Harvard University

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  www.harvard.edu

Harvard University Interview Questions

Updated Nov 1, 2014
Updated Nov 1, 2014
38 Interview Reviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

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38 Candidate Interview Reviews Back to all interviews

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  1.  

    Marketing Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    It was a very involved interview process. Excellent information given, but not coordinated therefore a great deal of repetition. Human resources was last interview scheduled so important benefit information was also last.

    Interview Questions
    • Give me a brief overview of your experience and how it would relate to position.   Answer Question
    No Offer
  2.  

    Staff Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cambridge, MA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cambridge, MA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 6 weeksinterviewed at Harvard University in October 2014.

    Interview Details

    It is way too confusing the way that Harvard runs its HR to coordinate all of the interview processes. Be prepared to interact and communicate with a minimum of 10+ people per every position you interview for at Harvard. It is one thing to have a candidate professionally meet other members of the team they would be working with, but it is another to have candidates sit down with nearly every team member, when the majority of team members do not have enough substantial experience conducting interviews.
    It seems contradictory that Harvard is so stern about its HR/screening interview process, yet when it comes time to interview rounds, the University has no qualms about throwing candidates in to interview sessions with quasi-important team members that ask ridiculous questions because they are not yet well-seasoned enough to know how to conduct an interview in a light that best represents the University.
    There seems to be a huge lapse in the interview process at Harvard. The first phone interview was conducted with an HR rep over the phone, the initial phone screening (this applies to any job) is really just about verifying if the candidate sounds like an educated, respectable person. At Harvard, the issue arrives during the in-person interviews. The first meeting is segregated to meet 1 on 1 with several different people. After the first session, the next time Harvard has you in it will be to meet with other members of the team- be prepared for a variety of meetings during the second round as you may meet 1 on 1 and then 2 on 1, etc. The issue in this specific department is that all of the members are not qualified to conduct interviews. The style of every interview with this (rather small) team was inconsistent and it gave me a red flag- it felt like the team has low energy and that there is no cohesive personae to this team. I felt a huge shift in personality, interests, and experience from person to person. The sense of humor was lacking in some and present with others. Some of the interviewers for this position were gracious, others were distant, some followed up in emails, some ignored them, and some even acted like I was about to get hired, then shifty answers with HR followed next, and some shifty moves by HR/the hiring manager quickly let me know that the position was going to be given to the other candidate.
    Total bag of mixed messages, ups and downs, and dragging along for well over a month. For about two solid weeks I was lead to believe that I was going to be offered the position and then all of a sudden I got a very rude vibe from the people that I was been dealing with. It is HR on Hiring Managers on Chaos. Also, last note- their "reference" background check is literally the most impersonal process in existence. They ask for reference information and they send your references an email from a "do not reply" address. In the body of the email, the third party (the company that conducts the electronic reference checks) drafts the emails for you and sends it out to five professional references that you provide Harvard with. Case in point, Harvard- if you are going to do reference checks, have the decency to make HR pick up the phone. Seriously, get rid of this third party reference check computer system. I value the relationships that I have with my references and did not appreciate the HR banging out automated emails asking all of my references to conduct a survey. Sneaky language in the email too! Harvard, pick up the phone and call references. This is so inefficient, impersonal, fake, worthless, useless. What does this third party system remotely provide you with? I find it implausible to see how you gather useful, candid, meaningful information about candidates by dealing with references this way. It seems like a lazy HR move. Make your HR employees have actual conversations, this is not remotely professional!

    Interview Questions
    • I literally was asked by a staff member "What is your favorite color?" as well as "What can you tell us about yourself that we can't tell by looking at you?" My answer to the first question about my favorite color was "White" because when sunlight passes through a spectrum the white light represents all colors, therefore by having white as my favorite color, it actually makes all colors my favorite color. I got a blank stare and then was asked by the two (very young) interviewer some other questions that were completely irrelevant. It was clear they were just asking the first things that came to mind. It felt like they were trying to make me feel like an idiot. These two interviewers seemed lethargic, burnt out, dry, and snobby, it was draining to be in the room with them. A word of advice would be to get rid of the aloof, empty presence and adapt a more warm, gracious manner that is full of class like the rest of the university.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  3.  

    Project Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Harvard University in July 2014.

    Interview Details

    Had an initial phone call to schedule a conference call with 2 other people at the organization. The conference call interview was my first. The lag was a bit distracting, as well as the audio quality. The interview was somewhat formulaic. They were a little resistant to divulging many details about the position. Probably because they knew already I wasn't a good fit.

    Interview Questions
    • "How would you design an educational experiment with an intervention? What if you couldn't randomize?"

      "What does the racial achievement gap in our education system look like and mean to you?"
       
      Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
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  5.  

    Postdoctoral Fellow (Law School) Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Harvard University in July 2014.

    Interview Details

    Not sure if they even knew what their process was. Applied online and was contacted for a phone interview with the department the next week. Then contacted for an HR overview the following week (strangely out of order). Told I would hear either way (schedule in person or reject) within 1wk after HR interview... And then got an automated message after 9 weeks had passed rejecting me. Well, thanks, I had kind of figured that out by then! Just seemed really disorganized and rushed, HR was friendly but department definitely was not. Left me wondering why they contacted me to begin with-they clearly weren't interested in hiring me.

    Interview Questions
    • Detailed questions on writing sample I sent in, were they checking whether I plagiarized it?   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  6.  

    Human Resources Professional Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    Went throught 6 interviews. One on One and group interviews.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  7.  

    Associate Director, Strategic Marketing and Communications, FAS Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cambridge, MA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cambridge, MA
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2+ weeksinterviewed at Harvard University in April 2014.

    Interview Details

    After being refered to the HR person through an informational interview in another department, I was contacted for a telephone interview. We spoke for 25 minutes. I was not selected to move ahead.

    Interview Questions
    • What is it about this position that you are most looking forward to.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  8.  

    Program Coordinator Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at Harvard University in February 2014.

    Interview Details

    I had two interviews, one with HR and one with the group. The HR interview was very basic, asking if I had questions about the benefits of working at Harvard, briefly talked about my resume. The actual job interview was with a panel of 3 people.

    Interview Questions
    • A lot of questions about my career path and justifying my previous positions. A few behavioral/hypothetical scenarios, how would I react etc.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  9.  

    Network Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    I went in to the building and then checked into the desk. Then after that I went through the door and went into the office. He asked questions about networking.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
  10.  

    Research Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Harvard University.

    Interview Details

    I applied online and was contacted a week later to schedule a phone interview. The 30-minute interview was with an HR rep, who informed me that if I was to move on in the process I would begin speaking with the actual managers. I was told to expect a response within 2 weeks, but never heard anything back until I sent an email inquiry, after which I was told I would not be moving forward in the process.

    I sensed that the interviewer was not given sufficient information about the position and desired qualifications, leading to a disconnect between HR and the team's management.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  11.  

    Researcher Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    took 4 weeks. interview was easy. not selected likely because of fit issue.

    No Offer
    Easy Interview

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