12 Best College Interview Tips To Help You Prepare Well

A college interview is a one-on-one encounter between a college admissions officer and a high schooler who has applied for admission. Along with grade transcripts, standardized scores, and essays, it is one of the numerous ways for a college to evaluate an applicant.

A college interview allows a college to present you with further information about the school and to answer any questions you may have. Furthermore, the interview allows the college to discover more about you, your hobbies, and how you will contribute to the school. And knowing some of the important college interview tips will go a long way. 

Additionally, few institutions mandate interviews. However, many do offer them as an option or recommendation. Columbia, Occidental, and Bates are examples of very selective or small private institutions. Because there are so many applicants, most large public colleges do not even offer interviews.

Furthermore, if you can be interviewed, take advantage of it. Taking advantage of an interview opportunity benefits you because it shows the school that you’re genuinely interested in enrolling. And exhibiting enthusiasm can considerably improve your chances of acceptance. Finally, the interview allows the school to learn more about you beyond what is written in your application.

However, try not to get too worked up about the interview. It should only increase your chances of getting accepted if you’re polite, attentive, and prepared. The interview will also provide you with information about the school, allowing you to determine whether it is a good fit for you.

Have you been invited to a university admissions interview and are now frightened and unsure of what to expect? Check out our top twelve college interview tips

1. Think about the type of interview you’ll have.

Interviews for university admissions are usually either evaluative or instructive. Thinking about the type of interview is one of our interview college tips. To secure admission to highly prestigious universities such as Oxbridge, evaluative interviews should be expected. When the university admissions officers determine whether to grant you a place, your performance in the interview will be.

You will be able to learn more about the institution while the university learns more about you in an enlightening interview. Additionally, because they want you to choose their institution, university admissions officers may be just as eager to impress you as you are to wow them. Your university interview may, of course, involve both evaluative and informational components.

2. Make a list of precise questions

Your interviewer will anticipate you asking questions about the school and discussing why you wish to attend. Spend some time coming up with unique questions with solutions that aren’t readily available on the college’s website.

3. Consider how you can stand out

Because university admissions assessors are likely to encounter applicants, you should consider how you might stand out and make a positive impression. When interviewers ask you to tell them about yourself (a question that will almost certainly come up), try to come up with a memorable response.

This is your chance to express your enthusiasm for your chosen topic, your long-term goals, and the attributes that will help you succeed academically. Standing out is also an important college tip for all students.

4. Practice as though you were a prizefighter

Being interviewed is a talent that takes time to master. Ask one of your parents, a teacher, a college counselor, or a friend to ask you their greatest college interview questions. Answer them truthfully and with seriousness. Then inquire as to how you came across to your “interviewer.” You’ll improve with each college interview, so plan your calendar such that your final interviews are with the institutions you’re most interested in.

5.  Go over your personal statement again

Writing an honest personal statement is also an important college interview tips. Tutors who are interviewing you are likely to bring up items you mentioned in your personal statement or application essay, whether it’s an interest or a claim about one of your accomplishments. (This is one of the reasons honesty is so crucial!) Examine what you wrote again, and think about any related questions that might arise during the interview, such as inquiries about specific books you’ve mentioned or academic interests.

6. Reread the course materials

It’s also a good idea to review the university’s prospectus or official website for details on how the course is structured, what the entry criteria are, and what optional modules are available, among other things. This will show that you’ve done your homework on the course and may also help you come up with some good questions to ask the admissions staff — you’ll almost always be able to do so, even in a performative interview. Make sure the questions you’re asking haven’t previously been answered in the course materials.

7. Make sure you understand your subject 

Understanding the subject is also part of the college interview tips we will be discussing.

However, you should be well-prepared to explain why you’re interested in your chosen subject and why you want to enroll in your selected course to your interviewer. You may also show your enthusiasm by keeping up with the latest news, research, and advances in the subject. You might be asked about some of these topics exactly, or you might just be able to use them as examples.

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8. Be true to yourself

Remember that matching is the key to getting into college (and staying happy there). You want to be yourself so that the person conducting the interview can determine if you are a good fit.

Consider why the institution appeals to you, what you want to study, and what you might do after graduation before your interview. But always be your best self. You have several sides, so show off the professional, mature, and composed side of yourself.

Wear what makes you feel comfortable and confident, not what you just pulled yourself off the couch in. Remember to smile and remember that your interviewer also wants the interview to go well!

9. Stop obsessing over time

Most interviews last between 30 and 60 minutes. Another important college interview tips is don’t be too conscious of time. After all, it is believed that a long interview is said to be a sign of a good interview by some students.

However, because on-campus interviews are typically planned back-to-back and off-campus interviews are typically conducted by alumni who are working professionals, your interviewer is likely to be on a tight schedule. But,  It’s not (necessarily) because they think you’re boring if you notice them checking the clock.

10. Dress for the occasion

Although university admissions interviews are usually relaxed, it is always preferable to dress up rather than down! Wear something nice and comfy that you’d wear to a formal job interview, and you’ll create an excellent first impression.

