As we reach the conclusion of this illustrious series on avoiding embarrassment in an interview setting, we would like to point out that most (if not all) of these sagacious tidbits can be applied to other aspects of your life as well. This certainly extends to and includes our number one Way to NOT Embarrass Yourself during a College Admissions Interview …
It’s an interview, not a firing squad.
You want to appear friendly without being overly familiar. The best interviewees appear relaxed, and at ease speaking with someone who may be their superior. They are confident, smile frequently, and don’t fidget. They present well thought-out responses to questions, and when asked a question they didn’t expect, don’t immediately answer and try to formulate a response mid-sentence. Think about what is being presented, formulate your thoughts and then speak. No interviewer will fault you for taking time to think of your answer.
“Yes sir, no sir. Yes ma’am, no ma’am.”
In this same vein, it’s important to remember that the person interviewing is not “man” or “dude.” They are “Mister” and “Miss” or “Missus”; or, even better, “Doctor” or “Professor.” Respond to questions with “Yes sir, no sir. Yes ma’am, no ma’am.” You want them to think of you as a young professional, and the best way to accomplish this is to act professionally. Remember, everything about you is being evaluated. If you are having lunch or dinner, put your napkin on your lap and don’t eat like a pig; if you are asked about your hobbies or how you spend your free time, refrain from mentioning the ‘rager’ you went to the night before.
Rapport should be in your repertoire.
Try to establish a rapport with the person conducting the interview, but remember that their job is to evaluate you and being your friend is simply not in their job description. Don’t be intimidated by this fact, just recognize it. You can still get them to like you, and if you can get them to invest in you as a candidate for whatever school or institution you are applying to, then all’s the better! Don’t be formal, be professional.
That’s it for College Compass’s Top 5 Ways NOT to Embarrass Yourself during a College Admissions Interview. If you’ve been paying attention, you might have noticed that there is a single characteristic that each of our five tips share; namely, being prepared. From brushing your teeth and selecting an outfit, to rehearsing answers to questions you know you will be asked, to simply learning how to behave in an interview, the single most important way to avoid embarrassing yourself in a college admissions interview is to prepare.
This post is part of a series. Previous articles in this series include:
Learn more about the College Admissions process and professional test preparation with Test Masters.