The College Interview

Applying to college is more than just the application and essay; sometimes there is an interview process as well. Administrators at your intended college may want to get to know prospective students on a more personal level by putting a face to the name. College interviews can be a little intimidating, especially for the shy student. So, what can you expect and how can you ace the interview?

Interviews can vary from individual one-on-one sessions to group open house sessions. Sometimes these interviews are requested by the school as part of the application process and other times a student can request the interview, perhaps to make their individual application stand out. Whatever the reason for the meeting, you want to make a great first impression.

College Interview Questions

Administrators at schools use the interview process to ask a variety of open-ended questions. Like a job interview, there are some questions that are pretty much standard in a college interview, such as:

  • What made you apply to this college?
  • What is your favorite subject?
  • Have you done any community service and if yes, what?
  • What extracurricular activities are you involved in?
  • What are your future goals?
  • Who is your role model and why?
  • How do you plan to balance college classes, activities, and a social life?

There may be more challenging questions and some that may even seem like verbal essays. Some schools may even get a little personal by asking about your family and home life. Just answer honestly and thoroughly and you should have no problems sailing through the interview.

College Interview Tips

  • Dress business casual. Do not over do it, however do not wear jeans and a sweatshirt. A nice pair of slacks and a jacket for men will work and a knee length skirt and casual blouse for ladies will suffice.

  • Come prepared. Bring your high school transcript and if you have any college credit, bring that transcript as well. Be prepared to explain any discrepancies in your records, such as less than stellar grades or numerous absences.

  • Bring a list of questions. You probably have a few questions about your prospective school, so write them down and bring the list with you to the interview.

  • Be on time. Make sure that you are early and on time to your interview. Tardiness is frowned upon and any reason you have for being late will just make it sound like you are making unnecessary excuses.

The college interview process should not be a scary or intimidating event. This is your chance to bring your paper application to life by putting a personality with the name. This is also your opportunity to explain to the admissions staff how and why you are a candidate for their incoming class. Just make sure to be prepared, don't be nervous, and relax. You should have no problems acing the admission interview and receiving that sought after acceptance letter.

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