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?

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.,

Helen Cella

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

Research the mission of the school

Corey Fischer
President CollegeClarity

Research and think ahead

Be prepared for questions such as: Who are you? What accomplishments, activities, people are most important to you? What and who made you into the person you are today? What interests you? What are your passions? Where are you going? What are your goals? What are your dreams? How do you see yourself developing over the next five/ten years? What course of study are you thinking you’ll pursue? Why this college? What is it about the confluence of your goals, your interests, your talents and your personal style that brings you to consider this college? What do you know about this college that tells you it would be a good match for you? How will this college help you reach your goals? Make a list of questions. Questions that you cannot find the answers to by simply picking up their viewbook. Show you have put some thought and effort into it. It is okay to pull out your list of questions and ask them, it shows you are prepared and organized. Ask questions about topics such as scholarships, interesting research going on, hot issues on campus, what the interviewer would say is the greatest area in need of change. Know your scores and grades. It is very frustrating, and a big red flag, to an admissions person to hear a student say “I don’t remember”. It is tempting to embellish a bit, but keep in mind, they will see your transcript and scores if you apply. Be honest!! It is a good idea to get an unofficial copy of your transcript to take with you.

Rana Slosberg
Owner Slosberg College Solutions LLC

Interview preparation tips

-- Become familiar with the college before the interview. -- Think about what you want the interviewer to learn about you. -- Think about 3 or 4 strengths or experiences you want to share. -- Think about what weaknesses you want to explain.. -- Anticipate questions that may arise because of anything unusual in your application. -- Prepare a few questions you have about the school. -- Prepare a binder or folder with paper, pen, a copy of your resume, your SAT/ACT scores, your GPA, and questions you have for the interviewer.

Pamela Hampton-Garland
Owner Scholar Bound

Preparing for College Interview

Study yourself!!!! the purpose of the interview is to learn about you and what you have done throughout your life that makes you a great candidate for the school. Keep a copy of your resume with you so that you can highlight your accomplishments and know what makes you your best person and how you will incorporate that in your studies and at the university. Remember to read the mission and vision of the institution but don't exaggerate your accomplishments and interests but they should be aligned with what the school is looking for.

Bill Pruden
Head of Upper School, College Counselor Ravenscroft School

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

Regardless of the kind of interview one may have, the process always offers an opportunity for an applicant to make a good, distinctive impression. Consequently you should come prepared, ready to talk about yourself and the school—and how they might well come together in the future. Be ready to discuss the things that matter to you and about the aspects of the school that have drawn you to it. Be ready to share your passion and expand upon things you may have already discussed in your application. Be ready with some questions, but don’t ask the obvious—things that you could have learned through even a cursory look at the website. Ask about things that reflect your existing depth of understanding as well as your curiosity. Show yourself to be a thoughtful individual who will be a positive addition to the school community.

Eric Beers, Ph.D.
College and Career Counselor Air Academy High School

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

Certainly practice can help, but don't overpractice. Preferably practice with someone who is not a family member like a teacher or counselor. You can get a list of frequently asked interview questions from the internet (collegeboard has some for example). You don't want to appear "not real" to the interviewer. Relax and be yourself. Interviews can only help your chances, they do not hurt your chances.

Claire Law

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

Practice, practice, practice! Have a friend of yours ask you the questions you fear the most. Ask your parents or a counselor to do a mock interview with you. This is what we do as educational consultants to help students prepare for “evaluative” interviews. The Unigo college advisors would be glad to coach you. :)

Zahir Robb
College Counselor The Right Fit College

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

Practice, practice, practice. Don't go in to an interview cold. Have your counselor, parents, sibling or friend ask you a series of questions. Get feedback. Try answering a few questions in front of a mirror. It is ok to be nervous, but you don't want to shut down in an interview.