Practice College Interview
Practice. UGH. Do I Have To???
Yes. In fact, it's pretty non-negotiable. Make mistakes when you can fix them, not when you're in the middle of the real deal.
What Questions Will They Ask Me?
There are several types of interview questions you can count on. These include:
• Your high school experience (academic and extracurricular).
• Why you want to attend the college.
• Your impression of the school (not just"it's nice").
• How you see yourself in the future.
Oh, yes...and about that D in calculus. The college interview is a good place to address grade or test score discrepancies as well as add new information, such as an award you won after you submitted your application.
Rules of the Road.
1. Be enthusiastic.
2. Be yourself.
3. Be honest.
4. Be thoughtful and specific in your answers.
5. Sit up straight and make eye contact.
6. Don't forget your sense of humor.
7. Never respond with only yes or no answers.
Before You Get Started:
1. Ask a family member or friend to help you. (Facing a real person makes a difference.)
2. Use the following questions to practice.
3. Take turns being the interviewer and interviewee so you're familiar with both sides.
4. Don't worry too much about what you'll say yet. As you practice you'll become more comfortable.
Ready, Set, Begin!
Use the sample questions below to practice for your college interview. While you may not be asked all of these questions, you'll most likely be asked a version of many of them.
I've also included sample questions you can ask the interviewer. You should think of several questions (similar or different from these) that you want to ask the interviewer and write them down before you go.
Sample Interview Questions:
Tell me about yourself.
Why do you want to attend our college?
How will you participate?
What courses have you enjoyed the most in high school? Why?
Are your grades an accurate reflection of your potential?
Which of your activities is most rewarding and why?
What activities would you like to participate in here?
How would your friends describe you?
What has been your biggest achievement?
Tell me about an obstacle you've overcome?
What one thing would you have done differently in high school and why?
What's your greatest weakness?
What are some of your strengths?
What current events have you been following?
Recommend a good book to me.
How did you spend last summer?
Do you have future plans?
Do you have any questions for me?
Questions to Ask the Interviewer:
What kind of activities are available for freshmen to meet other students?
Are there programs for the students to get to know their professors?
How do I find out about part-time job opportunities or internships on campus?
What advice would you give freshmen before they came to school?
I talked to the coach (or professor or tour guide, etc) and learned (fill in the topic) Can you tell me more about that?
Is there anything else I can tell you about myself to help you make a decision about my application?
Do you have any advice for me?
*Tip: Don't ask questions that are easily answered by the school catalog or website. Be thoughtful and specific.
What if I Feel Uncomfortable Talking About Myself?
You're not alone. It's difficult for most people to say “I did this” or “I helped my team” to do that. That's where practice will help.
What if I'm Nervous?
Don't worry, almost everyone is nervous. In fact, the interviewer expects it. The thing to remember is that your interviewer wants to like you, get to know you, and to help you get to know the school. If you forget, go blank, or say something dumb, just smile and move on. It happens to everyone.
What if I've Got a Low Grade or Score I'm Afraid I'll Be Asked About?
The interview is the perfect place to address any problems with grades or test scores. Grades and tests can only say so much about you; it's up to you to put them in perspective. Did your parents go through a divorce? Did you get a bad grade early on and then made sure it never happened again? Whatever the reason, be honest, and explain any discrepancies. Even if you're not asked, you should offer to talk about it. Confronting the issue shows maturity.
What if There's a Question I Can't Answer?
If you've practiced and are prepared you shouldn't have a problem, but sometimes an interviewer will throw in a curve. If you get stumped, you can say, “I have to think this over. Can I send you my answer?” Remember, it's always better to say “I don't know” than to pretend to be an expert.
Most of all, be honest and be yourself. There are few right or wrong answers so don't try to say what you think the interviewer wants to hear.
No Matter What, Don't:
• Be rude to anyone you meet.
• Bring a parent into the interview. If they do come, make sure they are in another room.
Practice and prepare, and you should make a good impression at your college interview
Need Help Preparing For An Interview?
I'll teach you to:
Successfully answer interview questions
Improve your presentation & communication skills
Know how to begin and end an interview
Make a great impression