First of all, the college interview isn’t as intimidating as it sounds, so if you’re worried about it---don’t be. Much like your personal statement or admissions essay, the college interview provides you with the opportunity to showcase your personality. More than that, it gives you a chance for the college of your choice to discover more about you than what your scores on various tests reflect. Hence, the college interview can be a great opportunity to let your personality shine and also a great opportunity for those students with less than stellar scores to truly stand out.
Instead of looking at the interview as another obstacle in the gauntlet known as the college admissions process, view the interview as at least one aspect of the admissions process that you can ultimately control. And that control comes from being prepared.
Prepare Questions to Ask
Keep in mind that the interviewer isn’t just there to ask you questions; you’re there to learn as much as possible from the interviewer as well. Ask questions about the interviewer’s academic experience at the college of your choice and also ask about their current career. But the topics of discussion do not have to be quite so serious, you can also ask fun questions about the campus climate or recreational activities.
Practice with a Family Member or Friend
You know that the interviewer will eventually ask questions about your goals, dreams, and aspirations. Expect questions such as: “Why are you interested in being a student at X?” or “What makes you stand out from other candidates?” Have your answers ready. Don’t be caught off-guard by these relatively easy questions. Practice your answers with teachers, family members or even a friend.
And if possible, record the practice interview. You want to be sure you’re maintaining eye contact, speaking clearly and that you also aren’t using too many fillers in your speech such as like or umm.
Do Your Research
Before you go on your interview, research the school. Understand their admissions and financial aid policies. Know the type of students the school attracts and any special programs that the school might offer that you would be interested in pursuing. Know a little about the history of the school and its mission. This way, the interviewer will again see that you’re interested and invested.
Approach it Like a Job Interview
What would you do before a job interview? You would get a good night’s rest, right? And you would also be sure to know the best route to the location of the interview in order to arrive on time. Last but not least, you would’ve had already decided what to wear by the night before. Well, for your college interview, you should prepare in a similar fashion. After all, your college interview is just as important as a job interview; in the end, if done correctly, it could be the advantage you need to get into the college of your choice.
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