Harvard University Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Harvard University Interview Questions

Updated Sep 5, 2017
227 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (4)  

    Marketing Communications Manager Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 day. I interviewed 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

  2.  

    Berktern Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I 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.

  3.  

    Research Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 day. I interviewed 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


  4.  

    Great Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I 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.


  5. Helpful (3)  

    Site Reliability Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 8 weeks. I interviewed 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

  6.  

    PhD Graduate Student Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed 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


  7.  

    Professor Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Declined Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2 days. I interviewed at Harvard University (New York, NY) in February 2015.

    Interview

    2 days of full time meetings non-stop. Job talk, meetings with potential colleagues, students, and lots of lunches and dinners. Test of energy and stamina. 1.5 hours of question during presentation. Useful to look up who is there before going in.

    Interview Questions

    • Why would you want to join us. What are you currently working on. What are you looking to work on in the future.   1 Answer

    Reasons for Declining

    Salary and terms not competitive

  8. Helpful (7)  

    No Offer
    Negative Experience

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Harvard University.

    Interview

    Phone screen with HR Generalist:

    The HR representative admitted upfront that she had no experience with hiring Financial professionals and her prepared questions reflected this. She didn't understand the key functions performed in Finance and Accounting and was unfamiliar with the differences between (for example) a budget vs. a forecast. By not really understanding what a business planning function does she was unable to ask questions that got at a candidates depth of experience and the level of difficulty of what they had accomplished. Some of her questions were just unusual. For example, do you have more than 10 years of experience (please see my resume) or describe the personnel evaluation system you've been most successful using in the past. Also, she didn't ask important questions upfront...what is your expected comp...the make sure that expectations were aligned before diving into her prepared questions.

    Harvard is very silo based by school, so even though you apply through a common database (ASPIRE) the recruiters don't check to see where else you've interviewed or with whom you've met. In my case, the HR rep. was surprised to hear that I had interviewed with the university's CFO, Controller, and others recently as part of another search. Strong candidates who advanced in earlier searches and may have been finalists need to start over from scratch. It's very inefficient.

    Harvard is upfront that their searches take a long time and typically involve multiple visits with many interested parties. This is typical of a not for profit. However, it places them at a disadvantage when hiring individuals who are also interviewing for opportunities with commercial companies. In my case I had accepted another offer although was yet to start when invited to this screening call (I had applied online several weeks earlier). The HR rep actually reduced my interest in the position and I declined to proceed further during the call.


  9.  

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a staffing agency. The process took 3 days. I interviewed at Harvard University in January 2015.

    Interview

    I was contacted by a recruiter at a staffing agency I met with a month prior. They noticed that my resume fell in line with the job description and asked me if I would be interested in going in for an interview. Of course, I was ecstatic! They sent over my resume and the next week I was in for an interview.

    It was really laid back and everyone was extremely welcoming. They asked me a list of basic questions, and a 25 minute test which tested how well I worked under a time constraint. I was offered the position the same day.

    I understand that my situation is not the norm.

    I suggest going with a recruiter who has a direct connection with the University. And ask as many questions as possible.

    Interview Questions


  10.  

    Intern Interview

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

    Application

    I applied in-person. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA) in January 2015.

    Interview

    An informal meeting with the PI to find the right fit. You sit down with the person overseeing the project you'll be working with. The PI or the director asks you questions about interest and fit. You are assessed on the quality of your questions.

    Interview Questions


See What Harvard University Employees Are Saying

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StarStarStarStarStar     Current Anonymous Employee

Pros: “good benefits, vibrant community, resource rich environment”“good benefits, vibrant community, resource rich environment” – Full Review

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