Lucky You, You’ve got an Interview for College
Truly you are fortunate, with some notable exceptions, the majority of US Colleges and Universities do not hold interviews for admission. Some schools have something called “Alumni” interviews. These do not usually count in the admission point system but are a very good way to learn about the school and more importantly, to ask some serious questions.
Yes, bet you thought the interview would be about you telling someone how much you liked the school and wanted to go there, but really this is another information session. It can be extremely valuable for you to get to know more about the school, and depending on the school’s process, the admissions office will get feedback about you as a potential student.
How should you make a good impression?
First, you do not have to dress up formally. This is not a job interview. In some ways it is actually more important to you at this stage in your lives. Dress nicely. Do not wear overly casual clothes, perfume, excessive make-up, athletic clothes, or over-revealing clothes. Be presentable. You can be comfortable, but maybe do not wear jeans. Think “going out for a nice dinner” attire. You can be comfortable, and you should be.
Second, do your research in advance. Learn about the school’s mission statement, history, athletic record and teams. Learn some of the few notable graduates of the school, and any significant milestones of the school. Know the school within the University you want to attend and why.
Third, have a copy of your student resume of activities with you. Make sure it is professional and complete with no typos. If you have the opportunity in advance to email your Interviewer, attach a copy so that he or she can get a glimpse into your life. Be prepared to elaborate clearly on anything the resume contains. Don’t have resume? Contact us!
Fourth, be aware of the world around you. Read a newspaper; understand what the key current events are in the news. Be prepared to make an intelligent comment or two if you are asked about what is happening in your geography, state or nation.
Fifth, have several good questions prepared to ask of the interviewer. Think about some very important points about school and college in general you would like to know. Find out as much as you can about the school, a typical student’s day, the interviewer’s experience in the work world as a graduate of the school, and other really important facts about the college, which will help you make up your own mind if it is a school you want to attend.
Lastly, know how you will contribute to the school and its community. Practice what you will say when asked why the school should accept you. It would be best if you can elaborate using an example or two from your current school or community experiences. Think of things you have done that demonstrate your strength and skills-better than simply talking about them!
Allow the interview to unfold naturally! Do not be too nervous and offer one word answers, and goodness, do not ramble on and one because you are uncomfortable with a pause or silence on the part of the Interviewer. Be involved and have some fun! This is a great time in your lives. Once again, should you want help, and a great tool to help, a recording of yourself interviewing, contact us! We have software to record your interview via Skype and send to you as a file. You can then take the tips and pointers we offer to practice a bit and feel more comfortable. The more comfortable you are during this process, the more likely you will come across as genuine and interested.