Harvard University Interview Questions

Updated Jun 4, 2015
95 Interview Reviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

78%
17%
3%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview

60%
15%
13%

Interview Difficulty

2.7
Average

Interview Difficulty

Hard

Average

Easy

95 Candidate Interview Reviews Back to all Interviews

Sort: Popular Date Difficulty
  1.  

    Research Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cambridge, MA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA).

    Interview

    A friendly, in-person interview asking about my motivations and relevant experiences. I received an e-mail to set up a one-on-one interview within two weeks of applying. The director of the research center ascertained whether I had done onsite interviews and data collection, and about what kind of research I planned to undertake during my year in the role. And I received a congratulations email less than a week after that.

    Interview Questions

    • How would you deal with narratives which disparage a particular ethnic or religious community?   Answer Question
  2.  

    Administrative Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cambridge, MA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA).

    Interview

    The interview process began with a phone call with Harvard HR, initial phone screening with hiring manager for the department, interview with PI (who would be my immediate boss) and interview with department head, as the PI was also the Chairman of the department and some support to the department would also be required

    Interview Questions

    • What might separate you from other candidates applying for this position?   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    I did not attempt to negotiate initially, as I had been laid off at the time, and was thankful for an offer. In hindsight, I wish I had, as new hires are certainly "low-balled" in the salary range with their offers.

  3.  

    Berktern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at Harvard University.

    Interview

    I submitted a cover letter and filled out an online application that discussed my skills and past experience in the field, as well as willingness to work on certain projects. I also had to give contact information for references.

    After a few days I was contacted by the people running one of the projects in which I had expressed interest. I was asked to send in a number of writing samples. I was also asked to commit to a video conference interview. The interview was casual; I got the sense that the two interviewers just wanted to get a feel for my interest in the field, as well as my experience, while also gauging whether or not I'd be easy to work with over the summer.

    Interview Questions

    • Why are you interested in working on the Student Privacy Initiative?   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    There was no negotiation. Summer interns take a fixed Research Assistant salary. They were very nice about discussing hours and start and end dates.

  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Interview Review


  5.  

    PhD Graduate Student Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Harvard University (Boston, MA) in February 2015.

    Interview

    I had 3 thirty minute interviews and 1 forty-five minute interview on one day. They also had presentations to introduce you to the program, the current graduate students, and the faculty at Harvard. Most of them were more informal than interviews I have had at other graduate schools. They were very open to answering my questions about the BBS program and Harvard in general. There was also two faculty dinners. One with everyone in the Prudential Center the night after interviews. The second one is at a faculty members house with a small group of fellow students interviewing for the same program. Harvard's overall pitch was that we are Harvard and this is the best place for you to be trained. They also made a major effort to assure recruits about how Harvard's negative work environment and poor collaboration reputation is not universal across all labs at Harvard. I estimate that there were 60+ people interviewing for the same program, the same weekend as me and there was one later interview weekend with supposedly the same number of people interviewing. Overall, the weekend was very professional and organized. The faculty appeared to be very genuine and candid about their interest in graduate students and were very honest in sharing their perspectives of Harvard. They did a very good job at recruiting you to Harvard.

    Interview Questions

  6.  

    Staff Assistant III Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a staffing agency. The process took 3 daysinterviewed at Harvard University in January 2015.

    Interview

    I was contacted by a recruiter at a staffing agency I met with a month prior. They noticed that my resume fell in line with the job description and asked me if I would be interested in going in for an interview. Of course, I was ecstatic! They sent over my resume and the next week I was in for an interview.

    It was really laid back and everyone was extremely welcoming. They asked me a list of basic questions, and a 25 minute test which tested how well I worked under a time constraint. I was offered the position the same day.

    I understand that my situation is not the norm.

    I suggest going with a recruiter who has a direct connection with the University. And ask as many questions as possible.

    Interview Questions

  7.  

    Postdoctoral Fellow Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer

    Interview

    Long day. Meet with some faculty individually and some lab members through out the day. Gave a department seminar on my research work. Afternoon was filled with more meetings and introductions to different lab members. Was shown around the lab and learned about the research focus and priorities prior to meeting with the Primary Investigator.

    Interview Questions

    • How did you choose your graduate projects to put into your thesis?   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    Standard post-doc contract.

  8.  

    Multimedia Tech Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer

    Interview

    Responded to an ad on Craigslist. Received a phone call about a week later asking when I could come in for an interview. I met my future supervisor at the main office in Harvard and we discussed aspects of the job that were particular to Harvard (the class nature, how audio systems are integrated into classrooms, the resources we have for rooms, speaker systems). We talked extensively about our pasts; my boss very much appreciated that I came from an A/V background. After the discussion we shook hands and she let me know I would receive an email in a week letting me know if I had the job. I got that email two days later, and I got the job.

    Interview Questions

    • Explain (in detail) your past experience and how you would fit in with Harvard and the community here.   Answer Question
  9.  

    Coordinator Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer

    Application

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

    Interview

    So I interviewed for 2 different Coordinator positions. I did not get the first one, but then I got the 2nd position years down the line. Be prepared to possibly be interviewed by people do not necessarily know how to interview. In order to try to see if someone is a good "fit" for the org, it is not uncommon to have the entire dept. in a meeting room with an applicant to just basically meet you and not even really engage/interact with you.

    Interview Questions

    • Standard ones seem to apply, your greatest weakness, experiential ones.   Answer Question
  10.  

    Postdoctoral Fellow Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied in-person. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Harvard University.

    Interview

    One phone interview with the PI. on-site campus visit and gave a 1 hr presentation. During phone interview with PI, we talked about my interests and possible projects which I can work. He also sent me few research papers so I could study them.

    Interview Questions

    • Most of the questions were from my previous work; so, I didn't have difficulty answering them.   Answer Question
  11. Helpful (1)  

    Assistant to the Director Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cambridge, MA
    Accepted Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a staffing agency. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA).

    Interview

    I interviewed with the Office Manager and another person to whom I would not be reporting (why?), before interviewing with the Director, who would be my supervisor. During my employment, I found that there were not clear lines of authority, which led to various problems throughout the department, such as jockeying for favor and intense politicking.

    Interview Questions

    • I was asked about my religion, which I thought was highly unprofessional and inappropriate.   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    The salary and conditions weren't negotiable.

Work at Harvard University? Share Your Experiences

Harvard University

 
Click to Rate
or

The difficulty rating is the average interview difficulty rating across all interview candidates.

The interview experience is the percentage of all interview candidates that said their interview experience was positive, neutral, or negative.

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.