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Dead Meat Syndrome - Interviews, Waitlists

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Dead Meat Syndrome - Interviews, Waitlists [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2011, 13:54
I have come across comments that lead me to believe that top schools sometimes (if not often) waitlist/interview applicants, without any intention of admitting them (it is a polite ding?). These applicants are dead on arrival.

Students, Applicants, Consultants - Please share your thoughts on this. I would really like to know more about this.
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Re: Dead Meat Syndrome - Interviews, Waitlists [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2011, 14:10
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I think that is BS. Let's say you're at Harvard's AdCom. You've got almost 10,000 applications to look through. You'll interview 2,000 people and admit about 1,000. All of your interviews are done by AdCom members. Are you really going to schedule an extra hour or so worth of work for someone you already know you won't admit? That doesn't seem plausible to me, regardless of what some consultants say.

However, I do think some folks are on the borderline to get an interview and have a significantly lower chance of earning admission than an average interviewee, but that seems obvious.
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Re: Dead Meat Syndrome - Interviews, Waitlists [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2011, 14:12
to what purpose?
I can see WL someone to see if they will actually come, to influence yield numbers only.

Not a polite ding. A ding will lower the acceptance rate and then help their rankings.


What are the comments you've heard that lead you to believe a school would do this>?

Agree with Piggles, again.
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Re: Dead Meat Syndrome - Interviews, Waitlists [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2011, 14:27
Sandy (HBSGURU)

"Soooooooo, Wharton invite means “less” but it is still a requirement of getting in. And many kids called to W. interview are DEAD MEAT–they are not getting in no matter how great interivew is, at HBS, great int. usually means accept"

www [DOT]ivyleagueadmission[DOT]com/waitbus.html
"Yet applicants are often waitlisted for non-academic (ie political) reasons, to save face for both the university and the applicant. Here are a few common scenarios:

1) An extremely strong applicant has personal problems and is considered unstable. His/her reference letters suggest a poor fit for a top-level program. Rather than citing the negative feedback as the reason for rejection (and risk a lawsuit), the school will waitlist the candidate.

2) An exceptional candidate from a company or school is rejected, while a lesser-ranked member of his/her firm or class (with legacy or minority status) gets in. Rather than trying to explain the underlying bias, the school will usually waitlist the exceptional candidate, with no intention of actually admitting him/her.

3) An average or mediocre candidate is highly recommended by a faculty member, alumni, board member or university trustee. Rather than insult the applicant's benefactor, the school will waitlist the candidate, rather than rejecting him.

4) A highly desirable candidate has known personal interest or ties to another school (ie, his/her parents are alumni there). Rather than accept this candidate (who will likely choose to go elsewhere), a school may waitlist him/her to eliminate a negative effect on their yield statistics. Business school rankings are based partially on selectivity, and all top schools keep a watchful eye on yield. They prefer to admit only students who are eager to attend their school."
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Re: Dead Meat Syndrome - Interviews, Waitlists [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2011, 14:54
WishHorse wrote:
Sandy (HBSGURU)

"Soooooooo, Wharton invite means “less” but it is still a requirement of getting in. And many kids called to W. interview are DEAD MEAT–they are not getting in no matter how great interivew is, at HBS, great int. usually means accept"

www [DOT]ivyleagueadmission[DOT]com/waitbus.html
"Yet applicants are often waitlisted for non-academic (ie political) reasons, to save face for both the university and the applicant. Here are a few common scenarios:

1) An extremely strong applicant has personal problems and is considered unstable. His/her reference letters suggest a poor fit for a top-level program. Rather than citing the negative feedback as the reason for rejection (and risk a lawsuit), the school will waitlist the candidate.
Since when do schools have to cite why they Ding you?

2) An exceptional candidate from a company or school is rejected, while a lesser-ranked member of his/her firm or class (with legacy or minority status) gets in. Rather than trying to explain the underlying bias, the school will usually waitlist the exceptional candidate, with no intention of actually admitting him/her.
Again, schools dont have to justify dings

3) An average or mediocre candidate is highly recommended by a faculty member, alumni, board member or university trustee. Rather than insult the applicant's benefactor, the school will waitlist the candidate, rather than rejecting him.
How is waitlisting said candidate not insulting, WL wouldnt solve this "problem"

4) A highly desirable candidate has known personal interest or ties to another school (ie, his/her parents are alumni there). Rather than accept this candidate (who will likely choose to go elsewhere), a school may waitlist him/her to eliminate a negative effect on their yield statistics. Business school rankings are based partially on selectivity, and all top schools keep a watchful eye on yield. They prefer to admit only students who are eager to attend their school."

I could see this one being true, but how would a school know about those ties unless the applicant told them? This is the only one that semi makes sense
HBS guru is very opinionated and biased....but at the end of the day anything he says is hearsay
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Re: Dead Meat Syndrome - Interviews, Waitlists [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2011, 15:05
jordanhendrix wrote:
WishHorse wrote:
Sandy (HBSGURU)

"Soooooooo, Wharton invite means “less” but it is still a requirement of getting in. And many kids called to W. interview are DEAD MEAT–they are not getting in no matter how great interivew is, at HBS, great int. usually means accept"

www [DOT]ivyleagueadmission[DOT]com/waitbus.html
"Yet applicants are often waitlisted for non-academic (ie political) reasons, to save face for both the university and the applicant. Here are a few common scenarios:

1) An extremely strong applicant has personal problems and is considered unstable. His/her reference letters suggest a poor fit for a top-level program. Rather than citing the negative feedback as the reason for rejection (and risk a lawsuit), the school will waitlist the candidate.
Since when do schools have to cite why they Ding you?

