A college admission interview is simply a chance to meet face to face with an admissions counselor from your desired college/university. Not all schools have interviews as a requirement, so it’s important to first check their website and then schedule a date. If the school is out of state you’ll want to do this in advance and schedule a campus tour while you’re there.
So, what exactly happens in these interviews? Like any other interview, it’ll be an opportunity for the school to get more information about you. It’s your time to shine, so don’t be afraid to show some personality! If you’re stronger in one class than another or had a bad semester for a valid reason, this is your opportunity to explain those things. Here are some major things to keep in mind before your interview:
1) Be Yourself
Our generation seems to be able to spot a phony very quickly so let’s not be hypocrites. Now more than ever schools are looking for unique and authentic individuals; the days of the clones are long gone. Go into your interview with a realistic understanding of who you are including your strengths and a few minor weaknesses. Of course, don’t share all of your flaws but have a good balance because no one is perfect. It’s also helpful to mention how you’re working on your weaknesses.
2) Be a Team Player
Find out what you bring to the table, aside from your grades. Are you a leader who would be interested in the senate club or debate team? Are you a great planner who can lead campus events? Determine what you can you offer your school?
3) Never Tell a School They Aren’t Your First Choice
No one likes being second place, so please do not go into your interview admitting that you have another school at the top of your list. Play it cool and treat everyone as if they are your first choice.
4) Do Your Research
Research your school. Know their mission statement and values. Show the recruiter you care and, in the process, you’ll discover if this school is really right for you.
5) Be Professional
Come dressed in business casual, well groomed, and on time. Your appearance is very important in these types of situations but being punctual is absolutely critical. You want to show you’re responsible.
Come prepared. Practice your responses with your parents or friends, and do your research. There are some typical questions recruiters ask, which you can look up, such as:
- Why do you want to attend this college/university?
- What’s your favorite subject in high school?
- What do you want to study in college?
- What do you enjoy doing when you’re not in class?
- What are three interesting things about you that I wouldn’t know from your application?
- What’s an example of an obstacle, a failure, or a mistake that you learned from?
This interview won’t make or break your chances of getting into a school, but it will definitely add or subtract “cool” points. So, remember above all to relax and be yourself. If you have more questions on this topic you can ask me on social media @YoungFreeMI.
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