Interviews in College Admissions

Some colleges will recommend or require an interview of prospective students. While some interviews are "non-evaluative" or "informational" (not considered in the final admission decision), others are part of the admissions process for that college. Regardless, students should consider any opportunity to interview a great way to show their personal side. Here are a few tips to get prepared for a college interview:
  • Try to schedule the interview after you've toured the college. This helps with "small talk" and gives you a chance to ask specific questions.
  • Dress appropriately. This means wearing something you might wear to go out to lunch with a grandparent. You don't need to be in formal-wear, but avoid being too casual.
  • Don't chew gum and make sure your cell phone is silent (or, better yet, leave it with a parent in the lobby).
  • Bring a copy of your resume' and an official copy of your transcript. You may want to write your SAT or ACT scores on the transcript if you're planning to submit them to the school. Give these items to the interviewer at the beginning of the meeting.
  • Be prepared to answer questions such as "Why are you interested in our university?",  "How have you prepared yourself for college?", What are your favorite high school classes?" "What are your least favorite high school classes?", "What are your interests outside of school and what do you do for fun?" You may want to practice your answers to these questions in front of a mirror or by having a parent ask the questions before the real thing.
  • Have some questions of your own to ask at the end of the interview. You may have some specific questions after the tour or you may want to ask about a specific major or research opportunities. Students can always ask if there are any new programs or facilities planned in the next five years.
  • Send a thank you note after the interview. Not only does this
    continue to show your interest in the school, but it also gives you the chance to clarify or add to anything that was discussed during the interview.
An admission interview is a great way for students and admission staff to gather more information from one another as they both try to determine if this is a good match. So, smile, be genuine and enjoy learning more about a college that may possibly be your home for four years.