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Columbia MBA Admissions Interview Questions: Early Decision / Alumnus / Off-campus

Applied: 9/30, Interview Notification: 10/15, Interview Scheduled: 10/17, Interview On: 10/21, Report Complete: 10/26, Admission Decision: 11/04 (Denied)

I want to take the time to write this report even though I got denied admission to Columbia. This site has been very helpful in my preparation for interviews with MBA schools and I want to give back to the community.
*The most important step* in your interview process with Columbia is selecting your interviewer. I made the mistake of choosing an alumnus (’06 grad) that was not able to relate to my goals or my background. I chose him because he used to work in the company I work for and graduated the same year and cluster as a colleague of mine (extra points right? Wrong!).

The interviewer was very hostile and doubtful of my goals/achievements. Apart from working in the top investment bank, I started my own business and the main reason I want to get an MBA is to expand this business outside of my home country. The interview took more of a focus on the difficulty in achieving my goals and how the interviewer has failed as an entrepreneur. Our conversation lasted for an hour and a half and we covered the basic interview questions (why your undergrad school?, your career, time showing leadership, etc ) in the first fifteen minutes. The next hour and change was all about the feasibility of my business model.

I hope you learn from mistakes and know that 90% of the interview is dependent on whether you can get the alumnus to relate to your story. Do your research on the candidates and choose someone that sees themselves in you.

Best of luck! And on to the next MBA interview for me.

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