Question: I'm nervous about this college-related interview I have to go to. Do you have any advice?
I have plenty of college interview advice for you! And I’ll tell you about what I experienced on my interviews too.
Start by really preparing for your admission interview here. (Don’t worry; I’ll wait.) Ready to go? Here are my tips for what to do when you’re actually there being interviewed on campus.
My admission interview advice
- My first tip is to dress to impress. Ladies and gentlemen, if you want to look professional for a college admission interview, dress pants and a nice shirt or sweater are a safe and easy way to go. You can wear a suit and tie, dress, or skirt and blouse combo if you like, but you really don’t need to go that formal. You just want to look put-together. This includes making sure your outfit is properly ironed and wrinkle free—and not covered in pet hair or mystery stains. And if you don’t have a nice outfit like this yet, this might be a good time to go out and buy one if you can.
- When meeting with the admission interviewer (or interviewers), make sure you give them a firm handshake and make eye contact. And let’s watch out for sweaty palms, people! When the interviewers introduce themselves to you, repeat their name back to them; that should help you remember it and let them know you are paying attention!
- After you sit down, make sure you have good posture and welcoming body language. Do not cross your arms over your chest or slouch in the chair. Lean in when they speak to you too—it shows you are listening and interested in what they are saying to you.
- As you’re being interviewed, answer honestly (duh) and as earnestly as you possibly can. Make sure the interviewers know you’re excited about all the college or university has to offer while also adding in what you can contribute as a student. Offer some genuine praise for the school. In your college research leading up to the admission interview, go over the school's mission statement (it will be on their website). Try to reference those same values in what you say during your interview; you can even mention the mission statement directly and talk about how it inspires you or how you relate to it.
My college interview experience
When I went through my admission interviews for college, I was asked a lot of questions about myself. These ranged from questions about my grades to what I am interested in to my goals, hobbies, and high school extracurricular activities. I was also asked if I had been on campus before and met some of the fellow staff and students there. One of my interviewers even asked me about what was going on in the world that I felt strongly about and what I thought the school could do to help this issue.
My final word of advice is to walk into your admission interviews with a clear head, be ready for anything, and be aware of your body language. I believe in you, and I know you will do amazing on your interview. Good luck!