How Should I Prepare for My Admission Interview?
Evan E. Lipp
Vice President for Enrollment Management
Being interviewed can be difficult at first, but it’s a skill that gets easier the more you practice. One of the best things someone being interviewed can be is comfortable. Practice what you're going to say and try to anticipate some of the questions they might ask. You should also do a little bit of research into the school beforehand, not necessarily into dates and statistics but into the programs the school offers and how that might mesh with the course of study you intend to pursue.
The most important thing you can to do to prepare for an interview is to decide how you're going to tell your story. Your interviewer is curious about you: Who are you? What have you done? What do you hope to do? It’s up to you to tell them. You should be able to let the interviewer know about work you've done and the things that are important to you, as well as how you think the college they're representing can help you achieve the goals you've set for yourself.
Lastly, think about the questions you want to ask. A good interview is a dialogue, an exchange of information; your interviewer will be happy to answer any questions you might have about the school, so it’s a great opportunity to gather information.
The interview is your best chance to put a face to your application; it transforms you from a stack of papers into a living, breathing person for them to consider. Let them know who you really are.
The key to a good college interview is to sell yourself without seeming too pushy. Keep the balance between friendly and businesslike, and remember, you want your interviewer to like you!
Interviews give you an opportunity to build on your paper application by highlighting your strengths. Be prepared to discuss the following:
- A time when you overcame adversity
- Your proudest moment
- People you admire
- New experiences you would like to have
- Why you are passionate about certain subjects and activities
- What you value
- How others see you and how you assist them
Your answers to these questions will help the admission committee see you as a person rather than a compilation of numbers and test scores.
Before the interview, be sure to prepare! Make a list of things you might want to talk about, including any questions you have about the college or university. A question such as “How can I contribute to your college?” can be a powerful statement for admission counselors to use in advocating on your behalf. It’s also a good idea to offer some positive comments about the school. Finally, don’t forget to follow up on your interview with a thank you note.
Still have questions? Get answers from our experts!
Like what you’re reading?
Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.Join Now