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# How do interviews factor in?

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Current Student
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How do interviews factor in? [#permalink]

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12 Nov 2008, 10:01
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So I have applied to Columbia, Wharton, Yale, Stern and Cornell.

I have so far recieved interview invites from Columbia, Wharton and Cornell. I am still waiting on Yale and Stern. I just had my Columbia interview last week and I am confused.

The interview was fairly informal and I cannot understand how candidates can be cut out after the interview process. If I am not wrong about 30-40% of the candidates get interviewed and about 30-40% of those that get interviewed should recieve acceptances.

My questions is, that since most of the interviews are blind to the application essays, and frankly not in-depth how can someone be rejected after the interview? Does the commitee go BACK to the application and review it before making the final decision? Or is the final decision completely dependent on the interview go/no-go result?

I just find the interview process a little arbitrary and almost feel like it holds lesser weight than indicated. But if that is indeed the case, then why even do the interview?

OK I am confused - anyone else know from experience the value of interviews? Can a good interview save a mediocre app..or vice versa?

Last edited by sterny on 12 Nov 2008, 10:07, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How do interviews factor in? [#permalink]

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12 Nov 2008, 10:05
sterny wrote:
Does the commitee go BACK to the application and review it before making the final decision?

Yes.
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Re: How do interviews factor in? [#permalink]

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12 Nov 2008, 10:05
Personally (and based on absouletely no evidence) I tend to think that at most schools the interview is probably worth less than the written application.

I'm very interested in what others have to say on this topic...
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12 Nov 2008, 10:13
solaris1 wrote:
sterny wrote:
Does the commitee go BACK to the application and review it before making the final decision?

Yes.

I always assumed this to be the case, and it scares the crap out of me.
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Re: How do interviews factor in? [#permalink]

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12 Nov 2008, 10:16
sterny wrote:
So I have applied to Columbia, Wharton, Yale, Stern and Cornell.

I have so far recieved interview invites from Columbia, Wharton and Cornell. I am still waiting on Yale and Stern. I just had my Columbia interview last week and I am confused.

The interview was fairly informal and I cannot understand how candidates can be cut out after the interview process. If I am not wrong about 30-40% of the candidates get interviewed and about 30-40% of those that get interviewed should recieve acceptances.

My questions is, that since most of the interviews are blind to the application essays, and frankly not in-depth how can someone be rejected after the interview? Does the commitee go BACK to the application and review it before making the final decision? Or is the final decision completely dependent on the interview go/no-go result?

I just find the interview process a little arbitrary and almost feel like it holds lesser weight than indicated. But if that is indeed the case, then why even do the interview?

OK I am confused - anyone else know from experience the value of interviews? Can a good interview save a mediocre app..or vice versa?

Interview is just another datapoint as they say. It is not a go or no-go thing. They go back and review all the apps again, this time with the interview.
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Re: How do interviews factor in? [#permalink]

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12 Nov 2008, 10:20
The interview is also to uncover frauds, and people who have a hard time communicating in English (essays were ghost-written).

Although, I have met some people at info sessions, alum and current students at the highest of tier schools, who have terrible English skills.
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Re: How do interviews factor in? [#permalink]

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12 Nov 2008, 10:21
I'm of the opinion that the interview is much like the GMAT in many ways. It won't get you in by itself but it may keep you out.

A whole lot of the B-School recruiting process is the ability to "schmooze" with recruiters, get along with your classmates and work in teams with those around you. I think that the interview is to get a sense of these qualities that you just can't get from reading someone's essays and looking at their resume. It's my opinion that a lot the interview is just to see if this person is a complete jerk or not and if they can express their plans well.

Lots of people with great numbers are either really huge dorks in person or are completely arrogant and won't get along well with their classmates. The interview gives a different perspective on how this person "plays with others" in a relatively stressful situation with an unknown person, much like it will be during recruiting and through most of the first semster as we're all feeling our way through. If you fall into the extremes of one of these types it's probably to the ding pile even if the rest of your app is stellar.

I agree (hope) that the rest of the application (Essays, GMAT, WE) is worth more than the interview since I never come across well in interviews.

Also, the above is just opinion so take it as you will.
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Re: How do interviews factor in? [#permalink]

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12 Nov 2008, 11:33
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A friend of mine who conducts interviews for Kellog confirmed that interviews really do not play a big part in the selection process. He told me that on a few occasions, he strongly advised the admissions people NOT to accept an applicant and he/she was accepted, and (unfortunately) the other way around as well....
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12 Nov 2008, 11:55
Virflo wrote:
A friend of mine who conducts interviews for Kellog confirmed that interviews really do not play a big part in the selection process. He told me that on a few occasions, he strongly advised the admissions people NOT to accept an applicant and he/she was accepted, and (unfortunately) the other way around as well....

that takes a lot of the pressure off, thanks
Director
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12 Nov 2008, 12:08
I am curious as to what type of form is filled out by the 2nd year student interviewers or alumni interviewers...

Do they fill out a grid form with 1-10 scales, or write a statement about the candidate?

~Sam
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Re: How do interviews factor in? [#permalink]

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12 Nov 2008, 12:50
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Virflo wrote:
A friend of mine who conducts interviews for Kellog confirmed that interviews really do not play a big part in the selection process. He told me that on a few occasions, he strongly advised the admissions people NOT to accept an applicant and he/she was accepted, and (unfortunately) the other way around as well....

