Harvard University Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Aug 7, 2014
Updated Aug 7, 2014
118 interviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

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Getting an Interview

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Candidate Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Postdoctoral Fellow Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I interviewed online. The process took a day - interviewed at Harvard University.

    Interview Details

    Contacted research group by email. Set up a Skype interview after which requested to come on-site for interview. Gave a seminar on-site and interviewed with group members individually. Long day with meeting a lot of people. Standard academic interview. Nothing special.

    Interview Questions
    • Was asked to propose ideas for projects. Not unusual in academia. Had to give them some thought.   View Answer
    Negotiation Details
    No negotiation.
    Accepted Offer
  2.  

    Graduate Student Interview

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

    I interviewed online. The process took a day - interviewed at Harvard University in January 2013.

    Interview Details

    There is no interview for Harvard Kennedy School, so it is helpful to hire someone to help craft the essays. All the essays should have a common theme and support the reason why you want to attend HKS. Speaking to alumni and professors ahead of time is very useful. I would definitely recommend a school visit.

    Interview Questions
    • The essay questions leave a lot of room for creativity, so think out your answers carefully. I recommend hiring a coach to help you craft the essay.   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  3.  

    Human Resources Professional Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Interview Details

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

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Program Assistant Interview

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

    I interviewed online. The process took 3 months - interviewed at Harvard University in April 2014.

    Interview Details

    I applied online back in February and 3 weeks later got a call to arrange a 30 minute preliminary phone interview. The phone interview only lasted 8 minutes and the interviewer asked very generic questions (Why do you want to leave your job, can you work overtime, can you do this related to the job), so I thought I'd be done after that. However, I got a call 4 days later to set up an hour long interview with three directors the following week on Skype due to my distance from Cambridge. This next interview was difficult. It involved a lot of scenario-based questions related to customer service, management and authority and inquiring about my motivation for the job.

    I didn't hear back for three weeks after the interview, so I sent a message asking for an update. Another week passed and they emailed back wanting to schedule another interview with another director. This was very similar to the second interview with a lot of scenario-based questions and giving examples of my previous work experience. At this time they requested references and a background check, and another interview with the HR director a week later. Two days after the HR interview, I was called with an offer.

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    No negotiation, but they offered me much more than the minimum for the position, so there was no need to negotiate.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  6. 5 people found this helpful  

    Communications Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Employee  in  Cambridge, MA
    Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Application Details

    I interviewed through other source. The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Harvard University in November 2013.

    Interview Details

    A Harvard Law School program director found me via LinkedIn.com and interviewed me by phone. I was told they would like to interview me in person the following week, so I booked a flight. Days passed and they did not schedule the interview nor did they reply to my email and phone call following up on a date. So I cancelled the flight. When I notified them of that, the director finally replied. He seemed surprised and scheduled an interview for the following week. I booked a flight, traveled there, and spent four hours interviewing first with the human resources department, then with four members of the staff of this program. All went well. I could see they did not need a full-time person for this role and that systems could be set up so the existing staff members could perform the tasks they needed.
    I followed up with a note summarizing what I could do for them, emailing this just to the director. No word. After six weeks, I assumed I didn't get the job but wanted to be certain. I emailed the director again and then emailed the human resources department. No reply. I emailed again in 10 days. No reply.
    I suspect no one was hired for this job, based on what I see on the website. I was asked to invest a flight and more than a day to interview for this job. I don't expect a job offer, but I do expect a reply---even a form letter email telling me I didn't get the job. This was a costly way to see how disorganized and inconsiderate this center at the Harvard Law School is.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Staff Assistant II Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I interviewed online. The process took 6 weeks - interviewed at Harvard University in November 2013.

    Interview Details

    Within a week or so of applying, I received an email with more information about the position. After responding to the email that still expressed my interest, I received a response saying that the office would review applications and get back to me if I was selected for an interview. Within a week, I received another email scheduling a call with the office head, which took place a little more than a week later. This call was mostly informational with a little bit of interview questions, but not really a full out interview. The next week, I received another email for a full phone interview. After that phase, I received an email that the office wanted to have a group interview with the other members of the team. Since I am not from the area and have no connections to the university, we arranged a Skype meeting.

    Following the interviews, a little more than a week later, I was called again by the department's director to speak more about the position and requirements. My references were also requested at this time. The next week, I was informed that I was selected for the final round of interviews and given sample assignments to complete and turn in over email. During this time, the director also checked my references. After turning in the sample assignments and waiting another week, I was offered the position.

    Interview Questions
    • Having about a week to complete various sample assignments that are actual requirements of the job.   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  8.  

    Postdoctoral Fellow Interview

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

    I interviewed through an employee referral. The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Harvard University in October 2011.

    Interview Details

    Hiring for postdocs may formally follow some fair process that involves job postings and interviews, but in practice reputation—of the applicant, of the applicant's school, and advisor, and research--counts for a lot more. So if you're coming from a good place and you've done good work, you're in. But otherwise, it might be a struggle to get noticed.

    Interview Questions
    • There weren't any difficult questions--they were trying to convince me to accept the job.   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  9.  

    Postdoctoral Fellow Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    Mailed the application to the professor, got a call from people in the lab and scheduled an on-site interview. Meet the whole group and gave a presentation about PhD work.

    Interview Questions
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Department Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Employee  in  Cambridge, MA
    Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Application Details

    I interviewed online - interviewed at Harvard University in February 2010.

    Interview Details

    I had an in person interview, which took about an hour. I was them invited to return for a second interview, with more of the department staff present. The second interview was conducted as a group, rather than one-on-one. All in all, the process took about 3 weeks, though that first call did take an extra few weeks to get! It was a pretty standard process, and well-organized. I lost the job to someone internal, but they were clear that it was not due to lacking qualifications or not interviewing well, which was helpful.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  11.  

    Postdoctoral Fellow Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I interviewed online. The process took 3 months - interviewed at Harvard University.

    Interview Details

    Applied online, there was no interview process.

    Interview Questions
    • There was no interview. Job was offered based on application.   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer

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