Harvard Interview Tips
Do you tend to have anxiety when facing an interview? If you’re like many people, just the thought of sitting down in a small room with one or more people scrutinizing you can be terrifying. It can make your skin crawl, it can make you sweat, and it can lead you to make glaring mistakes that can cost you dearly.
Contrary to popular belief, though, a Harvard interview is not part of the application process at the college. However, throughout your life you will find that interviews are essential, from applying for a job, other schools or programs, or promoting something you’re working on. Interviews with a member of the Harvard Admissions staff are available for high school seniors who plan to be in the Cambridge area between June and November, when the admissions office and staff are not in the middle of their application processing season.
You will also get into the rhythm and flow of conducting interviews. The more you practice, as with anything in life, the better you become at it.
If you are attending a college fair in your state, you may be able to pre-arrange an impromptu interview with the person representing the school. This interview is rather informal and it may be unlikely that you will be remembered during the admission process. For further information about interviewing at Harvard, you may contact the Admissions Office for details. In recent years, the school is steering away from formal interviews and relying more on the application and essay portion of the process. Focusing on essay writing skills, rather than interviewing may be the wiser choice.
One of the best ways to become acquainted with Harvard is to visit the campus. Tours and information sessions are available for prospective students and their families and the school even offers an opportunity for students to attend a class lecture. Visiting Harvard firsthand is a great way to see if you and the campus are going to fit.
A visit to Harvard’s campus provides an opportunity to get any last minute questions answered about the college and area. Harvard offers a one hour long group session that takes place in its Admissions Office. There is no appointment or registration necessary to attend the session, unless the members in your group or family attending exceed ten people. Admissions officers and undergraduate students are available on-hand to answer questions and provide information about the college. This is a great opportunity for potential students and their families to obtain information about extracurricular activities, financial aid, academics, food service, and residential life at Harvard.
Student-led tours are also available to visitors of the campus. The tours last approximately 75 minutes and are led by an informative undergraduate student. The undergraduate campus is covered on the tour, but does not include dorms, athletics facilities, libraries or academic departments.
While visiting the college campus, the Admissions Office provides a list of meeting times of courses available to visitors for a one time view. Potential students are able to attend a class lecture from some of the most popular courses available on campus. A Visitor’s Guide to Larger Lecture’s schedule is published online and available in a wide variety of studies. This is a great way for prospective students to gain insight into the academics at Harvard.
Another great way for students to get acclimated with the Harvard community during their visit to the campus is to speak with Harvard faculty and staff members. Faculty members, coaches, and directors of activities are often available for potential students to interact with, schedules permitting. Appointments may be arranged in advance by writing to the appropriate individual to schedule the meeting.
There are a number of opportunities available on Harvard’s campus for high school seniors who are thinking of applying to the college. High school seniors may eat a meal with Harvard students in Annenberg Hall (a first-year dining hall) or in one of the House dining halls. Tickets to dining may be picked up at the Admissions office when you arrive on campus.
It may also be arranged for high school seniors to stay overnight in one of the residence halls on campus. Volunteer student hosts open up their dorms to take in a high school senior and allow them to experience student life firsthand on the Harvard campus. One night stays are available Monday through Thursday, from the beginning of October through early March. By contacting the Admissions Office at least three weeks in advance, your overnight stay can be arranged.