Planning college interviews starts long before you schedule your first on-campus Q&A. Preparation is the key to a successful interview. Of course, interviews are rarely required when applying for admission to a bachelor’s program, but they can give you a leg up.
Getting on the Schedule
After submitting your application, scheduling an interview can help you move to the top of the admissions list. It may not be required, but meeting admissions officers in person can help separate your application from the pack. Demonstrating good interpersonal skills and providing background beyond your test scores and GPA can help offset any deficiencies on your paper application. A quick call or email to your local admissions office is typically all it takes to schedule an interview, and the benefits can be enormous. Of course, it is also a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the most common questions before walking into your interview.
3 Most Common College Interview Questions
1. Tell me about yourself.
This question might seem easy, but it is deceptively simple. How can you condense 18 years into just a few quick sentences? You can’t, but you can offer some fun facts and out-of-the-box information. They already have all your transcripts and school documentation, so be sure to focus on your home life and extra curricular activities. For instance, if you collect coins or enjoy going to fan conventions, mention it.
2. Who do you consider to be a role model?
Like all interview questions, this is designed to give the interviewer some insight into who you are and what you value. Who you choose is not nearly as important as why you chose the person. Be sure to have a list of qualities you want to emulate or successes you specifically admire, and don’t ignore any shortcomings.
3. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
When listing your strengths, it is crucial to offer specific examples. Saying you are a strong leader doesn’t mean much unless you can also provide a story demonstrating those leadership skills. It can be tempting to ignore or minimize weaknesses, but honestly acknowledging them is a better policy. Everyone has weaknesses; the key is to admit them and present a plan to overcome them.
Additionally, remember these four tips to help seal the deal:
- Always arrive at least 10 minutes early.
- Dress to impress.
- Bring a copy of your application and transcripts.
- Keep things brief, friendly, and informative.
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If you prepare thoroughly, you will be able to enjoy your interview and will be sure to make a great first impression.