College interviews are rarely a part of the application process, but for more selective institutions or for scholarship purposes, you may be asked to participate in an interview. When participating in an interview, it may take place at a local establishment or on-campus. You may be interviewing with a local alumni from that institution, admissions staff member(s), or with a scholarship committee. If you are asked to participate in an interview, it is important to consider these helpful tips.
schedule in advance
Arrange your interview with the college admissions office at least three or four weeks in advance (allow more time during the busy fall season) by phone or email.
Remember that the college is interested in interviewing you, the prospective student, not your parents. It is perfectly acceptable for your parents to accompany you to the admissions office and even to greet the admissions representative or ask a pressing question or two. It is not wise for them to linger unless they are specifically invited to do so by the college official.
Arrive for your appointment on time or perhaps a few minutes early, and dress suitably for the occasion (no jeans, please).
Expect some nervousness or tension on your part; this is only normal. But do keep the interview in perspective as it is just one aspect of your application to the college. Maintain your sense of humor and appreciate the fact that the college official may be equally anxious in his or her desire to impress you!
WATCH EYE CONTACT AND POSTURE
Remember that your nonverbal messages, especially during the first several minutes and closing minutes of the interview, may have an overriding effect on the picture of you that is retained by the interviewer. A warm, firm handshake, good eye contact, proper posture, appropriate courtesy, and responsiveness in facial expression will all do much to convey a positive interest.
VISIT THE WEBSITE
Research the college/university before your interview and avoid asking obvious questions. Be prepared to discuss why you are interested in applying to that particular school.
Don’t rely on the interviewer to do all of the talking. Ask questions of your own.
TALK ABOUT YOUR RECORD
Be prepared to discuss your academic and extracurricular record quite specifically. Focus on what you have accomplished and how these experiences have helped shape who you are.