You’ve filled out your college application, sent in transcripts, applied for scholarships, and mailed letters of recommendation. You discover the college you most want to attend also requires you to interview. You set a date for the meeting, and it’s like every nerve in your body goes on red alert. Don’t worry! Here are some tips to get you prepared for your college interview.
Relax and Stay Focused
While the interview is important, all the work you’ve done before that point carries much more weight. If your test scores and grades are good, you won’t be rejected if you get nervous during your interview and mess something up. It’s harder to think when you’re quaking in your skin. Take some of that pressure off yourself. It’s going to be fine.
Think of the interview not just as being what they want, but finding out if they’re what you want. Aim both to show them your best self and to find out more about how the college can prepare you for your future.
Look up a list of common college interview questions and have a family member or friend help you run through them. Practice more than once with different interviewers and different sets of questions. Take time with your answers and make sure they are genuine. Being honest and authentic will make the experience less stressful and more meaningful for both you and your interviewer.
Here are few questions to get you started:
- Why do you want to attend our college?
- What activities are you interested in?
- What are your academic strengths and weaknesses?
- Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Prepare Your Own Questions
They’re going to ask what questions you have. Don’t be caught off guard. Before the interview, prepare some questions about the campus and your degree program. Use this opportunity to show them you do your research and you take your education seriously.
Tell Them Your Strengths
They are going to ask how you describe yourself. This is your chance to tell them who you are, what you’ve overcome, your strengths and your plans for the future. A brief story that illustrates your quirks and your passions will help them remember you. Plan this statement in detail and practice it repeatedly so you can describe yourself accurately.
Dress and Act Like an Adult
As reassuring as it would be to have a parent present, go by yourself. Don’t be immature, don’t use slang. Turn your cell phone on silent and put it away, even in the waiting room before your interview.
Don’t show up in jeans and a T-shirt. Put thought into your appearance so you make a good impression. Wear the same attire you would wear for a job interview at a professional place of business. This shows respect for your interviewer and for the university.
Prepare for your interview, then be yourself. Use your interview to show the school you are the best candidate for admission.