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Harvard Divinity MDiv Interview Importance?


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I applied for the MDiv program at HDS this winter. I received an email this morning informing me that “select candidates” will be invited to interview the next six weeks or so. Does anybody know whether *not* receiving such an invitation means that one will be denied admission? I have gathered that for undergrad admissions at Harvard interviews are random. But now I’m stressing about receiving the interview invitation email. Not sure what to think or hope for. 

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MTS Fall 2022 applicant here. Is that exactly what the email said? I got an email today, too, that had a generic timeline mentioning interviews by invitation only from late January to early March. I kind of thought this was a "generic" email sent to both Masters and PhD applicants and took this part as pertaining to PhD applicants only. But honestly I'm not sure. Until today I hadn't heard anything about potential interviews for HDS.

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Okay, replying again because I reviewed the email and followed the link to the post about interviews. Apparently this is a new thing and "15 minute interviews are required for admissions." That includes MDiv and MTS. So, yes, I gather that not being invited to an interview that is required for admission would mean getting rejected. That said, I doubt they would neglect interviewing someone unless the application is especially atrocious. I don't think it's anything to worry about as of now.

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I have an update on this matter. I received the email to interview over a week ago. I completed my interview about a week later. The calendar only showed a few slots left. Maybe they update it periodically as they add those they want to interview. The impression I got was my interviewer is doing interview stints for prolonged periods. I think they had just completed one and I had to leave so they could do another. 

I have been operating under the assumption that if you don't get an interview offer you don't get in because they have said that interviews are required for MDiv applicants this year. 

 

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On 2/7/2022 at 1:32 PM, DivSchoolHopeful1942 said:

I applied for the MDiv program at HDS this winter. I received an email this morning informing me that “select candidates” will be invited to interview the next six weeks or so. Does anybody know whether *not* receiving such an invitation means that one will be denied admission? I have gathered that for undergrad admissions at Harvard interviews are random. But now I’m stressing about receiving the interview invitation email. Not sure what to think or hope for. 

I just realized the morning you received the email about interviews is the day I did my interview. 

 

Also, to add to my last post, I was expecting them to start sending out emails around mid-late February. I was shocked it came this soon. So, I think there is still plenty of interviews to be done. 

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15 hours ago, camelears said:

I just realized the morning you received the email about interviews is the day I did my interview. 

 

Also, to add to my last post, I was expecting them to start sending out emails around mid-late February. I was shocked it came this soon. So, I think there is still plenty of interviews to be done. 

Had you received the email notifying that interviews were going to be required this year earlier than we did? Because so far I've only gotten the generic "interviews are required this year" email and I was wondering if you'd gotten that email, too, before an interview request came through.

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I knew before applying because it says so online. I received my interview invitation before any general email that they would be conducting them, I think- I checked my email and unless I am mistaken or deleted something. 

 

On monday, when you got your email, I got one titled "while you wait." That gave a general timeline and mentioned interviews. Is that the email you received?

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23 minutes ago, camelears said:

I knew before applying because it says so online. I received my interview invitation before any general email that they would be conducting them, I think- I checked my email and unless I am mistaken or deleted something. 

 

On monday, when you got your email, I got one titled "while you wait." That gave a general timeline and mentioned interviews. Is that the email you received?

Yes, that's the one I received. I'm not especially worried. They might be doing MDiv interviews before MTS. Not sure.

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Greetings, 

I've completed my virtual interview with HDS. It went very well, I think. I have two helpful hints for those yet to be interviewed:

1) Relax and just enjoy the conversation.

2) Most importantly, do not expect the sequence of questions that you see from their correspondence. They will ask you random questions that you have not thought of or "practiced" for, just to see if you can think on your feet. 

Just chill and think of yourself having a leisurely, friendly conversation with a stranger at the coffee shop. You'll do just fine!

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Thank you all for your responses to this thread! I am also an MTS candidate for the HDS matriculating class of '22, and am also waiting to hear back from the admissions team whether I have been selected for an interview. @aalena75 Have you received an invitation e-mail since? Many thanks :)

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2 hours ago, hjy16 said:

Thank you all for your responses to this thread! I am also an MTS candidate for the HDS matriculating class of '22, and am also waiting to hear back from the admissions team whether I have been selected for an interview. @aalena75 Have you received an invitation e-mail since? Many thanks :)

I have not heard anything yet either!

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9 hours ago, Duh_Divinity said:

I have heard about people reaching out to schools to see if they are still conducting interviews. Maybe HDS would tell if they are still interviewing.

I haven't either, but I'm hoping they'll update us with what they've decided to do during the webinar on the 24th :)

What about the others?

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5 hours ago, Duh_Divinity said:

Anyone attend the webinar today? If so, did they say anything about interviews? 

I did! Interviews will be extended to early March and they said not to worry if we haven't gotten any contact just yet. Best of luck!

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Greetings, friends

While I can appreciate the feeling of anxiety if one has not as of yet received an interview invitation (in full disclosure, I was interviewed much earlier), I offer this one cautionary note. If you plan to contact admissions to inquire about interviews -- which I'm not convinced is a good idea at all -- I advise you to be very careful about your tone.

