Will a terrible Harvard interview break me?

<p>I had a Harvard interview two days ago at a small cafe and it lasted 25 minutes. I was NOT articulate at all and I was very quiet and uncomfortable the whole time (I felt judged by my interviewer). I am agonizing over how badly I failed this interview :( </p>

<p>Will a terrible or lukewarm Harvard interview report break me?</p>

<p>“break me” what a wonderful choice of wording, haha.</p>

<p>On a serious note, though, surely it depends on the rest of your application? Also, seeing as alumni aren’t trained interviewers (are they?) and the interviews aren’t standardised, I doubt they place too much importance on them. But then again, what do I know - I’m a foreigner.</p>

<p>I don’t think it will “break you” as your teacher recommendations are much more important than the interview. </p>

<p>BTW, see: [Sooo</a>… Tell Me About Yourself: Current Interview Questions: Harvard University](<a href=“soootellmeaboutyourself.com - This website is for sale! - soootellmeaboutyourself Resources and Information.”>soootellmeaboutyourself.com - This website is for sale! - soootellmeaboutyourself Resources and Information.)</p>

<p>Terrible? If it really was terrible, then pretty much yes. I’m not trying to play admission god, but really, if it was actually “terrible” in the general consensus of the word, I don’t see why H would choose you over the other incredible applicants (assuming you’re incredible without even asking) that didn’t have a “terrible” interview.</p>

<p>Now time to wait for CCers to say “you don’t know that for sure, he/she could still get in.”</p>

<p>It depends on how much your embarrassment is blowing up your performance in retrospect. If it was bad but not a disaster, “somewhat awkward” shouldn’t break you. If the interviewer writes a report like “seems like this kid didn’t warm up to me. Wouldn’t strongly recommend,” that won’t hurt you much. The interviews are not usually very important because they’re so unstandardized. On the other hand, if you really did badly enough that the interviewer actively recommends you be rejected, that might break you because the interviewers so rarely do that.</p>

<p>^^^ I think that’s right.</p>

<p>Why worry about it? If you can practice for potential future interviews, that would be profitable. But mulling over what’s already happened – knowing that H has a tiny accept rate to begin with – why? As soon as you hit the “submit” button, you had to know that your chances were poor just like everyone else.</p>

<p>I have been surprised after speaking with admissions officers at Harvard as to the amount of weight they place on the interview–I always thought it was a throw away but it clearly not. I doubt that a very bad one is dispositive nor a great one either-- but such a report in either direction will make the admissions officer take another look to see if there is something she has missed if she had a different take on the written file. It may even make the committee request a second interview depending on what they view needed.<br>
Be assured that no one aspect of the file will either gain you admission or kill your chances-- the committee is looking for a gestalt.</p>

<p>The interview can only help. The interviewer probably realized that you were nervous and didn’t judge you. As long as you didn’t say anything sketchy then you should be fine no matter how much you hesitated</p>

<p>A “terrible” interview will hurt you. A “lukewarm” interview won’t help you. When you’re talking about Harvard’s applicant pool, an applicant needs all the help he can get.</p>

<p>It’s hard to make an interview unquestionably end your candidacy, except perhaps if you do something illegal over the course of it, hit on your interviewer, lie, etc.</p>

<p>Thank you everyone who answered! I feel a lot better. I didn’t do anything illegal or say anything really sketchy. Whatever. What’s done is done :)</p>

<p>I am an alumna volunteer interviewer. Explain your concerns and ask the admissions committee for a do-over! They usually will arrange a second interview. BTW the best interview is the one that turns into a conversation. Best of luck!</p>

<p>@Cliffie1969: I’m thinking about asking for a second interview. Should I contact my first interviewer and ask for a do-over or contact Harvard Admissions (what should I write in the email?)?</p>

<p>I don’t know if I should though because if my interviewer thought I was lukewarm / not that terrible, then it would reflect poorly on me if I ask for a second interview. But then again, I know I could have done a lot better. I just felt so inferior during the interview.</p>

<p>Personally – if this just happened – I’d draft a nice, short note to the person who interviewed you first thanking them and then asking whether it would be possible for you to speak with them again (given whatever reasons…) and how you’d appreciate making the most of this opportunity to get more familiar with Harvard, or whatever.</p>

<p>Make sure the email is crisp. Also, maybe in the subject line indicate that you have a concern, with something like “Thanks much for the interview… important question” because I’m sure he/she is used to getting the cookie-cutter thank you note and he might not even read your email.</p>

<p>Again, this is just what I would do on a hunch, you might be better off contacting admissions (see what others have to say). Even if you performed poorly, you get the sense of how the interviewer is, based on which you may frame your email appropriately.</p>