In the vibrant city of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, recently voted the world’s best city for students, HEC Montreal is one of Canada’s best-kept secrets among business schools.
Their one-year MBA boasts first-year salaries, job placement rates, and a global alumni network that rivals those of better-known Canadian schools, with the added bonus that the school offers a unique opportunity to study in French, English, or both languages.
Historically, HEC Montreal’s admissions process included alumni interviews for the program’s approximately 130 full-time seats. But it wasn’t an ideal system.
Although alumni feedback was often telling of a candidate’s potential and fit, the school was unable to control for consistency between the experiences that each applicant would have in their interview or any cognitive biases that the individual alumni interviewer may bring to the table. While the school provided an interviewing guide, they had no way to verify their interviewers were following it.
Using Kira to scale the team's visibility into their applicant pool
When Anik Low, Administrative Director of the MBA program, evaluated Kira, she saw an opportunity to manage these variables with her small team and get more reliable insight into her applicant pool.
“Our first impression of Kira was the incredible amount of information it let us gather in no time flat,” said Low.
Not only is the school gaining insights on each applicant, they've also seen that adding Kira to the process has brought a level of consistency across the admissions committee.
“Now, we are certain we’re evaluating the same competencies. Everyone has the same type of questions, and we also have at least two sets of eyes on each applicant,” she said.
“There’s also something unbiased about asking the questions through videos, there’s no setting the tone with ‘casual conversations about the weather’,” she added.
The criteria the MBA program has outlined are competencies developed based on the school’s values and are used to determine potential candidate fit.
As of early 2018, four cohorts have been evaluated using Kira assessments and are currently enrolled in the MBA program.
“We have a truly exceptional group this year,” said Low. “They are bang on in terms of being aligned with the School’s values. People really are quite diverse, but share common values and Kira helped us zero in on those values in our applicants.”