How does the interview work?

Application Process

Our counselors answered:

How does the interview work?

Ainsley Parker
Regional Director of Admissions University of Pennsylvania

How does the interview work?

Here is my video response to the question.

Nancy Meislahn
Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Wesleyan University

How does the interview work?

Here is my video response to the question.

Suzan Reznick
Independent Educational Consultant The College Connection

It is up to you to arange for an interview!

No colleges require interviews and many large schools just do not have the man power to handle interviewing the thousands of students who might wish for one. Smaller colleges, who are more focused on holistically reviewing students and building a congenial freshman class want to interview potential students. It also offers admissions officers a chance to convince students to apply. When you call a college to ask for the times of the information sessions and tours, that is the best time to also inquire if the college offers interviews and if you could schedule one at that time. Many schools only offer alumni interviews with folks who live in your community. While they may not "count" as much as an on campus interview- it still shows colleges that you are serious about applying.

็Ž‹ๆ–‡ๅ› June Scortino
President IVY Counselors Network

verification process

interviews are required by many selective colleges as part of admisisons process. however, if it is conducted on campus, the admisisons counselor will ask the questions and provide the notes for the student's file. if it is conducted outside the campuse in most cases, someone else appointed will ask the question, that's the tricky part. Interview has little impact on college admissions in my view, however, students should prepare for the interview with resume and practice.

Margaret Tung
Strategist Yale University

Be proactive, be a little early, be confident, and be yourself

Usually the interviewer will contact you first. When he/she does, be sure to email them back with a sentence or two about yourself, why you're interested or excited about the school, and attach your resume, whether they ask for it or not. Include a note that says something like, "Attached, please find my resume for a little more information on what I'm interested in." Don't wait too long before responding--email or call them back within a day or so to show that you're really excited about the school. And of course be on time, if not a little early. Remember the interview is just an opportunity for the school to get to know you a little bit better, it's to put a face to an application. Sometimes, like over email, tone and enthusiasm and passion don't come through the written word. Someone might have the most amazing resume, but have the blandest in-person personality on earth. The interviewer basically is trying to figure out whether they'd want to be classmates with you, if they were to go to college all over again. In a standard interview, they'll ask you some questions about what you're interested in, what motivates you, etc. But hopefully if it's the right fit, it'll be more like an easyflowing conversation rather than a pressured Q&A session. So--be confident and don't be afraid to be yourself--everyone is interesting, so let it show.

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

How does the interview work?

Some colleges don't have any, but for those that do they must be arranged in advance. There are: on campus, off campus, interviews w/alums, students, and/or admissions staff. It is highly advisable to have one so as to present yourself in person, rather than just as a series of numbers and statements. The interview can be a make or break situation, so it is advisable to do interview prep w/an expert in the field. I could write a book about what follows (actually it's part of a chapter in my book), but that's for a brief free consultation.

Scott Herrmann-Keeling
College Counselor

How does the interview work?

Interviews can work in a variety of ways. Interviews can be offered by students or adults. They can be evaluative or informational. They can occur on or off campus. Interviews by students will almost always be on campus. They are a great opportunity for applicants to learn more about a school. And they provide a chance for a school to learn whether a current student believes the applicant will fit in well academically and socially. Interviews by adults can be conducted by admissions officers or alumni. Some alums are relatively recent grads, while others may have graduated decades ago. Evaluative interviewers give feedback that generally ends up in the applicant's admissions file. The primary goal of an informational interview is to answer questions the applicant may have (these may feel a little like sales pitches depending on the school and the interviewer).

Mollie Reznick
Associate Director The College Connection

How does the interview work?

You must schedule an interview at the admissions office in advance. You will then speak to an admissions officer for about half an hour. He or she will ask you questions about your experiences in school and with extra-curricular activities. You will also have a chance to ask any questions you have about the school and its admissions process. Then the officer will come out and speak with your parents and answer any questions they might have.

Bill Pruden
Head of Upper School, College Counselor Ravenscroft School

The Interview: Different Approaches with Different Goals

Schools offer a range of interviews and their value and purpose vary as well. There are alumni interview, there are staff interviews and there are campus interviews. They can be a part of the application process or they can be a part of scholarship competitions. Some are aimed at learning about the applicant while others are simply opportunities for an applicant to learn more about the school. Some schools do not do them at all while others offer plenty of opportunities. In the ever changing landscape of college admissions, interviews are one of the most variable aspects of the process.

Laura O'Brien Gatzionis
Founder Educational Advisory Services

How does the interview work?

You should contact the college admissions office via email and ask to be interviewed. Sometimes this will take place before you actually send the application to the school, sometimes it will take place afterwards. If possible, try to have the interview with an admissions officer at the school but if it is not possible, you may be able to have one on Skype. Some schools also conduct interviews locally using their alumni network. The interview is your chance to demonstrate interest in attending the school and to provide a personal perspective to your application file. You will meet (either face-to-face or virtually) with your interviewer and be asked various questions about your interests and activities and why you want to attend the school. in turn, you should have a chance to ask questions about the college.