Blind versus Bon-Blind Interviews
Some schools believe strongly in blind interviews, which means that your interviewer will know nothing about you in advance of the interview other than what appears on the résumé you give them.
Schools that conduct blind interviews:
- Yale School of Management (SOM)
- Columbia Business School
- University of Chicago Booth School of Business
- UVA’s Darden School
Stanford GSB Conducts Some Blind, Some Non-Blind Interviews
“We use blind interviews—that is, based on the résumé only, with the interviewer not seeing any other part of the candidate’s application—to allow the interviewer to give us as independent an assessment of the candidate as possible, without being influenced by the academic record, GMAT score, essay, etc.,” says Yale SOM’s Bruce Delmonico.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Blind Interviews
- There’s no bias that might come with the interviewer having seen grades, scores, recommendation letters.
- From the school’s perspective, blind interviews also make it feasible to draw from a larger group of interviewers—including alumni and second-year students.
- A blind interview doesn’t require that these interviewers be fully versed in a candidate’s full application or be trained to limit biases that could result from having this fuller view before the interview.
- Blind interviews as “additive” in that they represent an additional data point like essays or recommendation letters.
- Non-blind interviews, in contrast, Brown views as “iterative.” These give the adcom the opportunity to dive deeper into the applicant.
- A blind interview requires applicants to start from scratch, which is often a difficult task
- The non-blind format can also allow for a more productive—“meaty”—conversation to some extent.
The Interview Process at Stanford GSB
Whether your interview will be blind or non-blind depends on who does the interviewing.
- The only information about you that your alumni interviewer will have is your resume, which you will send directly to him/her.
- Stanford will not provide the alumni interviewer with your application, nor will it use your application to identify specific areas for your alumni interviewer to probe
Stanford believes the bias that could result from such guidance to alumni could outweigh potential benefit from an evaluation standpoint.
Stanford gives its alumni interviewers a structure and topics to address with applicants, although it trusts the interviewers’ judgment in terms of pursuing topics more deeply that might be of particular relevance for an individual applicant, Bolton continues.
But some interviews at Stanford GSB are conducted by members of the admissions staff, in which case the interviewer will have reviewed a candidate’s complete application before the interview, according to Bolton.
The “clean slate” provided by the blind interview format can actually pose a challenge for some applicants. “A blind interview requires applicants to start from scratch, which is often a difficult task if you’ve just poured your heart and soul into a lengthy application,” he says. The non-blind format can also allow for a more productive—“meaty”—conversation to some extent, he adds.