Do Interviews Really Not Matter?

<p>Is it true that interviews don’t matter? I’m asking because I recently had an interview that went amazingly. The woman who interviewed me sent me a copy of the summary that she was sending to Brown – I was in awe. Some of the things that she said were crazy… I thought she was talking about someone else.</p>

<p>But I find it hard to believe that this isn’t going to help me. Why would they conduct interviews if they don’t matter? Do my chances for admission increase AT ALL?</p>

<p>they matter because you get to ask questions to an alum</p>

<p>Do they matter in terms of admission?</p>

<p>I am an alumni interviewer. I know that a lot of people believe these interviews are totally worthless and play no role at all in the admissions process. I don't feel that way. I've been told by admissions officers that they read our write-ups and they help draw a picture of the applicant. I don't think students get accepted on the strength of an interview alone. Brown spends a tremendous amount of money and personnel on alumni interviews, and I don't think Brown would do that if the write ups were totally worthless.</p>

<p>someone posted the alum interviewer handbook not too long which stated that Brown does not use interviews for admission decisions. hmm</p>

<p>The relevant excerpts from the handbook are:</p>

<p>"Explain to the applicants that the interview is not a deciding factor in their application; there is very little they might do or say that would guarantee a denial."</p>

<p>"Also, keep in mind that the most helpful information to the Admission Committee is not a laundry list of extra-curricular activities, but more of an impression of the candidate’s personality and depth. ...</p>

<p>"Once submitted, your contact form is sent to the Admission Office and becomes a part of the student's application to Brown." </p>

<p>I interpret that as meaning that the interview write up goes into the admissions folder and is read by the admissions staff, but an interview would not be the basis for a denial. Anything read by the admissions staff is used for admissions decisions.</p>

<p>they are just making sure you arent crazy..</p>

<p>they help on the margin and rarely hurt.</p>

<p>obviously, a 30 minutes subjective snapshot will be weighted less than four years of grades, recommendations from teachers who know you well, and other direct measures of potential (standardized aptitude tests, essays, etc)</p>

<p>really. I know someone who got into Cornell, Grinnell and som other schools, waitlisted at Harvard and Darthmouth but rejected at Brown because his interview did not go so well. Could it have been anything else? He used Common app so at least some of the essays were the same.</p>

<p>Brown doesn't use the Common App, so maybe his application was very different fro Brown than for the others. I can't really see how an interview would matter very much, as not every applicant is granted one. To count it as anything with weight would be quite unfair with so many applicants and relatively few alumni to do the interviews.</p>

<p>They add to the overall picture and confirm what is already in your recs/essays/transcript. However, previously unreported issues that may weigh in your favor might be brought forth in the interview setting e.g. you babysit your siblings or help care for a sickly relative, while maintaining that stellar GPA, etc. These may be factored in to your favor. </p>

<p>Also, red flags may come to the adcoms attention. That seemingly great civic organization you're involved in? Maybe the alum is a director and has NEVER heard of you. Or maybe that $5000 summer week spent building homes in Mexico (when actually half the time was spent on the beach)? When you were questioned about your real voluntarism, it didn't match your written statements. These would be useful to the adcom, dontcha think?</p>

<p>i think they are useless primarily because the vast majority of applicants are so impressive to most interviewers that every write up will be a 9 or 10 out of 10 and how does that help anyone differentiate?</p>

<p>That and my personal experience with it...</p>

<p>one of my interviewers told me the interview served as a way to make sure that i was 'living, breathing, and not crazy'</p>


<p>i think it's more of a way to discount people than to distinguish them.</p>

<p>I would think that they matter somewhat (to corroborate your application, or to gain additional insight), but they can't give you that much of a leg up, no matter how good your interview was because a) not everyone gets an interview b) interviews are very subjective---something I'm sure admission officers are aware of. However, if it came down to a choice between two candidates who were neck-in-neck on paper, I could see the interview being the tipping point if there was a drastic difference between the two.</p>

<p>I'm sure lots of interviewers say this to applicants, but my interviewer (a phone interview) said that I sounded like someone who would fit in extremely well at Brown and that he hoped I chose it because they could use my attitude.</p>

<p>Is that good or was he just terrified by my rant about global warming?</p>

<p>My interviewer also told me I would fit in well. I think they tell this to most applicants, unfortunately.</p>

<p>I turned down my interview but I got a likely letter yesterday, if that says anything. (But I didn't turn it down "just because" or because I do not like interviews.)</p>

<p>I truly enjoyed talking to my alumni interviewer... he was a really great guy. He seemed to genuinely like me, which was cool. It would be nice if it helped me to get in to Brown, but even if not... well, he said that he thought I would do really well at any school. That meant a lot. Maybe the interview has merit just as a reality check for us.</p>