The college interview is a chance for prospective students to make a good first impression on an admissions counselor or alumnus.
Interviews might not be the most important part of applying to college, but don’t take them for granted.
Some schools, like big public universities, don’t offer them or even think about them. Those that look at candidates as a whole do, though.
Do you want to do well in your college interview? You have to begin practicing right now. In this article, we have the best college interview questions with the best answers.
We have all the little details you may need to do well in your college interview. Let’s get started.
Table of contents
- How Common Are Undergrad College Interviews?
- How is College Interviews Done?
- How to Talk About Yourself in a College Interview?
- Top 25 Common College Interview Questions With the Best Answers
- #1. What makes you want to go to this school?
- #2. Why did you pick this program or major?
- #3. Tell me about a hard thing you had to do in school. How did you get through it?
- #4. In ten years, where do you want to be?
- #5. What did you read recently that made you think differently about the world?
- #6. Tell me about a time you had to work with other people.
- #7. What good things will you bring to college?
- #8. What would you do with the money if you won the lottery?
- #9. What do you think of [recent event in the news]?
- #10. What kinds of activities do you do outside of school?
- #11. What is a school problem you have and how have you fixed it?
- #12. Who do you consider a role model in your personal life?
- #13. What’s different about you from other students?
- #14. Are you also interested in other schools? How many?
- #15. Do you have anything you’d like to ask me?
- #16. Tell me three things about yourself that don’t appear on your college application.
- #17. Where are you most comfortable?
- #18. Tell me about yourself as if I didn’t know anything about you.
- #19. What did you find most difficult in high school?
- #20. Tell me about a time you had to take charge.
- #21. How would you explain what your role is in your family or group of friends?
- #22. What would you do if you had a day off without homework or school?
- #23. If you had to pick one flaw in your college application to talk about, what would it be and why?
- #24. What do you have planned for the summer?
- #25. What’s one thing you’re good at?
- How To Do Well At A College Interview
- FAQs on College Interview Questions with Answers
How Common Are Undergrad College Interviews?
So many people apply to college every year. Only a small percentage of those who apply to get an interview. There aren’t many college interviews, but the ones that do happen are usually at top-ranked schools or private schools.
Schools with a lot of competition, usually offer or recommend college interviews. Interviews are more likely to get offered to candidates by private institutions.
If any school gives you an interview, it’s important to get ready for it. This is your chance to stand out as a candidate and show the admissions board why you should get chosen.
The admissions committee doesn’t put as much weight on college interviews as they do on other parts of your application. However, they still look at them.
Some Ivy League schools still spend time and money on interviews. This shows that they get taken seriously. Only people who are being seriously considered for admission are usually invited to an interview.
So, if they invite you, take the chance to show that you are a good candidate by saying yes. Thankfully, the common college interview questions with the best answers on this list are usually picked. This should help you.
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How is College Interviews Done?
Whether or not you have to have an interview at the schools you’re interested in will depend on the university’s resources and requirements for admission.
If someone offers you an interview, you should say yes and start getting ready. Even if interviews aren’t required, you should still ask for one and do your best.
A committee or board of admissions does most college interviews, but some colleges have a different kind of interview. Applicants can set up an interview with a college graduate on their own.
These kinds of interviews are for the student’s benefit, so they can ask questions about the school, the program, life on campus, and other things. They ask the common college interview questions with the best answers on our list below.
This is mostly because there’s no one better to ask about college than someone who’s already been there. Colleges sometimes do this through an informational interview with a school staff member.
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How to Talk About Yourself in a College Interview?
Before we get into common college interview questions with the best answers, let’s take a step back and talk about how to approach the whole thing. With the right plan, you can improve your chances of doing well in your interview.
You’ll not only be able to answer the questions they ask in a minute. You would also be ready for anything else that comes up.
What’s the point? Because you can’t know for sure what they may ask of you. Sure, most college interviews will have some standard questions. So you should be able to see those coming a mile away. But there will also be some real stinkers that you didn’t see coming. It has to happen.
