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Columbia Business School MBA Interview Questions & Report: Rolling Admissions Round / Alumnus / Cafe

I interviewed for the Merit Decision deadline round of the Rolling Admissions at CBS.

My interview was at a chain cafe with an alumnus of CBS. It was a blind interview and a very low stress one at that.

He began with an introduction of who he was and what he does for a living.


  1. Tell me about you – and walk me through your resume.
  2. Why do you want to get an MBA?
  3. Why Columbia?

Then he asked if I had any questions for him while he thought of questions for me. I asked my standard questions about CBS – and he took the opportunity to pitch me about the school. I want to follow a similar career path as him, and he had lots of great tips for my time at CBS and beyond. He also talked about why he thought NYC was great. It was really insightful and helpful. I felt like I probably got more out of the interview than him!

After that, he asked one last question:

4. Why do you want to be in NYC for your MBA?

After that we chatted for a few minutes and he said he’d submit my feedback that evening. I sent him a quick follow up on the train ride home thanking him and found out I was admitted 6 days later. 🙂

A few thoughts on the interviews for CBS

  • I think they’ll vary a lot, because of the difference between alum interviewers.
  • I wore full business, but as it was at a cafe, I probably could have gone business casual. I don’t think it hurt me, regardless.
  • I paid for my own drink- this was standard across my interviews.
  • I really enjoyed the interview experience. It was super laid back, I really felt like I was going to get in when it ended, and it made me want to go to CBS more than I did before the interview.
  • There were really no surprise questions. I felt like I had over-prepared, it was very straightforward, and gave me a chance to just express who I am.
  • This was the least stressful of all my interviews, and probably lasted 30 min or so, most of it conversational.

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Posted in: Interview Questions & Reports

Schools: Columbia

About the Author

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