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When's alum interview for early action?


Replies to: When's alum interview for early action?

  • stanfordWannabeestanfordWannabee Registered User Posts: 36 Junior Member
    @bishopstown Im on LI, havent gotten an Interview request
  • cluelessbasscluelessbass Registered User Posts: 133 Junior Member
    My S just got contacted and set up an interview. Do they interview everybody or only students that have a shot at getting in?
  • stanfordWannabeestanfordWannabee Registered User Posts: 36 Junior Member
    @clueless they interview EVERYBODY
    Getting an interview does NOT hint at an acceptance
  • 1sparkle21sparkle2 Registered User Posts: 833 Member
    Had a very nice interview today.
  • pde54003pde54003 Registered User Posts: 210 Junior Member
    Interview this Saturday!
  • exile3418exile3418 Registered User Posts: 64 Junior Member
    I'm in the Northern NJ area and all my classmates have already gotten their Princeton interviews. My application materials were received October 29th.

    Should I be concerned, especially since all the people in my area that I know (~30) have already received interviews?

    I feel like it cannot be a coincidence that only I have not received an interview in my school yet. It is worth noting that there are a lot of alumni in my area.
  • NihilusNihilus Registered User Posts: 287 Junior Member
    @exile3418 Though there are a lot of alumni in your area, there are also a LOT of applicants. I live in mid-NJ, about 10 minutes away from Princeton, and nobody from my school or district has been contacted yet. Don't worry.
  • CantigerCantiger Registered User Posts: 940 Member
    @exile3418 - it could be that the number of applicants in your area has outnumbered the available interviewers. I would make sure you check your spam/junk folders on your e-mail to make sure a contact hasn't gone into there inadvertently (I have heard of that happening).
  • BoondocksBoondocks Registered User Posts: 321 Member
    These questions about interviews get asked every year about now, and again in January.

    Don’t worry if you haven’t yet been contacted – it has nothing to do with your admissions chances.

    Here’s a little more about the alumni interview process:

    1) There is absolutely no prescreening of applications to determine who gets an interview. There is no upfront weighting system, in which Princeton recommends that these applicants get priority if there is a shortage of alumni in a given area. Princeton attempts to have every applicant interviewed by an alum.

    2) Princeton starts out by sending send a list of applicants’ names to the Alumni Schools Committee Coordinator for your area. That person is a volunteer, most likely juggling a 60-hour job with their personal life, just like your parents probably are. The coordinator assigns interviews to other alumni volunteers, usually quickly, but not always if the coordinator is too busy.

    3) The alumni interviewer, also a volunteer juggling a busy life, might call you right away, might let the email sit in their inbox for a week or two, or might contact the coordinator and say they’re too busy to interview you (in which case, the coordinator tries to find someone else to interview you). That’s why the contact time can vary.

    4) There is no training for alumni interviewers, so there is no uniform interview. Most interviewers will tell you about the school and ask you about you. They aren’t there to make an evaluation of your academic potential – admissions does that, so they’ll generally ask about your activities and your academic interests. Some will also throw some softball questions at you, and once in a while, one will ask a hardball question (most won’t, but since these are all untrained volunteers, the style of interview will vary, alum to alum). The hope is that each alum will make the applicant leave the interview feeling good about Princeton, and most of the time, the alums are successful at doing that.

    5) Most will excuse interview nervousness. Almost all realize (and the written guidelines tell them) that the applicants are high school kids, and that they shouldn’t expect them to interview as an adult would. (As a side note, I interview professionals for high-income jobs all the time, and am amazed at how well-spoken and how much bearing the kids I interview have compared to the adult professionals I interview – many seem better. Yet, most of them get rejected, which should tell you that you can still become incredibly successful even if you get rejected by Princeton.)

    6) Most alumni interviewers are blown away by the applicants they interview. Few interview more than a handful, so they aren’t comparing them with the 25,000+ that the admissions committee must do. The applicants usually look good-to-spectacular to the alumni interviewers.

    7) Most alumni interviewers want the kids they interview to get into Princeton. They’re disappointed when a kid who makes any kind of a good impression doesn’t get in. They want kids from their area to be able to go, especially the ones that they interview.

    8) Your alumni interviewer does not see any part of your application. The only information they are given is your contact information and your high school’s name.

    9) Come prepared to the interview. Have a few questions ready about Princeton, because you probably will be asked. A small percentage of applicants know nothing about Princeton, other than its US News ranking, and it can make you look bad if you haven’t done any research on the school. I can remember one who knew nothing about Princeton other than that its general reputation and that it was only an hour-and-a-half from New York City (Princeton students rarely go into the City – those who really want to be in or near the big city should apply elsewhere), and that applicant didn’t look good to me. You should have a reason why you’re applying to Princeton, know about the residential colleges, independent work, and a fair amount more about the school if you’re applying to Princeton.

    10) Imagine trying to coordinate 25,000 interviews around the world, conducted by volunteers. It’s a difficult process, and some applicants will slip through the cracks. If you haven’t heard after two or three weeks, contact the admissions office to remind them that you haven’t been contacted as yet.

    11) Don’t panic if you think you had a poor interview (you probably didn’t, but just think you did). Considering the variance in the interviewers and the few people each interviewer sees, Princeton can’t place a lot of stock in these things, unless you are rude or negative (and very, very few are).

    12) The way to blow an interview is to decide that you’re not going to do it because it’s considered to be optional. If an applicant is contacted and chooses not to interview, that is reported back to admissions, and I can’t imagine that can do anything but hurt you unless you have a grave excuse.
  • mas1996mas1996 Registered User Posts: 187 Junior Member
    I've been notified who my interviewer will be several weeks ago, but I have yet to be contacted. Is this unusual? My guidance counselor is a little surprised.
  • BoondocksBoondocks Registered User Posts: 321 Member
    Mas1996 – see my post above. Here’s one particularly relevant section:

    “3) The alumni interviewer, also a volunteer juggling a busy life, might call you right away, might let the email sit in their inbox for a week or two, or might contact the coordinator and say they’re too busy to interview you (in which case, the coordinator tries to find someone else to interview you). That’s why the contact time can vary.”


    Your interviewer is probably too busy to get to you. You’re dealing with a volunteer, as noted above.

    Also, check your spam filters – it’s also possible that your interviewer sent you an email that has been swallowed up by a spam filter.

    (I always recommend that anyone who is in either a college search or a job search [and the college application process should be treated like a job search], should turn off spam filters, because these filters are unable to distinguish between real spam and real emails. You may have to delete some ads and other junk, but that is better than missing an important email).

    At this point, I would contact admissions and tell them that you haven’t yet been contacted by your alumni interviewer.

    Don’t panic. You won’t be penalized if you aren’t interviewed because no one was able to do so. You will only be penalized if you aren’t interviewed because you decline to be interviewed.
  • mas1996mas1996 Registered User Posts: 187 Junior Member
    I had my interview. I think it was pretty good. Very normal...no trick questions. The one think I might say is that my interviewer didn't feel very trained. He seemed kind of as awkward as I felt!
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