Interviewer seemed uninterested and cut interview short

Do you actually learn of the admission results of the individuals you interviewed? I always assumed anonymity…

I did when I interviewed with Cornell. We hosted a reception for accepted students that we were encouraged to attend. But we were notified of admission decisions for everyone we interviewed.


MIT ECs do get informed whether the students they interviewed get accepted or not. They do delay the ECs knowing until after the applicant finds out.

I am somewhat torn as to whether the OP should report the interviewer or not. If he/she feels that the reason for the negative feeling for the interview was because of being a minority, then report it. Otherwise, I might just let it go.

As an EC, you do have your favorites among the applicants. It is hard when they don’t get in. One advantage of being an older alumni is that I can tell applicants (and I usually do no matter how good they seem to fit for MIT) is that I have worked with many good engineers throughout my career. MIT produces a number of them but MIT did not corner the market on good engineers. No matter where you go to school, you can still have a meaningful and rewarding career.


The interviewers my D has had have almost all mentioned that they find out around the same time as the students. Which is essentially the same as my alma mater: we submit an eval/writeup, but do not find out until the day after the students are informed, and cannot reach out to our interviewees unless they are admitted. I bet most schools do let the interviewers know results. Some (rejection) results are very disappointing, and every (fairly rare) admit has not been surprising.


Sorry to hear of your disappointing interview. Please try not to take it personally. You were engaged and enthusiastic so you did your part. Interviewers are human and perhaps he was stressed or tired. You just never know.

I assumed interviewers are notified of decisions. Mountainkid’s interviewer sent a congratulatory email a couple days after decisions were released.


When I asked a question about the interdisciplinary research at MIT, he said it was something I didn’t have to worry about because professors wouldn’t really have use for someone going into college, as they would jut be “an annoying kid” that “gets in the way”. After this, he brought up the influence thing again, and then said it was more luck than people want to admit, which I understand might be true but isn’t really something he should be telling his interviewees. My parents seem to think that my being a minority played a part in this, but I’m unsure what to think. Should I try contacting MIT? It might not be a big deal but it was really discouraging and I can’t see someone like that being a person MIT wants representing them.

@Lindagaf I still feel that the applicant might let admissions know of this experience AFTER being accepted or rejected, and not in relation to their own results. Just so admissions is aware. “Report” is a strong word, but I think sending feedback might be helpful. This interchange is, to me, concerning.

I don’t see anything concerning, in all honesty. Not a great interviewer. We all have to learn how to deal with this type of real life scenario.

If the student gets in, and lets MIT know about this interview, what will MIT do about it? If the student doesn’t get in, and lets MIT know about this interview, what will MIT do about it? The interviewer conducted a short interview and lacked charm. I’m not trying to be awkward, but there is no issue here. Nothing untoward or objectionable happened.

The interviewer is clearly a bit of a dud, but he went to MIT, so what does that say about the school? Nothing. This student still clearly wants to get in. I don’t see a problem here, except from the perspective of the student.

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My husband does interviews for Stanford.
But, Stanford asks him if he’s willing and available.
If he is, he takes a couple. If he’s not in the mood during the season, he doesn’t do them. He wants his interviews to be fun, because that’s the experience he had at Stanford. I don’t think he gets feedback on his interviewees admission status. I’ll have to ask.
He doesn’t do them yearly and I know they have a large list of alumni that can do them.

I would read much into having an interview at 8pm instead of 4/5pm or an interviewing arriving at 8:02pm for an interview scheduled at 8pm. This all sounds normal. Many people don’t get out from work until after 6pm and want to avoid conflicting with dinner. I am interviewer for a different school and have done interviews this late before.

If this is a direct quote rather than an approximation the general message, I don’t think this is accurate or appropriate. Among HYPSM… type schools, MIT is one of the schools where interviews have historically has the most influence on admission.

I think you’d need to compare to other persons who he’s interviewed to know whether this is abnormal or his normal style of interviewing. Many people aren’t great conversationists, including interviewers. Interviews can be like formal questions and answers rather than an informal conversation. Different interviewers also write different amounts of things down. In almost all my interviews, I wrote down nothing until after the interview was over. I also almost always took zero notes in all my college lectures, all of my work meetings, and even the interviewer training, which seemed to really bother the woman who was setting next to me during the training. Some people are more into taking notes than others.

I assuming the quoted phrases are direct quotes If so, I don’t think the quoted comments are appropriate, so this does come off as a red flag to me. However, the general sentiment may be accurate.

There is too little information to assume being a minority had any kind of influence, as none of things you listed have clear racial connections. It more sounds more like a generally subpar interviewer to me, who may have similar issues with most students he interviews, regardless of race.

Stanford absolutely provides status of whether the students are admitted. Admission status is listed in the same portal with the other interview information, including assignments. In the rare instances when a student is admitted, Stanford sends additional messages, or at least they do in my area, where there are yield events in which you are encouraged to meet the admitted student you interviewed in person again at the event.


Good to know because I wasn’t sure; he tends to maintain his interview results on a professional level. I just hear about it when he says, “I’m doing a couple of interviews again.”

In this day in age where students can easily do virtual tours and virtual info sessions with current students and admissions staff, etc. there really is no real need for an uncalibrated, highly subjective “alumni” interview. Often times, these so called alumni weren’t even undergraduates at the university but grad students. Also, who knows how long it’s been since they attended.

Alumni interviewers have practically no real training, aren’t employees or contractors of the university, and have little insight into what the admissions committee is looking for. In addition it exposes the university to liability if the interviewer does something inappropriate. I really hope universities end this outdated practice. I see alumni interviewers talk about “fit.” To be honest, fit is a throwback to “look for people like me.” I interviewed for my alma mater as well, and I tried my best to be an advocate for each student, but way too many interviewers think they are sitting on the admissions committee. I think by definition, most university cannot lend too much weight to the interview because 1) it’s uncalibrated. one alumni’s “best candidate over” may not match another alumni’s “not a good fit”. 2) they can’t interview everyone

To the original poster, I think 8pm is a bit late for an interview. It should be at a mutually convenient time. 8pm is not super late, but the interviewer should have offered at least a couple of days/time slots. I would not worry too much about the interview, because I think MIT cannot put too much weight on it because of the variation in evaluation. There’s no calibration and uniformity in applying any metrics.

My Ds interview went on for an hour. When she mentioned about guitar, he was very interested and played for 15 mins with her online.

@2020BSMD I don’t see how talking about the great experience your daughter had with her MIT interview does anything but make the OP feel worse. What is your purpose in posting that?


If they feel like letting us know, it would be nice to hear MIT admission results for OP, just curious. Getting in would be a great plot twist to this thread. :slight_smile:


I know of someone who also interviews for MIT for a long time and not one of the candidates he has recommended has ever been accepted. I can see how getting burned out is a definite possibility especially when all the hard work of interviewing doesn’t seem to matter.

I’m not sure why people keep bumping this thread that was started (and which the OP abandoned) in January. It is what it is. Decisions will be out in 2 days. If the OP wants to provide an update, they can PM me to reopen.

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