When interviewing applicants for admission in the holistic admissions model, consider the following best practices.
Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs) are structured, time-limited assessments. Interviewees complete a series of time bound activities that allow for both cognitive and non-cognitive competencies to be evaluated. MMIs have become a common practice in holistic review because they rate more highly than traditional, unstructured interviews on fairness, reduction of stress, effectiveness as a tool, and reduction of reviewer bias. MMIs can be performed on and off campus. Although these efforts can provide a significant amount of supplemental information about the applicant, the MMI process is inherently time-consuming and dependent on a critical mass of reviewers.
Consider the diversity of your interview panel members. Researchers reported increased applications and admissions of a diverse group of students as a result of interventions that included increasing diversity among interview panel members.
Use Standardized Materials and a Rubric for Evaluation
- Use Standardized Materials and a Rubric for Evaluation
- Use a set of questions that interviewees provide timed responses to
Reflective Exercise and Simulation Activities
- Try a reflective writing activity that allows evaluation of writing ability. Choose a prompt to gain more information on attributes deemed desirable by the admissions committee, such as personal attributes and previous experiences.
- Try a simulation activity that allows for evaluation of creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. These may also allow observation of some personality traits. For example, a data science program provided data to interviewees and asked them to create an informative figure.
Follow Basic Interventions to Facilitate Inclusion During the Interview
- Create an introduction script so that all members of the interview panel are introduced or introduce themselves in a similar manner. This avoids different tones/environments being presented to interviewees and also reduces unconscious bias. Make sure to include pronouns in the introductions.
- Know and acknowledge interviewees by name.
- Start the interview by sharing highlights from the interviewee’s application materials. This helps to reduce bias.
- Start with easy to answer questions to give the interviewee time to relax and open up.
Set a Short List of Discussion Guidelines
Remind the interviewer of communication best-practices by creating discussion guidelines ahead of the interview.
- Listen actively.
- Avoid interrupting.
- Pay attention to how much sonic space you are occupying.