Duke Alum Interview

<p>My son will have a Duke Alum interview in about one week. He is excited as Duke is one of his ideal schools. We have a few questions and would greatly appreciate it if you could share your Duke Alum interview experiences with us. Thanks!</p>

<p>1) How long will a typical Duke interview be?
2) What are the likely questions? Will they ask a lot of questions about Duke? My son has not visited Duke yet, but plans to visit in spring break week.
3) How much does the interviewer know about the applicant? For example, if the interviewer already knows the applicant's application and accomplishments, it may not make a lot of sense to keep repeating during the interview. Any advice?
4) Will the interviewer ask what other schools he applied or intends to apply? I told my son to be honest, always. But, hopefully this will not generate any impression he is not interested in Duke, while the matter of the fact is, he is very interested in Duke. However he did apply to other schools and has got acceptance from a few safety schools with merit scholarship. We appreciate your comments and experiences.
5) Is there any dress code for this sort of Alum interview? </p>

<p>Duke interview is the very first one my son has, and we hope there will be more to come for a couple of other schools, so we like to understand the protocol. </p>

<p>Thanks again!</p>

<p>I haven't had my Duke interview yet (I'm applying RD & for the Robertson, and just submitted my stuff yesterday), but I've had a number of alumni interviews, and can offer some more general answers.</p>

<ol>
<li> Interviews are typically about an hour, or a little less. It depends on how chatty you or your interviewer are & how well you connect.</li>
<li>Again, I haven't interviewed for Duke, but be prepared to talk about what you like about Duke & why you want to go there. Also, interviewers often give you a chance to ask a few questions, so make sure you have 1 or 2 thoughtful questions to ask (not just stuff you could find out from the website). Otherwise, most of the questions are about YOU: your classes, activities, etc... so make sure you know the things you do!</li>
<li> Usually, interviewers only know your name and your contact information: they don't usually have access to any part of your application. So, talk about whatever comes up: be prepared to talk about your favorite classes, extracurriculars, leadership positions, etc.</li>
<li>I've only been asked about the other schools to which I'm applying at 1 interview (MIT). I would say to be fairly honest, and use this as a chance to stress your interest in Duke. (Also, maybe not mention any Ivies...) I was completely honest with my MIT interviewer, and told him my general criteria the colleges I'm applying to fit (helped explain why I first was drawn to MIT), but then used the chance to talk about the specific things I liked about his school.</li>
<li>I would suggest "business casual" for alumni interviews, unless you're meeting your interviewer at an office (in which case, dress up a bit more). I'm a girl, so I tend to wear a nice dress & cardigan like I'd wear to school (I go to a CT prep school). For boys, I'd suggest khakis or corduroys and a button-down or even maybe just a polo... you want to look nice and make a good impression, but also be comfortable!</li>
</ol>

<p>Hope this helps! Tell your son good luck!</p>

<p>My son had his Duke interview a few weeks ago since he applied to Duke ED. They met at Starbucks and the interview lasted about 1-1/2 - 2 hrs. My son said it was more of a casual conversation rather than an interview. </p>

<p>Interviewer requested casual dress, but son had just come from a Navy ROTC fundraiser from around the corner, so he was in his dress blues. Else, he would have been in a polo shirt and khakis. Interviewer had a duke ballcap on to identify himself.</p>

<p>Son brought an updated resume, mentioned he had the 'updates to his resume'...this gave the interviewer the opportunity to tell him he had not seen it, so son gave it to him.</p>

<p>The conversation got animated after that since the interviewer could ask about things on his resume rather than son having to remember to bring it up. My son has an unusual resume since we have lived overseas, so it made it interesting to the interviewer. Son speaks Chinese, studied in China, broke his collarbone playing football recently, Navy ROTC, Eagle scout, 9 yrs overseas.....alot to talk about. </p>

<p>Get the stuff out there for the interviewer to see that makes you unique. This also gives the applicant the chance to speak about things he loves. Makes for a better interview/conversation.</p>

<p>We had just visited Duke about 2 weeks before the interview and had met with alot of people, so he had the visit to also talk about.</p>

<p>Son reviewed his resume ahead of time, re-read his essays, and brought a copy of his Why Duke essay with him to give to the interviewer. </p>

<p>Also, interviewer 'friended' son on facebook.....his facebook is squeaky clean (I have the password so I know), but clean yours up in case you happen to befriend your interviewer. Also, delete any questionable comments from friends because you will be associated by the company you keep.</p>

