Some people see college interviews as a way to get into their dream school. Other people see college interviews as terrifying. In actuality, college interviews fall somewhere between the two. While opting for an interview won’t automatically make you a shoo-in for an acceptance, it certainly shows that you’re interest in the school and would like to learn more about it. These are some tips that can help prepare you and ease your stress about your college interviews:
- Research the school. Understand the school’s values and, more specifically, the programs you’re interested in. Knowing information about the school will show the interviewer that you are truly considering the college.
- Make a resume. Not every interviewer is interested in seeing a resume, but it’s always good to have one on hand. You’ll appear prepared and professional, and it could provide you with some talking points during the interview. Try to keep your resume at a one-page limit, though. Your interviewer is there to talk to you and see what you’re like as a person; not spend twenty minutes reading about all of your activities.
- Look up potential interview questions and practice what your response will be. You can’t, of course, be prepared for everything that can be asked, but you can definitely prepare for questions that will most likely come up. (What are your strengths and weaknesses? Why do you like _______ University? What would you contribute to _______ University? What interests you?)
- Prepare questions to ask your interviewer. College interviews are as much an assessment of you as they are a way for you to learn more about the school. Whether your interviewer is current student or an alumni, they can provide you with firsthand experiences of their school. Take advantage of this. Show that you did your research by asking questions about student life, your specific program, etc. However, make sure to ask more open-ended questions rather than questions that can be found with a simple Internet search.
- Be yourself. Interviews are a way to add a face and personality to a paper application. While it’s difficult to stop being nervous altogether, think of your interview as a conversation rather than an interrogation. Your interviewer isn’t looking for reasons to reject you. They simply want to get to know who you are as a person. Be genuine, and good luck!