It's that time of year, where eager high school seniors apply to the colleges of their dreams, jumping through hoops in the hopes of being accepted to the place which will mark the beginning of the rest of their lives.
Or something like that.
And one of the little items to check off on the to-do list are interviews with alums from their college of choice.
Everyone knows that these interviews mean crap. The alumni interview has very little pull in the overall decision as to whether or not you get accepted. (A couple of years ago, I had four interviews to conduct: the three that I actually talked to didn't get in, the one who refused an interview was accepted. Hrm, wonder if that says anything about me..) Yet high school seniors go through it anyway, because every little bit helps. It signifies true interest in the school. It might be that extra little push that forces you over into the "admit" pile rather than the "denied" one.
So on, and so forth.
As an interviewer, we get a list of guidelines to follow, which are somewhat helpful. But you have to wonder what happened in the past for the following ones to actually have been included.
- Meeting with students in public places: Many alumni meet with applicants in coffee shops, which tend to be mutually acceptable. Avoid meeting with students in unusual places, like a bus terminal (no matter how public that may seem, it still worries parents), or any place that could be construed as a bar (remember that the applicants are all underage).
- Don’t feel you have to give every student a “Brown wants you” message; given the 15% admission rate, this may unfairly raise expectations.
- Do convey respect for each student, along with the message that Brown is a great place with a lot to offer. This applies even to students who may not particularly impress you, as sometimes the talents or qualities for which the Admission Office may admit a student may not be evident during the interview.