College Interview FAQs
Why should I interview for college?
An interview is your chance to make a personal connection with the school.
You're a lot more than your test scores and grades. This is where you can let your personality and achievements shine through.
Participating in an interview is also a way of showing demonstrated interest. Demonstrated interest is exactly what it sounds like—it's a way of showing the school you really want to attend.
What if the school doesn't require interviews?
If you're comfortable in an interview situation try to schedule one anyway. You'll be able to make that personal connection. If you're not comfortable, skip it and let your application do the talking for you.
How long do college interviews last?
College interviews generally last from thirty minutes to one hour.
Who will be interviewing me?
That depends on the situation. If you make an appointment at the school, you'll probably be interviewed by a college admission officer. But you also might be interviewed by a student, so it pays to find out.
At home, you might be contacted by an alum. You might also find yourself participating in less formal group information sessions with students or college admission staff, or chatting with a representative at a college fair.
Some students - especially international students - may be offered remote interviews (Zoom, Skype, etc.)
Will the interviewers make me feel uncomfortable?
No. Most interviewers want to make you feel welcome and relaxed because it's the best way for them to learn about you. Remember that your interviewer wants you to succeed. So picture a friendly face awaiting you as you work on how to prepare for an interview.
How do I prepare for my college interview?
1. Research the college. Start by reading the school's website. Don't stop at the home page. Find out what the school offers that appeals to you. Write a sentence or two about what makes it different from the other schools. Talk to alumni and students if you can, read the college literature, and visit if you're able. Jot down questions as you do your research so you can ask the interviewer questions later.
2. Practice answering interview questions. This is essential. You don't want to memorize your answers, but you do want to present yourself well and thoughtfully. Ask a friend or family member to help you practice, and take turns being the interviewer and interviewee. Click here for a practice interview.
3. Gather a list of your achievements, honors, awards, and extracurricular activities to give the college interviewer.
4. Know who's interviewing you so you can greet him or her by name.
5. Arrive early so you can relax.
Practice, be prepared and confident, and you should make a good impression at your college interview.
Need Help Preparing For An Interview?
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Successfully answer interview questions
Improve your presentation & communication skills
Know how to begin and end an interview
Make a great impression