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Admission Interviews

Alumni Interviews

An interview can provide the admission committee with additional perspective about your potential fit for Northwestern, and allow you to learn more about Northwestern in the process.

That said, an interview is not a required part of your Northwestern application. Please read the paragraphs below carefully to understand our interview process.

Has the COVID-19 situation changed the admission interview process?

In light of the pandemic and public health concerns, all admission interviews will be conducted virtually. We will provide additional guidelines about interviews for Regular Decision applicants in the coming months. The process of scheduling an interview—and what you can expect when you connect to an interviewer—will not change.

Who conducts interviews?

Regional alumni volunteers on our Alumni Admission Council (AAC) conduct all admission interviews off campus, which means our ability to offer interviews depends entirely on alumni geography, availability, and capacity. All AAC interviewers complete a comprehensive training program and sign a Volunteer Code of Conduct prior to meeting with students.

How can I schedule an interview?

The Admissions Office will contact all Early and Regular Decision applicants who attend high school in regions with active alumni interviewers—look for an email with instructions for making a scheduling request. Our alumni interview coordinators accommodate scheduling requests on a space-available basis.

Please add ug-admission@northwestern.edu to your contacts, so that our messages do not get caught in a spam folder.

If I choose to interview, what should I expect?

Interview requests are accommodated on a space-available basis. Our alumni interview coordinators will match students who request an interview with an alumni volunteer if space permits in their region.

Your alumni interviewer will contact you via email or phone to coordinate a time to meet at a mutually agreeable time and place. Students and alumni should both expect to travel a short distance to meet. We ask that our alumni volunteers only interview applicants within an hour’s drive of an applicant’s high school.

In general, interviews take place in a neutral and public space: a coffee shop, an office building, a school. You can expect a conversational setting where you can relax, be yourself, and ask questions in addition to answering them.

In light of the pandemic and public health concerns, all admission interviews will be conducted virtually. We will provide additional guidelines about interviews for Regular Decision applicants in the coming months.

If you can’t interview, no problem—we promise.

While we have a vibrant alumni volunteer team across the United States and abroad, it is not possible for us to offer interviews to all applicants. While we encourage you to interview if presented with the option, it is very important to understand the following:

  1. We extend interviews based solely on alumni geography, availability, and capacity—not based on the strength of an application, and
  2. Your application will be at no disadvantage if you are unable to interview.

If geography or space-availability are such that you cannot interview, rest assured that your application offers many opportunities for us to get to know you better. Essays and recommendations lend a great deal of insight into who you are and what makes you tick. Plenty of students have gained admission in years past without an interview.

And if you were hoping to learn more about Northwestern by way of an interview, there are other great ways to explore our campus and community: take our virtual tour, head over to our YouTube channelconnect with our student teams, or send questions to ug-admission@northwestern.edu.

International Interviews via InitialView

For international students who do not have the opportunity to interview with our alumni volunteers, Northwestern will accept interviews from InitialView. Similar to alumni interviews, InitialView interviews are not required and a student is not a disadvantage without one. InitialView does not review or rate the interviews. Evaluation is done only by members of the admission committee and provides an additional source of information and perspective about your English language proficiency, personality, academic interests and potential fit for Northwestern.

All InitialView interviews must be completed by November 1 for Early Decision or January 3 for Regular Decision.

Questions concerning international interviews may be directed to nuinternational@northwestern.edu