<p>Good Luck!</p>

<p>I think the two above responses have covered the basics pretty well. But just to elaborate on a few points. Interviewers are given your name, contact information, high school, race, school applied to (Pratt or Trinity), and academic interests (i.e. intended major(s)). They are given no information about your extracurricular activities, GPA, test scores, essays, etc. Dressy casual is definitely the way to go (khakis/black slacks and a button down/polo for guys; skirt/slacks and a blouse/nice shirt for girls), although many applicants show up in jeans. Jeans could be no big deal or give a bad impression depending on your interviewer. It's not necessary to bring a resume, your essays, or application to the interviewer and most don't, but if it makes you feel better to bring it, it certainly won't hurt you. Interviewers are told not to ask you what other schools you applied to unless you bring it up, but some do anyways. If that happens, I'd definitely just be truthful. I don't know why answer313 said to not mention the Ivies. I'd definitely mention the Ivies if you applied there. The interviewer is not going to immediately say you're not interested in Duke just because you applied to other schools. Even if it's clear Duke isn't your first choice this should not hurt you at all; most applicants are unsure what school they really want to go to. Now, having said that you certainly should demonstrate to the interviewer that you've read up on Duke somewhat and show your interest. If you don't know what Pratt/Trinity means and other basics, then that's definitely a negative. But saying you applied to Harvard, UPenn, Berkeley, and Duke is perfectly fine as long as you've shown that you've read up on Duke. I actually think that sounds more impressive and makes the interviewer want to convince you to go to Duke more than if you had applied to MSU and Kalamazoo College...It really shouldn't affect anyways, but interviewers are human so anything can. In the end, it's just a conversation. Come relaxed, prepared with questions and the ability to talk about yourself in a variety of capacities. Learn more about Duke and enjoy it. It's most likely not going to make or break your application. And it's not normal for the interviewer to facebook friend the interviewee, clearly. That person must have really enjoyed his/her interview with your son.</p>

<p>I just had my Duke alumni interview a few hours ago, and I'm applying regular decision. </p>

<p>1) Ours was a little over an hour even though it seemed like it could have gone on for a very long time. However, we were at a Starbucks where they validated parking for only an hour..so I feel like that may have factored into how long our interview was.</p>

<p>2) My interviewer had only 3 questions. 1. If you were to take a gap year, what would you do? 2. If you were the principal of your school what would you change and what would you keep the same? 3. If you were in a book store, what would you pick up and what would you leave on the shelf and why. And, literally no questions on Duke or why you thought to apply. She also opened the interview by asking if I had any questions. </p>

<p>3) She knew nothing other than my name and contact information. She actually thought I was applying early, only by guessing though. She told me explicitly the interviewers are not supposed to ask anything about anything quantitative (gpa, sat/act, etc) because that speaks for itself on the application. She also said the time spent talking isn't supposed to be for discussing extracurriculars because thats also on the application. She stressed the fact that the interview is very personal/informal.</p>

<p>4) She only asked me whether I was trying to stay more local or not. She did not ask about any specifics about where I was applying.</p>

<p>5) My interviewer was in dark jeans and had a nicer coat on. I was kind of concerned about what to wear, but since we were meeting at Starbucks I kind of went a little more lax on what I was wearing because I didn't want to dress up more than the interviewer. I wore dark jeans, a collared shirt, and a cardigan, so the interviewer and I were basically dressed the same way (thank god). </p>

<p>---overall, interview was very very personal, my interviewer was very nice</p>

<p>hope that helps! I would just tell your son to be himself, be open and honest and he should do great.</p>

