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My Unofficial Tips for Interviews

Interviews are beginning to happen, and I have some very not official advice on how to rock yours. 

#1. Look pretty good. 
Some people really overshoot here. Your interview is not prom. Don’t cover yourself in AXE or whatever the kids are wearing these days. Don’t feel like you have to dress up, but you should shower sometime before your interview. Dress like you’re going to your slightly fancy grandma’s house, except your slightly fancy grandma’s house today is probably your local Starbucks. 

The dangers of overdressing.

#2. Know kinda what to say. 
There’s a reason presidents have speech writers. I’m not saying that you should outsource your interview. That’s fraud, and you’d go to prison. But what I’m saying is that you should vaguely know how to respond to some questions. You know your interviewer will probably ask you, “Can you tell me about yourself?” or “Do you have any questions about X College?,” so practice with your dog/dad/sister/stuffed animal what you’re going to say with those questions. But also it’s not 2091 so Harvard doesn’t accept robots yet. So don’t memorize an answer. Just practice enough that you feel confident and comfortable. 

Get confident!  Well…maybe not this confident.

#3. Be genuine!
The interview is not the time to talk about your SAT scores. It is the time to talk about your life. If you tripped over your shoe laces and fell in the hallway today at school, talk about that! If your mom made you wear your dad’s goofy tie to this interview, talk about that! There’s no need to brag during the interview. All of your grades and awards and blah blah blah will be on your application. It’s cool to talk about your extracurriculars and all that good stuff when they ask you, but being phony is dumb. Just be yourself and let the conversation go where it goes. The most important part of your interview is letting your star personality shine through. Not that my interview was anything spectacular, but my interviewer knit her own scarf, so we talked about knitting and my mom’s knitting club for a while! And if you do something similar, that’s fine! You didn’t drop the ball.


If you became an uncle (like me!) and just bought an ugly Christmas sweater (like me!), talk about that!
Above: If you became an uncle (like me!) and just bought an ugly Christmas sweater (like me!), talk about that!

#4. Ask some good questions.
The interview is as much for your application as it is for you. Chances are the alum interviewing you will want to talk about their good ol’ days back in college, so you’re not a pest if you ask them some good questions. The interview is a great time to get a good scoop on a college and ask some questions you couldn’t get answers to on the website, which might be hard to do at Harvard because our website is so comprehensive :) (give me a raise). 

#5. No schmoozing. 
No, no. Bad, bad.

#6. Try to be as comfy as possible. 
It’s nerve-wracking to have a one-on-one interview. But, don’t feel like you’re on trial. Try to be as comfy as you can possible be. If you’re at a coffee shop, order something you like. During my interview, I ordered a large coffee, and then I got all jittery and sweaty. So don’t do that, though.  Before you walk into your interview, say to yourself “I’m a boss” in the mirror. When you’re confident, you’ll be relaxed. And when you’re relaxed, your interview won’t be a chore but maybe it’ll be fun! 

No need to sweat, David Bowie, you’re interview is just for one hour!

#7. Be respectful and thankful!
Treat your interviewer like your significant other’s parent. They’re not the Queen of England, but be very respectful. These alums who interview you don’t get paid. They’re doing this because they love the school and they want to help applicants like you out. So make sure to thank them for taking time out of their lives to talk to you. If it’s a short interview, don’t worry, short and sweet is better than long and semisweet. 

The bottom line here is: don’t worry. Your interview supposedly will never make or break your application.

If you’re not offered an interview, that’s not a testament against you, that just means there weren’t enough alumni in your area. And that will definitely not count against you! 

If you are offered an interview great! It can only help you. And, besides, you’re gonna crush it! 

 

 

About the author

Hi everyone! My name’s Dan Milaschewski, and I’m a senior here at the College concentrating in English with a Government secondary. On campus, I live in the ever luxurious Pforzheimer House, but I... View full profile

Comments (9)

on April 20, 2019 pm30 13:17

lol Dan I love this post! I’m actually having my interview two days from now, and reading this really inspires me to be who I am and just not sweat it. Thanks!

on April 20, 2019 pm30 13:17

Thank you so much, Dan! I’ll probably be having my interview within this month, and you really helped me not fret too much over it..Thank you! I’ve loved your On Harvard Time video on getting a “weird” rejection letter as well haha. Hope to meet you in person this Fall. :)

on April 20, 2019 pm30 13:17

Great Tips for the beginners who want to crack interviews

on April 20, 2019 pm30 13:17

Dan, your blog post is wonderfully awesome and an ultimate relief for me too while I am planing for an interview to conduct. It is great to read that how today youth think positive and confident about what they posses or what they lack. Honestly, I am gonna do more respect for freshers gonna fall in my bucket …thumb up for you Dan!

on April 20, 2019 pm30 13:17

Thank you so much, Dan.

on April 20, 2019 pm30 13:17

This article is extremely informative and helpful! Thank you so much Dan, for taking the time to write this up. I will be applying to Harvard for Fall 2017, and so I hope I can land an interview to put all of this information to use.

on April 20, 2019 pm30 13:17

This is awesome and helpful. You provided great tips in a hilarious way, and your choice of memes is exquisite.

on April 20, 2019 pm30 13:17

I live somewhere on a distant continent so not sure if I’l even get an interview:( but that’s awesomely helpful:)

on April 20, 2019 pm30 13:17

Thank you Dan!
Your post is really helpful for my preparation for this upcoming Sunday’s interview„ and I enjoyed your humor very much. Wish me luck!

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