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Interview Guidelines

Please arrange a meeting with the candidate to which you have been assigned at the earliest possible date.

Select a location for the interview that is both convenient and appropriate such as a public library, the student's school or a local cafĂ©. Please keep accessibility and the candidate's familiarity with the location in mind when making your decision about an appropriate interviewing location. In most cases, conducting the interview at the candidate's home is not appropriate. If using a private home, the location of which might not be well known, make sure that the applicant has adequate directions, the street address is well lit at night, and the hour of the interview appointment is not so late as to give parents or the applicant concern. In most cases, interviews should not begin after 8:00 PM. In private settings interviewers must provide a space within view or earshot of the interview where a parent or guardian may wait.  In addition to yourself,  another adult (the candidate's parent or another alumni interviewer ) should be present at the time of the interview. Studio apartments and bedrooms are not appropriate interviewing spaces. The door to the room where the interview is taking place should be left open.

Evaluations should be completed and returned to the Admissions Office as rapidly as possible via I-track. This report will be an integral part of the candidate's application file. All reports on regular decision candidates should be returned by mid-February to receive maximum consideration and have the greatest impact in the selection process. Reports that are late can be useful through the middle of March.

Suggestions for Interviewing and Completing the Interview Report

1.     Keep the interview informal and low key; try to put the candidate at ease. The interview should last no more than 60 minutes. Interviewers should seek to obtain specific information and make fair evaluations of an applicant's promise as a prospective Dartmouth undergraduate. Interviewers serve as an important liaison between the College and the applicant. Strive to further the applicant's understanding of Dartmouth and to create a favorable public relations impact. Point out to the applicant that interviewers seek to be of service to candidates as well as to the Office of Admissions, and that you do not make a final decision in the selection process.

2.     Attempt to get beyond College Board test scores, class standing, and other general information. Although that information is important in assessing a candidate's promise, interviewers should seek to gain greater insight as to why the applicant participates in certain activities or why he/she is particularly interested in specific subjects.

3.     When interviewing with others, a composite assessment is more helpful than an individual assessment. The interview report's summary rating should reflect a consensus of the interviewing team. You should feel free, however, to discuss dissenting opinions in your summary statement.

4.     The composition of your interviewing team (no more than 2 alums) is very important. Please make an effort to include interviewers from a variety of Dartmouth classes, representatives of minority groups, and both genders.

5.     Dartmouth receives applications from individuals from a variety of backgrounds. While some students may be quite polished, others may come from non-college backgrounds and may not be accustomed to the interview situation. Please be aware of your own biases and be sensitive to the concerns all applicants.

6.     Keep in mind that the Admissions Committee is only able to admit less than 1 of every 10 candidates. Evaluations should reflect the intensity of that competition. Try to be as specific and concrete as possible. Reports that are vague and deal in generalities are not as helpful as those supported by particulars.

7.     Applicants may ask your assessment of their chances of admission. This may be an appropriate time to discuss with them the competitive nature of the Dartmouth admissions process. A concrete answer may unintentionally mislead a candidate. In essence, it is impossible to estimate such a probability without reviewing all the application materials and obtaining a more comprehensive understanding of the entire applicant pool. Interviewers may want to assure candidates that their applications will be read thoroughly and thoughtfully by a number of Admissions Officers who will make the final decisions.

8.     If for any reason the applicant does not keep a confirmed appointment, the Admissions Office would like to know why. It is assumed that the interviewer(s) will, in cases with extenuating circumstances, re-schedule unfilled appointments. Otherwise, the interview report should be returned via I-track as soon as possible.

Last Updated: 1/23/13