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Columbia MBA Admissions Interview Questions: Round 1 (ED) / Alumnus / Off-campus

As other people have stated, spend some time to choose your interviewer. Also remember a recent graduate is not necessarily going be easier to interview with… senior alumni can make sometimes better interviewers as they have done hundreds of them and it will be just one more for them and are a lot more confident.

Interview was exactly as described here by everyone else. We held the interview at his office in a meeting room. It started off as a normal job interview and slowly changed into a conversation. I also felt that he placed a lot of weight on the time that he gave me to ask questions (remember to tailor your questions to the interviewer – no point asking a interviewer who graduated 20 years ago which class to take or how was his time at CBS).

Questions that he asked me:
1. Why an MBA (he asked me to use the opportunity as well to walk him through my CV)
2. Why Columbia and why New York
4. Do I have any particular classes or professors in mind
5. As I am in investment banking he asked me to detail a recent deal that I worked on (he went into technical questions – not valuations but rather what is the driver for the industry, how would x, y and z impact valuation, etc – but they were basic questions nothing compared to a real banking interview)
6. Give me a situation where you worked in a team
7. Give me a situation where you had difficulty in concluding a deal
6. Give me a situation where you had difficulty with a team member
8. How many people have worked for you (juniors), in what capacity and how did you manage them
9. What are you future plans; both short term and long term
9.1 What would you do if your plans failed? I told him that I would like to return to my home country post MBA to which he responded if this was absolute or if I am flexible and willing to relocate and why
10. Have I spoken to alumni and / or current students and who are they – he didn’t care about names rather how do I know them etc.

After about an hour he gave me about 15 min to ask questions. The interview did not seem tailored to ED applications.

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