Schools that have low post-II acceptance rates- what are they looking for in the interview?

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j_diggity

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So, I have a few upcoming interviews with schools that have post-II acceptance rates of 30% or lower. I assume these schools only interview applicants who look great on paper, and I can hardly believe that >70% of the interviewees will bomb their interview or demonstrate poor fit. So there must be a number of high-stat applicants with good ECs and narratives who don't get selected. Do some interviewees never have a shot in the first place? What is the applicant to do who wants to maximize their chances? What are these schools looking for in the interview?

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It's usually very school-dependent. Some schools like WashU and NYU interview mainly based on stats, so they have higher interview rates than other schools. This practice usually shows up in the Post-II acceptance rate, which can dip as low as 20% to make sure the final number of admits is around 200-400 from a pool of 1000-2000 interview candidates. Just something I noticed.
 
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I think they're looking for everything. I interviewed at NYU back in the day for example. The people they were interviewing all had 4.0s, 520 MCATs, etc. To my knowledge, I was the only interviewee who wasn't from some name-brand Ivy league undergrad. I'm sure the people that got accepted (I didn't LOL) absolutely nailed their interviews as well. When the environment gets that competitive you're splitting hairs between applicants I think.

Also, "mission fit" is huge. So that's the one thing you can do to stand out. If you interview at VCOM for example you should probably tell them about how you think DOs are cool and you've always aspired to be a primary care physician in rural Appalachia.
 
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It's usually very school-dependent. Some schools like WashU and NYU interview mainly based on stats, so they have higher interview rates than other schools. This practice usually shows up in the Post-II acceptance rate, which can dip as low as 20% to make sure the final number of admits is around 200-400 from a pool of 1000-2000 interview candidates. Just something I noticed.
Don't confuse matriculation with admission. Some schools make 2, 3 or even more offers for every seat. When they are competing with offers from the top 5, top 10, etc, they'll be admitting people with 4 offers or more and will be lucky to get half to say yes. Full ride scholarships can help, but location and/or reputation can win out.

Are there schools that are really inteviewing 5 applicants for every offer made? That seems highly inefficient. I think it is more likely that schools are admitting 33-50 per 100 interviewed to seat 20 of 100 interviewed unless they are yield protecting and not going after the big fish.
 
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Don't confuse matriculation with admission. Some schools make 2, 3 or even more offers for every seat. When they are competing with offers from the top 5, top 10, etc, they'll be admitting people with 4 offers or more and will be lucky to get half to say yes. Full ride scholarships can help, but location and/or reputation can win out.

Are there schools that are really inteviewing 5 applicants for every offer made? That seems highly inefficient. I think it is more likely that schools are admitting 33-50 per 100 interviewed to seat 20 of 100 interviewed unless they are yield protecting and not going after the big fish.

Surprisingly, they actually are accepting ~200 for 1000 interview spots which is where I got the info from. NYU, WashU, and Mayo to name a few, all have extremely low conversion rates between interview and acceptance (not even matriculation!). I'm talking 20-25% conversion rates :D

I'm actually working on a little data analysis project to keep me busy that I'll share here on the forums soon.

In 2021, for example, WashU interviewed 1093 applicants for 288 acceptances for 99 matriculants. Mayo was similar in 738 interviews for 174 acceptances for 84 matriculants. This represents a 26% and 23% conversion rate respectively.

 
Just a guess but I’d say unless you’re truly a superstar applicant (like top 10% of the interview pool or less) or completely tanked the interview, it can become extremely random
 
In 2021, for example, WashU interviewed 1093 applicants for 288 acceptances for 99 matriculants. Mayo was similar in 738 interviews for 174 acceptances for 84 matriculants. This represents a 26% and 23% conversion rate respectively.
Or as I see it, 34% and 48% yield (matriculants/offers). A more highly desirable school will offer fewer spots. The more likely an offer gets converted to a seat, the lower your interview to offer ratio.

For both schools it looks like they interview about 9 to 10x the number of seats available.
 
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Or as I see it, 34% and 48% yield (matriculants/offers). A more highly desirable school will offer fewer spots. The more likely an offer gets converted to a seat, the lower your interview to offer ratio.

For both schools it looks like they interview about 9 to 10x the number of seats available.

Yeah this is a great point; it could also be because they have low yield like you said and have to be less selective at the interview stage. This likely means they place a higher emphasis on answers to interview questions about why an applicant wants to attend a school and ties to the state or region.
 
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I have heard that Mayo won't make an offer unless you beg as a way of keeping their yield higher than it would be if they admitted the top however many it took to fill 84 seats. They are still interviewing far more than need be. I wonder if they just have so many legacies and/or there is nothing better for anyone to do in Rochester Minnesota that they might as well volunteer to do interviews.
 
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I have heard that Mayo won't make an offer unless you beg as a way of keeping their yield higher than it would be if they admitted the top however many it took to fill 84 seats. They are still interviewing far more than need be. I wonder if they just have so many legacies and/or there is nothing better for anyone to do in Rochester Minnesota that they might as well volunteer to do interviews.

Makes sense, I did read a thread about how interest and update letters post-interview are very valued for Mayo. That's funny though :rofl:
 
Of course, there was the time when Mayo accidentally set offer emails to everyone who had interviewed. That was a hot day despite below freezing temperatures.
 
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Of course, there was the time when Mayo accidentally set offer emails to everyone who had interviewed. That was a hot day despite below freezing temperature

Maybe that was part of the begging procedure; see which students commit within an hour of receiving an acceptance and then withdraw the A's from the rest :shifty:
 
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