! You’ve just completed another step on the road to acceptance to Harvard’s MBA program – your interview. Now you have 24 hours to send HBS your Post-Interview Reflection…so let’s get started!
When it comes to carrying out this process, there’s really one major thing you need to do: Reflect!
How to reflect efficiently and effectively
In this video, you’ll find tips on how to carry out your interview reflection. I recorded this video when Harvard had just released their Post-Interview Reflection (a few years ago). The advice here is still relevant, but then continue reading for additional tips that I’ve developed with as time has passed and as I’ve gotten to know the evolved PIR better.
Your step-by-step guide to writing your Post-Interview Reflection
As soon as possible after your interview, sit down and think about the interview. Try and complete tips #1-3 below immediately after the interview. You can complete tips #4-7 after you get home or at least back to where you’re staying in Boston.
- Think about your responses that weren’t as clear as you wanted them to be.
Make a note of any answers where you didn’t hit the nail right on the head or where you feel that your logic or story was a little fuzzy. How could you clarify?
- Analyze the responses that were incomplete.
Jot down answers that you wanted to add something to later, but didn’t think of during the interview. What should you have included?
- Take note of the responses when you did a great job.
Don’t ignore the answers that were on-point, where your thought process was organized, when you were articulate, and the times that you conveyed your response clearly. Give yourself a pat on the back! And also make a note.
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- Choose which elements you want to focus on in your Reflection.
Most of your Reflection should be from tips #1 and #2 above. Choose the points that you feel are most important for HBS to know. How should you choose? Choose those elements that clearly relate to what you want HBS to truly learn about you.
Since you don’t want your Post-Interview Reflection to only be about clarifications and adding things you forgot in the interview, weave in and attempt to close with a reference to some point in the interview that you feel you aced.
- Think of your Reflection as a one-on-one conversation with another person, or as HBS advises, “Think of it… as an email you might write to a colleague or supervisor after a meeting.”
While the email metaphor connotes dialogue and conversation, it does not imply or permit a lack of professionalism. Write to that person as you would in a business email: you can use the second person and the first person in your writing. Keep it cordial, and be sure that it is well-written, grammatically correct, and professional.
- Write succinctly.
Don’t repeat information from your application or interview. They already have your application on file and have reviewed it. And don’t just repeat what you said in the interview. They’ve heard all that already.
- Be sure to thank them for their time and continued consideration.
Remember, they are people, and like all people, they appreciate appreciation. They’ve invested time in reviewing and considering your application and in meeting with you. Say “Thank you.”
Make your Reflection meaningful!
Taking the time to consider your HBS interview will make writing your Post-Interview Reflection a much easier and more meaningful experience. The result: a more effective, articulate piece of writing.
Do you need help prepping for your HBS interview, writing your Post-Interview Reflection?
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