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AAAC Interviewer Training. Alumni Admissions Program Office of Alumni Affairs 2008-09. * Use Arrow Keys To Navigate. Welcome to the 2008-09 interviewing season. Thank you for volunteering!.

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AAAC Interviewer Training

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aaac interviewer training

AAAC Interviewer Training

Alumni Admissions Program

Office of Alumni Affairs


*Use Arrow Keys To Navigate

welcome to the 2008 09 interviewing season thank you for volunteering
Welcome to the 2008-09 interviewing season.Thank you for volunteering!
  • Thank you for serving as an alumni interviewer with our Alumni Admissions Advisory Committee (AAAC) program. We anticipate another busy year with record-breaking numbers of applicants and interviews.
  • Your volunteer time as a AAAC interviewer is very important to Duke. You provide valuable information to both the Admissions Office through your evaluations and to each prospective student through your knowledge of Duke.

Click here for your Volunteer Job Description

please read through the entire presentation
Please read through the entire presentation.
  • In an effort to better serve your training needs, we have developed the following training presentation. This training module will serve as your primary training resource. Please read through the entire presentation before you conduct your first interview this season.
  • The slideshow presentation will take 15-20 minutes. There are lots of links that you may browse through now or just before an interview.
  • After you read through the materials once, you will not have to go through the training presentation again. However, you periodically may need to refer to slideshow for general information. These materials will remain accessible on the website for your review.
general application information
General Application Information
  • Students apply using the Common Application. They should submit their completed application online.
  • Students have been given the following deadlines:
    • Early Decision candidates must have their applications in to the Admissions Office by November 1.
    • Regular Decision candidates must have their applications in to the Admissions Office by January 2.
  • Duke requires that students complete a supplemental portion to the Common Application which is explained when they go to the Common Application website.

Need more information about the application process? Go to:

general interview information
General Interview Information
  • The interview is not a mandatory part of the application.
  • Duke no longer conducts on-campus interviews. The AAACs provide the only interview opportunity.
  • Students are assigned to a AAAC by their mailing address ZIP Code (or country code if an international application).
  • We do not have AAACs in all places where students apply.
general interview information6
General Interview Information
  • There are application deadlines that the student must meet to become “eligible” for an interview.
      • For an Early Decision interview, students must apply by October 19, 2008.
      • For a Regular Decision interview, students must apply by December 10, 2008.
  • Our goal is to interview as many students as possible despite deadlines, but we give priority to the students who meet these deadlines. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that all students who meet the deadline will get an interview.
the interview process
The Interview Process

Here are the four steps to the interview process:

  • Initiate Contact
  • Conduct the Interview
  • Submit the Interview Evaluation
  • Follow-Up
i initiating contact
I. Initiating Contact
  • Please check your AIMS webpage.
  • Once you login to AIMS, you will establish your own webpage. You will use your webpage to retrieve each student’s information and to submit your interview evaluations.
  • When your chairperson assigns an interview to you, you will receive an email alerting you to check your webpage.
  • When you check your webpage, you will be able to see the student you have been assigned. Click “View” to see the student’s contact information.
initiating contact
Initiating Contact
  • Please contact each student as soon as you receive your assignment from your AAAC chairperson.
  • The initial contact is very important. It not only allows you to schedule the interview, but it also lets the student know that he or she is on Duke’s “radar screen”. Many applicants will get anxious if they learn that other applicants from their school have been contacted and they have not.
  • For many students, you will be their first contact with a Duke representative.
initiating contact10
Initiating Contact

Initial Contact Checklist

When you make the initial contact, here are some helpful tips and reminders:

  • You may contact the student either by phone or email. Please try to call the student first. It is a more personal approach. If the student is not home, you may leave a message noting that you will try to contact him/her via email.
  • Please identify yourself as a Duke alumnus/a and a volunteer interviewer.
  • Let the student know that the interview is “informal and relaxed” and that they should feel free to ask you questions about Duke.
initiating contact11
Initiating Contact

Initial Contact Checklist (Continued)

  • Remind the student that the interview is not mandatory, but it is a good opportunity for the applicant to learn more about Duke and for Duke to learn more about him or her.
  • Please be sure to give each student your name and contact information in case he/she needs to reschedule or confirm the interview.
  • Remind the student to share your contact information with his or her parents, so that parents will know with whom their son or daughter is meeting.
initiating contact12
Initiating Contact

Please use discretion in selecting an appropriate interview location.

