After six years as an alumni interviewer, I have had the opportunity not only to work with a wide range of candidates, but to chat with fellow alumni interviewers about their experiences. Based on these, I would like to offer an interviewer’s perspective to applicants who will be signing up for alumni interviews.
Who Are Alumni Interviewers and What Is Their Role?
We are passionate alumni who love our alma mater, and range from recent graduates to 50+-year alumni. We cover the spectrum in terms of majors, activities, religions, ethnicities, you name it. We enjoy serving the alma mater by helping to choose the next round of future alumni. Though we make reports to the admissions committee, it is important to remember that, typically, we do not make admissions decisions. Think of us as members of the admissions committee who get to speak, but not vote.
Therefore, keep in mind that it is pretty hard to mess up an alumni interview. We are not usually trying to be gatekeepers that keep you out. Instead, we are actively looking for the things that are cool, fun, and interesting about you. It is helpful to think of us as your advocates on the admissions committee whose job it is to explain why the alma mater should accept you.
It is important to keep in mind that being nervous will not help you in an alumni interview, because it will impede your ability to be yourself and show us what is cool, interesting, and unique about you. Do not forget that we are your advocates and we want you to succeed!