How to select an MBA Alumni Interviewer?

If you have the opportunity to select the MBA alumni who will interview you (as is the case at Columbia Business School), you are going to make some hair-raising decisions.

two funny fighters in forman wear

Here are six scary scenarios that face applicants when selecting the interviewing alumnus or alumni:

1.What if a senior manager (and an older alumni) sees you as too young and naive, or not accomplished enough?

2.What if a recent graduate perceives you as competition? or too ambitious?

3. Should you pick someone from your own ethnicity (if possible) or not? How will your race, or the perception thereof, affect your interview?

4. Are you an international student interviewing in the US? Although this is a country of immigrants, what if the interviewer sees you as someone who’s going to ‘take away’ someone else’s job?

5.If you are moving into finance/consulting/marketing, should you pick someone from that domain? Will they be supportive or feel that you’re not ready for this transition?

6.  If you are a women, do you want to be interviewed by a man or a women, if one is available? One of my students just got her list of potential interviewers, and they were all men. Are women harsher on female applicants or not? Will someone think you only got an interview because the school is trying to admit more women?

These are all alarming prospects, but the truth is you won’t be able to get an answer to any of these questions before the interview. Your best bet is to read the interviewers’ profiles online (linkedin, google, etc.) and choose who you think you will be able to connect with or who seems like a nice person. Don’t forget to read the reviews they wrote (and received) on Linkedin; you might gain some insight.


Let me help you pick the right interviewer and prepare for your big day. Email to schedule your mock interview today.