Is a college admissions interview necessary for an international student?

College Admissions

Our Counselors Answered:

Is a college admissions interview necessary for an international student?

Cynthia FergusonIndependent Educational ConsultantIn2College

Not required usually, but a good idea

With Skype and other modes of electronic communication it is a good idea to set up interviews with each college you are interested in. Some may require this, but most probably just suggest it. This is as much to get your questions answered and to get a feel for each institution.

Laura O’Brien GatzionisFounderEducational Advisory Services

Admissions Interviews

Interviews are an excellent way to demonstrate your interest in a particular school. Admissions offices realize that it may be difficult for an international prospective student to travel to the campus for an interview. You should contact the international admissions officer for your location via email and ask if it is possible to arrange an interview via Skype. Another possibility may be with the local alumni network. Again, these arrangements are made through the admissions office.

Nina BerlerFounderunCommon Apps

The Scoop on Interviews

The ability to interview is a skill that will be useful throughout your precollege, college and professional life. But is it necessary for your candidacy at a U.S. college? Those interviews help students learn more about the college and help the college form a more solid picture of you as a candidate. If you plan to be visiting the college, contact the admissions office to see whether you can be interviewed on campus during your visit. Some schools do this, even using student interns if an admissions rep is not available. Alternatively, many top universities use alumni networks in order to interview students in their home countries. Whether or not this is possible depends on the college. If you apply but don’t hear from anyone about an interview, send an e-mail and see if an interview is possible. The same interview advice applies to all students: be prepared! Show the college how much you have researched its opportunities. Come armed with questions. The interview may not be the most important factor in evaluating your candidacy, but it is still helpful.

Helen H. ChoiOwnerAdmissions Mavens

Is a college admissions interview necessary for an international student?

If a college offers you an opportunity to interview, take it! It’s a great way to show a school that you are very interested in learning more about it and to demonstrate your keen interested in it. The interview is also a great way for you to learn more about the school. Many universities have alumni all over the world who can conduct the interviews. In addition, if you are on a campus visit, you can also interview at that time (but make sure you arranged for an interview ahead of time).

Tyler BurtonPresident Burton College Tours

First read about the college’s interview policy.

Not every school will grant interviews. Students should read the college’s interview policy and make a choice about interviewing based on the college’s policy. If your English language skills are excellent and the school will interview students on campus, off campus with alumni or via skype then I recommend seeking an interview.

Kristina DooleyIndependent Educational ConsultantEstrela Consulting

Interview Options for International Students

Whenever I begin working with an international student I always let them know that I highly encourage them to interview at any university that offers this as an option. Why? Because there is no piece of paper that can ever tell the whole story about an applicant and personality is often difficult to get across in an essay. In a time when colleges are looking for students to really become a part of a “community” on campus, and not just warm bodies, it’s important for the admission committee to see how you might fit in with the social environment on campus. If you can’t travel to the schools to which you are applying, no worries! Many schools now offer Skype interviews or interviews with alumni in your area.

David AllenManaging DirectorGlobal College Counselors Ltd

Not really

I’d say it isn’t really necessary but can sometimes be advantageous – you won’t necessarily have to travel as many now offer Skype interviews or alumni inteviews. For the UK Medicine and Oxbridge tend to require you to travel, medicine absolutely does require it.

Mark GathercoleUniversity AdvisorIndependent University Advising

No, but…..

If not required by the university, an interview is not any more necessary for an international student than for a domestic one. If you have the chance to interview, however, it is a good opportunity for you to make a human impression on the admissions person, rather than just a paper/virtual impression on your application.

Ruth Fraser

International Students – College Interviews

Interviews are not necessary or always requested. However, if you are offered the opportunity for an interview, this is your chance to show more than your scores! Often these interviews are carried out by alumnae in your area. Prepare for the interview by researching the school programs and campus offerings and having some meaningful questions to pose to the interviewer. With UK universities, often the interviews are either in person (at your own expense you would travel to the UK) or sometimes these interviews can be done by Skype. Never pass up the chance to be interviewed – be yourself and use an authentic voice to show your interest in their school and program.

