Although it may be intimidating, the college admissions interview is your chance to bring your application to life. These interviews often take place with the very person that will be advocating for you in the admissions review process, and provide you the chance to present yourself to the school. It’s important to prepare well for this opportunity.
Here are few tips:
Do your homework – You don’t need to be an authority on a college, but you should know the basics before you meet with the admissions representative or alumnae. Use websites and guidebooks to learn the key facts.
Know how to talk about your high school – Don’t assume that your interviewer knows a great deal about your school. Be prepared to describe it in detail – size, courses, level of competition, commentary on students, diversity. Give the interviewer a clear picture of your academic and social community.
Be prepared to ask questions – Always have 2-4 questions prepared to ask at each interview. But make sure not to ask questions that can be easily answered by visiting the school’s website. Choose questions on topics that you are truly interested in and use the interview as a chance to get answers.
Keep your answers conversational – You don’t need to speak in a very formal way, but you do need to use strong vocabulary and grammar. This is not the time to utter one word answers. Your interviewer wants to get to know you, so answer as naturally and clearly as you can. In preparation, think about questions that you may be asked, but don’t memorize the answers.
Be yourself – This is not the time to pretend you are a literary critic, budding scientist, or avid reader of the New York Times, if you’re not. Don’t worry about what you think the interviewer wants to hear. They want to get to know who you are and what makes you tick, so answer the questions honestly and thoughtfully.
After the interview is over, make sure to send a personal hand-written thank you note (not email). Thank your interviewer for their time and reiterate your interest in their school. This will likely end up in your application file, so double check for typos and grammar before sealing the envelope.