Harvard University Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
- Popular Job Titles:
- Postdoctoral Fellow (14)
- Research Assistant (6)
- Staff Assistant (5)
- Director (3)
- Staff Assistant III (3)
- Coordinator (3)
- Research Associate (3)
- Program Coordinator (3)
- Researcher (2)
- PhD Student (2)
- Staff Assistant II (2)
- Research Fellow (2)
- Teaching Assistant (2)
- Teaching Fellow (2)
- Graduate Student (2)
- Library Assistant (2)
- Student (2)
- Department Assistant (2)
- Financial Associate (1)
- Finance Manager (1)
- Engineer (1)
- Hardware Engineer (1)
- Lecturer (1)
- Associate Director (1)
- Multiple (1)
- Analyst (1)
- Marketing (1)
- Media Technician (1)
- Undergraduate Research Assistant (1)
- Admissions Officer (1)
Human Resources Consultant Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through other source and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Harvard University.
Interview Details – The process was straight forward. Everybody was very friendly,
Interview Question – Why should we hire an outsider and not someone within? View Answer
Financial Associate Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and 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 Question – the excel test was a bit unexpected. Answer Question
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.
Very Easy Interview
Teaching Fellow Interview (Neutral Experience; Very Easy Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and 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.
Staff Assistant Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and 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 Question – 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
Reason for Declining – I was offered an opportunity to interview in the second round, but I declined due to salary needs.
Faculty Assistant In School of Public Health Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and 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 Question – Standard interview questions - Why are you interested in this position? How does your experience align with the specific responsibilities of the position? Answer Question
Research Manager Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and 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.
Director, Educational Technology Group Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied in-person and 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 Question – What would you do if a faculty member freaks out on you? Answer Question
Reason 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).
Faculty Assistant III Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and 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 Question – The questions were all behavioral-interview questions. Perhaps the toughest questions always involve past criticisms of your work. Answer Question
Finance Manager Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 7+ weeks - interviewed at Harvard University in March 2013.
Interview Details – 1) 30 min Phone Screen
2) 3 rounds of in-person interviews (first round was scheduled approximately 2 weeks after the initial phone screen, with the subsequent rounds ocurring over a three week period.
Interviews were each 30-45 mins in length and encompassed an individual from every department that the role would ultimately interface with. Interviewers generally asked insightful questions.
Interview Question – largely general questions on experience, how it fit with the role and a few behavioral questions. Answer Question
Multiple Interview (Neutral Experience)
I applied online and interviewed at Harvard University.
Interview Details – Applying online is very easy. Phone screening by HR, followed by one or multiple interviews (depending on school and department) with hiring team. Study Behavioral Interviewing as it is the preferred format of interviewing at Harvard. I found the most helpful thing in getting jobs at HU was displaying passion for the position. HU relies on having people who are VERY dedicated.
Once you are in, you are in. Transferring is very simple and it is easier to get an interview if you are a current employee. If you are a member of the union, they can assist in getting you interviews.
Interview Question – Anything starting with "Tell me about a time..." Luckily I had studied some talking points because for every job I have held at HU, these have been the types of questions asked. View Answer
Negotiation Details – Not a lot of negotiation. If you have other offers, you can get them to pay you more. A lower percentage of people get hired at HU than get accepted to go to school there, so unless they LOVE you, you do not have a lot of leverage.
Interviews for Top Jobs at Harvard University