Karen Ekman-BaurDirector of College CounselingLeysin American School

College Admissions Interviews for International Students

Some schools do not interview prospective students, some “recommend” an interview, and some “require” an interview. If a school requires an interview, it is often possible for a student to arrange to be interviewed by an alumnus/alumna of the institution who lives in an area near the student. This eliminates the need to make an expensive trip to the college or university solely for the purpose of the interview.

Nicholas Umphrey

Is a college admissions interview necessary for an international student?

I believe any interview is helpful for both the admissions people making the acceptance decision, and for the person interviewing. Learning how to interview is a invaluable skills to have as an adult. Assuming your English skills are advanced enough, I believe it depends on your personality as well. If you enjoy conversing with people and can carry on a good conversation, then certainly do an interview. If you are afraid to come across as awkward and uncomfortable, then it could work against you. It is always a good idea to practice with a parent, teacher, counselor, and solicit feedback from them. Usually the theater teacher or an English teacher in your school is a great resource.

Carita Del ValleFounderAcademic Decisions

usually no

No a college admissions interview is not necessary unless the student has something completely unique and pertinent to the school and/or program they are applying to and can not be outlined in the application.

Helen Cella

Is a college admissions interview necessary for an international student?

Depends on the school

Annie ReznikCounselor/CEOCollege Guidance Coach

Interviews are Highly Recommended, Not Necessary

First, check with individual colleges for requirements regarding interviews. If interviews are optional, it is a great idea for international students to connect directly and personally with a representative from the institution. Most colleges and universities will accommodate students for interviews through web-based video chat or through phone appointments. While, I highly recommend an interview, do not worry that you will negatively impact the likelihood of by passing on the option.

Don Tamminga

Is a college admissions interview necessary for an international student?

Interviews work both ways; the college wants to get to know you a bit but you also are checking out the college. An interview can tell you alot about what is important to a school and how you might fit in. I believe an interview is very important; as much for you as it is for them.

Woodrow DunnAcademic CounselorFreedom High School

College admissions interview

An interview is not necessary, yet it is wise for international students to attempt to make some kind of personal contact. A phone call, pictures to the guidance counselor, a friendship with the university’s recruiting officer. If there is someone in the university who knows who you are I believe that to be beneficial.

M PinkermanCounselorHuntington High School

College Admissions Interview for International Students

It depends on the college, but most do not require it. If the school is highly competitve it would be a good idea for you to request an interview if not required.

Connie Boger

College Admissions Interviews

An interview can be requested at most schools. If it is required, the college will arrange it.

Jill RaySchool Counselor

College Interview & International Students

I would say that it was important, if not just for the student to become acquainted with the expectations of the university. Usually, only very prestigious schools hold interviews, and it’s very important to be fully aware of what they are looking for in a candidate.

Brad JacksonDirector of College CounselingSan Domenico School

Is a college admissions interview necessary for an international student?

In general colleges waive the interview for International Students but it may be very helpful to get an interview. Often there will be options for a skype or phone interview for international students. Before you ask for an interview ask yourself and someone who knows you well if you present well in English. Are your sentences fluid and are you able to listen and understand at a conversation speed. If not then try to avoid the interview. The best reason to interview is to show them your enthusiasm and personality. Do your research about the school and come with questions about your interests that cannot be answered by the website. Many interviews will be conversations about your interests or current events. When you talk about your interests or opinions do so thoughtfully and listen and actively consider what the interviewer says. Having a great conversation is the very best interview you can hope to have.

Brad JacksonDirector of College CounselingSan Domenico School

Is a college admissions interview necessary for an international student?

In general colleges waive the interview for International Students but it may be very helpful to get an interview. Often there will be options for a skype or phone interview for international students. Before you ask for an interview ask yourself and someone who knows you well if you present well in English. Are your sentences fluid and are you able to listen and understand at a conversation speed. If not then try to avoid the interview. The best reason to interview is to show them your enthusiasm and personality. Do your research about the school and come with questions about your interests that cannot be answered by the website. Many interviews will be conversations about your interests or current events. When you talk about your interests or opinions do so thoughtfully and listen and actively consider what the interviewer says. Having a great conversation is the very best interview you can hope to have.

Darla Andrews

Is a college admissions interview necessary for an international student?

