10 Tips for a Successful College Interview
Some colleges do not require an interview as part of the admissions process, but many of the more competitive schools do. And while your excellent test scores and stellar resume are probably enough to get you admitted to the school of your choice, it certainly doesn’t hurt to score points at the interview! So, if you’ve been invited to interview at your favorite college, follow these ten tips to make a powerful impression.
Show up on time. This sounds like a no-brainer, but certainly deserves a mention. Promptness demonstrates that you are ready for college life.
Come alone. Don’t bring your parents, a friend, or a significant other. You need to appear independent and fully prepared for college life.
Dress professionally. There’s no need to overdo it, and go with a full suit or a fancy dress and heels, but do dress as if you’re interviewing for an office job.
Respond to questions in detail. Remember all of those essay questions, in which your teacher asked you to explain your answer? Apply that same approach to your interview questions. Avoid short “yes” or “no” responses, and explain your reasoning.
Prepare for common interview questions. Research the more common interview questions, and give them some consideration ahead of time so that you’re more prepared to offer a thoughtful response.
Don’t over-prepare. Yes, you should consider common interview questions and think about those topics, but avoid sounding like you’ve prepared a speech. Allow your answers to be spontaneous and genuine.
Avoid unappealing habits. Don’t chew gum during the interview, twirl your hair, or be seen smoking outside the front door.
Demonstrate interest in the school. Act as though this school is your first choice, even if it isn’t. Research the school ahead of time, so that you can offer meaningful comments about its programs of study, the school mascot, sports teams, extracurricular activities, or anything else that catches your eye. You want to sound knowledgeable about the school.
Tell the truth. Avoid the temptation to exaggerate your past successes; just be yourself!
Thank you interviewer. Be sure to thank your interviewer for taking the time to talk to you. For bonus points, send a brief handwritten note the following week.
If you have questions about the college admissions process or need assistance, simple give us a call and set up an appointment. We’d been happy to help!