According to rankings published by Forbes, IMD’s one-year MBA programme is the best in the world. Financial Times ranked its MBA programme first in the world this year.
Each year, dozens upon dozens of hopeful students submit applications for enrollment. When it comes to selecting students for their programme, IMD has one of the strictest processes available. The remaining pupils participate in a comprehensive Assessment Day. After around two years, you may be curious about how the IMD assessment day went.
There hasn’t been much change to the day’s schedule throughout the years. However, in order to keep things interesting and ensure that candidates are being themselves throughout each evaluation round, the school does occasionally switch things up.
Why is an assessment day required rather than just an interview when applying to IMD?
The fundamental reason for this is because interviewers can only tell so much about a candidate’s character and behaviours. Many interviews disclose very little about the interviewee. Nothing else can be learned about you from them save how well you can prepare for an interview.
However, much more is revealed during an assessment day. For instance, if you’re not comfortable working with others, you probably won’t make it through business school or IMD. If you don’t get along well in teams or don’t enjoy working on group projects, you might want to seek elsewhere than IMD. You also need to be resilient in the face of adversity since stress will play a role in both your time at IMD and your professional life. For this reason, the IMD Assessment Day has become indispensable for MBA applications to IMD.
The MBA Application and Interview Process
IMD assessment days are unique among MBA schools since they combine personal interviews with a series of exercises that prospective students must complete before being selected. In addition, here is an illustration provided by a beaming IMD student:
Day of Evaluation and MBA Interviews at IMD
COVID-19 has made it possible to have the evaluation session totally in virtual space. The IMD admissions staff has put in a lot of effort to make sure that the online test is just as reliable as the in-person one.
The personal interview portion of the MBA application process began on day one. Paola had done her research and came prepared with a wealth of knowledge on me. She probed me with detailed inquiries regarding my time spent serving in the armed forces. She inquired about the most difficult experiences I’d had and my thoughts about them. Her inquiries touched on issues of authority. She was interested in my thoughts and opinions on the matter.
After these issues were settled, the focus shifted to the MBA. She probed me extensively about my motivations for pursuing an MBA, my future plans, and other personal details. When everything else failed, the “why IMD” question was posed.
STARTING UP QUESTIONS
- Tell me about yourself. (Expect follow-up questions)
- What do you do in your current job?
- Why did you choose your university?
- What was your undergraduate experience like?
- What are your short-term and long-term career goals?
- Name three firms you would like to work at after your MBA.
- Why did you quit your previous job?
- Why do you want an MBA?
- Why now?
- Why IMD?
- What will you bring to IMD?
- What excites you the most about IMD?
- What other schools have you applied to? If you get into all of them, how will you choose where to go?
- Why is our small class size interesting for you?
Analysing a Case
At this time, I and a few of my other classmates were given a case study. We finished our investigation and turned in all of our notes.
We split into two groups in order to finish the case study. There were just three of us in my group, whereas there were four in the other. In the time we had, we examined the case in depth. One of our team members made a presentation to the board, and the other team did as well. Then, we each gave an argument to back up our position. We also detailed our approach and the thinking behind it.
Everyone was welcome to share their thoughts. It was time to launch an assault against the adversary’s plan of action. The counter-argument was that we failed to identify our intended audience. However, we rebutted that all markets were of similar significance.
Day of IMD Assessment Day – Individual Task
After the in-person meeting, you’ll work on a solo assignment. You’ll have around 30 minutes to think about and write up your response. The next step is to introduce yourself to the invigilator. After you have finished your individual task, you will participate in a group discussion and make an impromptu team presentation.
A deck of cards was prepared for us. These cards were all loaded with questions. For me, the question was this: If you could live forever, would you?
During this segment of the workshop, we were instructed on how to participate in the activity while wearing blindfolds. There were several forms, with matching hues. The moderator gave us hints, and we had to figure out what they meant. You were limited to inquiries concerning the shape’s hue. I enjoyed taking part as an instrumental player. A few others also emerged as leaders within the organisation.
The moderator opened the floor for questions and comments. The first inquiry concerned our initial reactions to being blindfolded. I predicted that the exam would also incorporate my other senses of touch and hearing. In addition, I was reminded of the times in training when we fired our guns while wearing blindfolds.
Group dynamics and its defining characteristics were among the topics we talked at length about. The team, the procedure, and the end product were all reviewed by the participants. Someone on the team rated us highly and backed it up by indicating that we were attentive listeners. The moderators were ready to call out their own hypocrisy in this case after I voiced a fair issue and they ignored it. The member responded by telling me I needed to improve my communication skills. The moderators wanted to hear from me because of my participation. I brought up the fact that this was a time-limited activity, and I wasn’t about to let that slow down our progress.
MBA networking dinners are a great way for current students, alums, and business contacts to come together in an informal setting where they can talk shop, share insights, and build connections. This series shows how valuable MBA students and alumni are to other firms, opens up new channels of communication, and provides a platform for thought leaders to share their expertise.
The IMD Assessment Day is a critical milestone in the journey towards admission to the IMD MBA program. By understanding the structure and components of the Assessment Day, preparing thoroughly, demonstrating leadership potential, and aligning with IMD’s values and culture, you can increase your chances of success. Learn from the experiences of past applicants, apply valuable tips and strategies, and approach the Assessment Day with authenticity, self-awareness, and effective communication. Good luck in your pursuit of an IMD MBA and the exciting opportunities it can bring for your personal and professional growth.