To follow on our rant from Friday:
IN MOST CASES, THE TIMING OF WHEN YOU GET INVITED TO INTERVIEW DOES NOT MATTER.
The only case where there is a tiny bit of info to be gleaned from the timing of your interview invite is at Columbia — but even then, there’s only a little you can discern from it, and even THEN, in the big-picture view of your candidacy, it DOES NOT MATTER.
Here’s what we mean.
At Harvard Business School:
- Whether you submitted your app early, or if you submitted on the day of the deadline, has NO BEARING on when (or IF) you will be invited to interview.
- Getting an interview invite in the first wave *might* indicate that they really like your app… and if you did not get one in that first wave, it might just indicate that they haven’t gotten to your app yet!
- Someone who gets invited to interview at HBS in the last wave of invites has just as much a chance of getting in as someone who was invited in the first wave. There is literally no difference.
At Columbia Business School:
- Getting invited to interview relatively soon after they start reviewing apps is a good sign. It might mean you have a slightly better chance — mostly because there are more slots still available early in the process.
- Any other change in status on your application is near-meaningless. You cannot interpret anything about your app based on how quickly or slowly it moves through all the other stages of the review cycle.
- The only exception? The timing of when your interviewer submits her report after your interview. If your status in your online application does not update for two weeks after your interview, contact the admissions office to ask them to investigate, since something went screwy (or your interviewer was asleep at the wheel).
For every invitation-only school:
- ANYONE getting invited to interview is in a good position. They only interview you if they like you.
For all these schools – including HBS and Stanford and all the rest – the FACT that you are invited to interview is what matters. It is completely irrelevant if that invitation comes on the first day that they start issuing them, or the last day. The schools say this all the time (see this recent post from Michigan Ross) but do people listen?
Believe it or not, we’ve seen people get into bschool even when their interview invite came on the last day of the round. Meaning, the day that decisions are promised, the school sends them an interview invite, and they end up getting accepted.
Some schools are more generous in issuing more invites (Wharton used to do this, they seem to have pulled back somewhat lately); other schools are more selective (MIT and NYU are in this category). Regardless of which end of the spectrum your school is in, if they want to interview you, you’re in good shape! Quit obsessing about “what it might mean” and just work on preparing for the opportunity.
It seems like all you Brave Supplicants spend so much time trying to read the tea leaves. There is often nothing to be read from them! It’s often just the luck of the draw, or how the chips fall, or the way the cookies crumble, or whatever lame cliche you want to use here.
So, this is another post to tell you: CHILL OUT. Please find something to put your time and energy into that is NOT stalking the business school did-you-get-in-yet forums!!!
Here's what others have said about this:
Very true. I got an interview invitation to one school on the very last day they were extending invites and just at the close of business, and they accepted me. I do understand how hard it is to retain one's sanity during the waiting game, though. 🙂