Few things in the college admissions process are as nerve-wracking as the interview. If you’re reading this article, however, you’re already on the right track to success.
At Educational Attainment Services, we offer consulting and counseling to students and their families. We have years of experience supporting students through every step of the college admissions process. The results speak for themselves. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you succeed in your interview.
Until then, check out these three preparation tips for a great college admissions interview.
3 College Interview Preparation Tips
When preparing for your college admissions interview, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. These tips will help you put your best foot forward.
1. Prepare answers to anticipated questions
It’s a good idea to research and prepare some talking points in response to many popular interview questions. Some of the most common interview questions are as follows:
- In your opinion, what are the benefits of studying at our school?
- How do your transcripts represent you as a student?
- Does your educational background reflect your current habits and goals as a student?
- What would you change about your previous academic experiences?
- What is the most important factor you’re considering when deciding where to study?
- What kind of school do you think would best suit you?
- What are your academic interests and goals?
- What would you like to glean from your time in college?
- What extracurriculars are you hoping to be involved in at our school?
When preparing your answers to these questions, it’s important to be honest while also considering the specific details of the school you’re interviewing for.
For example, if you are interested in volleyball, but the school you’re applying to is renowned for their basketball team, you shouldn’t say you want to be on their basketball team.
Instead, remark on the excellent culture surrounding athletics at the school. Mention that you love athletics because you enjoy challenging yourself and being part of a team. Then mention that you would be proud to represent the school's values on their volleyball team.
Keep in mind when writing these hypothetical answers that you should never have a word-for-word script, but rather have talking points that you can adapt into a natural conversation.
2. Bring your own questions
Coming prepared to your interview with a set of thoughtful, specific questions is a fantastic way to demonstrate your interest in the university you’re interviewing for.
Your questions should not be generic or easily answered on the website, and they should reflect your ambitions and passions.
The questions you ask are an opportunity for you to get a unique perspective on the school you’re interviewing for. You could ask about specific faculty members, opportunities for mentorship, extracurricular activities, campus culture, class sizes, employment opportunities on campus, and alumni success stories.
3. Be your best self
During the interview, it’s important to ensure the conversation flows in a natural way. Despite your preparation, it shouldn’t feel as though you are reciting memorized information. Here are a few tips for presenting yourself in the interview:
- Reflect on your life when preparing your answers. This will help you feel more natural when answering questions, as you will be telling stories and details that are honest and familiar to you.
- Keep conversational balance in mind. Don’t allow yourself to monopolize the conversation. If you find yourself speaking on the same topic for longer than necessary, find a natural way to conclude.
- Ask about the format before the interview begins. This will help you organize your thoughts so you can ask your questions when it is appropriate.
- Make eye contact, smile, and shake hands. This seems simple, but your handshake and introduction are the first impressions your interviewer will have of you. Make sure you present yourself as professional, confident, and friendly.
Get Professional College Interview Preparation Tips & Guidance
For more information on the college admissions process, visit our website or read the book: Affording and Surviving College: How to Apply to a Good School and Make It Through Without Going Broke.
At Educational Attainment Services, we make navigating the college admissions process easier by providing consulting services to students and their families. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you achieve your goals.