Interview Dilemna

So my D has applied to one school EA. It’s her safety although I think she would be happy to attend. The decision comes December 15. The regional admissions person for our area sent her an email just before Thanksgiving asking her if she would like an interview. The challenge lies in that it is the busiest time of year for many reasons. Academics first and foremost. D is a musician so almost every weekend until winter break is booked with concerts recitals etc in addition to family events. Also too for auditions and applications for RD it is crunch time. Is politely turning down interview acceptable? Does she even respond to email?

I might add too she has gotten this request from other schools she is applying to RD. They don’t have her app yet but have the rest of her information. With these there is more time to set something up. I guess schools do this?

Since there is a chance she might attend this school, she should absolutely respond, that’s only good manners. It’s hard for me to imagine that your d is so busy she won’t have one hour somewhere (weekend breakfast meeting at a Starbucks?) for an interview. But if indeed that is the case, your daughter can politely explain her predicament – exams/performances – and perhaps suggest a phone interview instead. Surely she has a half hour somewhere, right? If it doesn’t work out, your daughter made an effort and the rep should/will understand, but all niceties would have been observed.

It’s hard to imagine there isn’t time but it is true. Music auditions are incredibly time consuming, lots of moving parts, practice, studio time, accommodating accompanist schedule etc. She has 5 APs plus about 8 or so applications to complete by Jan 1. Add that to the rest of the performances and trying to be a family in the middle of the madness. I just hate to add another thing to her plate. But it is probably the right thing to do.

Your D can’t come half an hour late to the cousins cookie baking because she had a college interview? She can’t miss her nephews pageant or recital?

Of course she responds to the email. Even if it’s only to offer up three time slots and to say “like everyone else, I’m feeling very time crunched right now. Many thanks for reaching out to me and I hope we can find a time to schedule a quick interview or phone call.”

It is always acceptable to be in a position where you can’t find a mutually convenient time. As a long time college interviewer (volunteer) I would have been moderately ticked off that a HS kid thought she was busier than I was (work full time, raising children, managing a household, community and volunteer work, juggling eldercare and frequent hospitalizations).

Really- a kid is busier than I am??? too busy to respond to an email?

Respond to all emails promptly. Eenen if it is just to note that you will arrange a time in a later email, it is the right thing to do and an important life skill. Your daughter needs to reprioritize her schedule. While it may seem all these activities are urgent, actually none of them are. The world won’t end if she has to miss one concert or class or family event. If she is serious about applying to the school, make time for the interview.

Also, just to note, I give my interviewees one week after my initial contact, by both email and phone, to just respond to me. After that, I check the box for “did not respond to interview request”, file it with the college and move on. We all have busy lives.

I’d respond asap to that email since it’s now about 5 days old (say that you were traveling during the holidays or whatever) and I’d find a time to make it work…she’s applied to only one school, yes? She should put everything into it.

The issue isn’t replying to the e-mail it is a last minute interview. Responding that there isn’t time does not seem like a good idea. I don’t think there is any issue with getting accepted to this school. Interviews are not required. So I don’t personally think it is a good use of time. Yes lots of criticism on mention of lack of time. @blossom my daughter is a musician and her recitals and concerts are important as they are recorded for auditions. They are all hers -six or seven of them in the first two weeks of December. -Her grades are important for scholarship money. We aren’t making any cookies here!
@SouthernHope She is applying to 15 schools to maximize merit opportunities.

I would have her respond ASAP and ask if she could set up a 20 minute phone interview, given her very hectic schedule.

Just be aware sometimes kids don’t get into schools they thought were safeties for just this sort of reason. Personally I wouldn’t risk it.

Most early action interviews are last minute as the timeline between application and decision is short. Most schools care a lot about yield, so even if she is a match stats-wise, declining an interview does say a lot about her lack of interest in the school. If you really want this as,a safety, make the time. Miss one class. Or be prepared to drop this as a safety, which is fine too. It is likely interview reports are due before Dec 3

Thanks all. Will have her respond and see what works best.

^^^I agree with @suzy100 100%. Wow, I’m flabbergasted.

Holy hubris, Batman! If the Pope or President can make a phone call or take a meeting, your D can to too!

Interviews are not required.

My guess is that half the things in your D’s application are not required- AP Chem? Advanced whatever? Not required. But all good to have, all things being equal. A strong application puts your best foot forward. And responding to emails from admissions- even from colleges which you consider to be rock bottom safeties “a dolphin could get admitted to this school”-- that’s called putting your best foot forward.

The point is that if the college is making an interview available, your D should be prepared to be moderately cooperative in making it happen.

Skip a dialysis appointment? No. Be late for a music rehearsal- after letting the director/conductor know that she has a college interview so will be half an hour late? Yes. That’s moderately cooperative. Stay up until 3 am the night before a big performance so she can squeeze in an interview in the early evening? No. Get an excused absence for gym class so she can interview? yes.

Not seeing how busy a HS kid might be compared to the person actually doing the interview. Who is likely squeezing your D into a full time job plus every other obligation this person might have.

Thanks for all your support. Trying to take some stress off my kiddo but whatever. She did not request an interview.

I think she should interview, I too have a musician and understand the time constraints.

If it’s a safety, then she should be able to politely decline the interview with no consequence. Otherwise it is not a safety and she needs another safety.

It’s not just an hour or 20 minutes, is it? It’s having to prepare for the interview as well. It’s where knowing your kid is what’s most important, if they’re so stressed with everything going on this holiday season, maybe not interviewing is OK.

We had musician kids here too…with very busy schedules with concerts. One was also on the swim team which also was on during December.

The kid still found time to do a phone interview with a School who contacted her.

Is this kid auditioning as a music major? If so…she is applying to too many colleges.