If your interviewer likes you, how much does that help?

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Discus: Ivy League Schools: Harvard University: 2004 Archive: If your interviewer likes you, how much does that help?
By Mnm (Mnm) on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 04:41 pm: Edit

question is the title.

By Wo4567 (Wo4567) on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 10:34 pm: Edit

mine liked me a lot... we laughed a lot in the interview which as i have heard is rather unusual. he was a really great guy and he knew all of the people that i knew (violin teacher... choral director... etc) and knew of my parents. but i live in a small town so i dont think its a conflict of interest...
i find out in april if it helped!

By Sueah85lh (Sueah85lh) on Monday, January 19, 2004 - 12:20 pm: Edit

Mine seemed to like me a lot, too, and I think that did help me get in. But obviously interviews rank at the bottom of the list of the " stuff that matters" - your GPA, test scores, essays, ECs, recommendations. I think Ivy League schools give more weight to alum interviews than other schools, though.

By Emperoriv (Emperoriv) on Monday, January 19, 2004 - 04:39 pm: Edit

mine was really impressed by me and told me i am more than qualified, hope she writes good stuff...

By Steffie1212002 (Steffie1212002) on Saturday, January 24, 2004 - 01:21 am: Edit

Mine told me he would be "extremely suprised if I didn't get in," and that he gave me his "highest recommendation." I was deferred. Draw your own conclusions.

By Hegemonhenenen (Hegemonhenenen) on Saturday, January 24, 2004 - 12:19 pm: Edit

Well in that case you may get in RD (prolly what the interviewer meant overall)

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Saturday, January 24, 2004 - 02:00 pm: Edit

I wish you good luck.
Please know, however, Harvard specifically asks interviewers not to tell candidates that they have a good chance fo getting in.

This is because no matter how impressed an interviewer is with a candidate, the interviewer still is not in a position to estimate the candidate's chances. The adcoms make the final decision, and it depends upon the overall applicant pool, including factors such as which majors/skills/regions/interests/SES backgrounds are needed to create a very diverse class.

By Abercrombie1509 (Abercrombie1509) on Saturday, January 24, 2004 - 10:06 pm: Edit


So Harvard interviewers do know about the candidates' chances of acceptance? I'm sorry if this sounds naiive, but I was under the impression that interviewers did not know about chances.

By Voigtrob (Voigtrob) on Saturday, January 24, 2004 - 10:14 pm: Edit

Abercrombie: I think what she is saying is that in fact the interviewers have no idea of the candidate's chances... it all depends on essays and overall presentation to the committee, and the interviewer is just one tiny part of the process who really is not involved in the final decision. An interviewer who says a candidate 'will get in' or anything like that is just speculating, and could be giving the applicant false hope, so they're told not to do that.

By Brianktm (Brianktm) on Sunday, January 25, 2004 - 11:39 am: Edit

My interviewer seemed to like me, but then he told me he had interviewed 20 people in about 20 years (I live in Eastern Kentucky) and none had ever gotten in, regardless of very high SAT scores, etc. So it is looking pretty hopeless.

By Hegemonhenenen (Hegemonhenenen) on Monday, January 26, 2004 - 09:41 pm: Edit

Of course, interviewers are human beings, so they can step out of the "interviewer role" at will ;)

By Pumpkintree (Pumpkintree) on Wednesday, January 28, 2004 - 07:46 am: Edit

When you dropped your interviewer (Harvard and/or other schools) a thank-you note, what did he/she say in the reply? Good wishes or something?

By Libsters (Libsters) on Wednesday, January 28, 2004 - 03:13 pm: Edit

Uhhh they never replied ....

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Wednesday, January 28, 2004 - 04:58 pm: Edit

No reply is necessary to a "thank-you" note. What would one expect, "Thank-you for sending me a thank-you note"? Let's not get ridiculous.

One tip: Mail the thank-you note. Don't hand deliver it. Don't send or give presents. Certainly don't show up unannounced at the interviewer's house or place of business with a thank-you gift. That would be over the top.

By Chasgoose (Chasgoose) on Wednesday, January 28, 2004 - 10:40 pm: Edit

I have a related question. My freshman english teacher who really likes me has been on my case to apply to Harvard since this year started because her husband is a fairly powerful alumnus. At first I really wanted to go to Yale so I applied EA, but now that I have been deferred she talked to me and asked me what that meant in relation to Harvard and I told her, honestly, that it moved Harvard up in my estimations. Yesterday, she pulled me aside to ask me if I was keeping my grades up this quarter hinting that if I did, that would bode well. How much influence or knowledge of the admissions decisions could her husband have? Does this bode well?

By Gotticket (Gotticket) on Thursday, January 29, 2004 - 12:24 am: Edit

Offensive post deleted. Poster banned.


By Kingdvl (Kingdvl) on Thursday, January 29, 2004 - 12:24 am: Edit

I just had my Harvard interview. It went well, albeit a bit short.

Should I send a thank-you note now..or in a couple weeks or when I get accepted or rejected?

By Mzhang23 (Mzhang23) on Thursday, January 29, 2004 - 01:26 am: Edit

Chasgoose, in response to your question, the alumnus would have a minimal effect on your decision. Even millionares find their smart sons and daughters rejected from their alma mater. Unless he knows you very well and writes a letter on your behalf helping shed light on your personality from another perspective not covered in your teacher recs, then his simply putting in a word will be ignored... unless he's the head of the trustees or something.

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Thursday, January 29, 2004 - 06:37 am: Edit

It is simply good manners to write a thank-you note within 3 days after someone does a favor for you. In volunteering to interview you (remember all alum interviewers are volunteers), the interviewer was doing you a favor.

You should send the thank-you note now.

If you get in, you should follow-up with a phone call or note informing the alum. Harvard only lets the head of the local school's committee (part of Harvard alumni club) know who gets in, and that info comes typically weeks after the applicants hear. Some alumni interviewers never hear who gets in. Even if you get in and decide to turn down the acceptance, it's still polite to let your interviewer know how things worked out.

If the alum expressed interest in hearing where you end up -- regardless of whether you get into Harvard -- it would be nice to let the interviewer know even if you don't get into Harvard. I always am interested in students I interview, and I do want to hear where they end up going. I know the odds are always long, so no matter how highly I think of a student, I never assume they'll end up at Harvard. Still, I wish them well, and like to know how their college plans work out.

I agree with Mzhang23.The advice that the teacher was solid in that of course if you still hope for an acceptance, you should keep your grades up. It's unlikely, though, that the teacher's husband can do anything for you.

By Chasgoose (Chasgoose) on Thursday, January 29, 2004 - 12:45 pm: Edit

I guess I misphrased my question. The more important thing that I wanted to know was is it possible that he has knowledge of the admissions decisions. I knew that chances are he wouldn't have much influence over them. The thing about the grades up comment was that she isn't the teacher to pull me aside to say something obvious like that. The way she delivered it made me think that there was something behind it.

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Thursday, January 29, 2004 - 01:51 pm: Edit

I still don't understand what you're asking. Are you asking if he'd know about the adcom's considerations as they examine your file? Are you asking whether he might have some tips about Harvard admissions that perhaps even your GC doesn't know?

If your question is the former, I doubt that he has that kind of knowledge. Depending on who he knows, however, he may have some inside information as relates to my second question.

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