“The Dean" always encourages students to request an alumni interview when available because it shows interest in the college. But, on the other hand, those alum interviews count for very little—at least at the most selective institutions. So sometimes I feel as if I'm speaking with a forked tongue … i.e., why go out of the way to schedule an interview, take an extra shower, and iron your cleanest shirt if the interview provides little more than a pleasant (maybe) conversation and a free (again maybe) Frappuccino?
Yes, there are countless inconsistencies that come with the college process and this is yet another. So while I do recommend that students opt for the interview where possible, I think the negative impact of NOT doing it is so small that it's almost immeasurable. If you've already missed the application deadline and can't get an interview, don't sweat it. Most colleges don't have enough alumni volunteers to offer interviews to everyone who wants one, which is yet another reason why the interview plays such a minuscule role in the final verdicts.