It was kind of scary. They began by asking me about things I had written about in my essays. Then they asked tangential questions, as I said before. For example, if you write down that you were a delegate for MUN and that you represented Israel, they might ask you about the current situation in Israel and how your research led to your interpretation of the developing conflict. Or they might ask you about Fatah v. Hamas. If you wrote about interning in a chemistry lab, they might ask you to reflect on some of the global problems facing the scientific community. Or they might ask you about a particular scientist. Does that give you an idea? They want to know more than what you did. They want to know what you know and how you interpret information.
Interview went great--I think. Who knows, every interviewee might be amazing and every group of interviewers enthusiastic about every candidate... but who really knows.
Just so you can picture the situation: I interviewed in an office in Baltimore City. There was a little waiting room on the fourth floor where we (the nominees) sat around and chatted with each other or with two current Jefferson Scholars from Maryland. I was called into my interview about ten minutes early (good thing I'm punctual!). The interview itself was conducted by three people: an older gentleman, a woman, and a young-ish guy. There were about two or three interviews going on at any given time in different rooms.
Funny thing was that they asked what other schools I applied to, like right off the bat. Kinda funny and all. Also it being my birthday helped a little I think.
They mainly asked questions relating to the five activities I listed on the application to start, and really built off of that, asking related questions and stuff like that.
Other than that, they asked random questions like what books have I read recently that have had an impact on me, favorite historical figure, current political topics that interest me.
Their questioning revolved a lot around what I took out of certain experiences rather than what it was exactly that I did. For example, they asked what my biggest failure was.
One of my essays was written entirely in questions, and I submitted that to the Jefferson. Right at the end of the interview, the one interviewer posed one of those questions that I'd written right back at me... so I was on the spot trying to answer an obscure question that I had written myself. Very interesting.
After the last question, the interviewers gave me the floor and said basically: tell us something more about yourself that makes you worthy / tell us something we don't know and that will make us remember you by. I said:
"Well, my name is Tyler Dunn obviously... remember that name. In 2048 I'm running for President!"
Then I shook all their hands and left.
I just made sure to smile, sound enthusiastic, maintain eye contact, and be funny. Those are the keys.
On the way out of the interview, the older gentleman told me that I would find out at the end of the week whether or not I was going to be called back. I'm so nervous!
So it hasn't yet been the end of the week, but they already got back to me. I'm onto the second round of interviews! Now the region is down to about 12-16 candidates, and I'm one of them. We're sending 3 to the finals, so my chances (statistically) are between 25 and 33.3%. Ahhhh! This is so exciting!!!
Hey, I'm just posting to let everyone know that if you haven't heard anything about regional interviews yet, there's still hope. I got a letter in the mail today (dated the 6th) notifying me of my interview. I just thought you guys might want to know, because up until now I had pretty much given up the hope of continuing in this process.
There are two Maryland regions. One is just simply called "Maryland" and the second one is something along the lines of "D.C. and Suburban Maryland." If your first-round is today then you're most likely in the latter, as I'm in the first.
Good luck with your interview!
Do you mean that in the sense that that's how it was in your region? Did all of your regional nominees feel that way, or just those of us on the site?
Because if it's the latter, it's only you from your region (I think) so don't think of this as anything against you.
yeah, i meant that those on the site reported great interview experiences. Although none of the individual posters have said they are also in my region, its a trend.
either way, i do hope to at least advance to the next regional interview...to be honest, finalist weekend sounds like a lot of work!(i will later console myself with this thought when I am not invited)
when i was waiting to be called back, there was one set of parents whose daughter was currently being interviewed. the dad would not stop talking and pacing around and saying things to those of us waiting like "oh you better see these rugs haning on the wall back here, theyre amazing" and as he like, went for a walk around the corner, his wife whispered to us "he can't stop talking." it was weird how he was probably more nervous than his kid in the interview.
This other guy who was waiting was so nervous, that I kind of wanted to hug him. When I finally went back, it was initally awkward, but then i was able to really pull myself together and come off as articulate..which is great because i was able to fill a substantial amount of time with my own speech (without rambling) so they couldn't pose too many grilling questions.
i was actually a little underwhelmed by the questions, i didnt get any greatest strength/ weakness/say something memorable prompts.
today was fun though! i wonder how many nominees there were from my region, i'm afraid there are a lot
I think that everyone interviewed has similar stats and I don't think they choose based on who had ten points higher on the math SAT or who has a weighted 4.5 GPA as compared to a weighted 4.2 GPA. I think what they are looking for is what makes you stand out vis a vis citizenship, leadership, and scholarship. If there is something that makes you unusual in that regard, they will zero in on it and you will have the opportunity to elaborate. Above all, be yourself. These are extremely nice people, in my experience, who are expecting openness and can sense BS.