When you have the right plan, you know how to answer. You’ll have a method that has worked in the past, which will help you think faster on your feet. That’s the thing to do if you want to stand out for all the right reasons.
So, if you want to come up with a good plan, it helps to know what the college interviewer is looking for. Most of the time, the admissions committee wants to see proof that you would do well at the school. They want to see that you care about the college and the program and that you want to go there. They also want to know that you can deal with problems and have the skills you need to keep your education on track.
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Top 25 Common College Interview Questions With the Best Answers
The common college interview questions with the best answers are:
#1. What makes you want to go to this school?
College interviewers ask this question to see if you want to go to their school. It is one of the common college interview questions with the best answers. They want to see that you didn’t just apply here because it was convenient. Or because you thought it would be easy to get in, or your parents or guidance counselor told you to.
Here, you should mix some flattery with solid information about what this school has to offer. The interviewer wants to know that you’re interested in more than just going to college, and specifically in this college. How you should answer this question depends on the school and why you want to go there. But the way you will do it stays the same.
#2. Why did you pick this program or major?
Here’s another question to see how interested and passionate you are. Interviewers don’t want to hear that you picked a program or major as an afterthought. They want to know why you’re going in this direction. It is one of the common college interview questions with the best answers
The best thing to do is to talk about something that got you interested in the field. Also, connect it to a goal you have for the future, like your dream job or field of work, and explain why you want to get there.
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#3. Tell me about a hard thing you had to do in school. How did you get through it?
There are always tough things to deal with in school. Maybe you had a hard time with a certain subject or you had to switch schools a lot, which made your school years feel a bit jumbled. You might be afraid of tests.
The key to this question is, to be honest, but also to show that you’re strong. After all, if you’re answering college interview questions, that means you graduated high school. You should find a way to deal with the situation. Mention how hard it was, but spend most of your time talking about how you overcame it. This is one of the common college interview questions with the best answers
#4. In ten years, where do you want to be?
You can talk about your desired career path. If you don’t know what to say, talk about what you hope to have learned from college when you’re an adult or what kind of person you want to be. This is one of the common college interview questions with the best answers
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#5. What did you read recently that made you think differently about the world?
This is a great question that you should think about ahead of time. Try to stay away from both popular books for teens (like Harry Potter) and high school English classes (like Romeo and Juliet).
Make sure to choose a book that means something to you that you liked and link it to what struck you the most.
It is one of the common college interview questions with the best answers. Also, try to bring out what appealed to you most in the book.
#6. Tell me about a time you had to work with other people.
Think of something that isn’t a typical school group project. Tell me how you used your skills on a sports team, club, part-time job, or family to solve a problem or deal with an issue.
Include what you learned from the process. This is one of the common college interview questions with the best answers
#7. What good things will you bring to college?
Don’t be vague or use cliches when answering this question. Say a trait, and be ready to tell a story about how you used that trait to help other people. Try not to be too humble or too proud. Just be honest. What do you do well? What have you done with it?
#8. What would you do with the money if you won the lottery?
When answering this question, it’s probably best not to spend it all or give it all away. They get overused and will sound fake. Make it reflect your skills and interests. Are you passionate about social justice?
Find a few charities to which you’d like to give some of the money. Your school might not have enough computers or programs. Use the money to pay for a club that interests you.
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#9. What do you think of [recent event in the news]?
This question can quickly get touchy. Many students will use this as a chance to talk about their political views. However, what the university wants to know is if you know what’s going on in the world and can think critically about it.
You can say what you think, but try not to be accusatory. Instead, talk about how the event relates to who you are and what you’ve been through. You may also talk about an organization you think is doing great work to fix or address the problem.
#10. What kinds of activities do you do outside of school?
Don’t just list is the most important thing to remember for this question. Say what you do, but then be more specific. Most of your time should be mostly spent talking about a specific memory. It may be what that sport or club has meant to you, or what you’ve learned from it.
