Female Student At College Interview Handshake with Male Alumnus

College Admission Interview Pointers

In truth, interviews are more to keep college admissions alumni happy and engaged than to be a thorn in the side of solid and interested applicants. But these tips will help make your application interview a success:

  1. When you’re at your college interview, do not drink or eat anything, even if your interviewer offers.
  2. Do not underdress or overdress. Most interviewers will let you know if the interview is casual, but for the most part slacks and a button-down shirt and sweater for guys is perfect; girls can wear skirts (not short), tights and a sweater or button down shirt, or nice slacks and a sweater. No sneakers on an interview…ever. Suits or sports jackets with ties are overkill.
  3. Yes, bring your resume to the interview. If the interviewer does not want to see it, or has been instructed not to base his/his interview on the resume, then he/she will tell you. Much of the time, the interviewer is happy to see your interesting achievements and experiences in a written and organized form.
  4. Always come with a set of at least three questions about the college that cannot be found on the college website.
  5. Be able to express in detail why you have chosen that school—include names of professors, courses and/or departments that you are impressed with, either from the university website or in-person meetings on campus.
  6. If you say you have an interest in politics or literature, for example, please be ready to discuss anything in those fields: classics or other books you’ve loved studying or reading, and why? Current events or articles about politics in the US are favorite discussion topics for students professing a passion for political science or public policy. (Oh, and make sure to know the name of the President’s cabinet members).
  7. Always ask the alumnus what his/her best or most memorable moments were on campus; and what he/she would like to study or do if they had a chance now?
  8. Never ask your parents to accompany you inside the place of the interview. Remember, it’s just you going to school in the fall.
  9. Never let your parents call the admission office to ask questions on your behalf (unless it’s after you’ve gained admittance and they have financial aid questions).
  10. On every interview, lead with your intellectual vigor if you don’t have an unusual or exceptional extracurricular activity or organization to speak about.

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