The Interviews

Intimidating! But a great chance to put a face and opportunity to the name and credentials on your application file.

Usually there are 3 lines of questioning:

  1. Why do you think now is the right time to pursue an MBA ?
  2. How will you fit into our program ?
    What will you bring ?
    What will you add ?
  3. How will you do in the real world after you graduate ?

Be prepared for the different kinds of interviews - be ready for those difficult questions. We know what the interviewers ask and prepare you for this last and crucial step of the MBA application process. Let us prepare you get over that final hurdle.


  • The interview will not always be with the admissions officer. It may be with past students who reside in the same city or area as you, or it may be with an advanced student on campus. Or it may be a telephone interview or with one of associate admissions directors. The main reason for the interview is to find out the person behind the documents you have submitted.
  • Interviews are conducted by invitation only. Since applications are reviewed within each round in random order, there is no significance to the date on which you may receive an interview invitation. Round 1 applicants from the United States will be invited to interview on campus during a "Super Saturday" event, and applicants outside the US will have the opportunity to interview with an alumni interviewer in their home countries. Round 2 applicants will receive interview invitations.
  • The interview time can take from 20 minute to over an hour.
  • Be prepared for typical questions you may be asked, depending on the business school you are applying to. Get to the point immediately - don't waste their time by rambling on.
  • The round one interview will be a series of questions about yourself and usually a time to ask the interviewer questions towards the end - so have your questions ready as well.
    • Know your resume inside and out
    • Understand your goals clearly
    • Understand specifically why you need an MBA to achieve your goals (as opposed to going into consulting or staying at your current job, for example)
    • Understand why you have made the choices you have - be able to weave the between the pieces on your resume story
    • Know yourself, your past, and your goals - short, medium, and long
    • Make sure you are prepared and have a good answer to sell yourself why you want to go to that particular school
    • Leadership attributes are something they're big on
  • The round two interview is shortly before the deadline and is more like a chit-chat to find out more about you socially. There may even be a third or forth interview if they are not 100% convinced. It is important to build rapport with your interviewer. Make sure you are both on the same 'wavelength'.
  • One tip from a person who was interviewed: "At the end of the interview, I said that I really wanted to attend Columbia and the interviewer said that he would do his best to write a good evaluation for me. About three weeks later I received an offer from the school."
  • Face-to-face interviews are definitely easier than phone interviews - over the phone you only have your voice to convince them, face-to-face you have your body gestures as well.
  • Send the interviewer a thank-you note. Thank them for their time and say that you enjoyed the time to talk to them. Say that you are still definitely very motivated to study at .....