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Columbia MBA Admissions Interview Report: J-Term / Alum / Off campus

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The following Columbia Business School MBA Admissions interview report was submitted to Clear Admit by a J-Term applicant. Good luck to them!

Submitted Application: 9/13
Invitation to Interview: 10/5
Interview Scheduled: 10/13

Still waiting to hear back!

I received six emails of alumni I could interview with, and like everyone recommended I looked up each one on LinkedIn to see who would be a good match. I looked for someone that had a similar background as me so that we could relate to each otehr, but not the exact same industry so that it wasn’t a competitive comparison. My interviewer got back to me in two business days.

We met in the morning at her place of work. It got off to a strange start because the conference room she was trying to book was unavailable. We ended up conducting the interview in the waiting area, which means there was high traffic at some points which was a bit distracting.

I was asked pretty much the questions I was prepared for:

1. Why an MBA?
2. Why CBS?
3. Why now? (Be prepared for that if you don’t have a ton of work experience)
4. What do you want to do when you get out?
5. What if those plans don’t pan out? What’s your backup plan?
6. How do you want to get involved at Columbia?
7. Why the J term?
8. Any questions for me?

The whole thing lasted about 45 minutes. I took the opportunity for why CBS to highlight the uniqueness of the J term, and called out certain classes I had seen that I was really interested in. Of course, I talked about the advantages of NYC in general.

I was her first interview since she graduated (she was a 2015 graduate) and I thought because of that she was going down the list of questions, sticking to the script Columbia gave her. From what I’ve read, some of the older alums go more off-script.

Towards the end she was telling me about her own experiences at CBS, and it was there that I think we connected more on our common experiences and her own time at CBS. At the end I told her how excited I was, and she volunteered that she thought I was a strong candidate and a good fit for Columbia.

We’ll see what happens – good luck to all candidates!

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