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:
- When you’re at your college interview, do not drink or eat anything, even if your interviewer offers.
- 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.
- 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.
- Always come with a set of at least three questions about the college that cannot be found on the college website.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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?
- Never ask your parents to accompany you inside the place of the interview. Remember, it’s just you going to school in the fall.
- 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).
- 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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