Is it 1200 or 800? Tell me!!
We've gotten lots of questions from you about exactly how many interviews we conduct.
Since 2002, we have extended between ~950 and ~1200 interview invitations annually. For the 2007 intake, we interviewed ~1,050 candidates. The total varies based on both the number of applications we receive and the quality of those applications.
We've provided a range of 800-1200 because I typically begin the year thinking that we should only interview about 800 (but fail miserably to do so, as you can tell from the previous paragraph). Since you typically use last year's figures to gauge this year's chances, I felt it would be misleading to say 1,100 or 1,200 when there was a chance we'd finish the year at only 800. Hence the range.
Why ~800? There's no magic to that number except that at ~800 interviews, we'd be able to offer admission to ~60% of candidates interviewed. When I talk to our students and alumni, they say it just feels better to know that you are more-likely-than-not to be admitted after the interview. So that's been my aim for the past couple of years. Your applications are so phenomenal, however, that we want to meet far more than 800 of you! And your applications always will determine the ultimate number of interview invitations.
Let me reiterate that the information in my 1 November 2007 post is accurate: we will send many interview invitations in December and even into January. If you haven't received an interview invitation yet, please don't worry. There's plenty of time.
Think of it this way: the period between 22 October 2007 (when applications were due) and 24 January 2008 (when decisions are due) comprises nearly 14 weeks. Subtract two weeks for the interviews to occur and you have 12 weeks. We're just finishing week six of that 12-week period and will be reading files well into 2008. As we read files we will continue to extend interview invitations. Some days we might invite only two or three people to interview, while other days we might invite 20 or 30. No matter when you receive your invitation, it means the same thing: we consider you a very competitive applicant.