Tips for Your College Interview

Post by Will Eichler • At 3:26 pm Thursday, 7 November, 2019

Admissions Insight

Right now, you are probably obsessing over your GPA, test scores, and extracurriculars so that you can craft the ultimate application for your top school. However, there is one thing that you should not forget to prepare for as you put the final touches on your application – the college interview. Now, not all colleges require an interview as part of their application process, but you can opt-in to one if you choose to do so. And if you’re aiming high with your application, (which you always should)  then four of the eight Ivy League Colleges require an admissions interview, and the other four strongly recommend it. Suffice it to say, the interview is not something to be overlooked during this critical time in your college journey. 

Considering the fact that the interview is not necessarily required in the cases of many colleges, you might be asking yourself if you really need to go through with one in the first place. The answer to that is essentially that it isn’t going to hurt you at the very least, and at best it could greatly improve your chances. The interview is an opportunity for you to truly showcase your personality to either someone such as an admissions worker or a passionate alumni. It also provides you with the opportunity to bring up any accomplishments you may have had in the time since you submitted your official application. To put it simply, it is a chance to show yourself off one final time before a decision is made regarding your acceptance. So it is imperative that you go in ready to leave a lasting impression. 

While the word “interview” suggests that someone will be questioning you, it is important that you come to the event with plenty of questions of your own. These will show that you have a passion for the school and want to know more about the classes, campus, and overall community that a school has created. And don’t just come with a list of generic questions such as, “What’s it like to go there?” Take some time to research the school you are interviewing for so you can tailor the questions to that school in particular. 

You’ll also want to practice for the interview as much as you can. Whether you are naturally charismatic or painfully shy, this interview is meant to be a determining factor in your future, and to come without any hints of preparation gives the impression that you don’t actually care about the school you’re interviewing for. We’ve provided a list of some common interview questions below so that you can prepare answers for them and go into your interview ready to present the best version of yourself. 

Finally, it is obviously important that in the interview you are being yourself. While it may seem obvious or even cliche, it can be easy to craft a persona for your interview that does not truly reflect who you are. Do not attempt to pad your resume or show off something that you are not truly passionate about when interviewing, instead, steer the conversation towards the things you care about so that you can demonstrate that you are a person with passion and enthusiasm and highlight how you want to pursue those things in college. This will help the interviewer visualize you at their school, and hopefully, it means you’ll see yourself there soon enough.

Common Interview Questions:

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. Why do you want to go to *insert college name here*?
  3. What do you like to do for fun?
  4. Who is someone you admire? Why?
  5. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
  6. Why did you choose your major?
  7. What is an obstacle you have faced? How did you overcome it?
  8. What are some of your strengths?
  9. What are some of your weaknesses?
  10. What makes you unique?


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