<p>Hi I've done Duke interviews for over ten years. Unfortunately, there is no standard interview format supplied by Duke to the interviewers. So much of it depends on the interviewer.<br>
1. Most of my interviews take about 30 minutes. For my interviews, the longer the better. The longest was a little over an hour because the student was so interesting that I had lots to ask.<br>
2. I would never expect a student to answer questions about Duke. That's MY job. I suggest your son have some good questions in mind because the interviewer will invariably ask him if he has any questions. He could ask about campus life, or Durham, or Duke Engage, etc etc.<br>
3. All the interviewer will know about your son is his name and contact info, high school, trinity or Pratt, and possible majors. We are not supposed to know about class rank, grades etc so as not to bias us. If the interviewer asks these things, I suggest your son answer truthfully, however, as the main thing is to be likable. Don't worry if the information in the interview is repetitive, let the interviewer guide the direction of the interview. That being said, I would prepare your son by having him think of about 3 or 4 topics he wants to discuss about himself in the interview. Tell him to be ready to use those topics to answer general questions. The interviewer should give lots of open ended questions to bring out his personality and accomplishments.
4. If asked about other schools, he should indeed be honest but should smile brightly when he professes his life long desire to be a blue devil. He should say, "I have gotten some merit scholarships to my safety schools( he can name them,) but I'm really really hoping for the opportunity to go to Duke. It's my number one choice!"<br>
5. Have him wear nice pants (don't have to be fancy, I bought my son the JCrew Khaki ones) and a dress shirt tucked in with a brown belt and some nice preppy deck shoes. I'm half joking about the clothes. Have him wear the equivalent of what I describe in his own style. I personally don't care what the kids wear and often tell them to wear jeans. He should just look like he cares a little bit. </p>

<p>The main thing about any interview I think is to be self-confident and personable while remaining humble and maintaining a good sense of humor. Don't be afraid to laugh. The best thing that can happen is a good long conversation about anything under the sun.</p>

<p>If the interviewer "friended" your son, I'd say that's a good sign and only slightly creepy.</p>

<p>The interview serves a lot of functions, and it's important for p-frosh to know that it's not actually all about them. It's cynical but one of the biggest reasons for alumni interviews is that it's a way to get alumni involved and thus increase giving. Don't stress about the interview. As long as you can have an intelligent conversation and you've done a few interesting things in your 17 years it's fine. It won't make or break your application.</p>

<p>I just had met with a Fuqua (Duke's business school) alum. He stressed at the beginning how the meeting was just an informal getting-to-know-you type of thing. In addition to a few random questions about what I would do with a million dollars and where I would travel, the interviewer mainly asked me about what I had done with my time. Besides that, I would suggest straightening out one thing in your mind before going in:
What are your goals/aspirations as you move on to college and out into the real world.
(And I don't mean like, "go through premed, then med school, and become a doctor to help other people.")</p>

<p>I know it's hard to figure out what you want to do with your life since you're only in high school and have all this indecision. However, if you take a few moments to ponder what your values are now and why you specifically want to do the things that you see in your future everyday, you can help out the interviewer with a concrete explanation and might even call in to question your future plans.</p>

<p>Just a thought. Hope I helped.</p>

<p>I just had my interview today at a public library. It lasted for about 40 min (interviewer had to leave to pick up his son), and it really was more of a casual/informative conversation more than anything. Interviewer never even asked Why Duke, but did ask about what I wanted to get out of college in general. Talked about my background, asked him a few questions about Duke, etc. All in all a very pleasant experience. Oh he did ask where else I applied, and when I said I was deferred SCEA from Yale, he actually said that he was as well. Actually 2 of my other interviewers specifically said that they too had applied to Yale early, but ended up at their current schools.</p>

<p>I would probably not accept the friend request from an interviewer. It's too much for me.. lol.</p>

<p>Edit: I would accept AFTER decisions came out, if we actually got along.</p>

<p>Hi,</p>

<p>Thanks very much for this comment. It help me to think about my ideals.</p>

<p>Tks again and pls keep posting.</p>

<p>Hi! I'm a senior high school student and I was wondering if any of you ended up getting accepted into Duke University. I'm really nervous about my interview although my interviewer seems to be a very friendly person. Any advice?</p>

<p>be yourself</p>

<p>I just had my alum interview today and we just talked about philosophy and life! Just be yourself and don't be afraid to be brutally honest!</p>

<p>I still haven't been contacted for an interview even though I submitted my application by December 10th. What should I do?</p>

<p>You may still be contacted later, since there are interviews that take place in February. In the case that you are not contacted, you should be able to request an interview on Duke's website (as an ED applicant, I received an email with a link to the request form) or send in an additional letter of recommendation in place of an interview.</p>

<p>I submitted my supplement November 11 and just got contacted today for an interview. And I thought all the anxiety was over with...</p>

<p>kgoodwin18:
It's nothing to worry about! :) Just a few common interview questions, it just feels like a casual conversation. Make sure you have a few specific questions in mind! :)</p>

<p>kgoodwin18:
It's nothing to worry about! :) Just a few common interview questions, it just feels like a casual conversation. Make sure you have a few specific questions in mind! :)</p>