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Columbia Business School Interview Questions & Report: Round 1 / Alum / Off-Campus

I have often heard that alum interviews can be tricky, and boy this one was. My interviewer was from the metals and mining industry, and had very little context on the industries I had spent time on (Consulting and PE). As a result, he got lost trying to understand my industries rather than understanding my experiences.

He asked me questions like –
1. Why is the PE industry on the decline? Why do you guys charge high fees? Is it not morally wrong?
2. Tell me about your biggest professional mistake.
3. After I answered Q2 above, he asked me – if you guys make such big mistakes, then why charge high fees at all?
4. Why did you join PE? Was it for the money?
5. Why do you want to do CBS? What do you know about the CBS ethos?

Honestly, the questions above are all valid and justified. But the tone in which he asked them was not comforting at all. It was clear that this was not just another ‘pressure interview,’ and I don’t know why the questions were not more around my experiences, my goals, etc. It lasted over an hour, and by the end of it, I didn’t want to go to CBS myself.

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Posted in: Interview Questions & Reports

Schools: Columbia

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