2) An exceptional candidate from a company or school is rejected, while a lesser-ranked member of his/her firm or class (with legacy or minority status) gets in. Rather than trying to explain the underlying bias, the school will usually waitlist the exceptional candidate, with no intention of actually admitting him/her.
Again, schools dont have to justify dings

3) An average or mediocre candidate is highly recommended by a faculty member, alumni, board member or university trustee. Rather than insult the applicant's benefactor, the school will waitlist the candidate, rather than rejecting him.
How is waitlisting said candidate not insulting, WL wouldnt solve this "problem"

4) A highly desirable candidate has known personal interest or ties to another school (ie, his/her parents are alumni there). Rather than accept this candidate (who will likely choose to go elsewhere), a school may waitlist him/her to eliminate a negative effect on their yield statistics. Business school rankings are based partially on selectivity, and all top schools keep a watchful eye on yield. They prefer to admit only students who are eager to attend their school."

I could see this one being true, but how would a school know about those ties unless the applicant told them? This is the only one that semi makes sense
HBS guru is very opinionated and biased....but at the end of the day anything he says is hearsay


Those are pretty uncommon circumstances. I can understand certain political reasons, but those situations apply to a very small number of applicants each year and those people are well connected enough to give candidates a viable chance at admission. No one at Wharton is going to see my application and decide to waitlist me because another minority military officer was admitted just to make me feel better.

Yield would make sense, if there weren't hundreds of applicants rejected after interviews each year--unless Sandy believes that schools create hundreds of hours of "dead meat" interviews just to waitlist a few people.

Personally, the "dead meat" idea is just a conspiracy theory.
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Re: Dead Meat Syndrome - Interviews, Waitlists [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2011, 19:59
Well, I think it depends upon the school.

For schools where you interview with an adcom member, there is no 'dead meat'--if they are taking their time to interview you then they are interested.

For schools where they interview a large %, have second year or alumni do the interviews, and admit a lower % post interview--yeah, there probably is 'dead meat.' In that case there probably are people who got interviewed who stand no chance. I mean, is the interview that important to push you from the bottom of the interview pile to an admit? Probably not.

HBS guru is really thinking of wharton, which does interviews by alumni and 2 years, and has a post interview accept rate of something like 40%. I would agree with him in that case. The interview cannot be that important that everyone has a chance to get in--you could ace the interview and still be on the outside. Maybe some other schools are like that as well (Kellogg? With them interviewing everyone, surely some people walk into the interview with no chance).

The waitlist deadmeat component also has to do with creating re-applicants, which helps keep the accept rate low for the following year. I guess I could buy that.

The problem is you have no way of knowing if you are dead meat before or after the interview. In that sense, it is more of a way for HBS guru to push his ding reports on people ( don't worry why you didn't get in kid, you didn't have a chance to begin with).
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Re: Dead Meat Syndrome - Interviews, Waitlists [#permalink] New post 15 Mar 2011, 03:45
brysondavis wrote:

The waitlist deadmeat component also has to do with creating re-applicants, which helps keep the accept rate low for the following year. I guess I could buy that.



That's a good point. I agree with you.
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Re: Dead Meat Syndrome - Interviews, Waitlists [#permalink] New post 15 Mar 2011, 06:20
brysondavis wrote:
Well, I think it depends upon the school.

For schools where you interview with an adcom member, there is no 'dead meat'--if they are taking their time to interview you then they are interested.

For schools where they interview a large %, have second year or alumni do the interviews, and admit a lower % post interview--yeah, there probably is 'dead meat.' In that case there probably are people who got interviewed who stand no chance. I mean, is the interview that important to push you from the bottom of the interview pile to an admit? Probably not.

HBS guru is really thinking of wharton, which does interviews by alumni and 2 years, and has a post interview accept rate of something like 40%. I would agree with him in that case. The interview cannot be that important that everyone has a chance to get in--you could ace the interview and still be on the outside. Maybe some other schools are like that as well (Kellogg? With them interviewing everyone, surely some people walk into the interview with no chance).

The waitlist deadmeat component also has to do with creating re-applicants, which helps keep the accept rate low for the following year. I guess I could buy that.

The problem is you have no way of knowing if you are dead meat before or after the interview. In that sense, it is more of a way for HBS guru to push his ding reports on people ( don't worry why you didn't get in kid, you didn't have a chance to begin with).


Two things:
1. How do you know how important a certain school weighs the interview? you cant so that argument is flawed from the outset
2. What about the several applicants every year who are waitlisted after an interview than let in? and a step further, what a bout the kids who are WL'ed without an interview than invited and ultimately invited.
The re applicant things makes sense but is still just a rumor

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Re: Dead Meat Syndrome - Interviews, Waitlists [#permalink] New post 15 Mar 2011, 08:19
brysondavis wrote:
In that sense, it is more of a way for HBS guru to push his ding reports on people ( don't worry why you didn't get in kid, you didn't have a chance to begin with).


I think you hit on the real reason the dead meat theory exists with that sentence. That, and applicants general paranoia.

The idea that admissions officers are spending the time to come up with an interview list of people they like and another list of people they won't let in regardless is just too complicated. You specifically mentioned Wharton, so I'll talk about them. The school's Dean of Admissions gave an interview a couple of years back where he mentioned that about 70% of applicants were academically qualified for admission. To me, it's more plausible that Wharton simply wants to talk to more people just to have another data point to go off of when making a decision.

The dead meat idea probably would fit at a place like Kellogg, but only because they allow anyone to request an interview. Obviously, there are some of those applicants who are deluding themselves and don't stand a chance for admission.
Re: Dead Meat Syndrome - Interviews, Waitlists   [#permalink] 15 Mar 2011, 08:19
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