Most colleges conduct interviews with applicants as part of the application process. These college interview questions can be on campus, with a college representative in your hometown, or even online (which is becoming very common today).
The admissions officer assigned to your application will consider the interview when evaluating and deciding on it, regardless of where or how it is done.
While the interview is only part of the admissions process and won’t single-handedly make or break your application, treating it as seriously as possible is important.
Here are the top 7 tips from the CollegEnroll team on how you can put your best foot forward during the admissions interview:
1. Familiarize Yourself With the Most Common Questions Asked
Regardless of the college you apply to, there will be some college interview questions. The questions usually fit into one of three categories:
- Why are you interested in this specific college
- Why are you pursuing a particular subject/major
- What do you do outside of study/classroom time
Make a list of varying responses for each type of question, and pick out the ones you think will work best for the college you are interviewing.
2. Do Some College-Specific Research
Colleges conduct interviews to judge a student overall and how keen they are to attend their college. If a specific college is your third or fourth choice, it’ll show during the interview process.
To avoid giving off that impression, do in-depth research about the college. Sprinkle in facts you’ve learned into your interview answers, and your eagerness to attend will shine through.
3. Practice Interview Questions With Friends and Family
Like many things in life, practice makes perfect when it comes to college interviews as well. Provide a friend or family member with a set of questions that you think will likely come up, and have them conduct a mock interview with you.
Some questions will leave you either fumbling for words or on a mini-rant. Catch these early during the practice sessions before the big day.
4. Bring the Best Aspects of Your Personality to the Fore.
The fact that the college admission process goes beyond just grades should make it evident that colleges are interested in who you are as a person overall, not just as a student.
Don’t restrict who you are or your personality during the interview – talk about your passions and act naturally. A stiff demeanor will only make you feel anxious and bury the best aspects of who you are.
5. Refrain From Fretting Over Time.
Don’t feel you should rush through your answers to get through as many interview questions as possible. It is an interview, not a test. If you feel like elaborating on a solution, go right ahead.
The onus of managing time is more on the interviewer, who is usually more than happy to listen to what you have to say.
6. Have Your Own Set of Questions Ready.
The interview is one of the best opportunities to know your prospective college better. Most interviewers will always offer the opportunity to answer any questions you may have for them – the questions you ask will also reflect how seriously you are taking the admission process.
Does the college help with job placements upon graduation? What kind of networking opportunities are available? Can students apply for scholarships or financial aid once classes have begun? These are just some of the types of questions you should be asking.
7. Express Your Gratitude for Being Interviewed.
You’ll be grateful that the college you want to attend allows you to interview. Why not let them know about it? Toward the end of the interview, let the interviewer(s) know how grateful you are for the opportunity. If you have an either email ID, send them a short note expressing thanks.
Often the college rep interviewing you is also trying to impress you so that you pick their college to attend. Use the admissions interview to enter into a meaningful conversation, and everything you have done to prep for the interview will pay off.
- Don’t be nervous. Act your usual self – this is the opportunity to put your best foot forward.
- Do your research about the college and the questions you’d like to ask so there are no surprises during the interview.
- All colleges tend to ask the same questions – try to “personalize” the responses to reflect the thought you have put into while applying.