#11. What is a school problem you have and how have you fixed it?
Think about this ahead of time and pick a weakness to focus on. In your answer, be sure to give specific examples of how you have made up for this weakness. For instance, if you aren’t good at writing essays, talk about how you plan and ask for peer editing to make sure you turn in your best work.
If pre-calculus isn’t your thing, talk about how you asked your teacher for help after school and improved your grade over the year. It is one of the common college interview questions with the best answers
#12. Who do you consider a role model in your personal life?
When answering this question, it’s much better to use someone close to you as an example, rather than a vague historical figure or famous person. With real-life people, it will be easier to give specific examples of what they’ve taught you. This is one of the best college interview questions with the best answers.
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#13. What’s different about you from other students?
Take some time before the interview to think about what makes you different. What’s different about your family from other families? What would surprise people if they knew it?
Take this chance to talk about how different you are, what you’re interested in, and what you want to do with your life. Just be genuine! It is one of the best college interview questions with the best answers
#14. Are you also interested in other schools? How many?
This can be a hard question to answer, and there’s only one way to do it: be honest. But if you are applying to a rival school, make sure to say so. It’s better and might make the school more interested in you.
#15. Do you have anything you’d like to ask me?
Make sure to learn about the school ahead of time and come up with questions to ask the interviewer. If you can, you should look them up on LinkedIn. But the best questions to ask are about the school: how it feels, what it’s like to be a student there, what they’d tell new students to know, etc. It is one of the best college interview questions with the best answers
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#16. Tell me three things about yourself that don’t appear on your college application.
Think outside the box with this question! Talk about what you love, what moves you, or even a funny story from your family.
Just be yourself. Your interviewer is giving you a chance to stand out and wants you to be more than just another application. This is one of the best college interview questions with the best answers
#17. Where are you most comfortable?
Again, you can make this answer anything you want. Try to stay away from your actual home, unless it’s a specific place (like, “I love my living room at Christmastime”).
Think about a place where you feel most like yourself. Describe who you are and why you feel safe in that space.
#18. Tell me about yourself as if I didn’t know anything about you.
Your interviewer doesn’t need to know your test scores, GPA, or list of extracurricular activities to answer this question.
They want to know what you like to do in your free time, your family, and what kind of music you like. Be brief and clear! This is one of the best college interview questions with the best answers
#19. What did you find most difficult in high school?
Don’t pick a class and then complain about the teacher or how boring the class was. Instead, talk about ideas and make sure to explain how, even though the class was hard for you, you learned specific new skills from it.
#20. Tell me about a time you had to take charge.
The more subtle you are, the better for this story. You can talk about a time when you were in charge of your family or when you saw a need in your student group and offered to fix it.
Small acts of service often show who you are as a leader more than big public speeches or a fancy event you put on.
Instead, talk about what you did when you had to step up in a tough situation. It is one of the best college interview questions with the best answers
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#21. How would you explain what your role is in your family or group of friends?
If you get asked this, think about what you bring to these good groups. Don’t use words that can mean more than one thing.
If you’re the “crazy” one in your family, saying something like, “I bring spontaneity to my family,” can sound better.
It can make a better impression on your interviewer. It is one of the best college interview questions with the best answers
#22. What would you do if you had a day off without homework or school?
If someone asks you this, you should give a clear answer. Even if you plan to sleep for part of the day, make sure to do other things you enjoy.
This question is a chance to show the interviewer your interests and hobbies that might not fit on a typical college application.
Something like cooking with your mom or painting could suffice. It is one of the best college interview questions with the best answers
#23. If you had to pick one flaw in your college application to talk about, what would it be and why?
This question gives you a chance to explain in person any flaws in your application that got caused by things you couldn’t change. It is like the death of a family member or test anxiety.
When you answer, you should ensure that your explanation shows how you fit into the problem. Don’t have a party for yourself or refuse to take responsibility.
#24. What do you have planned for the summer?
