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Columbia MBA Interview Questions: Round 2 / Alumnus / Off-Campus

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The following Columbia MBA interview questions report was submitted to Clear Admit by a Round 2 applicant.

The interview was at the alum’s place of employment. I was dressed formally and prepared fairly diligently by using personal resources as well as some of the posts found here. When I was given my choice of interviewers, I found that all of the alum offered were recent graduates. My alum was more or less of my age.

We ran through some of the typical talking points:

  • Walk me through your résumé.
  • Why B-school?
  • Why Columbia?
  • What I will add to Columbia?
  • Backup plan if I don’t get in (I’m an entrepreneur and this question was stressed big time).
  • Am I applying to other schools, and specifically, to what other schools am I applying?

I went through each of the questions and felt fairly prepared for each response. I felt comfortable, but tried to not let my guard down too much. I think that balance is key in these “casual” interview situations.

I would advise candidates to be on guard for alum interviews with a hyper-competitive tone. Although the interview was supposed to be “pretty casual,” and indeed my interviewer seemed nice at the outset, the conversation quickly turned into a constant comparison of my profile with that of my interviewer and her friends.

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