Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs (General) | FAQs (Current Interviewers Only)

ABOUT PAIP • ELIGIBILITYOTHER
ABOUT PAIP
What is the Penn Alumni Interview Program?
The Penn Alumni Interview Program is the largest alumni organization at Penn, and is dedicated to offering an alumni interview to every undergraduate applicant to the university. Penn's alumni interviewing effort reaches more students than any other university in the world. Through this process, high school students learn more about Penn, and the Admissions Office learns more about applicants to the university. 
Why does Penn conduct alumni interviews?

Alumni interviews serve a three-fold purpose:

  • they are an incredible way for alumni to stay engaged with the university;
  • they allow applicants to learn more about the school from an informed and engaged alumnus; and
  • they provide Penn Admissions with information about the applicant that might not appear in the student’s application (their personality, passions, and potential fit).

More information about these various goals can be found in this brief presentation and this short video.

What does interviewing entail?
Alumni Interviewers typically conduct 3 or 4 applicant interviews a year (lasting approximately 30-45 minutes each), and complete a short report about the meeting for the Admissions Office. The interview season runs from October through mid-February, and interviews can be coordinated to fit your schedule as necessary. Additionally, volunteers may have the opportunity to participate in college fairs and yield events throughout the admissions cycle.
Do the interviews really matter?

Yes. Time and again, Admissions Officers tell us how helpful the interview report is as they evaluate applicants. In addition, applicants say the interview strengthened their perception of the university, and increased their desire to attend Penn.

Read more about what Admissions looks for when reviewing applicants to the university >

How can I become an alumni interviewer?
Please review our Eligibility Requirements and Principles of Good Practice. If you are eligible to conduct interviews, and agree to abide by Interview Program policies, please visit our Prospective Interviewer page to complete our short registration form.
What are Virtual Interview Committees?

Virtual Committees are dedicated to reaching students in areas around the world where there are a limited number of local alumni interviewers. In select geographic markets where our local interview committees are currently at capacity (e.g., New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco), new alumni interviewers will find themselves automatically assigned to a Virtual Committee based on their undergraduate Penn school.

In other cases, special Virtual Committees are constructed to interview all applicants to a particular program at Penn (e.g., M&T). Alumni Interviewers may request to join a specialty committee by contacting the Interview Program.

Virtual Committees conduct interviews via Skype, Google Hangout, or over the phone, and enjoy the convenience of speaking with prospective students from the comfort of their home. Furthermore, Admissions Officers learn more about students who wouldn't otherwise receive an interview.

If a Virtual Committee interviewer is interested in being placed on a committee for a different Penn school, or would like to interview applicants from a specific international location, this can be noted in the "Comments" section of the membership application form, or can be shared with the Interview Program office at interviews@lists.upenn.edu.

Current local interviewers who would like to join a Virtual Committee may also contact the Interview Program office.