Columbia University Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
- Popular Job Titles:
- Research Assistant (11)
- Administrative Assistant (5)
- Research Scientist (4)
- Graduate Research Assistant (4)
- Postdoctoral Research Scientist (4)
- Career Counselor (2)
- Postdoctoral Fellow (2)
- Manager (2)
- Associate Director (2)
- Staff Associate (2)
- Project Manager (2)
- Graduate Student Researcher (2)
- Director (1)
- Fellow (1)
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- Data Manager (1)
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- Engineering (1)
- Research Analyst (1)
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- Associate Professor (1)
- Management (1)
- Human Resources Coordinator (1)
- Doctoral Student (1)
- Programmer (1)
- Programmer/Analyst (1)
- Software Engineer (1)
- Lab Assistant (1)
- Clerical Assistant (1)
- Clinical Research Assistant (1)
Data Manager Interview (Neutral Experience)
Interviewed at Columbia University
Interview Details – Received an email from HR rep asking to arrange an in-person interview. In-person interview with hiring manager (lasted about 1 hours) and then an in-person interview with epidemiologist. Hiring manager requested 2-3 references (all professional references)
Clerical Assistant Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Columbia University.
Interview Details – I applied online. I forgot I applied for that position because the hiring process can take some time before hearing anything back. I received a call from hiring manager, interviewed, then was also interviewed by supervisor. I received an offer a week later.
Interview Question – I was asked lots of questions about my old gig. Interviewer was fascinated that place. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – There is no negotiation. Entry level position.
Various Research Positions Interview (Negative Experience)
Interviewed at Columbia University
Interview Details – I've interviewed for four positions at Columbia in the last year and none of them were particularly great experiences.
Interview #1 - hiring manager asked typical interview questions and was extremely rude (even more so on the phone, I shouldn't have bothered with an in-person interview). Then she introduced me to various team members and they were all very awkward and disengaged. I was never contacted again, but HR website said the position was filled. Then it was relisted a few months later. It sounded like a high turnover job and I wasn't surprised.
Interview #2- an admittedly bad fit. It was just obvious. People were nice though and I received a polite rejection email a week or so later.
Interview #3- met with a very nice departmental administrator and was told second interviews would be conducted in another month. That was 6 months ago and I never heard anything else, although according to HR the position is still open.
Interview #4- met with former person in the position (who was promoted) and departmental administrator. The first person was nice and answered questions and we had a nice conversation. She gave me a good sense of the job. The departmental administrator was a total jerk. He barked at me when I wouldn't answer my salary requirements (I said I was open to hearing their range) and kept asking me in different ways. If he hadn't been so persistent I would have probably just told him, but I found him to be really rude. Then he asked a bunch of extremely negative behavioral questions that were just bizarre. At the end he said he would have a sense within a few weeks what 'direction they would be going in,' and whether they would need to repost the position and get more candidates. Uh… I guess that was my rejection because I never heard from them again.
Interview Question – Negative behavioral questions- i.e. tell me about dealing with difficult people, times you've faced adversity, etc. Answer Question
Manager of Marketing Communications Interview (Neutral Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4 months - interviewed at Columbia University.
Interview Details – The position was to manage digital marketing initiatives for the Business School. Applied in July and got a call and phone interview in September. ( you can imagine I'd nearly forgotten about it by this time) After the phone interview it was requested I provide a design solution to a current challenge under a constricting deadline. From this I flew in for an in-perosn interview in October. By then the position title and responsibilities had changed a bit. Hiring here can take a looong time as most legacy institutions have long processes for inducing any sort of change.
I stayed in touch with hiring contacts through November and was offered the position in December. Once paperwork got going I relocated to the city in January with a start date towards the end of that month.
Interview Question – It wasnt about questions it was a matter of endurance, I interviewed for a full day 9am-4pm meeting with all levels of the department sometimes individually and other times in teams. in total I met with 7 diff people for 30-45min at a time. I focused on keeping energy positive and engaging- I knew they were testing my stamina. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Very little room for negotiation with HR manager but the offer was what I desired going in.
Graduate Student Researcher Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 days - interviewed at Columbia University in January 2010.
Interview Details – The hiring process is sometimes arbitrary, with GRE selection cutoffs. The other most important thing is the recommendations and who they come from. It is really all about who you know and who you've worked with.
Interview Question – This depends on the Professor you are interviewing with, but they will expect you to know and understand their work even if you will not be working with them directly. You may also be expected to have a basic grasp of research methods and statistics. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – There is no negotiation, it's a fixed package.
Director Interview (Positive Experience)
I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Columbia University in February 2013.
Interview Details – Phone interview, then a series of 4 in-person interviews, Final round interview in person. Standard process used by a lot of corporates but with open communication with an HR contact who is no longer there.
Interview Question – Honestly, there were none. The questions were not that creative or challenging. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – They were open and up front about the range. They offered a few thousand dollars above the initial "high point" and I accepted.
Administrator Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 5 months - interviewed at Columbia University.
Interview Details – Must apply via online system, however, system is cumbersome therefore it also makes sense to reach out directly to those hiring.
Interview Question – We've talked about the positives regarding bringing you on board, what is the bad news when it comes to you? Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Was asked for a range.
Assistant Director Interview (Neutral Experience)
I applied in-person and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Columbia University.
Interview Details – It's all about personal connections. If you know the research and the interests of the director, and you are able to meet him/her beforehand, then they will contact you when they need someone.
Interview Question – No real questions were asked, actually. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – non-existent.
Systems Analyst Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online - interviewed at Columbia University in November 2012.
Interview Details – Phone interview first with SQL questions, then face-to-face with more technical questions related to SQL and coding.
Interview Question – I was expected to show how to populate a table with a header row and data using any programming language. This was done to see if I knew coding concepts and structures. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – I gave them my salary requirement and they met it with no negotiations.
Acceptance Into MBA Program Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took a day - interviewed at Columbia University in November 2012.
Interview Details – After application is accepted, interview is scheduled. The interview follows a standard framework which can be found through online research.
Interview Question – Most difficult questions would be when the interviewer challenges your prior career moves, motivation for wanting to attend,etc. It is important to have you story airtight. Answer Question
Interviews for Top Jobs at Columbia University