  • In general, the best place to conduct an interview is in a neutral and public setting -- like a coffee house, book store, or in the guidance office of the applicant's high school. The location should be mutually agreeable.
  • If you meet in your office, please make sure you are not alone in the building with the student.
  • Please do not meet in your home or the student’s home. If either of these is the only agreeable option, then please remember that the student’s parents should not be part of the interview.
ii conducting the interview
II. Conducting the Interview

The purpose of the interview is twofold:

  • To gather new information about the applicant and report that information to the Admissions Office.
  • To provide information about Duke to the prospective student.
ii conducting the interview14
II. Conducting the Interview

What kind of new information should I reportto the Admissions Office?

  • The Admissions Office is looking for additional information about thestudent’s personal characteristics – creativity, leadership, responsibility, initiative, maturity, etc. Sometimes this can be hard to determine in a brief conversation, but try to find a topic about which the student has interest.
  • You do not have a script that you must follow, but please try to ask interesting and engaging questions that elicit more than “yes” or “no” responses. Allow the student to discuss his or her interests. Sample questions are listed on Favorite Interview Questions.
conducting the interview
Conducting the Interview
  • Should I ask questions about SAT scores or grades?

Please don’t ask questions about scores and grades. The Admissions Office already has the official transcripts reporting this information.

  • How long should the interview last?

There is no time limit for an interview. We ask that you spend at least 30 minutes with each student. You certainly may meet for a longer period of time if it is convenient for both you and the student.

Please be sure to leave enough time so that students may ask questions.

conducting the interview16
Conducting the Interview
  • What information about Duke do I need to give to students?

Students may ask lots of questions about Duke during the interview. If it has been awhile since you’ve been on campus or been an undergraduate, then please take a few minutes to browse the admissions website ( You may want to print out this information and bring it to the interview.

  • This link is your primary source for answers about:
      • Application process and deadlines

      • Philosophy

      • Cost

conducting the interview17
Conducting the Interview

Students may also want to know general information. Click the links for more information:

  • Who was admitted last year?

Please bring the Profile Class of 2012 to the interview.

  • What type of student does Duke look for?

  • What Majors/Minors are offered at Duke?

conducting the interview18
Conducting the Interview

Click the links for more information:

  • What’s the first-year experience like at Duke?

  • What is Focus?

  • What kind of student activities are available?

  • What’s there to do in Durham?

  • What scholarships are available?

conducting the interview19
Conducting the Interview
  • Check the Admissions website for other useful and fun information:
  • Admissions Officer’s Travel Schedule

Check to see if an admissions officer is coming to your local area. Their presentations are very insightful.

  • Virtual Tour

  • Froshlife “2008” under “Rewind”)

This is Duke through the eyes of some current first-year students.

conducting the interview20
Conducting the Interview
  • Other useful links:
  • DukeEngage

This is a new program geared towards civic engagement.

  • Academic Calendars

  • Coaches’ Information

Students should contact coaches directly. They may go to this website and navigate their way to the appropriate sport.

conducting the interview helpful hints
Conducting the InterviewHelpful Hints
  • Please do not spend a lot of time reminiscing about your Duke experience.
  • We all have great Duke stories to tell, but it is important to talk about them at the appropriate time. Wait for the student to ask you about your experiences. Please don’t focus the interview on your time at Duke.
  • Students may ask you what you liked/disliked about Duke. They may ask you about the activities in which you participated. They may ask you about your dorm experiences. They may ask you about life in Durham. Please be prepared to briefly talk about these things if you are asked.
conducting the interview helpful hints22
Conducting the InterviewHelpful Hints
  • Please do not ask questions about grades, SAT scores, or other schools of interest.
  • If the applicant provides this information during the course of your discussion, then that is fine. These should not be questions you ask.
  • Please be upbeat and positive about Duke.
  • For many students, you are the first Duke representative they will meet. You are there to “recruit” as much as you are to “evaluate.”
conducting the interview helpful hints23
Conducting the InterviewHelpful Hints
  • Please do not try to predict Admission.
  • Frequently students will ask the interviewer about their chances for admission to Duke. Please do not predict an applicant’s chance for admission.
  • It is important to be noncommittal without being discouraging. A standard answer is – “Even an Admissions Officer could not predict an applicant’s chances for admission, because the decision depends on the competition of the entire applicant pool.”
conducting the interview helpful hints24
Conducting the InterviewHelpful Hints
  • Please do not interview a student you know or whose parents you know.
  • Let your local AAAC chairperson know as soon as possible if you know the applicant. That applicant will be reassigned. If you feel strongly about this candidate, then you could offer to write a letter of recommendation.
  • Please jot down notes after the interview is completed and the student has left.
  • Please do not take notes during the interview. The interview should be a relaxed format, and a student might feel pressured if you’re writing down his or her comments while he or she is speaking. Do take notes right after the interview. Be as specific as you can so that you can provide detailed information in your evaluation.
iii the interview evaluation
III. The Interview Evaluation
  • Try to write the interview evaluation shortly after the interview.
  • Focus on reporting new information -- the qualities and talents that might not appear on the application. You do not need to report standardized test scores and class ranks, etc.
  • Evaluation Examples:
  • The following are two examples of written evaluations. Both interviewers rated these students as “4” – Excellent.
here is an example of a useful evaluation
Here is an example of a useful evaluation:

Jean Smith is a terrific candidate for Duke University. She is a young woman accustomed to transitioning into new environments. She is confident, curious, articulate, and benevolent.

