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Stanford Interview Help

aabyrinthaabyrinth Registered User Posts: 44 Junior Member
I'm an applicant from Hong Kong, and just today, I have received an email about inviting me to have an interview. We booked next Wednesday.
Now I know I need to be myself and recognize the typical questions. But what I really want to know is what is MBA. On google it says it is for business but I did not put any major regarding business :/ so will the alumni even ask me about it? I chose Architectural Design as my first choice and Art Practice, I'm an Art person so to say.
Can I bring an iPad that has photos of my art works? Can I wear a casual-formal? Other than passions and stuff do I have to like, throw out all the information I know about Stanford to backup why I want to study there? (Like I said, I'm from Hong Kong, a public local school and not international school, so I don't know much about the US education system. All I know is that this difference suits me and I don't want to say it here :O )
Please help. I'm excited even though many say it doesn't help much in the application but well, I've never been offered an interview chance in Hong Kong (long story)
And what are the no-nos? Academics? o_o dull resumes?
Thanks thanks thanks!
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Replies to: Stanford Interview Help

  • BrownParentBrownParent Registered User Posts: 12,776 Senior Member
    Are you applying as an undergraduate? Why does MBA come up? Was it mentioned? MBA is graduate school for Masters degree in Business Administration. Maybe the interviewer has an MBA?

    You can bring your iPad and offer to show during the interview just for interest, but the alum interviewer will not evaluate it.

    Students usually dress a little nicer than usual for an interview, more formal if it is in an office and more casual if in a cafe, but I don't know there conventions for that in HK that are different from the U.S.

    You can rely on the interviewer to lead the conversation and hopefully they are friendly and happy to answer questions you may have too. Don't be ignorant about the 4 year program and be familiar with the courses on offer. But if the interviewer isn't as familiar you can talk about more general things. Be sure you know some general things you are excited about and of course you can talk about the areas outside the major you may like to explore. And they can tell you about the location.
  • aabyrinthaabyrinth Registered User Posts: 44 Junior Member
    Thank you for your advice! She's a student from the 2007 class of Business. She never mentioned it, I just googled the typical interview questions and MBA seemed to be mentioned alot of time >< I'm taking this time to familiarize myself with my favorite courses and about the campus life. The interview will be in a cafe but not anything like Starbucks! I have never even heard or been to that Cafe so supposedly I'll be heading to the cafe before the interview just to recognize the area and environment. I'll be wearing a plain sweater and suit trousers and leather shoes (they won't bother about not wearing a dress right? Because HK does stress on such things sometimes and I never wore plumps) thank you so much for telling me all these!
  • aabyrinthaabyrinth Registered User Posts: 44 Junior Member
    And oops yep I'm applying as an undergraduate
  • aabyrinthaabyrinth Registered User Posts: 44 Junior Member
    Also (sorry for asking so many questions, I am very unfamiliar with the American way) do I address her by her name or Ms (surname) ?
  • JustOneDadJustOneDad Registered User Posts: 5,845 Senior Member
    Ms. (Surname) is safe unless her communications with you have indicated otherwise.
  • aabyrinthaabyrinth Registered User Posts: 44 Junior Member
    Noted! Thank you! I was curious because throughout our email conversation she just signed her name instead of her whole name. When she introduced herself she just wrote her name as well :/ But I'll still address her by her surname to be proper and more respectful! Thank you again!
  • JustOneDadJustOneDad Registered User Posts: 5,845 Senior Member
    Using her surname is a very good idea. If she wants, she can always say "Oh, please just call me Jane". But, the American polite custom is to use the surname in this situation.
  • aabyrinthaabyrinth Registered User Posts: 44 Junior Member
    Ah that's the polite custom everywhere :) thanks for reassuring me though! Because everywhere I look, they say just have a friendly and casual chat, and I didn't know whether that meant you can treat them like a friend and call them like friends do! Thank you!
  • BrownParentBrownParent Registered User Posts: 12,776 Senior Member
    Yes use surname then switch to first name if invited to be safe. So she is American? Not from HK? Stanford is a very casual place as are most places in California. However did the interviewer actually attend Stanford as an undergraduate? If not you won't want to inquire about undergrad life there so much.

    The interviewer will not ask so much about grades and testing. They are more interested in what stimulates you intellectually and what you are interested in studying, and doing. What you see in your future. Maybe the kinds of things you will bring to the community yourself to help make it a wonderful, vibrant and diverse place. Where students are excited to meet new people and learn from each other.
  • aabyrinthaabyrinth Registered User Posts: 44 Junior Member
    Understood! Her surname isn't Chinese, so I'm uncertain whether she is an American-Chinese or simply an American! I can surely answer those questions, I was worried because of it's different way of interaction when compared to HK interviews: 3 on 1 and many dead-pan questions that make everyone bored and scared :s well typical Chinese ways. Thank you @BrownParent‌ for giving me an overview! Also @JustOneDad‌ you two really helped me alot!
  • BrownParentBrownParent Registered User Posts: 12,776 Senior Member
    Sure. Just be relaxed and take her lead. Some are more formal an some are less formal. They will leave it to the admissions department to evaluate your credentials usually, but some will ask. Be prepared for anything.
  • TopTierTopTier Registered User Posts: 2,766 Senior Member
    edited January 2015
    @aabyrinth‌: You've probably already figured this out, but Stanford (and many other fine schools) has global undergraduate applicant alumni interviewers; it appears yours happens to have attended Stanford's outstanding Business (professional) School for her MBA, not undergraduate school there. I add this information only because you seemed unclear regarding "MBA."
  • JustOneDadJustOneDad Registered User Posts: 5,845 Senior Member
    edited January 2015
    For some reason, there seems to be a lot of GSB alums doing interviews this year.
  • aabyrinthaabyrinth Registered User Posts: 44 Junior Member
    @TopTier Thank you for the extra information! So do you think I should take BrownParent's advice to not ask about undergraduate life in Stanford? I worry that there might be some void in our discussion. Surely, I have no idea of Stanford's big campus. What if she asked about MBA (because they say that alumni's don't read about my common app?) should I be honest that I didn't apply to it at all? Or should I probably fill myself with an incy bit of information for backup? Thank you again!
  • aabyrinthaabyrinth Registered User Posts: 44 Junior Member
    @justonedad perhaps business students get to be allocated around the world more? Just a guess >_< I mean well, Hong Kong is an international financial city. She's from class 2007, she probably works here even ._. I didn't even know about the cafe she mentioned and I have lived in Hong Kong for like 12 years or so. Thank you :)
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