Ex-Harvard admissions interviewer reveals the 5 questions she asked most applicants

Business Insider recently interviewed a former Harvard admissions representative and she revealed the 5 questions she typically asked every applicant. These might prove beneficial to share with your students as they begin speaking to college representatives:

  1. What are you interested in potentially studying in college?

Apart from being a good ice-breaker,  asking about what they want to study helps her discern how focused and driven a student is. She’d then follow up the question by digging deeper into why the students are interested in that area of study so she can get a better sense of how intellectually curious they are.

2. What is the most negative experience you have ever had in school?

They typically are  not prepared for that question. By asking them about a negative experience, she explains that she would actually get an authentic, honest answer.

There is no right answer to this question — the negative experience could be from an academic perspective, a social one, or even a medical one. “It can really be anything at all — what I’m interested in is an authentic expression of what the situation was.”, she said.

3. What do you do when you are not in school?

She says this question reveals a lot about a student, and it helps her separate students into one of two categories: “pin-point focused” and “well-rounded”

“One is not better than the other, these are just two different types of students in terms of extracurriculars.,” she explains.”

The “pin-point focused” students focus exclusively on one extracurricular activity, which they tend to have been doing for much of their lives, and these students are often ranked in some way. The “well-rounded” students, on the other hand, focus on a few activities, like playing an instrument, playing on a sports team, or participating in cultural events or lessons after school.

“Whether they’re pinpointed or well-rounded, I’m looking for uniqueness,” she says. Students should be prepared to discuss their activities outside of their academic achievements.

4. What have you read recently?

With this question, she says she would try to determine how intellectually curious and engaged in the world the students were.

5. ‘What’s the last cultural event you went to” or ‘What have you done or seen lately?’

She says she would also look for exposure and awareness.

“There’s such a diversity across the country, it could be something like, ‘Oh, I’m in Kentucky and I went to this folk art festival.’ That could compare equally with saying you went to the Metropolitan Opera.”

There’s no class or income distinction in that regard.

“I just want to know that you’re doing something that’s interesting, even if it’s particular to your region of the country,” she says. “You want students who are doing more than just sitting around playing with Instagram.”

There are some good tips here that can help your students prepare for their interview at any school. Here is a link to the full article: http://www.businessinsider.com/ex-harvard-interviewer-shares-the-questions-she-typically-asked-in-the-interview-2016-10/#-5