Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Hell Week 
Ok, in order to assist my readers I will explain the interview process at HBS. There are two separate processes but both lead to interviews: closed and open schedules.

Closed:You get a closed schedule by submitting a resume and cover letter to a company and then they in turn deem you worthy of an interview and place you on their closed lists. Or, like one company did with me, they think you're not quite special and they put you down as an alternate, which means you can get a closed spot if someone who got one decides they're not interested after all (not likely).

Open:You get an open spot by ranking a company in the lottery and then getting lucky and receiving a spot on their open schedule. Not all companies have an open schedule, but if they interview more than 12 people on a closed list then they have to have one (with at least 6 slots, I believe). After the lottery, all remaining open slots are then up for grabs by anyone.

I think I screwed up my lottery strategy since I placed the company that I thought would have the least demand, and therefore the best odds, as #1. I was right in my reasoning, but wrong in my conclusion. The company had so little demand that I could have put them #2 and almost definitely still won a spot, which means that I wasted my #1 pick on them. A friend of mine put the same three companies 1-2-3 as I did, but in a different order, and he got all three. Luckily, he hadn't planned on getting all three and so he declined one and I was able to get that spot when the schedules opened at 5pm today.

In the end I wound up with a good number of interviews. I got two of them via the lottery/open schedule process, and the rest through the closed list process. I have a lot of preparation to do between now and next Monday, with the added bonus of jury duty on Thursday.

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