Is there anything I need to know about interviews, not just for college, but for scholarships and jobs too?
While you may feel inclined to skip an interview because it’s optional, remember that you getting into their school or getting that job or scholarship is optional too. If you want them, make every effort and that includes the effort of preparation for an interview in this highly competitive environment. By doing the interview, at a minimum you show just how enthusiastic you are and in the best case, you make a phenomenal impression on someone at the school, job or scholarship. If you connect with the right person, they can really become your advocate.
To leave a favorable impression, definitely shake hands after the interview, but leave it at that! It is important that you “touch” the person and handshakes are truly the almost universally acceptable method. Many people, even those super warm folks, have a sense of personal space that would be invaded were you to hug them, so don’t risk it! Remember to express your gratitude, mention something you discussed, exchange handshakes, and announce your intentions for any future contact, such as hoping to see them at a new students or future alumni association event. Then, make your exit!
When it comes to deciding whether to send an email thank you and/or a snail mail one, you can do both, but be sure to send the e-mail later that day so the interviewer can reference it or incorporate their good feelings about you when they do their write-up. Leave as little to chance as possible, including making sure you have their email address if you wish to go that route. Make You can also ask how you might contact them in writing at the end of the interview, if it all will be arranged by phone. If you have additional information or a question or comment which relates to what you discussed, be sure to bring it up in the e-mail. If you later come across a clipping relating to the topic you discussed or feel the need to send a more formal acknowledgement, use a plain business-like note card and write legibly.
I tell all my students that mastering the interview is a very important life skill. Students should know the answers to certain standard questions cold; these include strengths and weaknesses, special interests and why the school is right for him or her. That’s no different from interviewing for a particular scholarship or job, is it? The student should come armed with knowledge about the prospective opportunity and have questions ready to ask the interviewer himself or herself. In these days of Internet research, it’s inexcusable to not be prepared. Moreover, scholarship and job candidates have to be mature because they are being considered for a special opportunity. I tell all students to be polite, take notes, offer a firm handshake and ask for a business card. From college to career, interview skills are essential for today’s rising professionals.
I love an aphorism and still live most of my life proclaiming that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of medicine.” This especially holds true for the college interview. Students should prepare and practice in the weeks prior to the scheduled interview. Preparation should include research specific to the school and should encompass facts found beyond the scope of the school’s website. Find alumni and students currently of the school to gather information. Significant research will prevent an embarrassing mishap such as discussing an academic department or student club that does not exist. In addition, this research will allow you to form a list of substantive questions to ask of your interviewer. A question about a recent news item, faculty award or university event makes a positive impression.
After your preparation, practice the interview. A list of common interview questions can be acquired in a guidance office or from an independent educational consultant. Rehearsing the event will allow you to release anxiety and stay clam on the interview day.
Being prepared will assist a student in being confident and knowledgeable during the interview.
Treat them the same
A good interview — whether it is for a college, job or scholarship — is really a good and engaging conversation between two people. One person shouldn’t be asking all of the questions, and one person shouldn’t be sitting stiffly in the chair provided stilted one-word answers.
An interview can provide information that leaps off the page — you can really find out about a person’s attitude, personality, and character when meeting him or her on a face-to-face basis. That’s why interviews will never be replaced by email or text messages or even phone conversations! Nothing beats the face-to-face meeting.
have a list of subjects to discuss. Be short and precise. Practice mock interview with counselor or someone else. Show positive attitude and always bring your resume with you.
1. Do your homework – Explore the school or employer website and literature.
Take time to learn about specific aspects of the school or job that interest you. A great idea is to learn about what the faculty is researching in your intended major. Utilize this knowledge to ask intelligent questions in the interview.
2. Know basic information about your high school and/or past employers
You will be asked about AP, IB, honors programs and other facts about your school. Be prepared to discuss previous job duties in a job interview.
3. What to wear? For college interviews wear casual but neat clothing such as kaki’s and a polo shirt or button down shirt for guys, nice slacks with blouse or sweater for girls or a simple dress. For business interviews dress in professional attire which may include suit and tie or sport coats for guys, skirt or pants suit for women.
4. During the interview be honest in your answers and not afraid to say you don’t know the answer or need additional time to think and get back to the interviewer.
5. Establish good eye contact and be aware of posture and body language. Smile.
6. Follow up with a thank you note or email
All interviewers are very good about feeling a person out. After all, they want to select the right person, that is their goal. Your goal, is to show why you are the right person. Teens and early adults often have difficulty with modesty, and are uncomfortable taking credit for their abilities and accomplishments. In cases like this, proudly own what is yours.
The more opportunities you have to be interviewed, the more comfortable you should become with the process. Interviewers are attempting you evaluate you as a person–are you someone they would like to spend time with on campus or in an office and how will you add to that college or place of employment. If you have the chance to have a “mock” or practice interview–take it!
