“bad” interviewer - any way to let admissions know?

May 19, 2020
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if i had a bad interview experience with a faculty interviewer - unresponsive, didn’t ask me many questions, seemed distracted - would it be acceptable to email admissions about it and see if there is anything that could be done? obviously i’m not trying to be annoying, i know some interviewers are just that way, but i can’t help but think people with “better” interviewers - more invested, easy to get along with - have a better shot at admission. does it depend on the school whether or not they would take complaints like this? any thoughts appreciated!!
 

GreenDuck12

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Besides your perception of the interviewer not being engaged, did the interviewer demonstrate any disrespectful, biased, racist and/or sexist behaviors? If yes then it would be appropriate to contact the admissions office. If the answer is no then it would not be appropriate to report the interviewer for stylistic differences. Admissions offices take reports of bias very seriously.

As an aside, I would not necessarily conclude that having an enthusiastic interviewer results in a higher shot at an admission. Often times interviewers do need to seem detached to not bias the interaction. My interviewer was pretty cold but I was admitted early in the cycle so it’s hard to tell.
 
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May 19, 2020
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Besides your perception of the interviewer not being engaged, did the interviewer demonstrate any disrespectful, biased, racist and/or sexist behaviors? If yes then it would be appropriate to contact the admissions office. If the answer is no then it would not be appropriate to report the interviewer for stylistic differences. Admissions offices take reports of bias very seriously.

As an aside, I would not necessarily conclude that having an enthusiastic interviewer results in a higher shot at an admission. Often times interviewers do need to seem detached to not bias the interaction. My interviewer was pretty cold but I was admitted early in the cycle so it’s hard to tell.
nope nothing outrightly disrespectful/biased at all! it just felt like i didn’t connect with them super well, and they didn’t seem interested. kinda like i didn’t get a chance to really show myself/my goals but maybe that’s my fault. i just thought a better/more enthusiastic connection = a better evaluation, although i guess this might not always be the case! i feel like i’m borderline in terms of stats so i’ve been putting a lot of pressure on the interviews...

and edit!! i didn’t mean reporting the interviewer per say, more so seeing if the school would do a “second shot” kinda interview
 
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EdgeTrimmer

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I am not sure how much interview feed back is factored into acceptances. Read up on LizzyM staircase analogy.
 
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Moko

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i can’t help but think people with “better” interviewers - more invested, easy to get along with - have a better shot at admission
Though there is some luck in this process (e.g being matched to an interviewer with many things in common), I would generally advise against this type of thinking. As @GreenDuck12 said, this could simply be the interviewer's style. You also don't know whether they are an easy or tough grader, and perhaps more importantly, where you fall relative to other applicants who they have interviewed and assessed. An interviewer's disposition can be deceiving. Behind the scenes, adcom members have a general idea of which interviewers are overly critical vs excessively generous in their evaluations, and we adjust our votes accordingly.

Regardless, nothing you do now can further improve your chances of getting an acceptance. So sit tight and hope for the best.
 
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Sharknad0

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Don't fret! Some of my favorite professors told me that they try to remain as neutral as possible so they can conduct interviews. They might have been taking diligent notes on the actual meaning of your answers rather than trying to be easy-going. I thought one of my interviews was awful based on how the interviewer responded to me, but he told me a few months later that it was so he could be as impartial as he could.
 
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i had an interview where the doc interviewing me went from question to question with very little feedback on my answers. I felt weird about it, but then after talking to multiple other people that interviewed at the school they had the same experience. Like what the shark above me said, pretty sure some schools try to make their interviews as standardized as possible.
 
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Generally, you know an interview went well, if the interviewer talked as much as you did. Sometimes it’s really hard to get doctors engaged with your story. I was once interviewed by a surgeon who barely had any sleep. She wasn’t yawning but I could tell she was barely keeping up with me. It wasn’t until I got to talk about my “hook” that she started looking away from her computer screen with prepared questions.

IMO, you have to respect that some doctors will be very tired and may come off rude. But if this is your dream school, you still have got to find a way to make a memorable impression, unless the interviewer is straight up disrespectful.
 
