Throughout our lives, we have known interviews to last anywhere between 15 minutes to one hour. However, throw all you’ve known about how long interviews should last out the window. The IMD in Switzerland allows MBA applicants to spend the entire day on campus and go through multiple stages of assessment. This swiss university was ranked as the top universities in Forbes International Business Schools in 2013.

The assessment day has a few components that make it what it is:

Meet and greet on-campus

At the start of your day, you will meet up with a member of the admissions team. They will likely introduce you to the rest of the MBA applicants you will be spending the rest of the day. You along with your cohorts will take a tour of the campus.

Personal interview

The personal interview is similar to many others in terms of structure. It will probably last about 30-45 minutes where you get familiarized with the interviewer.

However, what might seem alien to you is the probing. These IMD interviews are known to be through thus we highly recommend you prepare in advance. Such a long interview can be daunting and if you begin to get flustered it is really difficult to shake that off.

Thus, we think it would be wise to prepare in advance. One thing that needs clarification is that in no way will your interviewers make you feel uncomfortable. It will be an extremely conversational setting where they will try to get to know you.

These interviews are designed to get to know you so it makes sense to sometimes include fun puzzles that put a fun twist on the interview and make you feel more at ease as the interviewer gets the chance to assess your problem-solving abilities.

Short presentation

After this, you will be given 30 minutes on the clock to prepare a 5-minute presentation on a business case study that will be provided to you. You are not allowed to work laptops and the time limit is pretty strict as well.

Towards the end, when all of you have finished with your presentations, you may be asked to work in a group setting. This is designed to see how good your interpersonal skills are.


After this, you will be served lunch and encouraged to interact with the alumni of IMD. This is a great way to bring up any inquiries you may have regarding student life or just studies. Gain their perspectives on how their time was during their master’s program.

Case discussion

Perhaps two weeks prior to the assessment day, MBA applicants are sent a case study that they need to prepare for a class discussion with other applicants. This exercise will be moderated by an IMD professor.
The discussion should be such that it revolves around the basics of the MBA program. You are encouraged to present your case study as best you can since you will be judged by a professor who works with the faculty you want to join. Prepare to impress!

While taking part in this exercise, make sure not only to present your views clearly but also be pragmatic enough to be willing to discuss and learn from others’. This can also be something you are being judged on by the professor.

Class observation

The final part of your assessment day is concluded with auditing a live MBA class. Relax. Typically,MBA applicants to not partake in class discussion but instead are on the outside looking in.

This last part is just supposed to be purely informational; to help you get a better idea of what kind of teaching style to expect at IMD.

While the IMD assessment day is daunting and intense, it certainly is a rewarding one. Even if you do not get extended an offer, it’ll be a great thing to have experienced and lived through.

However, if you do your research and start preparing and practicing for this day-long interview we are sure you’ll do amazingly.