Do interviews help?

<p>I'm confused. The admissions office at Dartmouth claims that interviews are informational but they evaluate you also. Furthermore, seeing as how interviews are optional, they cannot give an edge to someone who interviewed over someone who didn't, i.e.-this will not be considered as part of your application. Why not? If this is true than how is the interview at all evaluative? At the very least, doesn't Dartmouth track interest for those who do interview? An applicant also has the opportunity to interview twice: once on campus and once with an alumni after they apply. I understand the logic that if an interview goes poorly, it will not harm the applicant's chances. But if a school gives an applicant two chances to interview, won't they think better of the student who interviews well, perhaps exceedingly well, over an applicant who does not interview well or at all?
Help, I believe an interview or even two would help my chances, but the admissions office is telling me it's pointless.</p>

<p>You are probably going to have to deduce from that ambiguous information what the interview process will do for you. Dartmouth states that the on-campus interviews do not give competitive edge - but they can be very informative. They state that the off-campus interviews are intended to be both informative and evaluative. As you have indicated that you understand, because 30-40% of applicants will never have the opportunity for an interview, its not fair to give a competitive edge to those who interview over those who don't, especially those who cannot. So what that leaves you with is:</p>

<p>a) as stated by Admissions, a valuable part of an interview is an opportunity for you to get to know Dartmouth - your interviewer can be, in part, an abassador for the college and at that point in the whole process its great to talk face to face with an alumnus - you are still shopping and need a chance to learn, confirm or refute some of your notions about Dartmouth;</p>

<p>b) an interview is your opportunity to provide the college with even more information about you than it already has - not only that you participate in X and Y activities, but why you do, etc; </p>

<p>c) its probably not unreasonable to conclude that, if you live in an area where interviews are readily available and most of your competition is likely to take advantage of them and you have nothing that would prohibit you from scheduling the interview, you would want to request one. Even then, interviewers and especially Admissions officers who read the interview feedback, know that certain applicants are naturally more at ease in the interview situtation than others, and know probably better than you what kinds of good information can come out of even an interview percieved as bad or awkward; </p>

<p>d) its probably not farfetched to deduce that to make an good impression in an interview might just give that little tipping advantage to an otherwise borderline decision, and conversly that if something very offputting about a candidate comes out of it, it also might tip that borderline decision the other way. But don't assume that the socially skilled will have the automatic edge over those who are naturally somewhat ill at ease - Dartmouth can still glean helpful information. And understand that at best, the interview is accorded less weight than most other elements of the application. </p>

<p>So when admissions says the interview is optional, they are not saying its pointless - it serves good purpose on several levels. They are only saying that because there are so many elements to each applicant's total package, and because they can't penalize a student who cannot arrange an interview, they can't confirm to you that a "good" or "great" interview will have postive impact. </p>

<p>Even if the net impact of the interview on your application is nuetral, it will have been valuable if you come away from it with a better sense of Dartmouth.</p>

<p>we heard an interview with alum in hometown can only hurt you and not help you...afterall 90 percent will make a good impression and alum tend to talk up the hometown scholar...so the ad officers see 10000 glowing interv reports
along with the 9000 4.0 and 8000 700s on each sat
now if the interviewer thought you were rude or not right for dartmouth
that would stand out !!</p>

<p>by the way the arranging interview fiasco compounded the yale and harvard
ea/ed since many complained they were not interviewed or rushed at the deadline due to the emormous applicantions</p>