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Guidelines for Princeton ASC Interviewing

Applicants for the Class of 2020

ASC INTERVIEWS PROVIDE applicants the opportunity to learn more about Princeton by meeting and
talking with a Princeton graduate. We hope applicants will find interviews to be an opportunity for a
relaxed and informative conversation with a Princeton graduate. When added to students files,
interview reports help admission officers gain a more complete picture of each candidate. It is rare for
any one piece of an application to determine the decision on a given candidate. Rather, each piece is
part of our holistic evaluation of an application.

What to Expect

If you are interested in speaking with ambitious and impressive high school seniors, you likely will
enjoy being an ASC volunteer. If you measure your success by how many of the students you interview
are admitted to Princeton, you likely will be disappointed. The overall admit rate in recent years has
been lower than ten percent.

The Office of Admission will make the final determination about each applicant. Given the quality of
our applicant pool, we will inevitably deny admission to applicants who wowed you. We may admit
students by whom you were not impressed. Bear in mind there are considerations and information to
which you are not privy.

General Principles

All candidates deserve to be treated with respect. Interviewers need to be sensitive to a broad range
of backgrounds and personalities among our applicants. The interview is an important element in
portraying Princeton, not only to the candidates who are interviewed, but also, by word of mouth, to
their peers, parents, guidance counselors, and others in their communities.

Interviewers should think of their role as being more akin to that of an ambassador or reporter than to
that of a judge.

We are inviting parents to send their children, most of whom are minors, to meet with you as a
representative of Princeton University. We recognize the wide range of views alumni/ae might
reasonably hold and that in this day and age many alumni/ae discuss their views online. We would be
grateful if you would disclose to the Office of Admission in advance any information about you that
parents or applicants might come across in an internet search or through other means, which they might
deem inappropriate or which might put the University in a difficult position. This would include, for
example, anything of a criminal (or illegal), sexual, or violent nature.

Applications to Princeton are confidential. This includes keeping confidential the fact that someone
has applied. The names and contact information of students you are interviewing should not be shared
with anyone, including other applicants, nor should the number of students applying from a particular
high school or region.

Interviews should be conducted in a setting agreed upon by you and the applicant. Please do not
interview in your home or the candidate's home. Options include a coffee shop, the candidates school
or a public library. It is essential that the candidate feel safe and comfortable in the space you choose. If
you wish to interview in your office, please only do so when other employees are around.

If you interview in a diner or caf and wish to offer to purchase a beverage or snack for your
interviewee, that is fine. However, please be sure that you do so for all applicants you interview. Under
NCAA guidelines it is important that you not treat some applicants differently.

The interview should be a two-way exchange of information. Make sure candidates have an
opportunity to ask questions and remind them that they may contact you or the Office of Admission
later with any additional questions.

If you dont know the answer to a question, suggest to the candidate that he or she call or write the
Office of Admission (609-258-3060 or uaoffice@princeton.edu). There are admission officers on duty to
take calls and answer e-mail during regular business hours.
Eligibility to Interview

Exceptions to these policies will be made rarely and must be cleared with the ASC liaison in the Office of

All interviews will be assigned by the regional ASC chair.

The Office of Admission reserves the right to deny any individual from serving as an interviewer (and
to remove any current interviewer), should the Office deem such action is in the best interests of the

Because of the conflict of interest, alumni who are involved in for-profit ventures related to the
college admission process may not interview candidates applying to Princeton. This includes, but is not
limited to, independent counseling, test prep, and essay advising.

School-based counselors, teachers and administrators may interview, but must not interview students
from their own schools.

Individuals who have been convicted of a felony are not eligible to interview (unless the Office of
Admission has been informed of the conviction, and provided written approval to the interviewer).

If your son or daughter, sibling, or grandchild will be applying to Princeton this year, we must ask that
you take a year off from interviewing. This is both because it can be perceived as a conflict of interest
and because we have found from experience that it does not work well for anyone involved when an
interviewer is on both sides of the college process at the same time. The Office of Admission will code
you inactive for the year and keep you on the rolls for the following year. You will not have access to
the ASC site this year.

For all other familial relationships, please use your best judgment to avoid any situation that might
create the appearance of a conflict of interest. This includes not interviewing in the community in
which your relative resides or attends school. Please inform your ASC chair of any limitations.

