rederza

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I posted in Goro's thread and I figured I should post an actual thread myself to get more views and responses:

I had an interviewer yesterday who seemed disinterested in asking me any questions. He appeared tired (was already yawning before I sat down) kept looking elsewhere, and only asked me one interview-esque question that he forgot halfway and had to look at his phone to check. However, he did keep saying (in a rather flat voice) did you have any questions for me?

To which I asked as many (relevant questions) as we i could about the school, the curriculum and the questions and he seemed more excited about answering those than he did in asking me. He spent a good 10 mins talking about each question
and we went over time a by 10 mins (I was the last one) Is this normal? He made no notes, did not have my file open, and left pretty quickly after. He did tell me to email him if I had more questions.

In context, he was faculty, not an md and was pulled last min to do interviews.
Could I have possibly been judged based on the questions I asked? Thanks!

Goro suggested I report him, but does anyone have experience doing this? Should I call or email a recap of the incidence, and to whom? This is my first interview, and I have one more but I really love this school and want to have as much of a chance as I could.
 
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I don't know about this for sure, but I know some schools pretty much have in mind which students they are going to accept based on stats and the interviews are more of a formality that only factors into the decisions when needed. Maybe you doing the interview is just to show admissions you have interest in the school. Not sure htough.
 

vellez

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The above comment is absolutely incorrect. Interviews are very important. If you feel like you honestly weren't treated fairly, you should contact the admissions office immediately (like, ideally, the day of the interview). Many schools have a protocol in place for this (at least, I think?) and maybe will allow you to reschedule your interview. Though do be aware that we all feel a little iffy after interviews and often the interviewer who seemed distant may be your biggest advocate when the ADCOM votes.
 
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gyngyn

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I had an interviewer yesterday who seemed disinterested in asking me any questions. He appeared tired (was already yawning before I sat down) kept looking elsewhere, and only asked me one interview-esque question that he forgot halfway and had to look at his phone to check. However, he did keep saying (in a rather flat voice) did you have any questions for me? If one of our interviewers appeared disinterested, our Admissions Dean would want to know.

To which I asked as many (relevant questions) as we i could about the school, the curriculum and the questions and he seemed more excited about answering those than he did in asking me. He spent a good 10 mins talking about each question and we went over time a by 10 mins (I was the last one) Is this normal? This is within normal limits.

He made no notes, did not have my file open, and left pretty quickly after. He did tell me to email him if I had more questions. This can also be normal.

In context, he was faculty, not an md and was pulled last min to do interviews.
Could I have possibly been judged based on the questions I asked? Yes.

Goro suggested I report him, but does anyone have experience doing this? Should I call or email a recap of the incidence, and to whom? This is my first interview, and I have one more but I really love this school and want to have as much of a chance as I could. This behavior is not desirable but it is unlikely to have a negative influence on your outcome. He is just a bad interviewer and is not a good representative of the school. I would tend toward waiting until you are accepted to report the behavior since there is no really anonymous avenue open to you. The email needs to go to the Dean of Admissions, unless you matriculate in which case you can make the report in person.

For overtly unprofessional behavior I do recommend immediate reporting but it doesn't sound like this rises to that level.
 

Goro

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That's for sure.


I don't know about this for sure, but I know some schools pretty much have in mind which students they are going to accept based on stats and the interviews are more of a formality that only factors into the decisions when needed. Maybe you doing the interview is just to show admissions you have interest in the school. Not sure htough.
 
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rederza

rederza

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I had an interviewer yesterday who seemed disinterested in asking me any questions. He appeared tired (was already yawning before I sat down) kept looking elsewhere, and only asked me one interview-esque question that he forgot halfway and had to look at his phone to check. However, he did keep saying (in a rather flat voice) did you have any questions for me? If one of our interviewers appeared disinterested, our Admissions Dean would want to know.

To which I asked as many (relevant questions) as we i could about the school, the curriculum and the questions and he seemed more excited about answering those than he did in asking me. He spent a good 10 mins talking about each question and we went over time a by 10 mins (I was the last one) Is this normal? This is within normal limits.

He made no notes, did not have my file open, and left pretty quickly after. He did tell me to email him if I had more questions. This can also be normal.

In context, he was faculty, not an md and was pulled last min to do interviews.
Could I have possibly been judged based on the questions I asked? Yes.

Goro suggested I report him, but does anyone have experience doing this? Should I call or email a recap of the incidence, and to whom? This is my first interview, and I have one more but I really love this school and want to have as much of a chance as I could. This behavior is not desirable but it is unlikely to have a negative influence on your outcome. He is just a bad interviewer and is not a good representative of the school. I would tend toward waiting until you are accepted to report the behavior since there is no really anonymous avenue open to you. The email needs to go to the Dean of Admissions, unless you matriculate in which case you can make the report in person.

