How can a student prepare themselves best for a college interview?

Application Process

Our counselors answered:

How can a student prepare themselves best for a college interview?

Laura Smith

How can a student prepare themselves best for a college interview?

A few of my favorite tips include making sure the student makes the phone call to schedule the interview themselves. If possible, schedule the interview 2 or 3 weeks in advance and confirm your appointment the week of the interview. Before the interview, study the school’s catalog and online resources so you can respond to the interviewer’s questions and ask intelligent questions of your own. And definitely arrive early, especially for an on-campus interview, as it is very easy to get lost on a large college campus.  Plan on touring the campus, as well as attending the information session before your interview.  You will then be in better position to ask and answer their questions.

Michael Smith

How can a student prepare themselves best for a college interview?

Make a great first impression by dressing reasonably well, including good grooming and neatness. They count! How you are dressed reflects how important this interview is to you. Definitely do not chew gum during the interview or wear a baseball cap (even if it’s for the school you’re interviewing with) and make sure your cell phone is turned off.

Susan Smith

How can a student prepare themselves best for a college interview?

Offer a firm handshake to express confidence.  Stand up straight and make eye contact. Try not to fidget. Speak in complete sentences, omitting slang expressions such as “like”, “you know” or “um.” Stop and think before you speak. Listen carefully to the questions asked, and express your ideas clearly as well as your enthusiasm for the school, both when asking and answering questions, as well as during the discussion.  The likelihood that you would attend the school, if admitted, can actually impact on your chances of acceptance. And breathe easy, as you’re not on trial! The interview is for your benefit as much as it is for the admissions office.

Diane Smith

How can a student prepare themselves best for a college interview?

Honestly is my best policy. Don’t pretend. Don’t try to guess the “right” answer. Instead, feel good about yourself and try to convey that feeling to the interviewer. You can be positive about your accomplishments without sounding conceited. Since the interview is designed to help the school search for positive personal qualities, make sure the interviewer knows you can play well with others would likely become a congenial and productive member of the college community.

Robert Smith

How can a student prepare themselves best for a college interview?

Remember that you are the center of attention, so try to enjoy yourself.  Focus on being open and sincere.  Be yourself.  Try not to answer the interviewer’s questions with one-word responses, which will make it very difficult for him or her to learn about you, your accomplishments, and your aspirations. On the other hand, try not to ramble on with too many unnecessary details (especially if you’re nervous).

Lisa Smith

How can a student prepare themselves best for a college interview?

Be ok with being nervous. Everyone who has ever sat in that chair, for generations before you, has been nervous.  It’s expected.  Take a deep breath, and consider even telling the interviewer “I’m nervous.”  It will enlist him or her to your side. Try to make frequent eye contact, but don’t look like you’re in pain or uncomfortable. It’s an interview, not a root canal. And don’t forget to get the necessary info to send a personalized thank you note, card, or email before you leave.

Nancy Smith

How can a student prepare themselves best for a college interview?

During the interview, remember that while you are trying to sell yourself to the school, the interviewer is trying to sell the school to you.  The ultimate point of the interview is to show that you are a good person - polite, and honest with a sense of humor about this unnerving admissions process.  To do this effectively you have to be yourself.

Richard Smith

How can a student prepare themselves best for a college interview?

Prepare yourself by being ready to answer the following commonly-asked questions:

Why do you want to attend this school?

How will we help you to achieve your goals?

What do you plan on studying/majoring in and why?

Tell me about yourself, including who you are and what are some of your goals and dreams.

What books have you read lately? (Try not to discuss a book you read for school. It’s a rare fellow who reads Great Expectations for leisure. Interviewers want to see if you have a naturally-curious mind and that you enjoy learning outside of school. It can be helpful to get the conversation rolling if you bring a favorite book with you.)

What contributions can you make to this school?

What questions can I answer for you? (This is especially important because it is one of the most genuine opportunities for you to learn about the school from someone who knows. To have questions in mind also demonstrates your enthusiasm for the school. In any awkward silences, just ask the interviewer why he likes the school so much. Did he or she go there and what did they get out of it?)

Nina Berler
Founder unCommon Apps

How can a student prepare themselves best for a college interview?

I have a hot list of interview questions on my computer, and I run through these questions with students before they go on interviews. By practicing in front of a mirror or with another person, a student can prepare him or herself for the real deal. There are some classic interview questions: strengths and weaknesses; challenges overcome; favorite subjects in school; goals and objectives. All students should know their answers to those questions before that meeting with the interviewer. I also have students - even young students applying to private schools - carry in their questions on an index card or sheet of paper. Interviewers often allot time for such questions, and they reflect well on the particular student and serve to reinforce his interest in the school.

王文君 June Scortino
President IVY Counselors Network

Mock interview

most selective colleges require interviews so you need to get ready and consider mock interviews as the best way to practice. Counselors are the best ones to work with. Be prepared to ask the right questions such as rention rate and career placement services etc.,