15 Jun How to Prepare for the College Interview
Counting down the days until your college interview can be pretty stressful. After all, it’s a new experience and you don’t know what to expect. The good news is with a little preparation, you can enter it more confidently and, ultimately, acing the interview.
Interviews won’t make or break your ability to get into college, but they can give you an edge. Here are a few steps to take.
Take the Interview Seriously
Even if you have amazing grades and test scores – and you know you wrote a killer essay – take the interview seriously. Pretend you’re applying for your first job. This interview provides you with the ability to demonstrate to the admission representative or other designated individual what you have to offer.
Prepare for Questions You’ll Be Asked
In most cases, representatives will ask generalized questions. They’ll ask why you have chosen their school, favorite subjects, academic goals, leisure activities, and other questions. Chances are they’ll also ask you about your weaknesses. Remember, no one is great at everything, but be careful about how you respond.
Another tip—chances are you might be asked some non-conventional questions like what would you want if you were stranded on an island or how you would spend money you won in the lottery. Colleges sometimes ask unusual questions to get better insight into who you really are.
Ask Good Questions
Much like any interview, there will come a point where the asking you questions portion will end and the representative will ask if you have questions. Never say “no”. Plan to have at least a few questions about the school itself, academic programs, and other relevant topics associated with campus life (even if it’s an online school – in that case, you can shape your questions surrounding that type of college experience). Be creative—try to steer away from FAQ-style questions.
Whether you’re answering or asking questions, be yourself. Remember, it’s not solely important that you’re the student the college wants in its student population – you want to be happy there as well. You may discover during the interview that maybe this particular campus culture maybe isn’t exactly what you’re seeking. If you pretend to be something to please the college interviewer, you could set yourself up to attend a school you really don’t want.
If you’re like most high school graduates, you haven’t had many sit-down interviews. Interviewing is, for many people, an acquired skill. Practices can help make perfect. As your parents, relatives, friends, or even a teacher or counselor to sit down and do a mock interview with you. This will help you anticipate questions and also help hone the exact questions you’ll want to ask.
The more college interviews you go on, the better you’ll get at them and the more comfortable you’ll be. After any interview you attend, be sure to follow up with a thank you note. College interviews are a great opportunity to begin making connections.
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