For overtly unprofessional behavior I do recommend immediate reporting but it doesn't sound like this rises to that level.
Thank you for your response! I will hold off on saying anything until I am accepted. I was a bit worried since he seemed to have written me off already and I really liked the school, but I will just focus on my upcoming interviews then since this doesn't seem to be a typical situation.
 

Stagg737

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The above comment is absolutely incorrect. Interviews are very important. If you feel like you honestly weren't treated fairly, you should contact the admissions office immediately (like, ideally, the day of the interview). Many schools have a protocol in place for this (at least, I think?) and maybe will allow you to reschedule your interview. Though do be aware that we all feel a little iffy after interviews and often the interviewer who seemed distant may be your biggest advocate when the ADCOM votes.
The comment above yourself was absolutely correct. It is highly dependent on the school, but there are absolutely schools in which the fate of a fairly large number of applicants is already known before the interview, and the interview is just to make sure they have passable social skills and don't have any ethical shortcomings. At those schools, the only people for which the interview is significant are those who are borderline reject/waitlist or waitlist/accept.

As a side note, my source for this information was 3 separate adcom members who spoke to my master's program. 2/3 said the interview was a formality for most applicants and the third said they had a decent idea of who would fall into which category before the interview occurred. All of them agreed that the interview was hardly a make-or-break situation for most applicants.
 
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familyaerospace

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I would have said report him.

I've had several interviewers that were like that. A friend of mine reported my interviewer on my behalf. Another I reported directly (admissions did nothing not even offer a redo). Another I didn't report but should have. The last one was so hostile that I didn't ask but demanded a new interviewer because I was that ticked off. (They had also previously interviewed me before so knew I was in general a nice person and saw a heck of a change in 1.5 hours so they gave me a new interviewer.)

If anything seems a little off, just talk to someone.
 

doc05

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there's no reason to report this interviewer. it's just a matter of personal style. there's no such thing as a "correct" interview question, and you will definitely be judged by the questions you asked.
 

bc65

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It's possible that you had a bad interviewer, but it's also possible that it's this interviewer's style or personality. It's entirely possible that this interviewer gave you high scores. In general, interviewees can't tell how they were being scored.

Some schools are closed file interviews, or maybe your interviewer preferred to interview you without reading the file, maybe they read the file before you came in and didn't want to be rude by reading it while talking to you.

He seemed tired and distracted? Well, perhaps he was, or maybe that's his personality, but he may have given you a high score. At my school, we are encouraged to be friendly and encouraging to students, because they want the students they accept to matriculate there, but that doesn't mean that the interviewers don't ask tough questions, or that they aren't tired after interviewing for several hours straight. But there's more than one interview,and one single interview probably won't be the deciding factor.
 

bc65

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I would have said report him.

I've had several interviewers that were like that. A friend of mine reported my interviewer on my behalf. Another I reported directly (admissions did nothing not even offer a redo). Another I didn't report but should have. The last one was so hostile that I didn't ask but demanded a new interviewer because I was that ticked off. (They had also previously interviewed me before so knew I was in general a nice person and saw a heck of a change in 1.5 hours so they gave me a new interviewer.)
What was the admissions outcome at the places where you complained or had another interviewer?

I think it's quite rare for someone to ask for another interviewer or to complain. Perhaps the problem is with your expectations? No offense meant, just a serious observation. Could you elaborate on those bad interviews?
 
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rederza

rederza

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It's possible that you had a bad interviewer, but it's also possible that it's this interviewer's style or personality. It's entirely possible that this interviewer gave you high scores. In general, interviewees can't tell how they were being scored.

Some schools are closed file interviews, or maybe your interviewer preferred to interview you without reading the file, maybe they read the file before you came in and didn't want to be rude by reading it while talking to you.

He seemed tired and distracted? Well, perhaps he was, or maybe that's his personality, but he may have given you a high score. At my school, we are encouraged to be friendly and encouraging to students, because they want the students they accept to matriculate there, but that doesn't mean that the interviewers don't ask tough questions, or that they aren't tired after interviewing for several hours straight. But there's more than one interview,and one single interview probably won't be the deciding factor.
There was only one interviewee before me though, and it was only 20 mins. The only thing I noticed was that he didn't seem entirely too happy to be pulled to cover for someone even though he volunteered.

In general, it was a stark difference from any of the interviews I've had in the past (I interviewed at 4 other schools previously for pharmacy) and this was the only one where the moment I came I was met with silence and then....'well what do you want to know from me?'

I'm hopeful he is like you said, just a bad interviewer as he did seem ok when asnwering questions about the area and the mentality of the students here. Just wasn't expecting to be the one asking questions is all :')
 
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rederza

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I would have said report him.

I've had several interviewers that were like that. A friend of mine reported my interviewer on my behalf. Another I reported directly (admissions did nothing not even offer a redo). Another I didn't report but should have. The last one was so hostile that I didn't ask but demanded a new interviewer because I was that ticked off. (They had also previously interviewed me before so knew I was in general a nice person and saw a heck of a change in 1.5 hours so they gave me a new interviewer.)

