January 25, 2020
Vinayak Menon

Joined: Jun 16, 2017

Posts: 1

Kudos: 4

Verified GMAT Classic score:
740 Q50 V39

Columbia Admit – Extensive Interview Prep


I reached out to Avanti Prep once I received my interview invite from Columbia. Having been rejected from M7 schools in the previous application cycle with almost the exact same profile (extremely competitive demographic, 740 GMAT, 6 years work-ex), I wanted to make sure I converted my chances this time around.

I had already given a couple of interviews with other schools and my preparation was decent, but after my Columbia mock interview with Greg, I felt confident that I was going to do well in my interview. For starters, what was scheduled to be a 2.5hr call went on for ~4hrs due to the level of detail Greg dives into while not only analyzing answers to each question – but also helping me stitch through a cohesive story across all questions to create a solid narrative.

Greg customized the questions and mock interview experience so they were ‘Columbia–like’ which was extremely valuable to me. Columbia interviews tend to include questions that focus on industry trends, key focus of the industry etc. that are unlike questions asked in other business schools interviews which can throw a candidate off-guard if not prepared for questions like these. Greg covered how to approach these in detail.

Another key highlight for me was how Greg was able to emphasize on key points (passion for Columbia, my contributions to Columbia) I had to convey during the interview. It so happened that my interviewer did not end up asking me the question on how I wish to contribute to Columbia, but because of the strategic prep I was able to turnaround a related question and convey my thoughts on how I would contribute.

Lastly, a big takeaway for me was how Greg was able to help me understand how I was being perceived. On a couple of instances, Greg recommended I not use certain words or change my delivery of certain phrases because they could be perceived unfavorably. This level of feedback I thought can only come from a seasoned interviewer and greatly improved my confidence because I now had almost no second thoughts about anything I was going to say.

Greg is definitely someone I would recommend working with; I think his greatest quality is in working to get the absolute best outcome for you without being bothered by how much additional work he will have to put in. So much so, that after a 4hr mock Columbia interview, Greg chatted with me for almost an hour helping me decide between Darden and Fuqua and which school I should go for – he hadn’t even helped me with the application for those schools. The good news is that the Darden versus Fuqua decision didn’t end up mattering because I got into Columbia!

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