Just wanted to note that asking questions in an interview is, remarkably, a good way to learn about the school. ( , I know, it's a shock. ) Last year when I was making a decision, the things that my interviewers said were especially helpful: it's nice to hear a perspective that's not from a pamphlet.
Other note: If you are having an interview at Starbucks or the like and you find someone waiting do do an interview, double-check that they are for the school you intended... Awkward experience.
(but really this post was just a lovely bump to a helpful thread)
Thanks for the awesome thread Firedrain! I read it before going to my interview.
Anyways I have a question for you.
I went to my interview and my interviewer took out a little black book and then immediately asked me: So why Brown? in a very sudden fashion, then looked down at his book. I was a little bit taken aback so I stared at the ground for 5 seconds then began my answer. When I got around to saying how great the PLME at Brown is, he immediately fired off another sharp question: So why do you want to be a doctor? and I was forced to give him another direct answer while he continued to scribble in his little black book
Needless to say the whole process was a little bit disconcerting for me as I was expecting more of a conversation and perhaps some eye contact..... hahaha
Anyways, this kind of thing went on for a while and then he asked me: So what other schools are you applying to? This really took me aback because I had just read in your thread that interviewers shouldn't ask that sort of thing.
I dodged the question by saying that I was applying to a lot of schools (9), but that I was doing Brown ED and that Brown was my 1st choice. Then he asked me to list the schools....
After 20 minutes he closed his book then asked me if I had any questions, I asked him a couple about his experience with Brown... and then the INterview ended at 30 minutes.
Anyways, my question is: Do you think I will get a negative report? and do you think his conduct as strange/poor?
Because throughout the entire process I was a bit shell shocked... although I did crack a few jokes and I think I rebounded pretty well from the initial shock
Thanks in advance!
Last edited by poorplayer; 11-22-2009 at 01:53 AM.
THIS is why I and most people I know under 30 almost unequivocally believe the alumni interview to be an informative session, not an aspect of admissions decision-making. You have any number of random people, all with ZERO quality control when it comes to their judgment of applicants, putting down their ideas onto paper. A couple of the older posters on this forum seem to think otherwise (franglish,fireandrain) so I'm not sure where the breakdown is. It does benefit the admissions office to play up the importance of interviews when speaking to alumni doesn't it?
This topic came up yesterday in a conversation I was having with a 30 year old who went to Yale. The response was, "Alumni interviews do not matter much since there is no quality control, and it would not be fair to applicants if they did."
poorplayer: As I said in my FAQ, alumni are not well trained in how to give interviews and every interviewer has a different style. I also said that while there may be questions that Brown (and I) think are not appropriate, some alums will ask them anyway. So just because I would never ask where else you are applying, many alums will ask.
To directly answer your questions: do I think his conduct was strange/poor? I don't think he was strange -- his interview style is probably based on how he does job interviews. Think of this 30 minutes as prep for a job interview (which are much more important than Ivy League college interviews). This interviewer is clearly a curt and direct guy -- that's his style. Perhaps it's not the style that I would use, or that Brown would prefer, but it's not totally outrageous. I might agree that his conduct was "poor" -- he probably should have been more warm and fuzzy. From Brown's perspective, he didn't do a good job promoting the school, and therefore was not a good interviewer. If you want, when this whole experience is over, you could write a note to alumni relations and relate your story, which will be passed along to the area chair and maybe this guy won't be asked to do interviews again.
As to whether his report will be positive or negative: How should I know?? He's the only one who can answer that question. It seems like you answered his questions, didn't make any major faux pas. Chances are he wrote a brief report that won't help or hurt you. So I wouldn't worry about it.
Hey, I applied ED to Brown with everything on time and in order, but haven't received an email or phone call about the interview. I talked to admissions a few days ago, and they told me that all they do is send out my info to the alumni interview network.
So, my question is that if I don't hear about an interview, which admissions noted was not required or guaranteed, should i just accept it and go without the interview? Or should I contact admissions again and see if there's any way I can get one? From what they said, it seemed to me like admissions office is not really involved in the interview process.
Someone with more admissions experience can answer this better than I can, but I would say don't worry quite yet. I submitted my ED application in mid-September last year and didn't hear about an interview until early November (which was subsequently held a few weeks later). It all seemed very close, especially since the decisions were released the 11th of December, but it somehow worked out. I'd be patient, but if you don't hear anything before Thanksgiving, I'd give them a call next Monday (the 30th).
about reasons for going to brown...
i understand that open curriculum is talked about by everyone...but do i really have to make up other reasons why i like brown?
brown is very similar to most other good schools, main difference is really open curriculum
Lemonio: No, you don't have to "make up other reasons why" you like Brown. You can do whatever you want and you shouldn't have to "make up" anything. But I hope you have at least one other reason why you want to go there. Because Brown is a lot more than the open curriculum, and Brown differs from other schools in many ways. If the open curriculum is the only reason you want to go there, then I suppose that is all you should talk about.
thanks for the response fireandrain
there are of course other reasons why i like brown...but they don't really make it unique...and open curriculum is basically the main thing that differentiates it from other similar colleges
in terms of student life, courses, facilities, and people brown isn't really all that different
Lemonio, since you are a high-school student I recommend you should be cautious when disagreeing with people on issues regarding what Brown is or isn't, as these people know MUCH more about Brown than you do.