Stanford interview

Well, I had my third (and hopefully final) interview today with a Stanford Alum. My general feelings are:

We didn’t really connect or click to the degree that I expected. As for the interview itself, I think that went fine. I’m not disappointed, but I’m not exuberant either. I thought I would ENJOY my Stanford interview the most, kind of like meeting someone interesting and chatting like old friends for a while, but it wasn’t like that. I projected as much enthusiasm as I could and was my usual expressive self, but he didn’t seem to be feeling the same vibe…

His smiles were terse. His questions were not questions I like to be asked—many many many questions about times I was in difficult situations. I answered the Qs to the best of my ability, and I was honest and forthright. I didn’t feel like I got stuck or that he blindsided me at any point, but the Qs were so depressing. However, I didn’t really feel that it was a stress interview, per se. I didn’t feel like I was being attacked, and the interviewer even said after a few of the same depressing Qs that he was not trying to trap me and make me admit to one failure after another, but I was definitely finding it increasingly difficult to be cheerful and upbeat. These were not Qs inspiring joy. These were somber Qs, and he had such somber expressions.

He did project affection for Stanford, tho, when I got to ask him Qs in the end. He answered my Qs well, and he confirmed my impression that Stanford is a very tight-knit community. Even so, he was very subdued about it all. My Wharton interviewer was also low key, but she made me feel at ease and happy to just chatter along. Even the HBS interviewer got me pumped up in the conversation. But I felt like this guy was throwing one wet rag at me after another. If I hadn’t had a large cup of hazelnut coffee beforehand, I doubt I could have remained perky through the 45 minutes of conversation. He was quite conscious of time and kept looking at his watch. But he explained in the beginning that’s how Stanford people are required to conduct interviews, so OK.

Overall I think I did fine. It’s out of my hands now and I won’t dwell on it. I would have liked the interview to be more fun and upbeat, but perhaps my expectations were too high. I think I’m bonafide Stanford material; I just hope Stanford feels the same.