College Interview Prep: Tips and Common Interview Questions
College interviews, while not required for many schools, are still a great way to add a personal touch to your college application. Most large, public universities don’t have the resources to provide interviews, but if you’re applying to a smaller school, especially one that’s more selective, looking into whether or not you can do an admissions interview is important.
You may be thinking: “If it’s not required, why would I do one?” In addition to adding a personal touch to your applicant profile, it also allows the school to get to know you a little better, and vice versa. It’s also a factor in interest quotient, or demonstrated interest, which can have an impact on your admissions decision.
So if you decide that an admissions interview is right for you, here’s how to prepare and make the most of your college interview.
Do your homework and come prepared. This may seem lime a no-brainer, but there’s more to preparing than just practicing your responses and looking up the interviewer’s background. You need to do thorough research beforehand on the school, campus, student community, professors, courses of interest and anything else that draws you to the institution. This will not only help you know the ins and outs of the school before entering the interview, it will also help with the next tip.
Provide detailed answers. Part of the interviewer’s task is to gauge how committed you are to the institution. By providing detailed answers and specific examples in your responses, you’re showing that you have done your research on the school and have spent time carefully contemplating whether or not the school is the best fit for you.
Be prepared for certain questions. Practice makes perfect, so rehearse those detailed and specific responses by preparing for questions that will probably be asked. For example:
- Why do you want to attend X University/College?
- How do you see yourself contributing to the campus community?
- What about X University/College draws you to it?
- Why do you think X University/College will benefit from having you as a student?
Ask your own questions. Yes, it is called an “interview,” but that doesn’t mean the interviewer wants to spend the whole time quizzing you. Again, the purpose of college interviews is to help the school get to know you and vice versa. Be conversational and come prepared with your own questions.
Be mindful of your etiquette! Proper etiquette and presentation can be the difference between a good interview and a great interview. Be prompt, dress appropriately, and send a “thank you” note afterward.
Are you planning on doing an admissions interview? Tell us what you’ve done to prepare in the comments below! And for general tips that apply to various institutions, check out our ultimate guide on navigating Princeton interview questions.