Interview made me want to not apply?!?

I recently had a summer interview for a boarding school. It was not my top choice, but I knew a lot about the school. Now, I’m considering not applying to that school.

I thought I did well— frankly I would not change it if I could. It was my first interview, too. BUT, the interviewer had some bothering comments during it. There were small, snarky comments assuming my family’s financial status/careers. Then, I talked about how my values aligned with the school (or should I say the fabricated school’s website), interviewer basically said ‘yeah, we do that because we have to,’ type deal. This interview made me look down on the school. I know I will probably experience this at other places, but it was bothersome.

I have only told my mother a glimpse of this, she tells me not to knock the school down my list. I’m considering not applying because of these comments. Has anyone else had this happen? Yikes.

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So… there are a number of things to consider here.

Ideally, AOs are great ambassadors for the school. They make you feel great about the school and great about yourself. Ideally, schools hire AOs who fit this profile and who embody the school’s values. IRL it doesn’t always happen this way. Someone is new in a position, is having a bad day, or is a bad fit for the job but not yet out of it. Or maybe you just didn’t click. Which is all to say that you probably shouldn’t change your assessment because of one person. If you are admitted, you’ll have more opportunities to connect with more people in the community to see if your read was right.

DO make notes of what concerned you about the school and if you’re accepted, DO revisit those concerns - carefully! The AO may have been representing the school accurately, and you want to explore that possibility. If there is a culture that doesn’t make you feel respected, this isn’t the place for you. But even the best barrels sometimes contain bad apples.

Also remember that you are unlikely to have much contact with admissions once you are a student.

Now if what you learned at the interview was something that made the school a bad fit, there’s no need to apply. Or if you had so many schools on your list that you’re looking for reasons to trim the list, that’s fine too. But if it’s just one person who made you think it’s all wrong, I would suggest you gather more data.


If you had a negative AO, I would just put it down as a possible “morale problem” at the school. I wouldn’t stop applying to school just due to an off-putting interview. It’s just one person. Hopefully you can see the school in operation and see if there are other signs of bad morale.

We did interviews and tours during summer and fall. A few schools made a bad impression, but it was more that multiple elements of the school were not good, not a single person.

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The interview is for you to learn about the school. If you learned that you have reservations about the school I’d pay attention to that. We toured and interviewed at several schools my kids decided not to apply to.


Well, to each his or her own. Some interviewers make an excellent impression, some not. In my opinion, it’s just one factor, and a fairly minor one at that. My feeling is that if the schools themselves don’t see the interview as that important most of the time in their decision process, they sometimes put up a subpar interviewer. One interviewer my child had from a tippy top was a new athletics coach the school appeared to stick into the admissions department because they needed a full-time job for him; he had some experience geographically with our region, so he got assigned my kid. He didn’t know the school that well and was humdrum overall. But it’s still a great school and my son applied there anyway. He didn’t choose it in the end, but not because of the interviewer.


We had a similar interview situation as described by @ameridad ….
This was an on-campus interview…The guy was the football coach…been stuck in admissions….he was uncomfortable doing an interview or was just not into it…He had NO experience with our region…he didn’t submit a note or anything….we got a frantic call a few months later in early February - “You didn’t have an interview”….well, that was a surprise since I seem to recall flying to NE, renting a car, and kiddo interviewing with an additional interview with me…I described the gentleman, his outfit, red school tie….and that he was the football coach (without a card yet available)….