The College Admisisons Interview

Preparation for the interview

1. Make an appointment by calling or e-mailing the admissions office. You do not need to speak with an admissions officer to make an appointment; the office secretary usually arranges interviews.

2. Read about the college in advance to become an informed interviewee and/or prospective applicant.

3. Know yourself well.

4. Think about questions you would like to ask the interviewer and information about yourself that you would like to share with him/her. (It's okay to take notes and have a list of questions and points you would like to cover.)

5. Dress appropriately. Avoid extremes. (Suit/coat and tie are not necessary.)

When you have your interview

1. Be prompt. Call if you are delayed.

2. Be yourself - do not pretend to be something or someone you are not! Smile, be friendly, considerate and polite.

3. Demonstrate confidence, a willingness to learn and a genuine excitement about the challenge of going to this college. Enthusiasm is contagious! Help the interviewer visualize you as part of the student body.

4. Answer questions to the best of your knowledge and ability. Do not be afraid to admit that you don't know something.

When stumped:
Gain the time you need to think by asking a question such as, "I'm sorry, I don't understand what you mean.
Could you repeat or rephrase that please?"

When you do not understand:
Simply ask for clarification by asking the above question or by asking, "Could you please clarify the question? I'm not sure I understand what you mean."

5. Be ready to volunteer information - know your scores, GPA/rank in class, latest grades and what courses you now carry or will carry in your senior year. Be prepared to discuss your most important extracurricular activities, your job, summer activities or your special interests. College admission people like to know what is important to you and how you spend your time out of school.

6. If the interviewer asks what you would like to contribute to the college community, comment on such topics as: a. Your active interest in studying. b. Your desire to meet people and be a member of a community. c. Your goal to use your talents, skills and interests by participating in meaningful school activities.

7. When you are asked a questions, do not answer with "yes" or "no". Elaborate briefly. The interviewer want to hear you converse.

8. Pay attention to the interviewer and try to respond directly and specifically. Do not try to analyze the interview while it is in progress. Try to relax and enjoy the exchange.

9. Toward the end of the interview, if you have questions, or if there is information you would like to share, be sure to mention it in a way that is comfortable to you.

10. Before you leave, be sure you have your interviewer's name and title. Ask for his/her business card. Thank the interviewer for his/her time and interest in you. Shake hands. After the interview Send a thank you note to the interviewer. It shows that you have taken the time and interest to think about your recent interview. This is also a great opportunity to reinforce or clarify something from the interview or bring up something that was not discussed.