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Admission Interviews

Alumni Interviews

Interviews offer the admissions committee additional context about your potential fit for Northwestern beyond what we read in your application, and allows you to learn more about the university 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. 

Who conducts interviews?

Regional alumni volunteers on our Alumni Admission Council (AAC) conduct all 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.

Interview format

For the 2022–23 academic year, Northwestern has adopted a hybrid interview policy. Interviews will be conducted virtually by default, but students will have the option to indicate on their request form whether they are comfortable meeting in-person. Depending on their interviewer’s comfort/availability, some interviews may then be conducted in-person. Please note that Northwestern assigns no higher value to either virtual or in-person interviews; equal consideration will be given to reports from both interview formats. 

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. Alumni interview coordinators will match students requesting an interview with an alumni volunteer if space permits.

Your alumni interviewer will contact you via email or phone to coordinate an interview at a mutually agreeable time. All interviews will occur virtually. If you have concerns about technology access or internet connectivity, you may share that with your interviewer. You may also contact aac@u.northwestern.edu if you need assistance with interview coordination.

You can expect a conversational setting where you can relax, be yourself, and ask questions in addition to answering them. You do not need to send a resume or other documents to your interviewer or prepare any other materials prior to the conversation.

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. We encourage you to request an interview once you receive an invitation, but it is very important to understand the following:

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

If geography or capacity prevent you from interviewing, rest assured that will not be held against you as we review your application. Your involvement, writing samples, and letters of recommendation all 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 admissions 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 for the 2022-23 cycle must be completed by November 1 for Early Decision or January 2 for Regular Decision.

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