Preparing for a college interview can be stressful and nerve-racking. The interview is yet another stepping stone some students must take before they are granted admission into a school. However, a college interview isn’t as scary as you might think, as long as you prepare properly.
The college interview serves the purpose of letting the school get to know you and your passion a little better. During the interview, you’ll be able to convey your interest in the school and showcase how you’ll be able to fit in better on campus. Not only is the school taking this opportunity to learn about you, but you should also be able to learn more about the school. It can help you determine if the school is right for you.
The interview likely will only help your chances of getting admitted. As long as you are polite, prepared, and attentive throughout the interview, you’ll leave a good impression on the interviewer.
Here is how you should prepare for a college interview:
- Demonstrate interest in and knowledge of the university.
Before that interview, make sure you do research to show that you are knowledgeable about the school and can have an in-depth conversation about the institute. Pick out classes, clubs, undergraduate programs, majors, etc., that you would like to participate in if you were to attend the school. You should be able to answer “Why this school.”
- Show your academic abilities, curiosity, and interests.
You want to brag on yourself a little bit here and show what makes you so unique compared to other students. You want to showcase what you have done best. You might want to pick out 3–5 of your top extracurricular activities or experiences that you want the interviewer to know about you. Make sure you aren’t talking about the same activity for each practice question; highlight a different activity in each answer.
- Be excited!
You want to be excited about what you have done in the past if you have a particular pastime that you love, it is okay to talk about it and be passionate about it. Be excited about attending the school as well! You want them to feel like they are your number 1 choice.
- Showcase your personality. Be professional, friendly, and warm.
You want to show that you are a personable person who could fit in well with others at the campus.
- Make an impression.
You want to be memorable. Whoever is interviewing you needs to remember what makes you unique and conveys that to the admissions office.
- Prepare questions.
Often, the interview isn’t just about the interviewer finding out more information about you —it’s also about you finding out more about the school. You might want to consider asking the interviewer questions to help you get to know the school a little bit better. Make sure the questions aren’t so general that you could find out the information online, and make sure that they aren’t too personal as well.
- Practice beforehand.
Look up common interview questions beforehand and practice a few hands. Recruit a friend or family member to help you go through the answers and critique you.
- Send a thank-you note.
After the interview is over, make sure to send a thank-you note after the conversation. Reiterate your excitement about the school, and thank the interviewer for their time!