How can having a theme song help ace the college interview?

Application Process

Our counselors answered:

How can having a theme song help ace the college interview?

Peter Ratzan
President College Funding Specialists, Inc.

Have an Agenda

When approaching the college interview, it is important to be prepared with specific experiences, characteristics, or qualities about yourself that you want to express to the interviewer. I call this "having an agenda". A typical college interview will last about 30 minutes, perhaps less, so you have very little time to express yourself. An interview is a give and take - you need to make sure you uphold your end of the bargain, er, conversation. So go in knowing what you want to express to the interviewer. If you speak 3 languages and want that to be known, somehow work that into the conversation. If you are an expert illustrator, or you have written an iPhone application find a way to work that in. Be conversational - interviewers loathe those awkward silences and love students who give full answers to questions. Avoid simple yes/no answers by elaborating on your responses. And if you do come across an awkward silence, take initiative by using it as an opportunity to ask a question. More than likely, the interviewer will conclude by saying, "Do you have any questions?". Try to have an 'extra' question prepared, so that you can ask it at the end. Finally, be sure to get a business card and follow up with a hand-written thank you note.

Sterling Peterson

Music answers the question

A college wants to interview you to find out if you will fit the college. They want to know that you will bring diversity to their campus. Knowing who you really are will help you answer questions and respond so the college interviewers get to know the real you. Finding a theme song helps you understand who you really are. The more definition you have to who you are, the better you will interview. Just be sure to refrain from singing the song. It might not go so well for you.

Patty Gibbs
Vice President for Student Affiars & Dean of Students Wesleyan College

Theme song

A theme song focused on things that pertain to you, can help you stay focused during your interview. Remember the person interviewing wants to get to know you as a person and as a student.

Helen Cella

How can having a theme song help ace the college interview?

The words of a college theme song usually mention important details of the school

Nicholas Umphrey

Theme songs

This is a relatively new trend. I'll be honest, as a child of the 80's I find it upsetting because it makes me realize that I am older and out of touch. Why? Because my kids choose songs from new artists I've never heard of. Take something from the AC-DC Back in Black album, some classic rock from the 60's or 70's. Just don't use anything by Justin Bieber or any of the new trendy artists. Chances are, if I don't know the song, the admissions committee will not either. Choose a song that is a classic, that people sing in the shower, the men serenade their lady with, that everybody knows. Then try to connect these lyrics to your personal life and who you are. As you do this, show that you have reflected on the process. Songs not to use: I'm Too Sexy by Right Said Fred; Baby Got Back by Sir Mix a Lot; I Touch Myself by the Divinyls; you get the idea. Nothing to racy or raunchy.

Patricia Krahnke
President/Partner Global College Search Associates, LLC


A college admissions interview is not Facebook. It’s not a place to talk about lyrics that resonate with you. If lyrics help you to focus your thoughts, fine. But don’t talk about a song unless you are asked. Want to impress a college admissions interviewer? Express yourself like a grownup; accept responsibility for anomalies in your academic record (no excuses); make it clear you have done your research on the college, including its social scene, location, faculty, and academic programs (do this by asking carefully considered questions based on your research, connecting your interests and needs to what you believe the college may offer you); express articulately why you would be a good fit for their student body; behave with good manners when you arrive, while you are there, and when you leave; and send a handwritten thank you note to the individual that interviewed you. That is how you ace an interview. Not sure you can pull that off? I'll bet you can. Practice with someone who loves you enough to want to see you succeed.

Pamela Hampton-Garland
Owner Scholar Bound

Theme Song

NO, do not go into an interview with any song unless you are applying to a performance school where your talent is singing. Take college interviews very seriously and dress appropriate being prepared to answer questions; not wasting the persons' time with minutia.

Tam Warner Minton
Consultant College Adventures

How can having a theme song help ace the college interview?

If you have a theme song, the theme is probably YOU, what type of person you are, what you like to do, what you want to do. It can remind you of who you are. Truthfully, I've never had a student with a "theme song" (at least not one you could tell an interviewer about!), but it could certainly be helpful, particularly for students interested in the arts.

Claire Law

How can having a theme song help ace the college interview?

It' s important for students to understand whether the college is offering them an "informative" interview OR an "evaluative" interview. The most selective colleges typically have their alumni conduct interviews with students. If everything looks great on paper in the admission office, an interview may be granted. Students should realize this is going to be an "evaluative" interview. They should be prepared to put their best foot forward and have a theme song that is consistent with who they are. Best advice: be yourself!

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

How can having a theme song help ace the college interview?

If the interviewer is a frustrated tenor perhaps! At least they could do a sing-a-long with you. It's a little different if you're having an audition to enter the College of Music.