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EdgeTrimmer

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As per interview weightage my kid had toughest interview at a T3 (grilled by a well known researcher in wet lab even though that's not his strength) but got A in their first release. So don't go by what you felt on interview day.
 
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Goro

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nope nothing outrightly disrespectful/biased at all! it just felt like i didn’t connect with them super well, and they didn’t seem interested. kinda like i didn’t get a chance to really show myself/my goals but maybe that’s my fault. i just thought a better/more enthusiastic connection = a better evaluation, although i guess this might not always be the case! i feel like i’m borderline in terms of stats so i’ve been putting a lot of pressure on the interviews...

and edit!! i didn’t mean reporting the interviewer per say, more so seeing if the school would do a “second shot” kinda interview
The interviewer did nothing wrong.

Interviews are also not like dating. They're sales pitches in two directions.
 
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As per interview weightage my kid had toughest interview at a T3 (grilled by a well known researcher in wet lab even though that's not his strength) but got A in their first release. So don't go by what you felt on interview day.
Based on my observation around my premed friends (N = 18-20), I've seen an applicant gets rejected after a stellar interview, but I have not yet seen an applicant gets accepted after a terrible interview. Again, not for generalization.
 

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if i had a bad interview experience with a faculty interviewer - unresponsive, didn’t ask me many questions, seemed distracted - would it be acceptable to email admissions about it and see if there is anything that could be done? obviously i’m not trying to be annoying, i know some interviewers are just that way, but i can’t help but think people with “better” interviewers - more invested, easy to get along with - have a better shot at admission. does it depend on the school whether or not they would take complaints like this? any thoughts appreciated!!

Tons of people have run across a crap interviewer in their admissions process. For me, it was my top choice, the only faculty interview I had, and he was a total jerk who just rambled the whole time about how the state school he went to was better than this dump (a top 15ish med school) and he reminded me multiple times that he hadn't read my application. I probably got like 2-3 sentences in. Got waitlisted and did not get in.

It sucks but no use complaining. Your complaints will be viewed as a negative if the interviewer didn't cross a clear line of sexism, racism, inappropriate behavior, etc
 
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OP, sorry to hear that you had this experience, but unfortunately it happens. I have had a good number of interviews and not all of them were ideal, some for reasons out of my control. But that's also like life in general. You may just simply not clique with a job interviewer, a patient, or a colleague, and all you can do is try your best.
 
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We are usually not good judges of our interviews. Anyways, I had at least one such interview where the interview seemed to totally dislike me, but I still got an A.

Edit: complaining is only likely to be to your detriment. No adcom is going to take an applicant's word about their faculty's interview style. They would likely take this as immaturity on your part. Just hang tight. Good luck.
 

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Interviewers see outstanding candidates every day. Dont be disappointed if he didn't gush over you or your app. It doesn't mean he was not interested or declined your admission. A famous board examiner and textbook author in my specialty told a group at a national meeting about an experience during a board exam with a junior board examiner. When examining an applicant, the Junior examiner was rather kind and the senior rather harsh. Junior told senior I failed him. Senior felt the examinee held up well under questioning and passed him. A few years later the applicant ran into junior examiner and thanked him for passing as the senior who gave him a hard time surely failed him. Little did the applicant know junior actually failed him, but passed the other parts of the boards, thereby passing the whole exam.. You just never know.
 
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Banco

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I wouldn’t report anything unless it was gravely inappropriate behavior (sexism, racism). Interviewer seeming disengaged happens often - wait til you get to residency interviews lol
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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The interviewer did nothing wrong.

Interviews are also not like dating. They're sales pitches in two directions.

Depends on the school. When I interviewed at ETSU a couple years ago, they straight up told us if we have an experience like OP’s to tell the admissions office as soon as the interview was over so they could get us another interviewer. I suspect that isn’t very common though.
 
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Goro

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My interviewer at Einstein last year said to me doing the wrap-up that I did really well. he said " I see you attending our school next year." I was on cloud 9 up until the R. Not even a WL.
Interviewers are trained to be polite. Your interviewer may have really liked you, but got outvoted by the admissions committee.
 
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