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I provide the most intensive, effective MBA interview preparation service in the world. My interview coaching clients get results because I help them figure out what to say (logical content), and how to say it (impressive delivery).

I teach some of the world's top engineers and scientists at The University of Tokyo how to present their ideas on paper and in person.

I am a professional stage actor who has performed with The American Shakespeare Center.
At Stanford, I studied improv theatre with Patricia Ryan Madson, who has taught everyone from college students to Silicon Valley executives from companies like Google how to tell believable stories.

I provide one-hour mock interview sessions with feedback. I also provide extended multi-hour training. We begin with an initial diagnostic mock interview, which helps me determine your strengths and weaknesses. In subsequent sessions, we can work on strategy, answer modeling, and mock interviewing.

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Columbia Interview

Frequency Analysis 
of Columbia Business School 
Interview Questions 

Based on a sampling of interviews conducted with Japan-based applicants
1 Question #
2 Walk me through your resume. 6
3 What are your goals?   5
4 Why MBA? 10
5 Why now? 2
6 Why Columbia? What makes Columbia different for you? 14
7 What other schools are you applying to? 7
8 What kind of specific lectures/fields are you interested in? 2
9 What are your contributions to Columbia? 3
10 Tell me about one signficant leadership experience. 2
11 Describe "leadership" for you with 3 key words. 2
12 Tell me your 3 strengths and weaknesses 2
13 Tell me your story of ethical dilemma and what kind of lessons you learned. 3
14 Is there any other thing you want to add? 2
15 Any questions? 6

Columbia Interview Reports

2009 Regular Decision Round admit in Tokyo w/ Japanese alumni 
client applied at Jan. deadline, 
invited March 3
interviewed March 10
admitted March 12!

My Columbia interview was okay, I think.
What was different was that he spoke to me really really fast and he often asked questions in the middle of my answer.
He talked about his experience as well. I would say he spoke during 20% of the interview time.

Also he wanted to know a lot about where else I was applying to. I knew he would ask me because it's Columbia, but I did not expect he would ask me so much. But I believe I could get my message across about Why Columbia.

2008 Early Decision admit in Tokyo w/ Japanese alumni

1) The questions were pretty standard.  

The 2 I remember were the ethics questions (standard for CBS)
"What was the most surprising/out of character thing you have ever done in your life, that others would be surprised to hear about" 

2008 Regular Decision Round in Tokyo w/ Japanese alumni

Columbia Business School, Regular Decision Ambassador Interview log
2009/01/29 1630-1750, Imperial Hotel, Tokyo

Interview Style: friendly, 
30% English 
70% Japanese

Firstly we talked in Japanese on a common economist we had known. He mentioned it has been quite a while ago when he last volunteered for an interviewer, and it took him about 3 minutes after we sat for his preparation before he made the first question. He seemed to have had the entire set of application materials.

Questions Asked
(In English)
Please talk about the time you observed someone conducting an unethical action, how did you react, and what was the result. What would you do if given another chance (he mentioned "this is a question I was asked to by Admission's office")
lthough you are a researcher, why MBA?
What do you think about American Capitalism, after this financial crisis? Columbia is one of the schools which had produced greedy bankers, but why are you still interested?
Do you think financial regulation should be stricter in the future?
(In Japanese)
Why Columbia? What makes Columbia different for you?
Please tell me how sponsored applicants make school choices in your company (which he said was totally from his curiosity).
What kind of specific lectures/fields are you interested in?

There were no specific opportunities for me to make questions, but he explained me of his time at CBS. 

Also, I made sporadic questions during our conversations. 

2008 Early Decision in Tokyo w/ Japanese alumni

Columbia (blind/business-like)
Interviewer: Japanese Alumnus
30% English 70% Japanese
Time: 45 minutes
Questions asked
  •  Tell me your career background and what made you think MBA
  •  What is the difference between your current career and future goal? (in terms of knowledge/skills/experiences, etc)
  •  How Columbia will contribute to your future plan?
  •  Why Columbia?
  •  What are your contributions to Columbia?
  •  Which class or professor at Columbia are you interested in?
  •  What extracurricular activities at Columbia are you interested in and how will you contribute to those activities?
  •  Have you ever participated in any volunteer activities?
  •  Tell me your story of ethical dilemma and what kind of lessons you learned?
  •  Other things you want to say to Adcoms
  •  Q and A


-Updated by Vince on 14 March 2012


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