Whether or not you’re accepted to a university can come down to many different factors.
One of those factors? The ever-important college admissions interview.
Several schools have a process for interviewing as part of the application process and many top-tier universities use these interviews as a big factor in their decision.
Even if you’re a champion debater and speaker, going into a room with a college admissions officer or alumnus can be a bit overwhelming.
It’s completely possible to successfully prepare for your interview by following a few best practices.
Practice Answers to Common Questions
One of the best ways to prepare for your interview? Practice your answers to some of the most common questions that will be asked.
Those admissions interview questions can include:
- Why do you want to attend this college? (Get really specific with this one and tailor it to the university with which you’re interviewing.)
- What do you want to study at this university?
- What are your long-term career goals?
- How do you see yourself contributing to the campus community?
- What do you enjoy doing when you’re not in class?
- What’s an example of an obstacle or mistake you’ve learned from?
- What questions do you have for us?
That last question is key. You’ll want to be prepared with specific questions for your interviewer. Ask about the school and try to ask the questions that you might not be able to answer by just going through the university website.
Be Your Best Self During the Interview
You don’t want to put on a show for your interviewer, but you do want to be your best self. Remember to showcase your own personality and relax in your interview. You want the interviewer to actually get to know the authentic you.
But you don’t want to look like you just got off an all-night video game session either.
Dress comfortably but professionally, arrive early, and sit up straight. Show off that mature, motivated side of you.
Try not to focus on the clock or your watch either. Turn your phone to Do Not Disturb and give your interviewer your full attention for the course of the interview.
Say Thanks for Your Admissions Interview
Before you leave your interview, make sure you thank the interviewer for their time.
After your interview, send a small thank you note with something specific that they helped you with. If you bonded over something specific, like a book, activity, or show, bring that up in your thank you note as well.
You want to express your gratitude for their time and show your continued interest in the school.
Want to stand out even further? Don’t send an email. Send an actual card, especially if you have a physical address to send it to. It’s far more personable and memorable.
Go Into Your Interview Prepared
The best way to handle a college admissions interview is to head into the interview prepared.
Your ease at answering questions (because you’ve practiced your answers with family or friends), specific questions for the interviewer themselves, and even your confidence can go a long way to helping you leave the best impression.
Like with everything else in your college admissions process, a little preparation can go a long way.