11. Arrive early to avoid disappointment

Arriving early is an important college interview tip. If you’re going to an admissions interview in person (rather than over Skype), make sure you know where you’re going and how long it’ll take you to get there and leave plenty of time. It’s a good idea to arrive 10-15 minutes early.

12. Take a deep breath and smile at the same time!

Lastly, on our college interview tips is breath and smile. Although it is true that it is easier said than done, try not to be too concerned. Keep in mind that the university interview is rarely considered when deciding whether if to accept you as a student.

Also keep in mind that the admissions authorities have definitely been impressed enough with you to invite you for an interview, which means they’re really contemplating awarding you a spot. Even if you’re afraid on the inside, force a smile on your face; it’ll make you feel better and show the interviewers that you’re enthusiastic about the chance.

Also, send a thank-you note to the person who helped you. Let your interviewer know if there was anything in particular about the interview that was beneficial to you. Mention a book, a shared experience, or a band you both enjoy if you have a connection with the interviewer.

Otherwise, thank your interviewer for taking the time to meet with you and indicate your continued interest in the institution.

The 12 Most Common College Interview Questions.

The questions I’m providing and explaining have either been mentioned on various admissions websites and interview guidance manuals, or they’re generic enough that you’ll be able to answer a lot of comparable questions by practicing them.

I’ve listed the answers to each question below. How you might prepare ahead of time for the inquiry. This process is also part of our college interview tips. Planning before hand the answers to questions you might be asked.

1. “How will you make a difference in the college community?”

This question may be asked during your college interview as a way for the interviewer to measure your interest and dedication to the school. However, you can tell the interviewer about any sports, groups, or other forms of extracurricular activities that you are interested in.

2. Tell me about yourself

This isn’t a question at all, but it’s something you might be asked to do during an interview. You could have problems deciding where to start because it’s so broad. Furthermore Prepare a response to this question. Try talking about your hobbies, interests, and passions. You can talk about what motivates you and what your friends admire about you. Be as precise as possible. Again, you want to leave a lasting impression.

3. “What makes you want to pursue your major?”

College students may not know what they will study before they begin their studies. The interviewer is probably interested in knowing if you have if plan for your college career. Give an honest answer to why you chose your major. Besides, if you haven’t yet narrowed down your options, talk about two or three majors that you’re passionate about and why you chose them.

4. What skills do you hope to gain because of your program?”

This question may be given to gauge your understanding of your academic limitations and how you intend to develop or improve your various academic skills. Keep your responses truthful and identify one or two primary abilities you’d like to improve.

5. Why Are You Interested In This College?

This is a crucial question, and you should definitely prepare for it, because universities want to see that you’re serious about the application process and have a genuine desire to attend the school.

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Discuss your passion for a particular major or academic program, the school’s cultural values, or extracurricular activities that led you to the college. Be thorough and specific once more. Don’t mention prestige or rankings, and don’t suggest you’re only interested in going because it’s close to home; none of this demonstrates true interest in this particular college!

6. What Academic Strengths Do You Have?

To get to know you as a student, universities want to hear from you about your academic strengths and weaknesses.

Make sure your response isn’t too brief. “I’m good at science,” isn’t enough. When talking about your academic strengths, describe how you’ve used them to your advantage. How have you used your writing skills to achieve in school, for example, if you’re a great writer? What are your plans for employing your strengths in the future?

7. “Do you intend to continue your studies?”

If this question is posed to you, don’t be scared to say you don’t know at this moment. If you do plan to go to graduate school, mention it in your response.

8. Will you apply for financial assistance?”

If the interviewer asks you this question, he or she is likely trying to figure out which financial aid programs, grants, or scholarships you might be eligible for. However, if you intend to apply for financial help, tell them what efforts you’ve already made to cover the costs of college in your response.

9. What Academic Weaknesses Do You Have? How have you dealt with them?

Colleges aim to admit good students, but they understand that everyone has their own set of talents and flaws. Colleges want to see that you have the perseverance and work ethic to overcome your obstacles. Schools are looking for kids who can demonstrate their abilities to face and overcome difficulties. Try sharing particular tactics or approaches you’ve used to improve your academic deficiencies. You might also share a specific anecdote about how you excelled in a subject that was particularly challenging for you.

10. What aspects of your high school would you change?

Colleges use this question to assess your problem-solving skills and gain a better idea of what you’re searching for in a school. They get a chance to learn more about what’s important to you by understanding what you’d alter.

Colleges are looking for a well-thought-out response. Make sure to be specific and respectful. “I’d get better teachers,” I don’t say. Assume you would increase funding for the music department so that more pupils may learn to play new instruments. Describe the current situation in the music department and how learning an instrument has aided you. Make it obvious that you wish to improve your school’s performance.

11. Do you intend to engage in extracurricular activities outside the class?”

This question can be used to gauge your enthusiasm, motivation, and commitment to your college institution. If you have any outside-of-class projects, research papers, or other intellectual pursuits, mention them in your response.

12. “Who do you admire the most?

