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The Finalist Experience (by invitation)

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The finalist experience consists of an online individual interview and Immersion Weekend. This part of the process is by invitation only.

Online Individual Interview

You will participate in a virtual individual interview in mid-February. Your individual interview will last 20-25 minutes, and will be recorded on Zoom. While the individual interview will be facilitated by a neutral/impartial member of the KHS community to maintain the interactive interview experience, your individual interview recording will be evaluated by the scholar selection committee (not your facilitator).

You will be asked to introduce yourself briefly. The facilitators will then ask you behavioral questions based on the three primary evaluation criteria for Knight-Hennessy Scholars. The best preparation is simply to know yourself, including your individual stories, experiences, and aspirations that led you to apply to Knight-Hennessy Scholars.

The objective of the individual behavioral interview is for you to provide evidence and insights from actual experiences rather than from hypothetical situations. For example, a facilitator might say, “tell me about a time when…” and then probe for examples using several follow-up questions such as, “what led to the situation?” or “what was your role?”

All finalists will be asked the same core set of questions.

Immersion Weekend

Immersion Weekend is an opportunity for you to learn more about graduate degree programs, Knight-Hennessy Scholars (KHS), Stanford University, other scholars, and yourself. It is also a chance for us to learn more about you and interview you. By meeting you in an interactive setting, you can convey attributes that may not come across in the online application.

This part of the process is by invitation only. After reviewing your application, your video statement, and verifying that you remain competitive for admission to the Stanford graduate degree program, KHS will select up to 180 candidates to visit Stanford University, at our expense, for Immersion Weekend. Knight-Hennessy Scholars will cover your reasonable travel expenses, including lodging at Stanford, airfare, and meals on-campus.

We will host Immersion Weekend for the 2025 Cohort on February 28 - March 1, 2025. You must attend this event if you wish to be selected as a Knight-Hennessy scholar. Consult the Dates and Deadlines page for a full view of the evaluation timeline.

During your visit, you will participate in group activities, one of which will be evaluative. Our goal is to comprehensively preview your life as a graduate student at Stanford. Immersion Weekend is a highlight of the year for both the Knight-Hennessy Scholars community and our finalists. If you are selected as a finalist, we are confident that you too will consider it a highlight of your application experience.

Events have typically included  the following:

  • Faculty presentations
  • Group activities
  • Group interview
  • Social events
  • Visit with your graduate program(s) (if requested by the Stanford degree program)

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: What if I have a conflict during the Immersion Weekend dates?

A: Barring unforeseen circumstances and/or immediate family obligations, you must attend Immersion Weekend to be considered for selection to Knight-Hennessy Scholars. 

Q: I need a visa to visit the US. Can you send me a letter of invitation for the visa?

A: If you are selected as a finalist, we will work with you to coordinate a visa invitation letter as necessary. We cannot provide letters of invitation before finalists are selected. 

Q: Will I have already received my admission decision from my Stanford graduate degree program(s) before Immersion Weekend? 

A: The Stanford degree program conducts its own distinct review and communicates its admission decision to you on its own distinct timeline. Depending on the program(s), you may receive your Stanford admission decision as early as December or as late as April. Some Knight-Hennessy Scholars finalists will have already been offered admission to their Stanford program(s), while others will still be vying for admission to Stanford. 

Q: I need to interview for my graduate program. May I interview for Knight-Hennessy Scholars then too? 

A: No, Knight-Hennessy Scholars interviews take place only during designated time periods for finalists..