Yes, do research. Don’t ask any question that can be answered with information on the Internet.
When it comes to interviewing, it pays to be prepared. Not only do you need to anticipate the questions they may ask you, but you need to be ready with good questions for them. You need to dress for the occasion: business causal for college and scholarships, professional attire for jobs. Arrive on time, use a firm handshake, make eye contact, follow up with a thank you note. Be yourself, that’s who they want/need to see. If the fit isn’t right, better to find out sooner rather than latter.
Seven tips to help you win those supplemental scholarships and job interviews:
At this time of year, seniors in high school who applied to college in the fall, (via an early action or early decision) may be considered by the colleges that accepted them for a variety of scholarships, especially if they ranked at the top of that college’s applicant pool. These supplemental scholarships are renewable for each of the four years of college, so they can add up to a nice amount. They often involve an additional resume and personal interview. The competition for these scholarships is keen. Here are a few tips to help those students who are in this situation and want to prepare themselves:
1. Review your resume and focus on giving detailed information about volunteer or leadership position you may have held. Colleges are increasingly paying attention to students’ ability to solve problems independently and motivate others.
2. Be sure to explain the hours per week and number of weeks per year that you participated in such activities. Colleges are interested in activities that mean a lot to you. They are not interested in whether you volunteered at the local soup kitchen for one afternoon, once every two years. They are interested in hearing where and why you have you committed a considerable amount of effort and how serious you were in those endeavors.
3. One way to recapture this information would be to re-use your Common Application activities list and clarify what you did during those activities. Usually, there is no limit to the pages you may submit so this is the place to explain what you accomplished. You can bet that the colleges and scholarship interviewers already have a copy of your Common Application, so you need to be ready to discuss it with any details listed on it.
4. More and more colleges value work you may have done for money. Whether you scooped ice-cream during the summer or babysat a neighbor’s child, be ready to talk about these activities.
5. Be sure to provide any information you feel will help the college get to know you better.
6. A common question they likely will ask: Why do you want to study business at our college? Be sure your answer passes the “global” test. In other words, if you can substitute another college’s name in your answer, you have not answered their question “Why us?”
7. Listen carefully to what the interviewer is asking. Rephrase their question to make sure you understand it. Take your time to answer it fully. Be ready with some questions of your own to ask them.
Plenty! Like how to present your credentials, what 3 things you MUST bring to every interview, and why you’re there in the first place!
The best interviews are conversations between two people who enjoy talking to each other. You need to give answers that include lots of details, but not so many that it is more like a long rambling essay. The best interviews involve you asking questions, too, and being genuinely interested in the answers. You will look happy to be there. You will lean slightly forward in your chair and you will not lean back with your arms folded as if you are protecting yourself from the interviewer. So you need to do a little homework, which will give you things to talk about. A period of silence of more than a few seconds will feel uncomfortable and tense. Also, be careful to not blurt out everything about yourself that doesn’t really need telling. An interview in a local Starbucks is not the proper setting for talking about how you were molested as a child or that you sometimes cut yourself. Deal with these issues with a psychologist, not your interviewer. Be yourself, but please, your best self on a good day. That’s who they want to meet.
There is no single thing that someone being interviewed must know. But you should always remember that regardless of the nature or reason for the interview, it offers an opportunity to enhance the impression and the understanding that the interviewer has of you. Whether it is an admissions interview, part of a scholarship competition, or for a job, whether the interview is being conducted by an alum, a professional, or a committee, the process offers you a chance to discuss the things that matter to you and to expand on some of the things you have previously shared in your application. Share your passions and let them know what matters to you. Show yourself to be a thoughtful individual who will be a positive addition to the community, someone worthy of the positive decision—be it for admission, a scholarship, or a job—that you seek.
Go to the interview prepared to answer questions about YOU. What are your passions? Your favorite books? Favorite activities? What are your goals? What majors/jobs are you interested in? What made you decide to look at College X or Company Y? Remember, be genuine. (But don’t tell the interviewer this is your safety or that your mom made you look at it or that you really don’t even need a scholarship….) The college interview is not a “test”. You do not have to worry about “failing” the interview. However, a great interview can help your application as it can serve as a “tip” factor (tipping a decision in your favor).
This question is very broad; however the basics are:
1) know background information on the entity the interview is for
2) practice interview skills with someone prior to the interview to gain feedback on presentation, disposition, appearance, communication skills, etc.
3) drive by or find the location of the interview ahead of time so that you are at a minimum 15 to 30 minutes early
4) present yourself kindly to all people you meet including the secretary and janitor; remember you are trying to get in and opinions matter even when you do not think so
5) dress appropriately – if you are not sure get help from a local source on business attire (not expensive clothing but professional dress)
6) follow up with a thank you note within a week of the interview
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