Some college will require an admissions interview. Colleges know it is difficult for international students to interview in person. You may be able to interview via social networks.

Dr. Stabile

Is a college admissions interview necessary for an international student?

Interviews for international students are encouraged by most universities, but not required. An interview can provide additional insight into you as a person and you can present a persuasive statement of what you can offer to the university.

Kristin WhiteDirectorDarien Academic Advisors

Is a college admissions interview necessary for an international student?

That depends on the college! Most colleges don’t require interviews anymore, and in some cases they don’t even offer them. On the other hand, other colleges offer alumni interviews throughout the world. Schools such as Georgetown will match you up with an alumnus in your country for an interview. Overall, the interview is not necessary at most schools. But if you are given the oppotunity to have an interview, it is worth it!

Rotarsha Jackson

Is a college admissions interview necessary for an international student?

Every college admissions process is different. When an international student applies and their packet is reviewed, the admissions team will determine if an interview is needed and will notify the prospective student.

Dale FordCounseling Department ChairSingapore American School

If one is offered, take it!

One of the purposes of interviewing international students is to get a sense of your true English ability. If interviews are offered in your city or country, always take advantage of them. Unless you are painfully introverted or have poor English skills they will tend to help your admission chances. While it might be possible to fake transcripts and records in some countries, it is nearly impossible to fake an interview.

Joseph FreemanDean and College CounselorRandolph School

How important is the inteview for international students?

If a college offers an interview, it is usually in the best interests of the applicant to go to the interview. With the exception of a few colleges, most admissions offices use the interview (if at all) as an optional or supplementary piece of material. Therefore, it is not necessary to go through the interview process. International applicants should not feel obligated to travel thousands of miles for these interviews. If the college offers interviews locally, an international applicant should take advantage of the opportunity. Colleges offering interviews will also give that opportunity on-campus, so international applicants who are on a college tour should inquire as to the possibility of an interview. Many colleges appreciate having the opportunity to interview international applicants to discover that applicant’s proficiency in English; if an international student speaks English fluently, therefore, the interview is very much to his or her advantage.

Kathryn Lento

Only do interviews to strengthen or explain…

An admissions interview is usually optional if offered at all. Consider an interview only if you think it will strengthen your application or give you an opportunity to explain something that is not communicated well on your application. If your conversational skills are weak or you are nervous in interview situations, then skip it. If you would like an interview but can’t visit the campus, some colleges have representatives or alumni in other countries who meet with perspective students for interviews and there are also video chat options such as Skype.

Steven CrispOwner Crisp College Advising

Is a college admissions interview necessary for an international student?

Whether or not you are required to complete an admission interview will be decided by the college you are applying to. Some colleges require all of their students to go through an admission process. Some colleges require only certain students to go through this process. You can always ask an admission counselor if you can complete an admission interview if you think it will help your chances.

Sarah ContomichalosManagerEducational Advisory Services, LLC

Admissions Interviews and the International Student

The majority of admission interviews are conducted by alumni interviewers. Many colleges have networks of alumni interviewers all over the world. Some colleges use these purely for informational purposes and to market the school. Others are evaluative and in most cases come into play when the student has met all the other criteria. Check the websites for a particular college’s policy. For schools that offer interviews by the admissions office, it is usually possible to set up a Skype interview. I recommend requesting an interview as it one more way of demonstrating interest in a particular college.

Saroj Jagernauth

Is a college admissions interview necessary for an international student?

Not necessary but desirable!

Jonathan DunnDirectorCreative College Counseling, LLC

Is a college admissions interview necessary for an international student?

The answer to this question is the same as the answer for a domestic student. If a college offers applicants the oppportunity to interview, then students should take advantage of it, especially if they are confident and outgoing young adults. Many students are far more impressive in person than they are on paper. That is, they are far more dynamic than is indicated by their grades and SAT scores. Any student who is in that situation should definitely interview if they have the chance.

王文君 June ScortinoPresidentIVY Counselors Network

it is suggested by counselors to take on the challenges!

only the most selective schools may require interviews, many of them suggested interviews for international students. from the counselor’s point of view, taking on the challenges is a way to show competitive advantages and it will work for the best interests of the student. however, students should practice and receive training for conducting interview before the scheduled admissions interview. it is not only the best way for colleges to communicate with the applicant, but also replace the applicant from just numbers to a human face.

