Harvard University Interview Questions

Updated Sep 11, 2014
Updated Sep 11, 2014
120 Interview Reviews

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

    I applied through other source. The process took 8 weeks - interviewed at Harvard University in March 2009.

    Interview Details

    How I got an interview: wrote email to PI including CV and best publication, asking for possibility of postdoc. Then came for 1 day to give a talk about PhD work, meet PI, and people from the group. Got offer about 3 weeks later.

    Interview Questions
    • Questions mostly about former research, no unexpected questions.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    Negotiation only about start date.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  2.  

    Teaching Fellow Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2 days - interviewed at Harvard University in September 2013.

    Interview Details

    A course was short-staffed after a large influx of students wanting to take the class. They reached out through their current TF's and I was contacted since I had graduated and was in the area. I was brought in immediately with little prior communication. The world of academia is simply a far more casual place than other sectors.
    After meeting with the head of the course, she asked me several questions, but mostly about my commitments during the semester (of which I had none). Shortly after she let me know she'd love to have me aboard.

    Interview Questions
    • All questions were fairly straightforward, and the resume matters more. But the most encompassing question was, "what do you plan to do to increase student participation?"   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  3.  

    Human Resources Consultant Interview

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

    I applied through other source. The process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Harvard University.

    Interview Details

    The process was straight forward. Everybody was very friendly,

    Interview Questions
    • Why should we hire an outsider and not someone within?   View Answer
    No Offer
    Average Interview
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Financial Associate Interview

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

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Harvard University.

    Interview Details

    I had to interview with 5 managers for my current position. A lot of behavioral questions. I also, had to take a math test, an excel test, and a writing test. I am not sure if this is required in most other departments though.

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    I negotiated for my salary. They seemed to be reluctant in the beginning, but after a few calls we decided on a number. Obviously there is a range that they have, so you have to be prepared to explain why you think you are worth so that you can negotiate your salary as high as possible. Have some concrete facts about the industry, and a similar position. It's very helpful.
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  6.  

    Teaching Fellow Interview

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

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1 week - interviewed at Harvard University in October 2012.

    Interview Details

    Most behvavioral questions. I met with the course instructor. I was referred to her by a past teaching fellow and promptly forwarded my resume for her perusal and approval. I was asked about my prior teaching experiences, why I want to be a tutor, what I think my teaching strengths and weaknesses are etc.

    Accepted Offer
    Easy Interview
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Staff Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Harvard University.

    Interview Details

    I applied online through Harvard's online application system. I received a phone call one week after application submission, from the position recruiter, asking to schedule an initial 30-minute phone interview. The recruiter scheduled the interview to occur exactly one week from the time of this scheduling conversation (i.e. two weeks after application submission). While I declined to continue after the first round phone call, the recruiter had indicated subsequent steps would involve a phone or in-person interview with management and then a phone interview with HR.

    Interview Questions
    • All questions were quite standard: Tell me about your education and experience; Describe a difficult situation you've encountered in the workplace; How do you handle change in the workplace, i.e. staffing changes?; etc.   Answer Question
    Reasons for Declining

    I was offered an opportunity to interview in the second round, but I declined due to salary needs.

    Declined Offer
    Average Interview
  8.  

    Faculty Assistant In School of Public Health Interview

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

    I applied online. The process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Harvard University in October 2012.

    Interview Details

    Applied online and received an email for an in-person interview 2 weeks later. This interview was 1:1 with a Director. Pretty standard questions, lasted 45 minutes. I was contacted about 1-2 weeks later for a second interview, which was with the same Director, the current Faculty Assistant and an Associate. Again, easy and standard questions. This was followed up with a writing exercise.

    After 2 interviews and a writing exercise, I never heard from them again. I emailed the Director 2 or 3 times with no response. I also learned that they hired an individual with a BA with no experience in this specific field when they specifically told me they wanted someone with a Master's. Overall, very unprofessional experience.

    Interview Questions
    • Standard interview questions - Why are you interested in this position? How does your experience align with the specific responsibilities of the position?   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  9.  

    Research Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2 months - interviewed at Harvard University.

    Interview Details

    I applied online and received an email about 3 weeks later asking me for a phone interview (I was based on the West Coast at the time). The interview questions were fairly basic - lots of questions about transferable skills (ability to understand and communicate research findings, manage projects, work with faculty) but no real content-based discussion. The second phone interview came about a month later with the same person I originally interviewed with and the center Executive Director. Largely a rehash of the first interview. Finally, they flew me out for a day to see the office and meet them in person. No other members of the team were there, and I didn't have to answer any questions - just basically listened to them talk. All in all, the most frustrating part of the process was definitely the lengthy process - pr over 2 months when all was said and done - and then they asked me to move across the country within 2 weeks.

    Negotiation Details
    I negotiated for moving expenses and they covered them. Salary was very fair, and benefits are great.
    Accepted Offer
    Average Interview
  10.  

    Director, Educational Technology Group Interview

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

    I applied in-person. The process took 2 months - interviewed at Harvard University in April 2012.

    Interview Details

    Interviewed with group director, CTO, project managers and staff. Internal process as I was already an employee at HBS.

    Interview Questions
    • What would you do if a faculty member freaks out on you?   Answer Question
    Reasons for Declining

    After having worked with faculty in the past - I didn't want to do so in the future b/c they are hit or miss (I worked with GREAT faculty and lucked out - many aren't so good).

    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  11.  

    Faculty Assistant III Interview

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

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

    Interview Details

    Application via the Harvard Website - Group Interview (4 candidates and 2 interviewers - Individual Interview (2 Interviewers) - 90 minute skills test (testing copy editing, internet research, powerpoint) . It takes a long time to hear back from the online application , and then it all happens rapidly.

    Interview Questions
    • The questions were all behavioral-interview questions. Perhaps the toughest questions always involve past criticisms of your work.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

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