Wash U Interview

I have a question about a Wash U alumni interview I just had. I think it went pretty well. I typically perform interviews, this wasn’t an exception, and in all of the college interviews I’ve had so far my interviewer has said they’d recommend me for admission (not that that means anything). The Wash U guy didn’t say that, which had me kind of confused; I mean he was kind of weird, seemed really tired, didn’t seem to respond strongly to anything I said and didn’t seem too into the interview in general. I followed up with an email thanking him for the interview and I said that I’m hopeful he’ll recommend me for admission because Wash U is my top choice. He replied and was gracious, but didn’t answer that point at all.

I was wondering if this is something typical of Wash U (if they don’t typically say to their applicants that they will recommend them for admission) or if he actually probably will not recommend me. Or, I could’ve just had a dud interview or it could’ve been the guy who was interviewing me. Hard to tell. Lmk if you know anything that might help clear thisi up. Thanks.

I’ve never heard of any interviewers telling an applicant if they would or would not recommend them. That’s a pretty bizzare thing for an interviewer to do.

Really? That’s good to hear actually because I was actually kind of thrown for a loop when the other two said that. I mean, I wouldn’t expect to hear a decision one way or another after a job interview (not that the alumni interview carries a lot of weight in any admissions process). I wonder why they even do these “get to know you” interviews when the first thing they emphasize when you walk in is how little it matters for your application. Like most schools literally care more that you visit their campus.

I think you are over thinking this. When I interviewed my interviewer didn’t say such a thing and I was admitted. I think the main thing is that you interviewed which shows interest which is a big plus for washu. I dont think you have anything to worry about.

Also college admissions interviews, like you said, hold very very little weight. I wouldnt stress it. Maybe you got lucky with your previous interviewers and they just made that part of their standard spiel when they interview applicants.

Interviews generally hold little weight and are another way of the applicant expressing interest. A positive one doesn’t necessarily mean anything although an overly unprepared interviewee who doesn’t do research on the school in question might result in bad things.

Case in point-a former coworker of mine is a Vandy alum and mentioned to me that she had interviewees talk about Vandy being a backup or not knowing that it’s located in Tennessee. She offered to write my son a recommendation and even do a mock interview with him to prepare.

Didn’t take her up on the offer though as she mentioned that none of her candidates were accepted to the school and the kid already was accepted to WashU ED by the time that the Vandy RD application was due.

I’m a WashU parent volunteer for college fairs and interview sessions and the training documents for both parents and alumni state that no mention is to be made about whether a candidate is suitable for admission. So the interview was correct in not mentioning a recommendation for admission.

The interviewers are required to fill out a candidate evaluation form. As I am not an adcom, I have not seen any of the completed forms and none of the alumni interviewers ever talk about any of the students during breaks. Everything is kept confidential and done professionally.

It sounds like your interviewer had a rough day. Most of them are extremely enthusiastic and represent the school well. They are generally trained well and it’s odd that the interviewer gave off a bad vibe. Some companies should take a hint and train their employees to do interviews the same way that colleges do. You will be encountering more of the bad interviewers during your job search.

Your interviewer’s email reply is correct. You should not read any more or less in an interview. As a matter of fact I might be more concerned if an interviewer upfront mentioned that they would recommend a candidate for admissions only to have the candidate rejected. False hopes lead to disappointment…

It’s my understanding that the interview doesn’t hold a significant amount of weight with regard to admission decisions, and that an interviewer does not hold any power in deciding whether someone does not get accepted.

We may not hold any power, but we can provide additional information to admissions that might help with decisions. You never know. Plus, it is a time to ask questions and definitely show interest which is important. It certainly can’t hurt if it is offered to you or if you can attend an interview session. Personally, I love meeting potential students and learning why they are interested in WashU.

Just FYI everyone, D didn’t interview or visit WashU and only applied at the last second because she had money left on the credit card we gave her and they didn’t require another essay. All she had to do was upload the common essay, pay, and click submit.

Same for Vandy. She had loads of friends and classmates that interviewed for and visited both, and none of them got in either one. (she went to college prep and they all knew each other’s college business)

Alumni interviews are a pure crock of nonsense. A potential student will learn nothing and the school doesn’t care about the alum’s opinion. They want albums to feel important and donate $$.

Sorry, but that is true. And the admissions themselves people will tell you that there is ZERO influence outside of their office, it is purely your application.

OP, best of luck. Don’t stress the interview at all. They are going to look at your application, grades, essays and recommendations. That’s it.

@Jimkingwood Wow! I actually take pride in the interviews I have conducted and am thrilled when the students get in. I do feel like I have had an impact on the students themselves as many have reached out to me when they have gotten in. Interviews are completely optional, and that is how they are presented.

Glad your D was lucky enough to get into these schools without much effort. Good luck to her.

PS No money is expected of me to conduct these interviews. I have traveled up to an hour each way to accommodate students because I feel that they should be given the opportunity. WashU is even conducting virtual interviews to give as many people choice to interview. :smile:

Yes I’m cantankerous about it but the truth is that high school students go through a lot of stress and trouble to make these interviews because they think they will increase their chances, and of course, they do not. And some of the interviewers are not great, I’ve heard stories. Like interviewees being asked about their politics and such.

A few years ago I listened to an interview of a gatekeeper at a name-brand college discuss admissions, and he related that interviews and visits play no part. Nor does “expressed interest”.

He said that he was just at that moment looking at an application where, in response to “Why do you want to come to this school?” the applicant said very simply, one sentence that “My aunt lives 1/2 mile from campus making it very affordable and the school has a really good college of education and I want to be a teacher.”
That’s the kind of stuff we look for, he said. He put her in the accept pile and said she would be doubtless accepted with a lot of money. She just had a really nice app, plainly worded. “She knows who she is and why she wants to come here. That’s all we wanted to know. That’s what gets you accepted.”

I’m curious if the alumni interviewers have access to the applicant’s application and essays. How much do they already know about the applicant?

Alumni interviewers have no access to the applicant’s application. It is more about learning about WashU and perhaps adding some information and personality to your application. They are very informal. Feel free to ask questions and most importantly, be yourself. Good luck!

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