53 Stanford MBA Interview Questions

Previous article of the “From Moscow to Stanford” MBA prep series.

What questions can be asked at a behavioural interview with Stanford GSB and other MBA programs? Any story from the candidate’s life. I will provide some examples.

Questions asked at a Stanford interview

Sources: Clear Admit, Adam Markus, interviews with students and alumni. The list is not exhaustive.


  1. Tell me about your background/walk me through your resume.
  2. Tell me a bit about yourself
  3. What extracurricular activity are you most proud of?
  4. What did you take away from your undergraduate experience?
  5. What do you like to do outside of work?
  6. Tell about a time you streamlined operations/made things more efficient. What did you do? How did you measure its success? What metrics did you use?
  7. Tell me about your international experience.
  8. What is your favorite place you’ve traveled?
  9. What is your company’s strategy? Is it succeeding?


  1. Tell me about a specific time when you realized you needed an MBA.
  2. Why a Stanford MBA?
  3. Why do you need an MBA?
  4. Why now?
  5. Why Stanford?
  6. How would you decide between schools if you got into multiple MBA programs?
  7. What will you bring that is unique to the program?
  8. How will you contribute to Stanford?
  9. What are your short-term goals? Long-term goals?
  10. Where else have you applied? How have those worked out?
  11. Explain how you are ready for academic rigor.


  1. Tell me about a time you faced an obstacle and what did you do about it?
  2. Tell me about a time you faced an ethical situation.
  3. Tell me about a time you had your beliefs challenged.
  4. Tell me about a time you had to stand your ground and how did you do it?
  5. Tell me about a time your values were challenged and you had to consult your moral compass?


  1. Tell me about someone difficult to work with that was in a position above you and what you learned from it.


  1. Tell me about a time when others have pointed out a weakness of yours.
  2. Tell me about the most valuable piece of feedback you’ve ever received. How did itchange your relationship with that individual? Why was it important?
  3. What is a valuable piece of feedback you have received?


  1. Tell me about a time things didn’t go according to plan and you failed? What did you learn from it?
  2. What did you learn from a failure?
  3. Tell me about an individual or group failure.
  4. Tell me about a time when you failed. What did you learn from that event and how have you implemented what you learned from that failure?
  5. How do you deal with failure?


  1. What is your favorite book that is not work related?
  2. What are your 3 favorite books?


  1. Tell me about what inspires you.
  2. Is there anything you’ve done merely out of passion?
  3. If money were not an issue, what cause would you pursue most vigorously?
  4. Tell me about a time you wanted to give up but found the motivation to keep going.
  5. What is your greatest accomplishment?
  6. Tell me about a time you had to make a trade-off between two equally attractive opportunities.


  1. Tell me about a time you worked with a difficult team member or manager.
  2. Tell me about an individual or group failure.
  3. Tell me about a team experience.
  4. Have you ever led a team?


  1. Tell me about a time when you had to lead a team of individuals. What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about leadership?
  2. Tell me about a leadership experience.
  3. Tell me about a time you knew you were an effective leader and how did you know?
  4. What is your leadership style? Give me an example of how you’ve led that way.
  5. When have you led peers and how?
  6. Tell me about a time when a leader fell short and you had to step up and lead.
  7. Tell me about a time when you’ve been challenged as a leader and what you learned from it.

In my next article I will write how to use this list wisely to prepare for an interview.

Thanks for reading,

Victor Rogulenko

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