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How often do applicants get rejected after an interview?


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I know that an interview isn't a guaranteed acceptance, but overall, do most people get accepted following an interview? I have one coming up in a couple of weeks, and this topic has been on my mind. (Probably because I'm very nervous in interviews.) I know that there are a number of factors involved in the admittance process, so perhaps this is not an entirely fair question, but... 

 

What factors would cause someone to be rejected following an interview?

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Every field is different, but in Clinical Psych, the smallest number of people interviewing with my prof was 4, and the largest was probably 7+. However, I'm 99% sure that their preference order is decided before the interview, and the interview is more of a screening process to see if they need to take anybody off that list. I had great interviews that didn't turn out well, and so-so interviews (that didn't seem to go well AND where they probably learned very little about me) at better schools that got me an offer. I talked to other applicants as well as current students about that and in general, they tend to agree with me. So, if you don't get in after an interview, don't be upset because "the fate was in your hands"- just realize that sometimes, decisions are already made, or sometimes, they are looking for something very specific. That being said, if you got an interview, you're already awesome, and it does mean you have a pretty good chance of getting an offer :-D. Good luck!

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I interviewed at one school for a master's in higher education (the others didn't require them) and didn't get in. Many programs in this field invite at least twice many applicants as there are spots (including when it comes to interviewing solely for GA positions). So, in my case, it's a broad range of factors.

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I realize every school is probably different, but thank you for all the input! I really appreciate it.

 

PsychGirl, that is an interesting way to look at it. Never really thought of the interview process that way!

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"How often do applicants get rejected after an interview?"

 

Very often. Consider the following simple formula:

 

1 - (# of positions available / # of interviewees) = Percent that aren't getting accepted.

 

Assume all things being equal, this is the probability you won't get in during the first round of selections following an interview.

 

Of course,  all things are not equal, but it gets the point across, right?

Edited by ShiningInShadows
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I was rejected post-interview from UMich. I've gotten in everywhere else I've interviewed and can garuntee that I'm not a weirdo and I didn't do or say anything inappropriate or taboo at my interview. I think the rejection was due to not having a great research fit with the PI's I interviewed with and limited space/funding in the specific labs I was interested in. I don't take it personally, because it was more than apparent to me that I had better fits at other universities I interviewed at.

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  • 7 months later...

I always thought that an interview was a prerequisite for acceptance. Can you be admitted without being offered an interview?

 

As lots of others here have said, it really depends on the field and even the program. Most of the programs that accepted me did not interview. The one interview I did get was not really an interview, they only asked me very basic questions. They actually spent most of the time talking about their own research, their department's research, outlining the graduate program and answering my own questions about their program. So, like PsychGirl said, interviews sometimes might just be sanity checks. But I think it's important to prepare for every interview as if you were on the dividing line between acceptance and rejection and this interview was your only chance to push yourself over to "accept"!

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  • 3 weeks later...

What about programs that cover the entire costs of your interview (hotel, plane, food etc.) vs. programs that give you an interview but merely subsidize a small portion of it? I'm assuming that public schools that fund your interview costs in it's entirety are more likely to accept you compared to private schools that have more money to spend on recruitment. Is this a fair assumption?

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  • 1 month later...

I think I may have botched all three of my interviews on Skype so far. Normally, people get to know if they were accepted in about a week or so. It has been over two weeks and I haven't heard anything. :(

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