INSEAD MBA Recommendation

I Letter of Recommendation
II Notbale Recommendation Questions
III Assessment Grid

You can download a PDF of the exact form your recommender will see below.

Download INSEAD MBA Recommendation Questions 2017-18

This recommendation form is for the INSEAD MBA 2017-18 application season. Generally speaking recommendation forms do not change from year to year so it’s a safe bet to assume that the same recommendation form will be used during the 2018-19 application season. When the 2018-19 application goes live the download file and this page will be updated.

INSEAD requires that MBA applicants submit two recommendations.

Two professional recommendation letters are required, providing information about your leadership and management potential. As such, at least one recommendation should come from your workplace; your current supervisor or manager is usually a good choice. The other recommendation should be from someone who has had a chance to evaluate you in a professional setting, for example, a client, a former supervisor or a colleague from your community service or extracurricular activities. Academic recommendations are acceptable but they are less likely to address our main interest, which is to assess your ability to work with and manage others as well as your potential for senior management. You will also be able to upload an optional third letter of recommendation as part of the supporting documents.
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Before you ask someone for a recommendation it’s best to understand what types of questions the school will put to them. Asking the CEO of your company for a recommendation may be tempting, but will he/she be able to convincingly convey your strengths and weaknesses to the INSEAD Admissions Committee? The best recommenders are those that have observed you interacting with others on a regular basis.

After you input your recommender’s name and email inside the INSEAD application, he/she will receive an email directing him/her to INSEAD’s online recommendation form.

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I INSEAD MBA Letter of Recommendation

Recommenders do not have the option of uploading a Word or PDF document. Instead, INSEAD asks recommenders to respond to the following questions directly in the online form. There is no word limit.

  1. Comment on the candidate’s career progress to date and his/her career focus. (no word limit)

  2. What do you consider to be the candidate’s major strengths? Comment on the factors that distinguish the candidate from other individuals at his/her level. (no word limit)

  3. What do you consider to be the candidate’s major weaknesses? (no word limit)

  4. Comment on the candidate’s potential for senior management. Do you see him/her as a future leader? (no word limit)

  5. Describe the candidate as a person. Comment on his/her ability to establish and maintain relationships, sensitivity to others, self-confidence, attitude, etc. Specifically comment on the candidate’s behavior or skills in a group setting/team environment. (no word limit)


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II Notable INSEAD MBA Recommendation Questions

Aside from the typical questions INSEAD asks recommenders (Name, Address, Phone etc.) there are some notable short answer questions you should be aware of.

  • Have you attended an INSEAD Programme? If yes, please specify which one.
  • Please specify your relationship to the candidate:
    • Professional
    • Educational
    • Personal
  • How long have you known the candidate? Define your relationship with the candidate and the circumstances whereby you met. (no word limit)


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III INSEAD MBA Recommendation Assessment Grid

How do you rate the candidat on the following criteria?

The INSEAD assessment grid includes a number of qualities. Recommenders are asked to rate the applicant using one of the following six responses:

  • Outstanding (top 2%)
  • Very Good (top 10%)
  • Above Average (top 25%)
  • Average (Top 50%)
  • Below Average (bottom 50%)
  • Unobserved

The Qualities in the assessment grid are as follows:

  • Competence in his/her field
  • Professionalism
  • Focus on the task at hand
  • Readiness to use opportunities for achievement
  • Creativity and resourcefulness
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Energy and drive
  • Personal integrity
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Organizational ability
  • Oral communication skills
  • Written communication skills

How do you rate the candidate’s potential of becoming a responsible and successful manager in international business compared with other students or employees whom you have known in a similar capacity?

  • Excellent (top 2%)
  • Very good (top 10%)
  • Above average (top 25%)
  • Average (top 50%)
  • Below average (bottom 50%)
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