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Harvard 2024 Interview

ATTXATTX 128 replies1 threads Junior Member
My kids had their interviews today. One had a great time and the other one had a REALLY bad experience. To start off, the interviewer did not even bother to introduce himself. Then he proceeded to flat out saying my kid's answers were not "right". For example, he asked "tell me about yourself", after my kid did so, he said "that's not the right answer, I was looking for something about your background and family". Hmm ... why didn't he just asked that? This just went on and on for the entire interview. At one point, he even told my kid that Harvard is not a good college to go for engineering.

My kid said the interviewer just acted like he did not want to be there at all from the very beginning and answering his questions was like taking a test -- every answer was actually being graded (wrong, wrong, and more wrong).

I read some old posts that Harvard actually ranked the applicants for their interviews and calculated into the decision? Is it still true? Can someone verify this for me? If this is still valid, what can we do at this point? Thanks.
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Replies to: Harvard 2024 Interview

  • compmomcompmom 11152 replies78 threads Senior Member
    Don't stress about the interview.

    We can't really evaluate the interviewer without knowing what answer was actually given to the question "tell me about yourself?" Did your son focus on academic achievements in his answer?

    And it is true that Harvard may not be the best choice for engineering.
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  • ATTXATTX 128 replies1 threads Junior Member
    My kid answered the interviewer with both academic and EC activities. But, since the interviewer said what he wanted was "family and background" information, not any achievements or activities of the applicant, so it's moot point whether my kid's answer was only focus on academic or not.

    We know Harvard is not the "best" choice for engineering, but he said Harvard is not a "good" school for engineering and that my kid should try other colleges. Since the interviewer was "representing" Harvard, I really don't think that's an appropriate thing for him to say.
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  • jazzingjazzing 68 replies3 threads Junior Member
    edited December 2019
    I'm glad that one student had a good interview, but I'm sorry to hear about the negative experience. I think that it is inappropriate to expect a student to read the interviewer's mind, to tell an interviewee that answers are "wrong," and to steer an applicant away from a college.

    The interviewer will submit a report that includes numerical ratings and a narrative, and if the student is a competitive applicant, the interview report will carry weight.

    Your student might consider contacting the admissions office and politely asking for another interview. If your student chooses to go down this path, use unemotional language and do not get into subjective observations ("the interviewer didn't seem to want to be there"). Stick to factual comments ("interviewer said answers were wrong" or "interviewer said that Harvard is not good for engineering").

    See this (old but still pertinent) letter to the editor by Bill Fitzsimmons, the dean of admissions: https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/opinions/1988/08/05/santita-jacksons-harvard-interview/0f404f1c-1060-4841-bc62-e74c01297555/
    edited December 2019
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  • ATTXATTX 128 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @jazzing, thank you for the suggestion. We have been working on an email to sent to Harvard, but did not think about to ask for another interview -- thank you so much for mentioning it.
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  • mpmars20mpmars20 7 replies2 threads New Member
    My kid just had a Harvard alumni interview, and I am in shock, how similar the experience was to what was described. I read this thread in my house, and they were not believing that this was not my text.
    The exact same words about engineering.
    In the last months we had a few interviews, and all of them were such a pleasure, my kid was so excited after each one, it's unfortunate that this happened with Harvard.
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  • ATTXATTX 128 replies1 threads Junior Member
    I'm so sorry that this happened to your kid too. Same situation here, my son had very pleasant interviews with all other college interviews. Are you planning to contact Harvard?
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  • mpmars20mpmars20 7 replies2 threads New Member
    I'm not sure, my husband is afraid it could have a negative impact on the application. My kid is also not sure on what to do. We are talking to the school counselor to get her opinion, but if it's up to me, we definitely will.
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  • ATTXATTX 128 replies1 threads Junior Member
    In my son's case, the interview went so bad, it really could not possibly have "more" negative impact on his application, plus I thought Harvard may like to know if the interview was telling kids to go to other colleges, so we did contact Harvard. He just had his 2nd interview (with a different interviewer, of course) about 2 weeks ago and it went great!
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  • styraxstyrax 15 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Is there a local/regional Harvard alumni club you can contact regarding the interview?
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  • ATTXATTX 128 replies1 threads Junior Member
    I just contacted the admission office.
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  • jazzingjazzing 68 replies3 threads Junior Member
    edited January 26
    styrax wrote: »
    Is there a local/regional Harvard alumni club you can contact regarding the interview?

    You should not contact the local club. If you have concerns, the student should contact the admissions office directly.
    edited January 26
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  • jazzingjazzing 68 replies3 threads Junior Member
    edited January 26
    ATTX wrote: »
    In my son's case, the interview went so bad, it really could not possibly have "more" negative impact on his application, plus I thought Harvard may like to know if the interview was telling kids to go to other colleges, so we did contact Harvard. He just had his 2nd interview (with a different interviewer, of course) about 2 weeks ago and it went great!

    I'm so glad to hear that the admissions office listened to your concerns and that your son's second interview went well. The application process is stressful, and the interviewers should try to reduce the stress and offer a pleasant experience, rather than the other way around. I hope that the first interviewer is removed from the list so he can't meet with students in the future.
    edited January 26
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 8819 replies85 threads Senior Member
    Another vote to contact admissions and request a second interview.
    The reality is that there will be good and bad alumni volunteers. It's very unfortunate for the students that get stuck with the not good ones. The admissions office needs to hear that feedback.
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  • sammyjosephsammyjoseph 5 replies0 threads New Member
    Could you share with us the city it happened in? Was it an independent interview or an assembly line of 30 kids at one location?
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  • ATTXATTX 128 replies1 threads Junior Member
    For us, it was in downtown Dallas with quite a few interviewers (at least 6+) ... an assembly line is a close description. The student chose an interviewer identified by a number and a time slot.
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  • Cly2019Cly2019 23 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Has anyone who apply through RD round from China mainland received an interview?
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  • sammyjosephsammyjoseph 5 replies0 threads New Member
    @ATTX Thank you
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  • 20dolphins20dolphins 7 replies0 threads New Member
    My DS has been receving interview request on every Wed at 6:00 PM. They send it with link where she can choose interview time. Whenever she try to click link, never have available interview left. Is this happening to anyone? Is this mean she was placed in "Low Priority List"? Dose Havard make student compete for interview?
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  • ATTXATTX 128 replies1 threads Junior Member
    edited February 5
    I have not heard students need to compete for interviews. Maybe there is something wrong with the sign-up site. In the emails my sons received to sign up, there is a contact person ... do your kid's emails include such info? If yes, I'd contact that person explaining what's going on. If not, try to contact Harvard admissions directly.
    edited February 5
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  • 20dolphins20dolphins 7 replies0 threads New Member
    ATTX, thank you so much for your advise. Will do!
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