Jump to content

Amerz's Blog

  • entries
  • comments
  • views

Playing Hard-to-Get (by accident!)



I unintentionally found out how to get schools to respond to your application much sooner. I noted in most of my applications that I would be backpacking and only available by email, and possibly Skype (internet connection permitting), after February. To be fair, at the time I thought this was true. I just ended up pushing my trip back until later because I had some work commitments I didn't want to bail on. And it's not like you can go back and correct your application after you submit it.

But as a result, I've had three POI's contact me concerned that I might be out of the country during their standard interview period - and wanting to know if they could interview me sooner! One of them even went so far as to obtain "special permission" from the adcom to interview me early. I actually felt really bad about that, and let her know I was still around and was happy to wait until the official period. So even though I haven't had that interview, at least I know they're interested!

Actually, my intention in mentioning that I would be gone was sort of unrelated. I wanted to include something about my travels, without doing the usual irritating equivalent of name-dropping. One of my LOR writers suggested I phrase it like that - as an FYI, rather than a "hey-look-how-cosmopolitan-I-am".

I'm definitely not advocating lying about it, but maybe the moral of the story is - it doesn't hurt to be a little hard-to-get? :)


Recommended Comments

Hmm I'm not convinced about this method.

It's doubtful that it's more likely to get one an interview; in all likelihood these places would have interviewed you anyway. I would think it doubtful that it would affect your chances of an interview much at all in either direction.

And while it's unlikely to matter much, perhaps some of them might be unhappy if they have to apply for special permission to interview you early, only to have you then be available!

Anyway, my main point is that I think this is probably overall neutral in terms of how it affects one's chances, but if I had to pick a direction, it would be that it on average would hurt more than help.

Link to comment

I'm definitely not saying it will help you get an interview, and I agree some schools might object to the idea of having to get a hold of you sooner. I'm just saying, in my case, it meant that the schools who are interested in me made a point not to delay in getting back to me. Which is nice, since we all know how much the waiting game sucks.


Like I said, I'm not really advocating this (and actually it would be manipulative if one did it intentionally) - I'm just stating what my experience happened to be :). The little joke about playing hard to get was more editorial license than anything.


I guess my main point was that if you do have a need, like being contacted by a certain method, it's okay to state that. I think sometimes we're too afraid that if we say the wrong thing or do anything other than the yes-sir thing we'll automatically be thrown out of the pool.

Link to comment

When I first read this post I was a little shocked. But I do understand why you did what you did. People have a certain way of doing things. This reminds me of the saying, "its not what you know,but who you know." so I guess in this situation, "its not what they expect you to do, but do what you got to do"..This just my opinion.

Link to comment

Lol I actually found this blog entry through 




I was looking for any other helpful websites and saw the gradcafe. This is the blog they suggest with the preceding statement, "The site shares advice and strategies for applying to graduate school..."


Regardless of how, congrats on your invitations!


I'm sure that your being a great prospective grad is what prompted them in the first place. I seriously doubt a student with a poorer application would elicit such a response. 

Link to comment

Thanks everyone - and like I said, it was completely unintentional and I am NOT saying anyone else will have the same experience. It just so happened that they liked me, and maybe got back to me sooner than they would have because I was going to be unavailable during "interview season". I DID go backpacking for 6 months, so none of that was ever made up - the start of my trip was just pushed back after I had already submitted my applications.




I feel like even after explaining that a zillion times, people will still misunderstand and think there was some kind of hijinks-ery involved...

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.