Francine SchwartzFounder/ PresidentPathfinder Counseling LLC

College Interviews and International Students

International students should follow whatever the protocol for the schools they are applying to. Schools recognize that it may be difficult for international students to have an in person interview and can possibly arrange for phone interviews. Many interviews are informational verses evaluative, which are required. I believe that if an interview is offered students should take the opportunity to have that face to face contact with the admissions staff or representative. Schools often track a student’s interest and an interview definitely is a plus in that regard. Francine Schwartz Pathfinder Counseling LLC

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Is a college admissions interview necessary for an international student?

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Mr C CoakleyPresidentAcademic Coaching Services

Is a college admissions interview necessary for an international student?

As in interviewer, I believe that most, if not all, interviews to many schools are necessary. Interviewers are advocates for students. A great interview can definitely enhance a student’s candidacy and provide unique information not apparent on a written application. Students should accept any opportunity they have to discuss their personal goals, academic interests, readiness for college, and reasons for their college selections. More often than not, interviews can help more than they can hurt.

adam baerWriter and Editor for Top National Magazines, Websites, and Newspapers

Is a college admissions interview necessary for an international student?

No, but I’d recommend it. You want to have as much personal contact with people associated with the school formally and informally as possible before you make your decision.

Kathleen HarringtonOwnerNew Jersey College Consulting

Is a college admissions interview necessary for an international student?

Each college and university sets their own guidelines for interviews. Since the global college applicant pool has soared in numbers over the last five years, an international candidate may wish to contact the international admissions counselor at their potential school and request to have a sit down with him or her. This may be more of an informal interview however, it will assist an applicant greatly when their application is being reviewed and an admissions counselor has had a personal conversation either formally or informally with the candidate. Applicants should take advantage of any opportunity that exists to speak one-on-one with an admissions counselor at their potential school.

Dr. Bruce NeimeyerCEO/PartnerGlobal College Search Associates, LLC

Is a college admissions interview necessary for an international student?

Similar to all students, the interview can help for a number of reasons. It can provide a point of contact in the admissions office for the student. This helps to humanize your application in many ways and can also provide an advocate for your admissions if that become necessary. It also helps to give a more complete picture of you as an applicant and your abilities to function in an English speaking environment if English is not your first language. This adds another dimension to your admissions decision that goes beyond the English skills demonstrated by your TOEFL or IELTS scores. Finally, it provides an opportunity for you as a student to gain a more personal understanding of the institution to which you are applying beyond their website and brochures. If you are going to attend this school for the next few years, you owe it to yourself to get and up close and personal view of the school via someone who is physically there especially if you are unable to visit prior to enrolling. The interviewers insights can be of use to you in making your final decision about where to enroll.

Pamela Hampton-GarlandOwnerScholar Bound

Interviews for International Students

I would like to immediately say no; and that is true for the most part. However; not particular to international students only but all students there are some elite institutions like the “Ivies” Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc that may require interviews from student.

王文君 June ScortinoPresidentIVY Counselors Network

very much needed for selective colleges!

