Vassar Interview question - how important can it be?

<p>I'm wondering if an effective interview, can strongly help admissions chances?
Is it the kind of thing that will help if you're in the "maybe" list, or "accepted" list, but if they've decided to reject you, it won't have much of any effect?</p>

<p>I of course know that a bad interview can have tremendous effects, i'm just wondering if the other way around works.</p>

<p>Vassar interviews are non-evaluative; they will not change anything about your application. I had a lovely two-hour conversation with a Vassar alum who had experience with admissions but was no longer involved and, I found out later, of the eleven people who got interviews in my area, only five of us got in.</p>

<p>Ultimately, it's purely informational, and I learned quite a bit. I learned significantly more about student fellows and other Vassar programs and made me want to attend the school. It's a very good experience, but don't stress it. It is just there to help you learn more about the school from a first-hand source and help you make the decision that's right for you. I personally knew that Vassar was for me after the interview, but it could easily rule it out for you, too.</p>

<p>Okay, I see! Thank you very much for the thorough information!
So I shouldn't worry too much about the interview then :)</p>

<p>
[quote]
Vassar interviews are non-evaluative

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Alumni interviewers are informed the interview is evaluative.</p>

<p>
[quote]
The value of the interview report submitted for the candidate’s file is to provide the Admissions Office with information that will help determine whether the student is a good match for Vassar.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Vassar</a> College Alumni Admissions Program || Interviewing</p>

<p>Not correct, actually. I was informed by my interviewer that alumni interviews are now non-evaluative, as evidenced here, on Vassar's official site:</p>

<p>"Off-campus informational interviews are available for first-year applicants. They are conducted all over the world by Vassar alumni and are available from November through February. These conversations are non-evaluative and are not required."</p>

<p>Additionally, this has been confirmed by admissions officers both when I was a prospective student and as a current student.</p>

<p>Also, from your very source:</p>

<p>"the purpose of the interview is not to determine whether or not the applicant is academically prepared for Vassar, but to learn more about the student’s interest in Vassar."</p>

<p>As an alumni interviewer for many, many years, I can say with almost 100 percent certainty that the interviews are non-evaluative. At least that's what I've been told by the chairs of the alumni interviewing program in my area at the time of the interviews. Some years I've interviewed 4-5 applicants, or like last year, just one. Up until several years ago, the evaluation form included many questions requiring detailed answers about the applicants. As I recall, last year's form contained a couple of very basic questions, none of which required detailed answers.</p>

<p>
[quote]
the purpose of the interview is not to determine whether or not the applicant is academically prepared for Vassar,

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I never suggested an alumni interviewer was responsible for determining if a student was academically prepared.</p>

<p>Averagesnarker, I'm not arguing with what you were told and read on Vassar's website (I'm aware there's conflicting information), but read the entire page designated to alumni interviewers.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Your interview reports become part of the candidate’s file

[/quote]

[quote]
The value of the interview report submitted for the candidate’s file is to [provide the 'Admissions Office' with information that will help determine] whether the student is a good match for Vassar. Any information on an applicant’s qualities that might raise a concern in the mind of the interviewer is [helpful to the admissions officer reading that file.]

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Sounds evaluative to me. To avoid confusion, if the alumni webpage is incorrect, it should be changed to coincide with interview information provided elsewhere on Vassar's website.</p>

<p>Vassar</a> College Alumni Admissions Program || Interviewing</p>

<p>As an interviewer, I agree that it is not considered "evaluative". That said, we are asked to share any additional information that we might find helpful to the admissions committee. So, if you bring a weapon to the interview and threaten me, I will probably mention it in my review. Don't do that :)</p>

<p>Well now i'm just confused, ha.</p>

<p>"Evaluative"? i.e. To examine and judge carefully. Maybe not. Review and, to some extent, consider pertinent information? More likely. Small distiction but.....</p>

<p>Conducting the Interview:</p>

<p>
[quote]
Your questions should help you discover (1) unusual circumstances or “red flags” that might not come through on the student’s application, and (2) the level of interest a student has in Vassar.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>On the interview report, you will be asked:</p>

<p>
[quote]
Unusual circumstances or experiences of note
Applicant’s level of interest in Vassar
For Regular Decision candidates: If this student were offered admission, what might convince him/her to choose our college? What might be a major obstacle to accepting admission?

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Soooo, weapons (I would add ugly shoes) aside, Vassar expects us to believe that after requesting alumni to "share any additional information that we might find helpful to the admissions committee" including level of interest (read, yield management) and unusual circumstances, the admission officer who reads the alumnus report will miraculously wash the information from their memory (positve or otherwise) and consequently it won't be considered, consciously or subconsciously, even an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny when making an admission decision?</p>

<p>If so, I'm impressed by the willpower and mastery of selective memory.</p>

<p>I wish my wife could forget so easily a few things I said or did. :)</p>

<p>I'd say that since the official website, an alumni interviewer, and an interviewee who now attends the school all say it's non-evaluative, you can pretty much bet it's non-evaluative. Don't stress it, and it should be a good experience for you. I loved it and it pretty much cemented my plans for going to Vassar (even if my mother was still holding out for Harvard :D).</p>

<p>Also, even with schools that have evaluative interviews, the interview usually doesn't count for much. When I interviewed with Harvard and Dartmouth, the interviewers admitted that, while evaluative, the interview is such a small part of their admissions criteria that you could really bomb it and still get in on your academic and extracurricular merits.</p>

<p>I just did an interview yesterday (as the interviewer) and filled out my form online to submit it for the potential applicant. While the interviewer's opinion isn't one of the many check-list factors that the Admission Board looks at when offering a candidate admission, the interview <em>does</em> help strengthen or weaken a candidacy when the Admission Board is teetering between acceptance and nonacceptance. For instance I was asked whether or not there were any unusual circumstances that the student had mentioned to me that might not have been reflected in their application.. for instance they had a less than stellar year in school but that might have been because they had to take up a job and support their family, etc. These aren't really questions/answers that a student has the possibility to explain when someone is merely looking at transcripts, SOPs, etc. Also my interviewee brought in some really cool supplemental documents that I wrote about in my evaluation.</p>

<p>Just to clarify, this was an interview for Vassar. I'm an alum.</p>

<p>Thanks for the info, I'm curious though, I signed up for an interview before the deadline, and still haven't heard back from Vassar as to whether or not I'm going to get an interview.</p>