Columbia Business School Interview Questions 2015-2016

This is a compilation of interview questions that were given to candidates applying to the full-time and executive MBA programs at Columbia Business School in the last few years.

1-13: Background and work experience

  • Tell me about yourself
  • Walk me through your resume
  • How did you select your current job?
  • How did you select your first job?
  • What did you move from company A to B?
  • Explain a gap in your resume?
  • What did you do after losing your job?
  • Tell me how your team at work is structured?
  • Describe a project you were on
  • What would you do if your industry was gone?
  • Would you go back to your previous job function?
  • What are your near-term career goals? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • How many people have worked for you (juniors), in what capacity and how did you manage them

14-27: Columbia Business School

  • Why an MBA?
  • If you don’t get into Columbia this year, what will you do?  will you re-apply next year?
  • Why now? Why Early Decision/ Round 1, 2 or 3?
  • Why Columbia?
  • Why a full-time/executive MBA program and not another format?
  • Why are you pursuing an MBA at this time?
  • Are you ready for an MBA program?
  • What do you expect to gain in the MBA program?
  • What will you contribute to the program?
  • What other schools are you applying to? why? which one would you choose?
  • Have you met or spoken to alumni or current students of the program? who are they?
  • Have you visited the school?
  • Why New York?
  • What do you think of the application process so far? Anything CBS does well or could do to improve?

28-35: Behavioral questions

  • Describe a time when you had to overcome adversity
  • Tell me more about your most recent job
  • Tell me the most meaningful feedback you got
  • Give me a situation where you worked in a team
  • Give me a situation where you had difficulty in concluding a deal
  • Give me a situation where you had difficulty with a team member
  • Give me an example about a time where you had to show your leadership style
  • Describe an ethical dilemma and how you dealt with it.

36-38: Education

  • How was your experience with the GMAT?
  • Tell me about activity x that you pursued in college.
  • Why did you choose your undergrad major

39: Personal

  • Tell me about yourself/what are your interests and hobbies


That’s it! You should start preparing for your interview when you submit your application to CBS. When you get the interview invite, you want to be ready.

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