College Interview Advice

You may be considering interviewing with the college of your dreams, or maybe you still have time to think about where you want to go. Either way, one thing within the college applications process that tends to be underlooked is the college interview. Read our tips on how to have a successful interview.

BE ORGANIZED

This is your time to shine! Make sure you have kept up with the correct date and time. Show up at least 15 minutes early. Make sure you have everything together. This includes any documents such as test scores, transcripts, resume, etc. There will be no tolerance for last minute printer issues!

BE YOURSELF

Okay so you’re already on paper. They already know your skills and credentials, and they have already seen what you have accomplished. Now they want to know who you are as a person. Based on your personality and your character, are you the right fit for their institution?

Be confident, outgoing, and most of all, be honest. Interviewers can tell when you are being real as opposed to just saying what they want to hear. They’ve interviewed many people who are in the same boat as you, so they’ve seen every trick in the book.

POSSIBLE QUESTIONS

It is a good idea to prepare for what the interviewers may ask you. There are many sources on the internet to find plenty of possible interview questions. Here is a brief list with some of the most important questions to practice with:

1. Why are you interested in our school?

This is one of the most common questions that they may ask you. Once again, honesty is the key. But don’t be blatantly honest. Responses such as, “I want to make a lot of money,” or “I want to give my parents something to brag about,” are not the best ways to answer this question. This is a chance to show them that you have done your research, and that this is the school that truly caters to your academic interests as well as your goals for the future.

2. What will you contribute to our institution?

Be specific with this type of question. Don’t just respond with, “I will be a hard worker.” Okay…how so? And how can this school benefit from your hard work? They want to see someone who is unique, who is an innovator, and someone who will accomplish something great throughout their college career. Show them what you can do for them.

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3. Who has had a major influence on you?

I’m sure you are sick of hearing this question, especially after filling out the college essays. They may change it up and ask you who your role model is, or who your hero is. The root of the question is still the same. Spend some time to really think about this question so that you have a respectable and knowledgable answer. Find the people you admire, whether they are celebrities, politicians, or even family members, and figure out what it is about them that you admire.

4. What do you do for fun in your free time?

Answers such as “Facebook,” or “Hangin’ out,” are not the best responses. We understand that you barely have any free time, and when you are blessed with free time to yourself, you probably just want to veg out and do absolutely nothing. We totally get it.

But once again, this goes back to showing off your character and your personality. What you do with your own time defines you as a person. Do you like to explore the great outdoors? Do you like to write? Do you watch TV like a couch potato? These people want to know what you will be doing at their institution during your down time. Something that is productive and interesting will totally outweigh something that is unproductive such as being a couch potato.

5. What questions do you have for us?

Most certainly, the interviewers will give you an opportunity to ask them your own questions. Make sure that you do in fact ask them questions. While doing your research, make sure to jot down any curiosities that you may have regarding this particular university. Once again, make sure you have previously gone over your questions. Don’t just ask any useless questions only for the sake of asking questions. Make sure they are thoughtful.

And there it is. Keep these tips in mind and you will be smooth-sailin’. Keep up the good work!

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2 Comments

    1. Anusha,

      There are different times in which you can schedule your college interview. If you are just looking at schools to apply to, it is smart to schedule an appointment with the admissions officer for the school in which you are visiting so they can answer any questions you may have.

      As far as interviewing for the college you wish to attend, you would schedule this after you have already applied, which is generally during the first semester of your senior year. Some schools may contact you and ask you for an interview. If not, do not give up on it. Contact the school and see if you can schedule an interview once you have already applied.

      Hope this helps, have a happy new year!

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