This is another chance to talk about something that won’t be on your application to college.
Feel free to talk about your plans for vacations, jobs, or even mission trips. Even if you’re not sure yet, you can still write down your options and hopes.
Your interviewer just wants to learn more about you and what you like to do. This is one of the common college interview questions with the best answers.
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#25. What’s one thing you’re good at?
What do you feel good about? What makes you happy? Is it a game or a piece of music? Is it playing chess or singing? What do you think? Your interviewer will be able to feel how excited and happy you are about the job. When you talk about something you like, you’re always fun to talk to. It is one of the common college interview questions with the best answers
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How To Do Well At A College Interview
When you get ready for your college interview, you can make it more likely that it will go well. Here are some tips that might help you get ready for your interview:
- Write down any questions you have about the college that you want to ask during your interview. Think of creative questions that the school’s website can’t easily answer.
- Find out where the interview will take place and try to get there in advance. Know how to get to the place, including how to get to the school, building, or office. This will help you make sure you don’t get lost or confused and miss your appointment.
- Practice answering interview questions with a friend, family member, or even in front of a mirror. This will help you figure out what to say and how to say it.
Look over your application materials and essays. Most interviewers will ask you questions about what you said or wrote, so you need to remember what you said or wrote. Be ready to talk more about any information you gave.
- Bring your high school transcripts, letters of recommendation, resume, or any other proof that you did well in high school. Most likely, the documents were in your admissions packet, but you may need copies for other interviewers.
- First impressions are important. Come on time, or even 15 minutes early if you can. Wear clothes that are right for work and make eye contact. Shake the hand of the interviewer. Talk normally and don’t use slang or bad words. If the interview is online, make sure the background is good.
- Turn off your phone and be ready to sit still for at least 30 minutes. Before your interview, eat a small snack, drink a glass of water, or eat a small meal so you’re not hungry. Take a small pack of tissues with you if you have allergies.
- Keep up with the news and current events in case the interviewer wants to know what you think about something. You can also talk about current events in other answers to show that you are well-informed. It also shows you care about what is going on in the world outside the classroom.
- Be yourself so the interviewer can get a sense of who you are, how you might fit into degree programs, and what you might bring to the school. Show the interviewer that you are serious, calm, and old enough to do the job. You also want them to see that you are sure of yourself, so smile.
- Send a thank-you note by mail or email to the person you talked to. Thank the interviewer for taking the time to talk to you and the college for having an interest in you.
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FAQs on College Interview Questions with Answers
Write down the date and time on your schedule.
Check out the school’s website, brochure, and course catalog to learn more about it.
Write down the reasons you want to go to this college.
Write down what you can about your education and high school.
If you’re getting ready for a college interview, don’t do any of these things.
Showing up late.
Talking too little.
Giving a prepared speech.
Bringing your parents
Acting like you don’t care
Not looking into the college.
Dress for success.
Be on time.
Be friendly and easy to talk to.
Know about the school.
Have your questions ready.
Talk about your accomplishments.
Be brief, but give information.
Do your homework, and dress professionally and modestly.
Do follow all of the usual interview rules…
Be excited about the school and the program.
Don’t just sit there and wait for people to ask you questions.
Don’t try and be someone else.
Most college interviews last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
It probably won’t make a big difference in whether or not you get into the school. However, it will show that you have an interest and that you mean business. Most of the time, these kinds of interviews are both evaluative and informative.
In reality, the interview doesn’t carry as much weight with college admissions committees as most people think. About 5% of your application is on the interview, but if it is on campus by an admissions officer, it becomes more important.
It can be scary to go to a college interview, but it’s also very exciting. You have a chance to move closer to your dream school and career. That’s so cool. Use the common college interview questions with the best answers to prepare. So, you can show them that you’d be the best student for them. This will increase your chances of getting into the college you want.
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- signupgenius.com– College Interview questions to expect
- teenlife.com– Common college interview questions with the best answers
- timeshighereducation.com– Common college interview questions and answers
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