If your son or daughter will be applying to college, but not to Princeton, we strongly recommend that
you take a year off. We have found from experience that it does not work well for anyone involved
when an interviewer is on both sides of the college process at the same time. Please contact your ASC
chair, who can code you inactive for the year and keep you on the rolls for the following year. Under no
circumstances should the Princeton parent of a student applying to college this year be interviewing
applicants from the high school his or her child attends or within the immediate community.

If you have a sibling or grandchild applying to college this year, but not to Princeton, who lives or
attends school in the same community in which you would be interviewing, we strongly recommend that
you take this year off from interviewing. We want to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.
In addition, we have found from experience that it does not work well for anyone involved when an
interviewer is on both sides of the college process at the same time. Your ASC chair can code you
inactive for the year and keep you on the rolls for the following year. Under no circumstances should the
Princeton relative of a high school senior be interviewing applicants from the school his or her relative
attends or within the immediate community.

If your sibling or grandchild will be applying to college this year, but not to Princeton, and lives or
attends school outside your community, you may interview for Princeton this year. However, please be
aware that being on both sides of the college process at the same time can be difficult for all involved.
Please contact your ASC chair if you will be taking this year off. He or she can code you inactive for the
year and keep you on the rolls for the following year. Under no circumstances should the Princeton
relative of a high school senior be interviewing applicants from the high school his or her relative

Please recuse yourself from interviewing sons or daughters of friends, relatives, business associates,
and so forth. It is important to avoid even the appearance of a lack of objectivity.
Contacting the Applicant

On the Interviews page of the ASC website you may click on the applicants name to see further
information on the Applicant Details page. The Office of Admission provides you with the applicants
name, gender, address and school. In addition, they provide the students email address and all
telephone numbers listed on the students application.

Some students will not respond to efforts to contact them for an interview. If you have called and
emailed the student with no response, you do not need to continue trying to reach the student.
Instead, go to the Applicant Details page for that student and code the student as not responsive. This
will not count as an incomplete interview. We keep a separate count of non-responsive applicants.

Some students will decline the offer of an interview. Interviews are not required. It is not considered
a negative in the admission process if a student elects not to have an interview. If a student you have
been assigned to interview tells you by telephone or email that he or she does not wish to have an
interview, please file an interview report with that information.

If a student tells you that he or she does not plan to complete the application or plans to withdraw
from consideration, please urge the applicant to inform the Office of Admission promptly and directly. In
addition, please file an interview report with a brief explanation of what the student told you.

A student should never be asked to miss a class in order to have an interview.

Sample Interview Format

The ideal interview length is 30 to 45 minutes. Please do not exceed one hour; doing so can be
misleading to the candidate.

Interviews should be conducted in English. Applicants to Princeton need to be prepared for a rigorous,
fast-paced academic environment in which English is the main language. The interview can provide
helpful information about a students spoken English skills.

Try to put the candidate at ease. Let the candidate know that you are interested in him or her as an

Remember that most applicants are only 17 or 18 years old and will not yet have the knowledge or
poise you would expect of a college graduate interviewing for a job.

You might start with some of these questions that have worked well for interviewers in the past:

o How did you become interested in Princeton?

o What is it about Princeton that especially appeals to you?

o Which of your high school courses have interested you the most?

o Which of your current activities would you like to continue in college?

o How would your friends describe you?

The Office of Admission is interested in an interviewers impressions of an applicant independent of

that applicants grades and test scores, which the Office of Admission will already have. Information that
adds to the picture admission officers gain from reading a candidates application is most helpful.

If a candidate mentions special interests in any given area (e.g., music, art, athletics, or community
work), probe a bit to try to determine how much depth there is and what the students experiences in
that area have been.

Students with exceptional talents in architecture, creative writing, dance, music, theater or visual arts
are encouraged to submit recordings or portfolios, using the Optional Arts Supplement at
https://puwebp.princeton.edu/UA-Art-Web/. These materials are reviewed by members of the arts
faculty at Princeton. Students must submit their Common Application or Universal college application
before they may submit an arts supplement. The deadline for submitting arts supplement is one week
after the application deadline.

