How to shine in your interview?

How the College Interview Works

There are generally two types of college interviews and there are some schools that do not require them at all. The first type of interview is one in which you actually go to the school and meet with a representative from the actual Admissions Office of the college. This type of interview can be of great value, because the person interviewing you works in the office that will make the final decision on your application. The second and more common type of interview is one in which you meet with an alumnus of the school. The first type of interview tends to be more structured and the interviewer will have specific questions prepared for you. The second type of interview is more conversational and the interview may just want to get an idea of what sort of social skills you have.

Things to Do

Dress semi-casually, which means you may want to wear a button down shirt and khaki pants or a blouse and skirt instead of a t-shirt and jeans. You do not need to wear a tie or high heels or any other sort of particularly formal clothing. Also, the interviewer will be familiar with your application, so you should review everything that you wrote in it, especially your personal essay. Interviewers will generally ask you questions about why you want to attend this school in particular, what you want to study, what you are interested in, what you believe your personal strengths and weaknesses to be, and so on. Consider these questions and think about how you might answer them. You should do some research about the school and think again about why it appeals to you. Generally, interviewers are not looking for specific answers to questions; they just want to get a better idea of who you are.

Things to NOT Do

Do not be late to your interview! This is your one and only chance to actually make a personal impression. You should also not be rude, even if you do not like the person that is interviewing you. Also, answer questions honestly and without trying to make yourself sound more impressive than you are. You want to use the interview as a chance for the school to get a better idea of who you are, so don’t act like someone else!

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