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How much of an impact do Princeton interviews have on admissions process?

User47392User47392 76 replies7 threads Junior Member

I talked to the interviewer for 3 hours ranging from what I want to major, the meme account I have on Instagram(they were impressed), the business where I hope to hire homeless people and to what animals I have at home. At the end of the interview I asked about what his sheet of notes said about me and his first impression of me to which he responded; I think you're very determined and bright. You're very hardworking and resourceful. I've never had someone research me before an interview and Ive been doing this for 20 years. You really have made an impression on me and I believe you'd flourish at Princeton. (I looked him up so I'd know what he looked like, Yikes this could have been a stalker move.)

I had an amazing interview to say the least. The "I believe you'd flourish at Princeton." sentence had me on cloud nine.

So how much of an impact do Princeton interviews have on admissions process?
19 replies
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Replies to: How much of an impact do Princeton interviews have on admissions process?

  • VenomBudsVenomBuds 234 replies8 threads Junior Member
    From what I've gathered, very little.
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  • wisteria100wisteria100 4238 replies47 threads Senior Member
    I find it hard to believe that no one had researched him before. That seems a pretty standard thing to do
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  • intlnavigatorintlnavigator 41 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Hello! I am an international applicant applying for Princeton SCEA Class of 2022. While I still havent received any communication for an alumni interview, another applicant to Princeton at my high school (who is a US Citizen) got an interview intimation. Hence I wanted to ask, are Princeton interviews for international applicants given on a rolling basis?
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  • User47392User47392 76 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Thats what he told me. I doubt he'd lie about it. :/
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  • VenomBudsVenomBuds 234 replies8 threads Junior Member
    @kirsten4624 Maybe, but it's probably because most people who research their interviewers don't tell them — I don't see why one would tell their interviewer that they researched him/her prior to the interview.
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  • nocturne21nocturne21 113 replies2 threads Junior Member
    I also don't think that many applicants would put the interviewer on the spot and ask what's on the notes either!
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  • bubblepop12444bubblepop12444 212 replies26 threads Junior Member
    Interviews are for alumni to sell the school to applicants to higher yield rates. Unless an applicant doesn't show up, they are mostly insignificant. This is because many students don't get interviews, as interviews are assigned when an applicant has alumni nearby. If the interviewer said they believe you will flourish at Princeton, it means that your accomplishments or personality impressed him- hopefully, that translated through your essays and teacher recommendations, which actually matter a lot.
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  • ChartresBlueChartresBlue 119 replies1 threads Junior Member
    I wrote this on another CC post: https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/discussion/comment/20056380/#Comment_20056380

    In general, interviews matter very, very little. My private opinion is that it is easier to hurt yourself (still extremely rare) rather than help yourself (because the weight of an interview is rather small). And by hurt, I don't mean one simply had a bad interview experience, anyone can have those. I mean that something occurred that makes an interviewer think that a particular applicant is somehow very, very unqualified. That might draw some attention. Then again, who knows how an actual admissions committee woud view that.

    If you search other posts for similar info, you can get a sense of the forms that Ivy League interviewers tend to complete for the admissions offices. Having a great interview is fantastic. You impressed a Princeton alum. Well done. Just don't expect it to tip the scales much or even at all. In the end, it's more likely to simply confirm that you are a qualified applicant. And for schools like Princeton, that is a huge compliment.
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  • sashadcsashadc 8 replies2 threads New Member
    Hi, my Princeton interviewer requested me to bring a resume along. I was anyway planning to bring one, but since she explicitly asked, what's the protocol for listing academic stuff? Do I include grades, SATs, or carry a separate transcript, etc etc? And while my ECs fit on a page, they're going to spill over if I include academics, especially several years' worth of it... Everyone says a resume should be a page long, so what do I chop then?! Someone please help! X_X
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  • HYPSPleaseHYPSPlease 138 replies6 threads Junior Member
    If you have a good GPA, ACT/SAT, rank, AP scores, I would suggest including them. Let the resume be longer than 1 page.
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  • BKSquaredBKSquared 1460 replies8 threads Senior Member
    edited February 2017
    @sashadc if you have strong academic stat's, include those. It will confirm with the interviewer that you have met the academic qualifications to be seriously considered. I have a slightly different take on EC's. As an interviewer, I am always skeptical of candidates with a long list of EC's. How much of this is just window dressing? There are only so many waking hours in a day! Highlight the EC's you want to talk about, the ones that demonstrate leadership, talent and/or dedication, the ones that you can share a great anecdote about. The way you frame those EC's in the resume should almost lead the interviewer to ask questions and a discussion that you want to have. The story should be told in the interview, not in the resume, so edit judiciously.

    This is just me and other interviewers may take a different approach and have different criteria. And in response to the OP, I agree with the other comments in this thread that downplay the importance of interviews in the actual decision. A great interview (especially with an interviewer that has established credibility with the AO) may tip the scales for borderline cases, or an interview where the candidate says or does something horribly inappropriate (e.g. making blatantly racist/sexist comments, showing up drunk/stoned, being a no show) may sink a candidate, but in the overwhelming majority of cases, it will have no impact. You really should use it as an opportunity to find out more about the school. In fact, one of our primary task as an interviewer is to be an ambassador for our school with no expectation that the candidate will be accepted.
    edited February 2017
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  • sashadcsashadc 8 replies2 threads New Member
    Thank you so much @BKSquared :)
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  • User47392User47392 76 replies7 threads Junior Member
    @VenomBuds The reason I told him was because we were meeting at Starbucks. I didn't know whether to meet him inside or outside. So I stayed outside and when I saw him going inside I kinda jumped out of my chair and slightly yelled " Are you *Bill*?!" and yeah, I felt like I should explain myself. Otherwise it'd probably seem like I thought every man walking by was Bill.
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  • User47392User47392 76 replies7 threads Junior Member
    @nocturne21 Well at the end of the interview he just explained what an interviewer does. That he was supposed to write down notes of what he thinks about me and any accomplishments that I talked about. I didn't know if it was out of place to ask or not. So I said "Well what do your notes say? Im curious." He seemed totally fine that I asked and continued to read his notes.
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  • User47392User47392 76 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Bummer that they dont seem to count much. Either way it was a great experience!
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34779 replies392 threads Senior Member
    No one should assume they're meaningless, just because interviewers can't choose the class. They're eyes on the candidate.

    You probably came across as a nice gal. The rest of it, what he wrote and how relevant it is, to adcoms, you can't guess. No one can.
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  • IlluminatiIsRealIlluminatiIsReal 343 replies40 threads Member
    According to Princeton University Common Data Sheet, interviews are "Considered" which means that they are not very important. Other factors like GPA, Essays, Test Scores, Recommendations, etc are "Very Important."

    But having a positive interview report can never hurt. Maybe it will help you win in borderline cases.
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  • TiggerDadTiggerDad 1990 replies72 threads Senior Member
    I quit being an interviewer for one of the Ivys after five years upon realizing that my role as an interviewer had practically zero significance. Don't take much stock in these. Nonetheless, do take the interview seriously enough for a positive report. A positive report might not make any impact but a negative report could.
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  • holdingouthopeholdingouthope 77 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I am very late in the game, but I'd like to know if you ended up being accepted at Princeton. My son just got his interview confirmation so I am really curious how much weight it carries.
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