Why are they asking this? Colleges can get a sense of your values by asking this question. Colleges may question your priorities if your most admired individual is Justin Bieber, for example. Don’t merely name the person in your response.

What is it about that person that you admire? Many people, for example, claim that the person they admire the most is a parent. But what is it about that parent’s accomplishments that you admire so much? In a nutshell, don’t overlook the details.

5 Questions To Ask Your Interviewer

If you’ve begun to plan for your college interview, you’re undoubtedly thinking about the types of questions you’ll be asked and how you’ll respond to them. Part of our college interview tips is to ask your interviewer some relevant questions. And that’s a nice point to consider! However, a good interview is a dialogue, not an interrogation, especially with a college admissions officer or alumnus.

That means you should prepare questions to ask your interviewer, just as you should prepare answers to any questions your interviewer may ask you. You should be prepared to ask these questions throughout the interview, but especially near the end.

Asking questions demonstrates your enthusiasm for the institution and your commitment to the college application and choosing process. It should also show that you’re interested in what the interviewer is saying and that you’ve been paying attention throughout the interview. So I am going to list out some of the important questions you should ask your interviewer.

1. What advice would you provide to a first-year student?

This question can also be a fantastic starting point for an alum or an admissions representative because it directs the conversation to whatever your interviewer is most interested in discussing. Following that, you can ask for more precise inquiries.

2. What would you say the academic culture of the college is like?

It’s usually a good idea to talk about academics whenever possible because that’s how your college application will be judged. As a result, learning more about what it’s like in the classroom at this college can help you focus on your own academic strengths in high school.

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3. What would you say about the college’s extracurricular activities?

Learning about campus life outside the classroom might also help you bring your existing extracurricular activities into the classroom. It’s also a wonderful approach to ask more specific questions regarding your interviewer’s personal college experience if he or she is an alum.

4. What options are there for getting involved in research?

It’s smart to inquire about research in your admissions interview since colleges love to hear that high schoolers have already started thinking about what kinds of research they might get involved with on campus. Prepare to discuss the type of project you’d like to work on!

5. What distinguishes this school from others?

To put it another way, what makes your school unique? Your interviewer’s response to this question might reveal a lot about what makes this college unique, which you can inquire about more – and which you should include in your college essays!

What Questions You Shouldn’t Ask in a College Interview

One of our major college interview tips is to know the kind of questions you shouldn’t ask. You should be aware of the types of questions to avoid at all costs in your interview, in addition to preparing effective interview questions. A terrible question can unwittingly suggest that you’re unprepared, immature, or otherwise not a good fit for this institution, just as a good question can reflect your high level of interest and curiosity.

1. Irrelevant Questions  

Make sure all of your questions are relevant to the institution you’re interviewing for. For example, if this institution does not offer an engineering or business degree, don’t inquire about it. It’s critical that you do your homework ahead of time to guarantee that you’re asking your interviewer the finest questions possible.

2. Answers that are simple to find

This is a popular type of college interview question that irritates college interviewers. If you have a query that can be answered with a fast Google search or by going to the college’s website, don’t ask! Don’t inquire about the student body’s size, the campus’ location, the school’s available majors, or anything else.

In general, every question you pose should not be met with a hasty response. Again, the goal of asking questions is to advance the dialogue, so avoid asking questions that are solely factual.

3. Do not inquire about rankings or questions such as “What is your best department?”

While universities like to brag about their rankings on their websites and in brochures, it’s not a good idea to bring them up during your interview. Keep in mind that the interviewer is trying to learn more about you and judge your suitability for that particular institution.

You don’t want to appear overly concerned about your reputation or rankings. Furthermore, the interviewer will be hesitant to claim that any program or major is the greatest since she does not want to imply that any program is poorer or less effective.

4. Inquiries Regarding Admission

The goal of this interview is for the school to learn more about you and for you to learn more about the school. Do not inquire about what should be included in your college application or how to increase your chances of acceptance.

Asking about financial help, merit awards, or student loans is also inappropriate at this time. All of these things happen in a separate process from admissions and can be discussed with the financial aid office instead.

 5. Too Many Non-Academic Questions

It’s fine to inquire about extracurricular activities and campus life, but you shouldn’t linger too long on non-academic topics. It’s critical that you come off as a serious high schooler who is prepared for a challenging higher education, rather than someone who is only interested in partying and sports.

If you find yourself talking primarily about non-academic topics, bring the conversation back to academics by inquiring about your interviewer’s courses, major, or research.

Conclusion

Prepare for your interview by doing some research.

Asking thoughtful questions demonstrates your interest in and engagement with the school. If you forget one of your questions, you can write it down and bring it in with you. Many of the interview, though, should be a conversation. You don’t want to come across as though you’ve attempted to cram everything into your head.

Furthermore, if you’re nervous about the interview, try practising with a parent, teacher, counsellor, or friend. If the individual with whom you are practising is unfamiliar with the interview procedure, you can practice answering common interview questions. Similarly, if you’re unsure about the quality of your prepared questions, see one of your teachers or a counsellor.

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