For any US boarding schools, accepting the student without admissions interview is unthinkable, irresponsible, and will create a negative impact for the students and parents. In many cases, interview a Chinese student for boarding schools is beyond necessary especially the Chinese students are not introduced to the boarding schools by counselors. There are many stories that I have heard from US boarding schools such as they thought they are accepting a girl from china and then end up enrolling a boy from china under the same name. Admissions interview for college students is a little bit different because the focus is not like boarding schools interview which is verifying how much that student knows about that particular boarding school. Colleges wants to prefer language proficiency and his or her academic crediantials. Most importantly, college admissions will gain perspectives about the student’s character, personality, and other personal qualities through admissions interview. It is true only very selective colleges will require admission interview and due to the nature of international admissions many highly selective schools only recommend interviews, does not require admission interview. Admission interview are recommended only because the colleges are taking into the consideration of the physical distance and communication barriers for international students. And graduate students from china normally are not required for admissions interview. So let’s talk about what impact the admission interview will have for all three types of Chinese students. Regardless of whether the interview is required or recommended, it is in the Chinese students best interest to use such opportunity to benefit themselves. Not all Chinese students will be benefited from admissions interview. Why? Because if they’re not prepared, did not to their homework, do not have interview skills, accepting admissions interview will not be advantage to those students. Now who is the right student for admission interview? To name a few: well-prepared students, trained students, and students who have the courage to communicate and promote themselves. The positive impact of having admissions interview for boarding school students will change everything. Regardless the student’s TOEFL score is between 80 or 90 or even 100, a successful interview will put the students in front of their admissions director for convictions and strong interest of commitment. A successful admissions interview for college admissions for highly selective colleges will put the Chinese student ahead of everyone else simply because the majority of the Chinese students simply choose not to have a interview. The difference between asking for interview and receive interview is huge. If interview is recommended, not required, then the student must ask for the interview. If the interview is required, then the student must receive the interview. Ask for the interview will deferentiate the student and if the student knows how to conduct the interview with interview skills, then the student will gain addition advantages and top of the resumes and test scores. For graduate students, talking directly to university faculty not only by email but by Skype will put the student ahead of their competitors if the student knows how to deliver persuasive communication with the faculty. In general, admissions interview are used for one purpose which is to promoting the student and provide opportunity for the school to learn more about the student at the same time. The students may conduct a successful admissions interview which ultimately provide benefits for admission results. But if the students did not deliver a successful interview, that student will be disadvantaged at the same time for admission results. Just like any other tools that the students are afraid to chose and make their decision on how to use them. Without training and prep, the majority of Chinese students would not gain advantages through admission interview. But it is a wonderful tool if Chinese students are willing to compete and willing to accept the challenges. Ivy counselor’s office will ask admission interviews for Chinese students and will help the Chinese students to satisfy admissions interview requirements for a particular school. Either way, the Chinese student must receive training to understand what messages to deliver, how to handle a conversation, and being persuasive with honesty and truth. There’s a lot of homework for Chinese students before their admissions interview such as learning the person who are ultimately responsible for conducting the admissions interview, and have a good understanding about their application in details. If the Chinese students chose to use Chinese agencies to submit their application, most likely their admission interview will not be successful. If the student is working with US counselors for admission interview, then the student will successfully deliver admissions interview and avoid possible negative impact on their admissions result. For those students who are very competitive, possess high self-esteem, and willing to take on challenges, they are the right students to work with a US counselor and in the position to take advantages of the admission interview opportunity. Those students will ultimately set themselves apart from the other competitors with an admission interview whether it is required or recommended.

Patricia KrahnkePresident/PartnerGlobal College Search Associates, LLC

Usually Not, but Sometimes Yes

Short Answer: It’s only necessary if they ask for it, and most colleges and universities don’t require interviews. Detailed Answer: Colleges and universities are looking at grades and language/communication skills. If they require an interview, they will state the instructions clearly on their web site. To see an excellent example of this, visit Harvard’s undergraduate “International Interview” page, at http://www.admissions.college.harvard.edu/apply/international/interviews.html

Reecy ArestyCollege Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & AuthorPayless For College, Inc.

Is a college admissions interview necessary for an international student?

Necessary & highly advisable. It’s always better for the college to meet a student so they can have a better chance to evaluate you on other than your numbers.

Claire Law

Is a college admissions interview necessary for an international student?

It depends on the level of selectivity of the college you apply to. Certainly, you are not expected to fly into the US to interview. The admission committee understands that many students simply cannot afford to fly in for an interview. Nowadays, with Skype and Webex, many college admission directors are able to talk with students in all four corners of the world. If such an offer is made to you, take it as an opportunity to get to know your college and for the college to learn more about you.

Ryan JohnSchool CounselorBethlehem High School

Is a college admissions interview necessary for an international student?

It may not be necessary, but I would highly recommend it if you are comfortable in an interview setting and are comfortable enough with your language skills of your new country of residence. An interview can add great depth and substance to your application and can give an admissions officer an entirely different view of you as a person that they cannot glean from application materials. By interviewing, similar to a domestic student, you add a ‘human’ element to the process and allow the college admissions staff into your world, a world that is more than likely very dynamic and interesting as an international student.