Do Interviews Help My Chances of Being Admitted?

<p>If schools such as Carnegie Mellon offer optional admission interviews, will it increase my chances of being accepted by participating in one?</p>

<p>YES. ALWAYS do the interview unless there's no way you can do it (e.g. death, location, etc.).</p>

<p>Stressedoutt's grand pronouncement isn't true for many schools at all. Even most of the most selective schools only use interview input to the tiniest degree. The way stressedouttt speaks, one would think it's essential -- which it isn't but for a handful of schools.</p>

<p>If your interview is particularly outstanding or you mention something important that for some reason wasn't in your application, it will help. However 99% of the time, it will have little to no effect. </p>

<p>I applied to Brown ED and my interviewer literally told me "This really isn't a big deal. I'm pretty much just making sure you didn't miss anything on your application and you're not a serial killer.</p>

<p>I didn't even have an interview for WashU and I got in. </p>

<p>If you have an on campus interview though (instead of a local alumni interview), I think the effort will at least be appreciated, but it probably won't help a ton.</p>

<p>A family friend of ours says he does alum interviews for Dartmouth. He said whenever he had an interview where he thought the student was a strong, offbeat candidate and made a recommendation, the kid got rejected. And when he had interviews with kids he thought were kind of "eh" and wrote a less than stellar recommendation, they got in.</p>

<p>imasophomore: your friend's coincidences are just that: conincidences. Here's when an interview can come into play (true story from our admissions rep). I interview for an HYP college. In my nearby large urban school district 3 years ago, two guys applied from one of the top magnet schools. On paper, they looked very strong. However, their rec letters, while genuinely supportive, were not very specific -- i.e. they didn't contain the "oomph" that the admissions committee wanted before casting a definitive YES vote. The committee was on the fence about both -- again, not through anything the applicants had done but because of the un-meaty rec letters.</p>

<p>Both guys met with interviewers from my locality. Both had superb interactions and extremely supportive write-ups were submitted. This objective evidence was enough to tip both applicants into the accept pile. The admissions rep told me that this was one case where the interviews definitely made a difference.</p>

<p>In general I would extrapolate that interviews can shed more light into fuzzy cases. Frankly I assume that most cases are fairly clear cut, however and the interview reports just go to confirm other strengths and weaknesses elsewhere in the application.</p>

<p>I've probably interviewed over 200 kids. Maybe 10 of them have been admitted. But I'm fully aware that I'm not the students' advocate, I'm a set of eyes & ears for my college and my service to them is to provide more info to the college. If they take it and still reject, I'm 100% fine with it most of the time. Occasionally, I'm left puzzed at a decision but I also know I only see one slice of the kid for 50 minutes at a coffee shop. Even the most stellar interview -- ultimately doesn't guarantee anything. Nor should it.</p>

<p>Optional interviews usually don't play a big role. With my D, I ran into a refreshingly candid Ad Officer, who said it's usually a chance to sell the school, and unless you come across as having two heads, it can't really hurt. Occasionally, something comes up that isn't on the application and can help big time.</p>

<p>However, NOT having an interview MIGHT hurt at some schools. To the extent 'interest' is a factor, what kind of message are you sending if you decline one. Scheduling an interview and being a 'no-show' is, of course just rude, and cannot help.</p>