Harvard University Interview Questions

Updated Jul 15, 2015
147 Interview Reviews

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Candidate Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Graduate Student Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Declined Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA).

    Interview

    The interview was thorough. Methodical as one would expect from "a founding member of the Association of American Universities" and "a research university with "very high" research activity", and "a "comprehensive" doctoral program across the arts, sciences, engineering, and medicine." Notably, Harvard's "Research and development expenditures in 2011 totaled $649.7 million, 27th among American universities" (Wikipedia)

  2.  

    Research Fellow Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

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

    Interview

    Took 2+ months, very friendly, great experience. Had to do a test, but it was fun! They were very professional throughout each phone interview, took a while for them to get back to me, but given that they were in the midst of a busy research month that is understandable. Hope to apply to more jobs there in the future.

    Interview Questions

  3.  

    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
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  5.  

    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.

  6. Helpful (1)  

    Marketing Communications Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 dayinterviewed at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA) in April 2015.

    Interview

    Brief meetings with the associate dean and another employee. Fairly easy. If selected for an interview, DO NOT pay out of pocket! They have taken two months to reimburse and don't seem to care.

    Interview Questions

    • So, you want to make a "difference"?   1 Answer
  7.  

    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.

  8.  

    Research Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 dayinterviewed at Harvard University.

    Interview

    Current research assistants conducted screening interview for position opening. Asked standard questions regarding previous research experience, future goals, why you are interested in position, etc. Lab environment was described and interviewers (the current RAs) were friendly however they didn't appear to have experience interviewing making the situation a little awkward at times.

    Interview Questions

  9.  

    Great Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at Harvard University in March 2015.

    Interview

    I was not asked many questions. if your not qualified then they will ignore your application all together. I was grateful for the chance and experience. I was interesting to learn about the new job I would be doing.

  10. Helpful (2)  

    Site Reliability Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 8 weeksinterviewed at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA) in February 2015.

    Interview

    Harvard is as exclusive an employer as they are an educational institution. I have applied for a few positions there at different points, and usually get no response except for a rejection after a few weeks. That is not to say that they are not on top of their stuff, just very selective. In this case I applied online, and got a call very quickly. We had a half hour telephone interview mainly to verify that I am conversant in all of the technologies that I have claimed. At that point we scheduled a on site interview for the next week, and we were off to the races. At the on site interview I met with two engineers who asked most of the questions. They filled me in in further detail about what they do, and what they need. Then they quizzed me on how to resolve certain issues that I could face in this position. Afterward the hiring manager took me to separately see two of his bosses. They interviewed me on much more general things that a nontechnical manager would care about. These interviews were reasonably short. The two technicians took me to the cafeteria for lunch, which was certainly pleasant. Then we had another interview with a technician from another department that this team works closely with. The whole process took about four hours, and then I was done. I followed up a week later, got my standard rejection from Harvard six weeks after that, and the position is still vacant as of this writing.

    Interview Questions

    • In your chosen language write a script to list all of the files in a directory as a web page. How would you resolve a server bottleneck?   Answer Question
  11.  

    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

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