This might be specific to Kellogg though since they interview every applicant (am I correct?). I can easily see that if they interview everyone, that it wouldn't count much. However, for a place like HBS that only interviews 20% of its applicants and all interviews are conducted by adcom, I have to believe it counts for more. I do believe Kellogg and HBS are at the opposite ends of the spectrum though.
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12 Nov 2008, 14:45
Tarmac wrote:
The interview is also to uncover frauds, and people who have a hard time communicating in English (essays were ghost-written).

Although, I have met some people at info sessions, alum and current students at the highest of tier schools, who have terrible English skills.

Just wonder how bad it is

perhaps weight of interview depends on individual school's policy. I think that one important part is to verify our written stuffs and see how u response (comm skills/characteristics blah blah).
Maybe current MBA students can answer this question much better ... interesting topic
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12 Nov 2008, 14:55
bball wrote:
Virflo wrote:
A friend of mine who conducts interviews for Kellog confirmed that interviews really do not play a big part in the selection process. He told me that on a few occasions, he strongly advised the admissions people NOT to accept an applicant and he/she was accepted, and (unfortunately) the other way around as well....

This might be specific to Kellogg though since they interview every applicant (am I correct?). I can easily see that if they interview everyone, that it wouldn't count much. However, for a place like HBS that only interviews 20% of its applicants and all interviews are conducted by adcom, I have to believe it counts for more. I do believe Kellogg and HBS are at the opposite ends of the spectrum though.

bball i believe you are right on. kellogg interviews >90% of applicants. HBS (assuming ~4000 R1 apps), interviews 850, or about 20% of applicants. Of those 850, it can offer admission to approximately 450 (again, assuming a 450/450/100 split by round). So, 450/850 = ~53% chance mathematically.

The reality (I think) is that each candidate walks into the interview with either a "Ding" or "Accept" over his/her head. The interview is just the final data point to make sure that the adcom's initial judgment is correct. Just my opinion, however.
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Re: How do interviews factor in? [#permalink]

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12 Nov 2008, 15:13
What are signs your interview went well?
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12 Nov 2008, 15:22
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irishspring wrote:
What are signs your interview went well?
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12 Nov 2008, 15:32
irishspring wrote:
What are signs your interview went well?

Don't try to gauge whether your interview went well or not. I know this is much easier said than done, but trying to gauge an interviewer is pretty challenging. Some are "nice" interviewers, some are "intense" interviewers, and some manage to strike a personal connection with pretty much everyone they meet. Discerning what your interviewer's baseline state is, and determining how he/she reacted to you, is damn near impossible. Do your best, write a thank you note (email is fine if an email/business card is offered- again, this isn't a sign of anything), and start waiting
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12 Nov 2008, 15:48
terry12 wrote:
irishspring wrote:
What are signs your interview went well?

Don't try to gauge whether your interview went well or not. I know this is much easier said than done, but trying to gauge an interviewer is pretty challenging. Some are "nice" interviewers, some are "intense" interviewers, and some manage to strike a personal connection with pretty much everyone they meet. Discerning what your interviewer's baseline state is, and determining how he/she reacted to you, is damn near impossible. Do your best, write a thank you note (email is fine if an email/business card is offered- again, this isn't a sign of anything), and start waiting

I try my best to do this but It's just so friggin' difficult. Often times, your last opportunity to make a good impression on a school is via the interview, so it's hard not to constantly think about how you did. I've had 3 interviews thus far, and I feel like they've all been not great but not horrible at the same time. The suspense is killing me!!!
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12 Nov 2008, 15:51
msday86 wrote:
bball wrote:
Virflo wrote:
A friend of mine who conducts interviews for Kellog confirmed that interviews really do not play a big part in the selection process. He told me that on a few occasions, he strongly advised the admissions people NOT to accept an applicant and he/she was accepted, and (unfortunately) the other way around as well....

This might be specific to Kellogg though since they interview every applicant (am I correct?). I can easily see that if they interview everyone, that it wouldn't count much. However, for a place like HBS that only interviews 20% of its applicants and all interviews are conducted by adcom, I have to believe it counts for more. I do believe Kellogg and HBS are at the opposite ends of the spectrum though.

bball i believe you are right on. kellogg interviews >90% of applicants. HBS (assuming ~4000 R1 apps), interviews 850, or about 20% of applicants. Of those 850, it can offer admission to approximately 450 (again, assuming a 450/450/100 split by round). So, 450/850 = ~53% chance mathematically.

The reality (I think) is that each candidate walks into the interview with either a "Ding" or "Accept" over his/her head. The interview is just the final data point to make sure that the adcom's initial judgment is correct. Just my opinion, however.

if it's true that they already have a predetermined ding or accept then that's incredibly discouraging....
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12 Nov 2008, 17:31
gt7er wrote:
if it's true that they already have a predetermined ding or accept then that's incredibly discouraging....

If that were the case, why would they interview you? Seems like a waste of resources all around.

Everyone doesn't walk in at the same level, but at the very least, you have something of a chance.
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13 Nov 2008, 07:00
I feel that interviews are used to gauge your fit within the culture of the school, especially if you haven't had much interaction with current students, alumni, or admissions already throughout the process. If the school is big on fit, I think the interview holds a little more weight. If the school is more concerned with the stats they pump out every year, the interview won't hold as much value.
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Re: How do interviews factor in?   [#permalink] 13 Nov 2008, 07:00

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