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Columbia MBA Interview Report & Questions: Rolling Admissions / Alumnus / Off-Campus

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The following Columbia MBA interview questions & report were submitted to Clear Admit by a Rolling Admissions applicant. Good luck to them!

Before the interview, I could tell that my interview was going to be relaxed and conversational from the tone established in the email exchanges. I was assigned an interviewer, so I didn’t get a choice in who to interview with. At first, I was nervous about this because my interviewer and I didn’t have similar backgrounds. We interviewed at his workplace. I was dressed business formal and he was business causal.

We dove right into the conversation, and almost all the questions asked were ones I expected and prepared for:

1) Walk me through your résumé?
2) Why MBA?
3) Why Columbia?
4) What are your goals post-MBA and how will Columbia help you get there?
5) What other schools have you looked at?
6) What do you plan to be involved with at CBS?

I believe the interviewer is looking for two things. First, can you articulate clearly your career path and how Columbia will help you get there? My interviewer explained that CBS cares a lot about the placement of their graduates post-MBA. Second, will you enroll if accepted? This probably comes down to yield statistics. Our different backgrounds actually helped because I think he was able to analyze my career path more objectively. He asked follow-up questions about my industry that allowed me to demonstrate my knowledge of my field.

Otherwise, the interview was pretty conversational. I’m not sure how much weight CBS gives to the interview, but from what it seems like, they are looking for reasons to NOT accept you during the interview, not to accept you. A great deal of the interview was just imparting of wisdom and advice from my interviewer, which was greatly appreciated. He helped me think about and consider things that I never would have on my own. It was a great experience overall.

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