preparing for your college interview

Posted : September 2, 2005
Last Updated : September 23, 2020

preparing for your college interview

At many schools, interviewing for college admission is optional. However, it is still a good opportunity for you to demonstrate your outstanding qualities and to learn more about the college at the same time. If you do decide to interview with colleges, here are some tips to help you out.

Research the school.

Be sure to find out as much as possible about the school before you go to the interview. Research the school's website and read over the catalog. Being knowledgeable about the college will help you ace the interview and help prove to the interviewer that you really want to attend the school.

Perform a mock interview.

To help you prepare for the actual interview, be sure to practice beforehand. Grab a friend or family member to assist you by asking questions that the interviewer might pose. Here are examples of questions that may be asked during college interviews:

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Why do you want to attend this school?
  • What do you do in your spare time?
  • What courses have you enjoyed the most?
  • What has been your greatest experience in high school?
  • What is your favorite book?

Once you go through a mock interview, you will be better prepared and less nervous when the time comes for the actual interview.

Prepare a list of your own questions.

It's a good idea to go to the interview equipped with a list of your own questions to ask. This will not only show the interviewer that you are really interested in his school, but it will also allow you to find out information that isn't readily available on websites and in catalogs. Here are some questions you might consider asking on your college interviews:

  • How does the school match roommates?
  • What activities are available for freshmen to meet other students?
  • What kind of part-time job opportunities are available on campus?
  • How does the advising system work?
  • How many students in last year's freshman class returned for their sophomore year?
  • What is the relationship between those who belong to the Greek system and those who don't?

Be sure to ask questions that pertain specifically to your interests and to what you want to know about the school.

Make a good impression.

On the day of the interview, it's crucial to set yourself up for success. Be sure to dress appropriately by choosing conservative attire for guys and gals. Keep the accessories and perfume/cologne at a minimum. Don't forget to bring a pen and paper or tablet in case you want to take notes during the interview. If you have a high school resume, bring it along to give to the interviewer. You also need to make sure you arrive for the appointment about ten minutes early. To ensure that you aren't late for the interview, leave your house or hotel room early to allow for traffic. When the interview begins, be sure to speak fluently and remain confident in your actions. When answering questions, try to elaborate; avoid giving yes or no answers. Make eye contact and remember to smile.

Follow up.

After the interview is over, be sure to send a note to the interviewer thanking him for his time.

College interviews are a chance to prove that you are more than just test scores and grades. They give you the opportunity to show off your charming personality to interviewers. Use these opportunities to your advantage during the admissions process.

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