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interested phone call from prof but no acceptance/interview


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Hey everyone...

So I'm new to this board, which is an excellent resource by the way....

as with everyone else, I'm stressing over the grad application process, which seems to be much more complicated than undergrad!

I'm applying to a PhD in Social Psych programs, and so far, I've gotten a couple of interview invites :), one rejection, and

one university that hasn't invited me to their announced interview date yet (it's pretty soon, so i guess rejection #2)...

Anyways, on Monday I got a call from my top choice professor at Harvard who started off basically by asking me if I was still interested

in him and in the school... Obviously I said yes(!!), and he proceeded to ask me several questions that seemed to imply he was keen:

he asked me if I already had a specific line of research in mind (told him my general ideas, but told him i have nothing fixed in stone), and then I

mentioned that I was interested in his work in a foreign country... He then asked me if I spoke the language in said country, and when I said I did, he seemed

very pleased, saying "Oh, then you can definitely help me with this project I have, I need some help with translation, etc..."

When he asked if I had any questions, I asked him if this meant that I'd been admitted... his answer was "Well, we're seriously considering your application,

and we'll be in touch soon..."

Obviously, I'm ecstatic, but the answer seemed kind of vague.... when talking to me it seemed almost like a formality, be he left it very much up in the air...

So I dunno what to think... I don't know if Harvard have a set interview weekend or anything, but he didn't ask me to visit or anything...

Anyone have any experience with this/ knows what this means?

Is it likely that he has a shortlist of a few students he wants to pick between, and this was my 'formal interview' (lasted less than 10 mins)...

I hope not, because I was really nervous, and I'm not too sure I acquitted myself brilliantly!

Sorry for the excess worrying, but this process has been a bit nerve-wracking....

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I had a very similar experience last week with a professor at an equally prestigious school (different field). The call was just as positive and it ended with the same "I cannot tell you that you are in, but it looks good" line. I received a formal offer this week.

I really think he was calling to get a feel of you as a person, to make sure that you are as great in conversation as you are on paper, and to make sure that you are not insufferable.

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You got an interview from Harvard Social Psych!? Then where is MY interview? NO NO NO NOOOOOO!! It was YOU who took my place under the spotlight, it was because of YOUR application that pushed mine down the list from #68 to #69! My archnemesis has prevailed and my ego has been completely decimated! Wahhhhh!!!

(comes back down to earth)

I do have to congraduate you on your interview, you must have put together an excellent application to get this far. Btw, which professor did you apply to work under? And do you mind posting your stats?

Once again, very impressive despite diminishing my own chance of getting in. :evil:

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  • 3 weeks later...

I had the exact same thing just yesterday! I was so freaking out because I feel like I screwed it up, since the line was so bad. In the first place, the Stanford professor called without any forewarning. And since our time difference is about 8 hours, I would expect they usually email first to check when is a good time to call.

So the professor was first saying that they were very impressed with my application. And he was asking about what research I am interested in. He also sounded so positive, so I had to ask whether his call meant an acceptance. And he said that it wasn't, since my application would have to go through other channels. But they were very impressed with my credentials. I'm seriously worried because I was caught off-guard by the call that I might have screwed it up. :oops:

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