How do I get an interview?
Yale has on campus and alumni interviews. Go to the Yale admissions website for information about scheduling an on-campus interview. Alumni interviews are organized by volunteer alumni known as Alumni Schools Committee (ASC) directors. ASC directors cover territories throughout the US and abroad. Large cities may have multiple ASC directors while less populated states will have a single ASC director. Once you apply to Yale, your name is sent to the ASC director attached to your region. Different ASC directors do things differently. In some areas, only certain high schools are matched with interviewers. If you dont go to one of those high schools, youre out of luck. In other areas, the ASC directors offer alumni interviews on a first come, first served basis. The earlier Yale processes your name to the ASC director, the better shot you have at getting an alumni interview.
Whats the difference between an on-campus and an alumni interview?
On-campus interviews are conducted by Yale seniors employed by the admissions department. Alumni interviews are conducted in the region where you live by Yale alumni. The Yale seniors have more training and will be able to better answer your questions about Yale. Alumni interviewers are of more variable quality. Neither interview counts more to the admissions office. Yale does NOT expect you to come to Yale for an on-campus interview.
If I have an on-campus interview, do I also get an alumni interview?
That depends on how your ASC region works. Some ASC directors offer alumni interviews to students who already interviewed on campus, some dont because they have so many applicants who have not interviewed on-campus and want to give them priority. If youve already interviewed on campus, it doesnt mean anything if you are or are not offered an alumni interview as well. It only reflects the workload of your ASC director.
What happens if I am offered an interview, but I dont want to do it?
Interviews are not mandatory. It will not count against you not to interview.
What should I wear to my interview?
I recommend that boys wear a shirt with a collar and pants that are not jeans, like khakis. Girls should wear pants or a skirt that is neat and modest. If your interview is happening in a professional setting, like an office where people are likely to be wearing suits, I would try to avoid jeans. If your interview is at a coffee shop on a weekend, you can wear jeans. Dont wear clothes that will make your interviewer uncomfortable like a t-shirt with expletives on it or exposed underwear or lots of cleavage.
What should I bring to my interview?
If your interviewer wants you to bring something, he or she will tell you. Interviewers are not supposed to see standardized test scores or GPA information, so if you bring a resume, limit it to extracurricular/job information. I personally do not like it when applicants bring newspaper clippings, art, etc.
What happens at the interview?
You will likely be asked questions about your academic and extracurricular interests as well as why you are applying to Yale. There are some interviewers who will quiz you about random topics, but they are few and far between. Most likely, youll have a pleasant conversation without being grilled.
How long will the interview last?
Interviews can last from 15 minutes to three hours. It all depends on the dynamic and the interviewers schedule.
How much does the interview count?
It is the least important part of the Yale application, but it does count. Conventional wisdom is that a lousy interview hurts you more than a strong interview helps you. A really great interview will not make up for deficiencies in the rest of your application.
What does it mean if I dont get an interview?
It means your ASC director has more applicants than his/her interviewers can handle. Only a small percentage of Yale alumni are interviewers. Dont assume that because you live in a large metropolitan area that youll be interviewed. Yes, there are probably more alumni interviewers in metro areas, but also more applicants.
What if everyone I know has been offered an interview, but I havent?
Yale processes names to the ASC directors as they receive applications. Maybe your friends got their applications in earlier and the ASC director ran out of willing volunteers. Again, not getting an interview is not a reflection of your likelihood of admission. It is a reflection of the fact that alumni interviewers are volunteers with work and family obligations.
What does my interviewer know about me going in to the interview?
The only information interviewers have is name, contact information, high school, and your potential major, if you indicated one.
What does my interviewer do after the interview?
He or she sends a report that becomes a part of your file. The interviewer ranks you on a scale from 1-9 and writes a description of you and the interview. What is emphasized in the written report depends entirely on the interviewer.
What are the due dates for the alumni interview reports?
Early action reports are due December 1 and regular decision reports are due February 15.
Want to ask a question about Yale alumni interviews? Please post them on the thread RD Applicants: Interview Advice and I (or other Yale alumni interviewers on CC) will answer. I want this thread to be FAQ only. Please do not post on this thread.