Having moved eight times in her life, she has never had the luxury of being in the same location for longer than three years -- college will provide the longest established residency she has ever had.

She wanted to run for a student government position, but never felt like she was established in a place long enough for students to get to know her. However, she did not hesitate to get involved in groups, particularly in sports.

She participated in volleyball as a brand-new junior at West End High and then earned a spot on one of the city’s premier small-school basketball teams.

evaluation continued
Evaluation continued:

She said that the transition into a new basketball program was extremely difficult. She noted that it was not difficult because of the new social or cultural environment, but rather because of the challenges posed by the new plays she had to memorize.

She is involved in the community, working at a local nursing home. Citing pleasure from interacting with the elderly and learning from them, she appeared to sincerely enjoy the lessons they taught her through simple day-to-day communication.

She is widely traveled, optimistic yet realistic, invigorated by her curiosity and her desire to learn and interact, but also intrigued at the prospect of learning how to lead. Duke would be a good home for Jean to prosper and flourish.

here is an example of a not so useful evaluation
Here is an example of a “not-so useful” evaluation:

Joan Smith seems to be intelligent and motivated. She is cheerful, well-spoken, and has thought-out plans for her future. She has a passion for drama and choral singing which she hopes to pursue at Duke.

  • This report does not offer the reader any new information. The interviewer coded this student as a “4” (Excellent), but does not provide enough information to support the score.
iv the interview evaluation
IV. The Interview Evaluation
  • All Interviews must be submitted through AIMS!
  • Please make sure your report is detailed, but concise.

There is a 4,000-character limit in AIMS. This is equivalent to approximately two typed pages.

  • Please be sure to rate the student on the 5-point scale.
the interview evaluation
Please return ALL interview forms to Admissions .

Any contact or contact attempt with a student needs to be recorded.

All interviews should be checked either with a rating (if the interview was conducted) or by an “Unable to Interview” status.

If a student wishes to withdraw an application from consideration, then the applicant must notify the Admissions Office in writing. Simply telling you does not constitute an official withdrawal.

The Interview Evaluation
the interview evaluation31
The Interview Evaluation
  • Please do not wait until February to conduct all of your interviews.
  • Try to get them completed in a timely manner and submitted to Duke as soon as you can. The sooner a report is submitted to Duke, the quicker it is included in the applicant's file and read.
  • Please alert your chairperson if you cannot complete an interview that was sent to you.
  • Please do this as soon as possible. Any delay will make it difficult to have it reassigned.
iv follow up
IV. Follow-Up
  • Please place congratulatory phone calls to all admitted students you interviewed.
  • You will be able to view decision statuses in AIMS for Early Decision in December and Regular Decision in April.
  • Please only contact “Admitted” students. This is an important step in the process during Regular Decision, because the applicant may still need information to help him or her make a decision. You can be instrumental in providing that information and encouraging him or her to accept the offer.
  • Please do not call wait-listed students or students who were denied admission.
follow up
  • Attend Send-off Parties in your area.

Some AAACs or local Duke clubs will host “Send-off Parties” during the summer. If your committee or club hosts one of these parties, then please attend this event. It’s beneficial for these students to be able to connect at the parties with someone they have already met.

  • Please let your AAAC chairperson or Alumni Admissions Office know of any problems or concerns.

Your AAAC chairperson will let you know the best way to contact him or her.

follow up34
  • Please contact your AAAC chairperson if you have any questions or concerns.
  • Please inform your chairperson if:
    • You are moving.
    • Change your email address.
    • Cannot interview this season.
    • Have a child applying to Duke during the 2008-09 admissions cycle.

Please remember that we do not want you to interview during the year of your child’s application.


Here are other helpful links. I encourage you to explore these sites:

  • News on Duke’s Campus
  • Residential Life
  • Financial Aid
  • Duke Magazine: “Top of the Crop, Inside Admissions”
  • Thank you for taking the time to review these policies, procedures, and general information.
  • This presentation will remain online for your reference. Please print any links that you think will be especially useful during an interview.
thank you
Thank YOU!

We hope you enjoy the interviewing experience.

Duke University, the Admissions Office and the Office of Alumni Affairs greatly appreciate your support.

You may now login to AIMS:

Thank you for volunteering!