Students who would like to be considered as varsity athletic prospects are encouraged to write
directly to the coach of the particular sport. The names and contact information of our coaches can be
found at http://goprincetontigers.com. Please review NCAA recruiting issues: what you need to know
(located on the documents page of the ASC website). Avoid any actions that might be a violation of
NCAA rules.

A nice way to end an interview is by asking the student if there is anything else he or she would like
the interviewer to know.

Because the fact that someone has applied to Princeton is confidential, interviewers should not
mention or ask a candidate about other students who may have applied to Princeton.

Interviewers are often the face of Princeton for applicants, and how you conduct an interview reflects
upon the University. Please avoid language that might offend an applicant.

Please do not ask applicants to provide you with a copy of their application, essays, transcript, or test
scores. Asking for such materials can give applicants the impression that you will be reviewing their
applications. If students bring such materials to the interview, please gently demur and explain that
such materials are not part of the interview process. While you should not be asking applicants to bring
an activities list or resume, those are fine to accept if offered by interviewees.

It is not appropriate for interviewers to research applicants by contacting their teachers, school
counselor or principal. The Office of Admission receives reports from teachers and counselors as a
regular part of the application.

It is not appropriate to research applicants social media accounts, such as Facebook, Instagram and

Please do not take telephone calls, text or read emails during an interview.

Negative comments about another college or university, or about the candidates secondary school or
other local schools reflect poorly on Princeton and should be avoided.

It is inappropriate to question candidates about their political views or religious beliefs. If a candidate
brings up those topics, please approach the conversation in a professional manner, with tolerance for
views other than your own.

Most candidates will be extremely sensitive to your reactions during the interview. Try not to show
disappointment at any response a candidate may give or any weakness a candidate may reveal.

Avoid speculating about a candidates chances for admission.

Please do not call an applicant after the interview to ask him or her to refresh your memory of what
was discussed.

Candidates should receive only one ASC interview.

Socializing with students you meet through the interview process is unacceptable.

Alcohol consumption should never occur during an interview.

Completing the Interview Report Form

The Office of Admission prefers that interviewers submit reports online through the ASC website, which
can be found at https://www.princeton.edu/ascinterview. Submitting reports online speeds processing
by the admission staff. Please register for a TigerNet account netID before using this site. Your TigerNet
identity serves the dual purpose of permitting you access to the ASC interview site, as well as the
TigerNet site.

Complete the report and submit it to the Office of Admission as soon after the interview as possible,
while impressions are still vivid. Please aim to submit reports within two weeks of receiving the
assignment. You may save a draft on the ASC site to polish and submit later.

Try to limit your summary to the space provided on the form. Summaries are most helpful when they
are substantive and neither terse nor prolix.

If submitting your reports by mail, e-mail [asc@princeton.edu], or fax [609-258-6743], be sure to use
the form, or label your document clearly as an ASC report. This helps the admission staff to distinguish
an ASC report from a general letter of recommendation. The PDF version of the form is available from
your ASC chair or the Office of Admission and is posted on the documents page of the ASC website.

Comment upon the personal qualities of a candidate that seem to you to particularly stand out.
However, it is not appropriate to comment upon an applicants physical characteristics, race or ethnicity.

Describe any unusual circumstances about the applicants background, experiences, or

accomplishments that you believe it would be helpful for us to know.

Provide supporting examples of the impressions youve gained about a candidate, when possible.

If you and the candidate dont hit it off, tell us that and take a moment to explain why you think that
was so.

The Office of Admission treats all materials received about applicants as confidential. That said, we
recommend that you not write anything in your interview report that you or the University would be
embarrassed to see become public. Anything of a highly sensitive nature should be communicated in a
separate letter, marked Personal and Confidential, to Janet Rapelye, Dean of Admission.
Contacts in the Office of Admission

ASC Liaison
Terri Riendeau 83
Senior Associate Dean
Tel: (609) 258-6148
E-mail: tigerasc@princeton.edu

ASC Program Assistant

Melissa Davis
Tel: (609) 258-5317
E-mail: asc@princeton.edu

Undergraduate Admission Office

PO Box 430
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08542-0430
Tel: (609) 258-3060
E-mail: uaoffice@princeton.edu