Insider Tips for The INSEAD Interview

January 25, 2019 | by Fortuna

INSEAD is among the top schools that enlist alumni to conduct MBA admissions interviews, and by design it’s a conversational experience.

But this is also where it gets dynamic, as INSEAD draws upon a pool of thousands of alumni interviewers and gives them latitude. Given the high degree of variability in style, tone, context and length, what can you expect? And how should you prepare?


Know who you’re speaking to. With the flexibility of this format, it is important to conduct some due diligence and learn more about who you are talking with prior to the interview. Read relevant articles, Google your interviewers, and take time to review their LinkedIn profile. Finding commonalities in your background to discuss can serve as a helpful icebreaker during the meeting.

Highlight your international exposure. Given INSEAD’s stature as “the business school for the world,” global experience is a key component of your background that interviewers will want to discuss in detail. Between dedicated time working and studying in other countries, INSEAD is eager to see how these experiences have broadened your cultural curiosity, professional perspectives, flexibility and empathy for others. Shorter trips abroad generally carry less weight than longer stretches requiring greater adaptability to a new culture and environment. If you have yet to spend extended periods of time abroad in an academic setting or professionally, you can elaborate on experiences you have garnered partnering with global teams and the formative insights you have gained while collaborating cross-culturally.

Present compelling reasons for your MBAFormulate and practice your top selling points to assure what you convey is convincing and impactful. In case your interviewer is not taking notes, relay information in a thoughtful, persuasive manner that will be easy for them to recollect when they submit a follow-up report to the admissions committee.

Read the entire article for all eight insider tips. For even more guidance on this subject, view my video strategy session with Fortuna co-founder and former head of INSEAD Admissions, Caroline Diarte Edwards: Everything You Need to Know About the INSEAD MBA Interview.

Melissa Jones is an expert coach at MBA admissions coaching firm Fortuna Admissions and former assistant director of the INSEAD MBA program.

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