I've heard of situations where candidates in various programs came across to the admissions folks as appearing impatient, entitled to immediate answers, and insensitive to the workload demands of admissions staff. Needless to say, such candidates may have ended up derailing any remaining hopes of being admitted to the degree program sought.

Thus, if you feel compelled to contact the admissions office, I advise you to check your emotions and tone before hitting that "send" button. Just a thought, guys. Good luck!

 

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18 hours ago, Sisko said:

Greetings, friends

While I can appreciate the feeling of anxiety if one has not as of yet received an interview invitation (in full disclosure, I was interviewed much earlier), I offer this one cautionary note. If you plan to contact admissions to inquire about interviews -- which I'm not convinced is a good idea at all -- I advise you to be very careful about your tone.

I've heard of situations where candidates in various programs came across to the admissions folks as appearing impatient, entitled to immediate answers, and insensitive to the workload demands of admissions staff. Needless to say, such candidates may have ended up derailing any remaining hopes of being admitted to the degree program sought.

Thus, if you feel compelled to contact the admissions office, I advise you to check your emotions and tone before hitting that "send" button. Just a thought, guys. Good luck!

 

I concur. I was also wondering if they would actually say they have completed all interviews. Maybe they are just saying they extended so people won't call and ask. 

Sorry to put my negative thoughts and nerves off on others. 

On 2/24/2022 at 7:25 PM, hjy16 said:

I did! Interviews will be extended to early March and they said not to worry if we haven't gotten any contact just yet. Best of luck!

 

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I don't want to sound cocky, but I highly doubt they've completed interviews. I can't see why they wouldn't at least interview me as I have gotten all positive news from four other schools including University of California Santa Barbara and Vanderbilt Divinity. I have a 3.9 college G.P.A. and a really strong writing sample. I really don't feel worried about this. This is the first year for them doing these fifteen minute interviews, maybe the scheduling didn't pan out how they intended. If they say they haven't finished, I'd believe them. I'm just throwing this out there if anyone is feeling worried.

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I am inclined to believe they have not completed interviews. I have read the profiles of people on this forum that have and have not completed interviews as well as the short bios people have provided. Additionally, I know my own qualifications, obviously. Considering all that, I think that most people are equally qualified and I have been expecting them to post that they have received their interview invitations. I think this upcoming week will show people receiving invitations for next week. 

 

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With all due respect, aalena75, it's interesting how people begin a statement with "I don't want to sound cocky...," only to end up making a "cocky" statement. The fact is, Harvard Divinity rejects candidates with stats as impressive, and perhaps even more impressive, than what you've boasted about. 

Such an attitude is a bit disheartening especially coming from someone seeking to enter a Divinity program. One would expect a bit more humility and sensitivity to the concerns of fellow applicants who have also not been invited for an interview. 

Perhaps it wasn't your intention, but you came across as if to say: "I'm so much better than everyone else here, so OF COURSE HDS will interview ME!"

Again for the record, I've been interviewed already early in the process. These are hardworking people at HDS admissions. They are also professionals who want to select a cohort that will add to the community spirit of Harvard Divinity School, rather than students who might be all for themselves. 

Think about that, please. And I wish all fellow applicants much success in this process!

 

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4 hours ago, Sisko said:

With all due respect, aalena75, it's interesting how people begin a statement with "I don't want to sound cocky...," only to end up making a "cocky" statement. The fact is, Harvard Divinity rejects candidates with stats as impressive, and perhaps even more impressive, than what you've boasted about. 

Such an attitude is a bit disheartening especially coming from someone seeking to enter a Divinity program. One would expect a bit more humility and sensitivity to the concerns of fellow applicants who have also not been invited for an interview. 

Perhaps it wasn't your intention, but you came across as if to say: "I'm so much better than everyone else here, so OF COURSE HDS will interview ME!"

Again for the record, I've been interviewed already early in the process. These are hardworking people at HDS admissions. They are also professionals who want to select a cohort that will add to the community spirit of Harvard Divinity School, rather than students who might be all for themselves. 

Think about that, please. And I wish all fellow applicants much success in this process!

 

I've worked very hard for what I have. In no way do I expect an acceptance from HDS; I'm only speculating based on my experience with other programs that there isn't a reason I can think of that they would not at least interview me. When did I ever say I expected an acceptance? I worked very hard on this application. That said, I feel like they will probably interview most candidates. I definitely don't feel "better" than anyone else, and in no way did I say that. I only think I've worked hard enough on this application for an interview. I don't think by telling me that because I shared my stats and believe I fit well enough to at least warrant an interview is in any way "cocky" or "against the community" just because I think I have something to add to it. Why would I apply if I didn't have something to contribute to the community? Why would anybody? I don't think trying to make me feel small and like I've applied for the wrong reasons is a very nice thing to do. I think you've misunderstood me, but you're welcome to think what you want. I just find your comment rather presumptious. You have suggested that I am selfish by your last statement, but you do not know me. How can you justify that? Honestly, I wrote that post hurriedly because I've been studying for midterms all day, and it was meant as a "don't give up yet because I think we've all worked hard and should at least get interviewed."

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