US B-Schools interviews are just around the corner. It is about the time to ramp up the preparation for the interview. Most of the top US B-Schools like Harvard, Stanford, MIT Sloan, Kellogg, Duke, and Tuck all give more weightage to interview round and these admission interviews are usually tough to crack. You need a thorough knowledge of the interview process and the types of questions asked.


The preparation for the interview involves being acquainted with the frequently asked questions in the interviews. However, just knowing frequently asked questions won’t do the trick. You can anytime expect a curve-ball question from the interview panel to throw you off. Hence, you need to be well-equipped with some of the toughest questions asked in the US B-School interviews.

We have listed down a few for you below:

1. Tell us about a failure you have experienced.

  • Most candidates only concentrate on the positive aspects of their life and personality while answering most of the questions. If you are one such, this question can throw you completely off balance as you need to show a less attractive side of your life here.
  • How to answer this?
    • Avoid trying to pass off a success story for a failure. The interview panel can easily read your trick and you may come off as you are avoiding answering the question.
    • While you talk about a real and substantial failure, make sure that you are not picking a recent failure which is very substantial that the panel may think that you might commit the same mistake again.
    • Be direct and genuine with the answer. Explain your role in the situation and the things you have learned from it.

2. Tell us about your strengths and weaknesses.

  • This is again a very similar question like the failure one. You would very well-prepared with your strengths anyways, on the other side you need to very careful with your weaknesses. They need to be genuine yet not impairing for your admission chances.
  • How to answer this?
    • Be prepared with a list of 3 to 4 weaknesses out of which one should be substantial yet rectifiable and rest can be minors ones.
    • It is always recommended that you state a genuine weakness of yours as you could give organic answers for any follow up questions.

3. Did you apply to any other schools?

  • This is the tough one because often candidates don’t know how the interviewers would interpret their answers. Your interview panel is necessarily trying to gauges your chances of attending their B-school by this question
  • How to answer this?
    • You could use this question as a chance to display how well you analyzed your career plans. Be honest and list a couple of business schools you have applied for and give the reason as to what the factors you considered before applying. You also draw a parallel about how the same factors have made you apply for ISB.

4. If people close to you had to describe you in three words. How would they do that?

  • This question is generally asked to assess the level of your self-awareness. You may face different versions of the same question, where you would be asked to explain the same in length.
  • How to answer this?
    • Be prepared with two or three of your notable qualities that others might pick up. The interviewers may also ask you to expand on your answer or back it up with an instance from your life.

5. Tell us about a conflict at work and how you managed it?

  • This question can be really tricky to answer; you need to extra careful while framing your answer to this question. Though you were involved in this conflict, you need to answer objectively. You would not want to speak badly about your co-worker and yet you would not want to project that you were the trouble maker.
  • How to answer this?
    • Strictly refrain from disparaging your co-workers who were involved in the conflict.
    • Describe your role in detail and be open to accepting your mistakes in the situation.
    • Do make sure that you explain the lessons you have learned from the conflict and how you used them to make sure such a situation didn’t arise again.

6. How would you explain a kid about the last project you worked on?

  • Through this question, your interviewers would try to understand if you can explain a complex concept through simple language. This is a vital quality for a business professional to possess. Though this might seem easy, it is really not.
  • How to answer this?
    • Practice is the key to master the art of simplifying complex concepts. You take a few complex examples and try to explain it to a kid in a simple language.
    • Make sure that you are not coming across as condescending.

7. What is your decision making process while taking big decisions in life?

  • Through this question, your interviewers are trying to take a peek into your thought process and decision making process, which are both very essential characteristics of future business leaders.
  • How to answer this?
    • Explain your decision making process in a step-by –step structure.
    • Mention the factors that you consider while taking decisions and you analyze them.
    • Tell about how much of your decision is logic and how much is intuition.
    • Give an organized and structured answer.

Apart from these, you might come across other tough (twisted) questions in the interview. Try to gauge as to why this question is being asked and what they are testing by asking it, base your answer on the analysis and you would do fine.