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Possible to Request Another Interview?

diwnd2345diwnd2345 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
Hello, I had my interview a few days ago and I'm wondering if it would be possible to request another interview from a different interviewer? Essentially what happened in my last one was my interviewer opened up by asking me my class rank, GPA, and SAT scores. Then they asked why did you apply to Harvard. After I responded, they asked about other specific schools and if I had applied to them, stating that he thought I was a better match to one of them over Harvard. Then he asked what I did in my free time. Finally he talked about how Harvard only wants diversity and none of his children got in and that I should just go to a state school to save money. The interviewer didn't get any impression at all of who I am and I'm extremely concerned that their report won't be beneficial to my application. Is there anything I can do?

Replies to: Possible to Request Another Interview?

  • gibbygibby Registered User Posts: 10,481 Senior Member
    edited February 2017
    Sorry you had a sub-par interview. It sounds like your interviewer was bitter about his children not getting admitted to Harvard and wasn't fully up to speed on Harvard's generous financial aid. FWIW: more than 60% of Harvard students receive some sort of FA -- and many students, including my daughter, attended Harvard for LESS than the cost of their state school. It also seems as though he was dismissive of your rank, GPA and test scores. None of that should have happened.

    You could call Harvard Admissions and explain the situation to an Admissions Officer. However, interviews are not arranged by the Admissions office; an applicant's contact information is forwarded to the local alumni chapter and the alumni chapter assigns an interviewer. Admissions MIGHT contact your local alumni chapter and request you be given a second interview with another alumni member, but I don't know the likelihood of that happening.

    Your other option would be to google "Harvard Alumni Association Your Local Area" and explore their website. For example, when I googled "Harvard Alumni Association Southern California" there is a tab on the website for members to contact someone at the alumni association so they can volunteer to be an interviewer (http://hcsc.clubs.harvard.edu/article.html?aid=111). If you lived in Southern California, you could contact that individual and explain what happened in your interview. You'd have to tell the contact person the name of the person who interviewed you, and it could become awkward. So, you may want to save this option for after decisions come out so they can delete this person for future applicants.
  • diwnd2345diwnd2345 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    @gibby
    Thank you for the reply!

    I think I will try contacting the admissions office, but like you said, I'm worried that there's a low chance any action will take place. Another of my concerns is that I have no "evidence" to support what I'm saying and they may view me as someone who just messed up and wants another chance. There are other people from my school who have the same interviewer but I was the first to get interviewed. Would you suggest that I wait for them to get interviewed by the same person and then we send emails to our local Harvard Club (in close time proximity) about our concerns?

    Also has anyone else had a similar experience?
  • WarriorJWarriorJ Registered User Posts: 29 Junior Member
    I would recommend that you take no action against the interviewer, considering that the interview itself means very little. Anything you do brings only attentions to yourself, not to your application. My DD was criticized for every school she applied during one of the interviews by HYPSM in a similar way that you were treated. She was crying in the middle of the interview and did not stop until two hours after she came home. In the end, it didn't matter. She got in, but decided that she did not want to go to that college anymore because of the terrible interview experience.
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 9,754 Senior Member
    Warrior J I am sorry your daughter's ultimate decision was affected by the interview. There are so many good reasons for attending schools and diwnd I hope that you don't base your own decisions on this experience, which is irrelevant to your experience on campus.

    I would not do anything, no, but if the whole group of applicants in your school has an experience like this, certainly let admissions know after the fact. If it is only you who has this experience, you could still let someone know after the fact because much of the interviewer's comments sound inappropriate, and possibly reflect bitterness, as someone else said.
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 17,933 Senior Member
    @diwnd2345 , I'm sure the Harvard Alumni Association wants to provide a better interview experience than you had. But for some perspective, I would be willing to bet that if you posted your GPA, class rank, ECs, and test scores on College Confidential, and explained why you were applying to Harvard, (a) dozens of people would tell you not to bother, (b) many of them would suggest other colleges they thought were better fits, (c) any number of them would tell you to go to an in-state public university wherever you are to save money, (d) several would tell you that if you were not a recruited athlete or a member of an underrepresented (and politically favored) minority you were out of luck, (e) a number would excoriate you as a prestige-chaser for even wanting to apply to Harvard, and (f) many would opine that only your essays and written recommendations could give you a chance. No one would tell you your interview was critical.

    In other words, what you got may have been honest, if impolitic, advice, not presented well, but reasonably well-meaning. Maybe inaccurate and unjustified, but maybe not.
  • diwnd2345diwnd2345 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    @JHS
    Thank you for the response. I understand but I can't help but feel that his advice was not "reasonably well-meaning". He really had no basis to judge me on other than my class rank, scores, and gpa (I'm class rank 1 out of 700, 35 act, 4.00 UW). While I understand it is reasonable to not expect to be admitted Harvard due to the variety of factors involved in the admissions process, I don't think these particular stats would work against me.

    Anyways, I won't take any action until perhaps decisions are out and will just hope for the best...
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 9,754 Senior Member
    I admire your maturity and restraint : ) I know this is hard, the waiting is hard....I feel sure that no matter where you end up, you are going to do well.
  • EastGradEastGrad Registered User Posts: 971 Member
    @diwnd2345, I have sent you a message with my suggestions on this topic.
  • caesarcreekcaesarcreek Registered User Posts: 132 Junior Member
    Ooh what an awful story. I'm really sorry that happened to her. If an interview is upsetting you have a right to ask, and what have you got to lose anyway? In my area our number 1 goal is to make sure the student has a good experience!
This discussion has been closed.