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Harvard interview questions

T-birdT-bird Posts: 155Registered User Junior Member
edited September 2009 in Harvard University
I have a few questions about the harvard interviewing process. please help?

1) Does Harvard interview everyone/try to interview everyone, or do they only interview applicants who meet certain preliminary requirements?

2) Do you have to turn in your application before you get an interview?

3) How important do you believe the interview is in admissions?

Thanks so much!
Post edited by T-bird on

Replies to: Harvard interview questions

  • smoda61smoda61 Posts: 2,012Registered User Senior Member
    I am basing my answers on my experiences last year with my daughter's application.

    1) I have gotten the impression that they interview every applicant that they can. I have heard of applicants not receiving interviews but I got the impression that it was due to lack of alumni in the area. I have not gotten the impression that there was pre-screening.

    2) As far as I can tell, yes. You can't ask for an interview. You are contacted for an interview after they have your application.

    3) I think they are important. I think ultimately it was the deciding factor for my daughter. I think this because she was interviewed 3 times. The first one in January, must have been "right enough" to get her to be considered, then she was contacted at the end of February for a second interview on campus, then before she left the campus, she was given a third interview. She was ultimately accepted. Something had to have gone on in those interviews that put her over the edge into the acceptance pile.

    Hope that helps!
  • DwightEisenhowerDwightEisenhower Posts: 1,704Registered User Senior Member
    ^Agreed with smoda.

    With regard to interviews -- I have a family member who did alumni interviews and I've met a few others. All of them have interviewed kids that they thought were jaw-droppingly amazing but didn't get accepted, which leads me to believe the interview is an important factor but probably not as important as grades, ECs, etc. I'm sure a horrible interview (see: lying, arrogance, disrespectfulness) might ruin an otherwise good application though.

    A few users here used to do alumni interviews for Harvard; hopefully they can give some better insight.
  • T-birdT-bird Posts: 155Registered User Junior Member
    Thanks for the responses.

    smoda - your daughter was interviewed 3 times? Does anyone know if this is common? It sounds fairly unusual, at least when I compare to other schools that do one interview and one interview only.
  • smoda61smoda61 Posts: 2,012Registered User Senior Member
    T-bird - It is not common and neither was the second interview that she and other students received. Below are some old related threads:

    Interviewing in General: http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-admissions/658592-interview.html

    Last year's Harvard interview discussion: http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/harvard-university/448149-how-your-harvard-interview.html

    The thread that I was glad that I had read before my daughter found the voice mail from Harvard asking her to come in for a second interview:
    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/harvard-university/652256-second-interview.html

    A thread I started at decision time to try and get a feel for the significance of the multiple or late interview:
    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/harvard-university/681646-significance-late-multiple-harvard-interviews.html

    From the results, it really seemed like the second or more interview was a significant point for the applicant. Between the last two threads above, there were 18 applicants referenced as having multiple interviews. Going back through the 15 with two interviews it looks to me like there were 6 accepted, 1 waitlisted then accepted, 5 waitlisted, 3 rejected so about 50% final acceptance rate which is much greater than the 7% of the general application pool. Of the three students referred to as having three interviews, all three were accepted.
  • momofclass09momofclass09 Posts: 29Registered User New Member
    I don't know how important the interview is in college admission.
    My kid got accepted by Yale before interview and got a very late interview with two-interviewer for Harvard
    at Feb. (also accepted by H)
  • T-birdT-bird Posts: 155Registered User Junior Member
    Thanks everyone - your replies were helpful, especially all those links, smoda. :)
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