Harvard University Interview Questions | Glassdoor

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Harvard University Interview Questions

Updated Jan 26, 2018
242 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Graduate Student Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Interview

    I met with several professors in the department over the course of a day. We discussed their research and what I wanted to study during my PhD. It was very informal.

    Interview Questions

    • What was the most interesting thing you studied as an undergraduate?   Answer Question

  2.  

    Executive Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through a staffing agency. The process took a week. I interviewed at Harvard University (Boston, MA).

    Interview

    The interview was fairly informal. All participants were together around a small table. Myself included. I was made to feel welcome and comfortable. The interview felt more like a conversation about how we can be musically beneficial than an interrogation.

    Interview Questions

    • How have you addressed situations you may encounter in the course of this job in the past?   Answer Question
  3.  

    Marketing Communications Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cambridge, MA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6 weeks. I interviewed at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA) in December 2017.

    Interview

    I was reached out to by a recruiter from their Human Resources Department to discuss with me about my qualifications and if I would be a good fit for their department. A few days alter I was reached out to again about an in person interview. The in person interview lasted about an hour in a half and I met with about 7 different people in small groups. They asked all sorts of questions including what CMS the company I worked for previously used. Make sure you know everything and anything before this in person interview. In advanced they tell you who you are meeting with so do your research. Make sure you know as much as you can about each person and what their role is incase they ask you questions about what you think their role does.

    After the interview was over they said that they would get back to me within a week if they wanted to move forward. I emailed each person thanking them for taking the time to meet with me. I waited a week before reaching out to the hiring manager about the position and they said they hadnt made any decisions. I waited another 3 weeks and then again they said they are still deciding. Finally 2 more weeks later I tried to get another update and they said they didnt want to move forward with me.

    Interview Questions

    • What CMS did the company you previously worked for use?   1 Answer
    • If you could create a team of people you had to work with what skills would they have to have?   1 Answer

  4. Helpful (1)  

    Media Coordinator Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA).

    Interview

    I was contacted by a recruiter, who set up a phone interview. I had a phone interview with the recruiter, and then was brought in for an in person interview two weeks later. Spent an hour and a half at the in person interview. Waited 3 weeks, and then they set up the second in person interview. That interview was a half hour. I didn't hear back for three weeks, and then got a form e-mail, saying I wasn't hired. I would have appreciated hearing back from the actual people who interviewed me. Considering how long the process was (2.5 months), you'd think they would have the courtesy to personally inform me that I didn't receive the position.

    Interview Questions

    • What are your weaknesses?   1 Answer
    • How do you handle working with difficult or demanding personalities?   Answer Question

  5.  

    Data Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Harvard University in November 2017.

    Interview

    It was a phone interview for almost an hour. I was asked mostly about projects and I had to explain more than one project. I didn't hear back from them almost for a month after my phone interview. Then when I followed up for the update, my email was replied within 24 hours.

    Interview Questions

    • How large was the volume of data in my previous projects?   Answer Question

  6. Helpful (1)  

    Director Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

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

    Interview

    I applied online through Harvard's Career site--I applied one day after the job was first posted. 23 days after I submitted my application, I was contacted by a staff member for a phone screen. That phone screen occurred three days later. The interview itself was very conversational--it seemed the staff member genuinely cared about my experience. Following the interview, she said I would hear back within 1-2 weeks. I sent a follow-up thank you email the next day. I did not hear back within 1-2 weeks so at the 3-week mark, I emailed her again. Within a few hours, she emailed back and said they were not moving forward with my candidacy. Though I obviously did not move forward, overall, the process was pleasant.

    Below are the actual interview questions. In total, I was asked 14 questions (I've listed the standard, behavioral questions). The other questions (that I did not list) were very nuanced toward my own experience and education.

    Interview Questions

    • What caused you to react to this position?   Answer Question
    • Where are you at in your current role, why are you looking for a change?   Answer Question
    • Tell me about your undergraduate experience and what led you to that   Answer Question
    • When you think about your experience, can you describe a time you really advanced the cause or supported the mission?   Answer Question
    • What do you think you do particularly well?   Answer Question
    • Tell me about your overall job search?   Answer Question

  7. Helpful (1)  

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Interview

    It took roughly three month because of internal hold-ups. Interviewed with a recruiter over the phone, then the PI and manager and then met in person. Was asked for references two days later and was given an offer a week later.

