Sep 16, 2014

Should I come to campus for an interview?

Applicants often ask about our applicant-initiated interviews and whether they should make the trip to Hanover for an interview.  My answer is “if you are able to make the trip, absolutely!”

Tuck is one of the few schools that does not have an invitation-only interview policy.  Our interviews are open to anyone who wants to interview, provided they come to campus and complete the interview before the deadline for their round.  Now if you don’t make it to campus for an interview, we then switch to an invitational system like most of our peers.  We review your application and if you are someone we want more information about (e.g. we are considering moving forward with your application), we will invite you to interview.  That invitational interview will be done either on-campus, with a travelling admissions officer, or by Skype.

Why do we have this type of policy?  We want to get to know you fully.  Tuck believes that interpersonal skills are critical to being a successful business leader and a successful member of the Tuck community.  Accordingly, we want to give as many people as possible the chance to introduce themselves and fully shine.

There are two significant benefits for an applicant who comes to campus.  First, you get a full sense of the school.  Tuck is a unique community that you really need to experience to fully appreciate.  When you come for an interview visit, you will also attend a class, have lunch with students, tour the campus and have Q&A with an admissions officer.  I often find that applicants who have visited have a much better understanding of what makes Tuck distinctive and why it is the right school for them.  The second benefit is you guarantee yourself the greatest chance to be admitted.  We do not admit any applicant who has not been interviewed (either by their own initiative or by invitation).  Since we cannot invite every applicant who applies, it is possible if you don’t come up on your own, you will not be invited, and you will have lost out on the opportunity to fully show us who you are.  In the past, there have been applicants who on paper might not have stood out enough to be invited for an interview, but they made the trip and because they were so strong in the interview, we ended up admitting them.  Had they not made the effort to initiate an interview, they most likely would not have been admitted to Tuck.

How is it interpreted if you don’t come for an interview?  We understand that not everyone can make the trip to Hanover, particularly our international applicants, and we are not going to hold that against you.  In fact, we give you space in the application to explain your reasons for not coming if you haven’t.  But applicants who do not live far away, and who do not come for an interview, can leave a slight impression that they are less committed to coming to Tuck than those applicants who do make the trip.  Does that mean you don’t have a chance of getting in?  Not at all!   We still invite and admit many applicants who didn’t come to campus.  But if it came down to two applicants, all other things being relatively equal, one of whom came to campus to interview on his own, and the other who didn’t, who do you think we are going to be more inclined to admit?

A word to the wise, interview slots tend to fill up quickly.  Don’t wait to the last minute to schedule your interview only to find out we don’t have any space available.  Click here to schedule a visit.  I hope to see you all on campus soon!