Was matched with the interviewer in my city (London) and arranged to meet him about 3 weeks after the invite due to his schedule as I wanted to meet in person. I was able to do a bit of research on him prior to the interview, which was a plus so I knew some stuff we could talk about.
The questions which I was asked were:
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why do you want an MBA? How will that help you with your goals?
- Why Columbia?
- Why not a different MBA program?
- What would you do if a more elite program offered you admittance?
- Are you set on your long-term goals (specifically industry)?
He explained that the first three questions were what he was required to ask, but he didn’t have my resume at hand or take any notes so it was very relaxed. Overall, the interview was much more conversational than I thought and I walked away thinking that my first two answers seemed way too rehearsed and fast because as soon as I answered them he was really calm, casual and slow in explaining his background, why he enjoyed Columbia and what I would get out of it.
He submitted feedback 5 days after the interview and I got an email that I was admitted 9 days after the feedback. I spent two weeks freaking out and overanalyzing the interview (especially as it was in person), but it all worked out! I think the trick with these alumni interviews is to be yourself and not sound over-rehearsed – they aren’t adcom and aren’t looking for specific answers, but rather want to see how you would contribute and grow as part of the community.