    Interview Questions

  8.  

    CDL Driver Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Allston, MA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience

    Application

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

    Interview

    It's a very planned interview. Your references are checked. There a drug test as well. You meet all the staff in the department. You are trained with one of the drivers/dispatchers. You drive the vehicles in training. And fuel the vehicles as well .You check the equipment, and send the notice to the maintenance department. Always check the schedule twice during your shift. Be prepared to work different shifts. Check in on the two-way radio . Acknowled to dispatch when leaving and returning from base. Wear the uniform issued by the school. At times report for duty at least 45 minutes before your shift.

    Interview Questions

    • That would be commitment 100%.   1 Answer

  9. Helpful (1)  

    Research Assistant Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA) in September 2017.

    Interview

    Process moved quickly. I applied online and was called for a phone screening just a week later, which lasted about 30 minutes and asked basic questions like my previous experience, ability to do the job, why I want to be involved with the project, etc. Lots of description of the position, which I appreciated. The email said that the call would last about 15 minutes but it was more like 30, which I saw as a good thing. They wanted to know a lot of details about my current position and work. The phone screening was ended with the scheduling of a Skype meeting with other people in the department. This is where the process got frustrating.

    I was on Skype waiting for the interviewer to connect and they were running late. They then sent me an email saying that they had "written down the wrong time" for the interview and asked if I could do it an hour later, which I did. After waiting over an hour to speak, this interview was exactly the same as the phone screening. Same questions, same answers, but to one other person, in addition to the person I spoke with on the phone. Why wouldn't they share the information from my phone screening and then ask me different, more in depth questions on Skype? Aside from all that, it went as well as it could, and about 3 days later I was offered a more formal Skype interview with the professor that I would potentially be working alongside. I was told that this would be the final interview for the position, so I felt good about that.

    For the final interview, there were even more problems. They were on time this time, but they had very serious technical difficulties connecting to Skype and using their camera and microphone. I was patient and even helped them out with getting it connected properly. This all took about 30 minutes. Once we finally got connected, the professor said that he had to go to another meeting that was very important and was sorry that we couldn't talk. The assistant who had done the first few interviews with me asked me just a few questions, but sort of rushed me because I guess the room was booked up for another group to use and she had to get out. Basically, I sat there for 30 minutes while they tried to get connected and then did not get to have a real interview with real questions. I wasn't even given time to give real answers.

    I emailed saying that I understood the technical difficulties but would like to have another chance, if possible. No answer. I emailed two weeks later asking the same thing, and this time was an immediate answer: We picked someone else.

    I have interviewed for these positions at several top universities and I am stricken at how unprofessional almost every person at Harvard was throughout this whole process. It made it very frustrating. I feel that I should have been told that there was a time restriction on my final interview and I feel that I should have been given another chance. None of it was my fault. I got pushed out of an interview that I was very excited and very prepared for. I feel that I gave a lot of good information and good answers in the initial phone screening, but wasn't even given a chance to do that in the later interviews, when it mattered a lot more.

    Despite all this, I feel that I did as well as I could have and the interview questions were relatively easy. The entire process took about 3-4 weeks, which is very fast. I think that this was a one-time (very) bad experience and I will continue to apply for positions here, obviously. The lesson I took from this is that from now on, I am going to avoid Skype meetings if it is possible. If I had made the trip for an in-person interview, I might have this job right now. But on the other hand, it was they who offered the Skype interview, so they should've had the equipment set up, tested, ready to go. Don't offer it if you can't do it.

    Interview Questions

    • What is your experience?
      Describe experience and skills. (LOTS of this...they wanted to know specific, minute details of my current responsibilities)
      Why do you want to work on this project?
      What are your future plans?
      How do you see yourself contributing to the project in a meaningful way?   Answer Question

  10.  

    Undergraduate Research Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied in-person. The process took a week. I interviewed at Harvard University (Boston, MA) in September 2017.

    Interview

    Mails and meetings, about what I have done before and some new work the professor is going to do. See if my skills match these requests and whether I am interested in his field of work

    Interview Questions

    • Did you have any research experience?   1 Answer

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