If anything seems a little off, just talk to someone.
But it all turned out well in your favor I'm assuming? Even the ones who seemed uninterested? When you spoke to someone, can you give me tips on how I should phrase things, and who I should be speaking to? For future reference of course. Sorry, everyone says to ask for someone new but it seems easier said than done :(
 
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Honestly, I probably would have taken it as an opportunity to dive right in.

How many years have you been in academics?
What motivates you to continue to operate in this space?
Was there a moment in your career you wish you could take back, why?
.....
...
 

familyaerospace

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But it all turned out well in your favor I'm assuming? Even the ones who seemed uninterested? When you spoke to someone, can you give me tips on how I should phrase things, and who I should be speaking to? For future reference of course. Sorry, everyone says to ask for someone new but it seems easier said than done :(
The first hostile interviewer led me to being waitlisted that year. (Note his work was held in the notes for the following year and the year after.)
The following two were all rejections no waitlist (all my positive interviews were waitlists) that year.
The next one which I flipped out at there, led me to a new interview and a really high ranking spot on the waitlist (I was pulled on traffic day). This school was the first negative interviewer as well as the last all of the notes were still included. Ironically, the person who was my redo was the person who a friend reported my problems to on my behalf.

How you should phrase things... I would say you approach admissions desk and say "Hi, I have a concern about my interview, something did not feel right about it. Is there someone I could talk to about it?" They will probably have a specific person for you to talk to in order to find out what went wrong and then they might give you a new interview.
 

Stagg737

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I'm certainly not an expert on the interview, but from all the experiences I've heard, the only time that reporting an interviewer has led to a positive outcome is when the interviewer blatantly insulted/attacked the interviewer or asked something so inappropriate that it would generally be seen as ridiculous to ask. Some examples of the latter that I can think of was a gay applicant being asked if they would be able to 'control themselves' while doing physical exams of same-sex students in lab or a student being asked if they thought they could handle the academic rigors of medical school because they are black. I think in both examples it's obvious why the interviewer should have been reported, and why the applicant deserved another interview.

I don't think it would be particularly wise to report the interviewer in your situation, as it could easily come off as you being whiney/not being able to handle that type of situation, even if that's the farthest thing from the truth. If he had started talking on his phone during the interview, or left partway through to take a call or handle business, that would be a totally different situation. Besides, as others have stated, he might have given you very high marks. The last thing you want to do is report someone that is advocating for you. If you really felt like his disinterest was inappropriate, I'd wait until you hear back from the school and send them something afterwards. Nothing accusatory, just something along the lines of what familyaerospace said which simply states that you felt like you weren't being paid attention to. Either way, I don't think reporting him before you hear back will yield positive results, but that's just my opinion.
 

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He just seems tired. Let it go for now.
 

GrapesofRath

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I posted in Goro's thread and I figured I should post an actual thread myself to get more views and responses:

I had an interviewer yesterday who seemed disinterested in asking me any questions. He appeared tired (was already yawning before I sat down) kept looking elsewhere, and only asked me one interview-esque question that he forgot halfway and had to look at his phone to check. However, he did keep saying (in a rather flat voice) did you have any questions for me?

To which I asked as many (relevant questions) as we i could about the school, the curriculum and the questions and he seemed more excited about answering those than he did in asking me. He spent a good 10 mins talking about each question
and we went over time a by 10 mins (I was the last one) Is this normal? He made no notes, did not have my file open, and left pretty quickly after. He did tell me to email him if I had more questions.

In context, he was faculty, not an md and was pulled last min to do interviews.
Could I have possibly been judged based on the questions I asked? Thanks!

Goro suggested I report him, but does anyone have experience doing this? Should I call or email a recap of the incidence, and to whom? This is my first interview, and I have one more but I really love this school and want to have as much of a chance as I could.
This at worst is just a poor interviewer. What I highlighted in bold is not indicative of someone who simply doesn't care at all about his job and was simply cutting every single corner imaginable to finish the interview. I'll echo the sentiment above that reporting someone simply won't do anything beneficial for you; at worst it'll come up with whining.

This also is someone who was acting in a way that could suggest he is rather inexperienced at this, which you yourself hint to when he said he was pulled last minute to do interviews.
 

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Some people need to grow thicker skin. Your interviewer was tired or stiff, but such is life.
I will not report an interviewer unless they ask me something illegal or behave so inappropriately that they are offensive. I realize that some questions may be considered appropriate and still offend me, but I'm an adult and I can handle it.

There will be many times in your career when other people do not behave the way you'd like them to. Best get used to it now.
 

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One thing life has taught me (sadly) is that unless something is OVERTLY wrong, let it go. For now. There will come a time and place for it to be discussed if it is meant to be (which sounds really cliche).
 

Doug Underhill

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Don't interpret a yawn as a sign of disinterest. Many PIs only get by on 2-3 hours of sleep per night, particularly when it's close to a grant deadline (which is almost always the 5th of the month for the NIH)