The trend at colleges and universities is away from the once all-important personal interview and toward a more relaxed, general information meeting. Some colleges, however, still require an interview, some recommend it (which is an offer students should not refuse), and still others leave it up to the applicant. Though generally not as important as other items in the application process, an interview can prove crucial when the decision hangs in the balance.
*Start with your least difficult to get in to schools & least desired.
*Get name of anyone you talk to when setting up or planning interview.
*Get name & title of interviewer for thank you note & follow-up.
*Do arrive promptly, dressed in a manner that you feel represents your “best foot” forward.
*Do conduct yourself in a friendly, inquisitive, and interested manner. Phonies are easy to spot, but the person with no enthusiasm or questions can be equally as unimpressive.
*While it is not necessary, feel free to bring your parents. They probably won’t sit in on the interview but they, too, may have questions and concerns which may be answered on campus.
*Avoid being overly impressed by a “super salesman” in the admissions office, On the other hand, don’t be “turned off” by an unimpressive admissions officer. Try to gain information and don’t be influenced unduly by a personality. Don’t offer any negative information. Don’t apologize. You are the “buyer”.
*Be sure to prepare in advance a list of questions to ask about the school. Bring a written list, if necessary, to be sure you don’t forget your questions due to nervousness or excitement in the interview. Questions should address topics that are not found on the website.
*Avoid asking questions that can be readily answered by reading written material about the college. This approach enables you to make the most effective use of your limited interview time and may show your knowledge of the school and a thoroughness of planning on your part.
*Do bring with you a copy of your transcript available through the Records Office. You might also want to write your SAT scores on the transcript.
The Alumni Admissions Interview
Some colleges do not give personal interviews to students, but do offer the option of an alumni interview. Colleges are increasingly utilizing alumni in the college admissions process. If students are unable to arrange a visit to a campus and an on-campus interview, an alumni interview may be a good alternative. These interviews are arranged through the admissions office and are often conducted at the alumni representative’s home or at a neutral location such as a local school.
Possible Interview Questions
Anticipating what questions might be asked during a college interview and being prepared to answer them is highly recommended. Always be prepared to answer the “WHY” that goes with each of these questions.
Q. How are you unique?
Q. What do you do best?
Q. What is the last book you read?
Q. Who is your favorite author
Q. Who is your favorite character?
Q. Who is your favorite teacher?
Q. What person has influenced you the most?
Q. What event has influenced you the most?
Q. What experiences stick most in your mind?
Q. What makes you who you are?
Q. What are your best traits?
Q. What are your faults?
Q. What is your family like?
Q. Tell me about yourself.
Q. Why do you want to go to college?
Q. What made you select this particular College or University?
Q. What do you think you will add to University XYZ?
Q. What do you consider to be your greatest asset?
Q. What do you consider to be your greatest fault?
Q. What are you looking for in an education at our college?
Q. To which other colleges are you applying?
Q. If all of your teachers were in one room, what would they say about you?
Q. Rate yourself from 1 to 10. How would your teachers rate you?
Q. What books NOT required by the school have you read recently?
Q. Where do you picture yourself ten years from now?
Q. Tell me about your family.
Q. What television shows do you watch?
Q. What magazines and/or newpapers do you read regularly?
Q. How do you spend a typical afternoon after school? A typical evening? A typical weekend?
Q. Do you have any heroes, contemporary or historical?
Q. How do you feel about an issue in current events: terrorism, nuclear power, legalization of marijuana, gun control, etc…?
Q. What have you liked, and what have you disliked about high school?
Q. If you were principal, what would you change?
Q. What significant contributions have you made to your school or your community?
Q. What is the most important thing that you’ve learned in high school?
Q. We have your application, your transcript, your test scores, and recommendations. What ELSE do you want us to know about you?
Q. What would you like to know about our school?