Preparing for Your College Interview
Show off your skills and personality in a college interview.
As part of the admissions process, certain colleges will require you to interview with one or more university representatives. This is sometimes done to screen for scholarship eligibility, or it could be a requirement by a specific school at that university. For example, most music, theater and performance art departments will require an interview in addition to submitting an application.
Don’t be nervous. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to show the university why you would make a great addition to their student body. You’ll be able to sell yourself in greater detail than most students.
Common College Interview Questions
The specific questions you are asked will vary from school to school and may even vary from interview to interview, but in general, you can expect some (or all) of these questions to be asked.
- Why do you want to attend our university?
- What are some of your interests and hobbies?
- What do you see yourself doing five years after college?
- What are some of your strengths and weaknesses as a student and a person?
- Who/What is your favorite book, subject, musician, etc.?
- How do you plan on contributing to student and campus life?
While you want to have ideas ready for all of these questions, don’t give the interviewer a prepared statement. But be sure to show up to the interview with the following information in hand.
General Interview Tips
Remember, in an interview, colleges are not really interested in your resume and academic achievements – they want to get a look at you as a person, to see how you would fit into their university.
- Be early. Not only will this ensure you arrive on time, but you will also showcase that you are a responsible student.
- Dress nice. Business casual – slacks, collared shirt, business skirt, or jacket is best. Your attire will dictate the university’s first impression of you.
- Bring a resume/portfolio. Even if you are not asked to share, having hard copies of your resume and any relevant work will demonstrate that you put in time preparing for the interview.
- Ask questions. While the university is using the interview to learn about you, it is also an opportunity for you to learn more about the university.
- Be honest. Don’t lie for the sake of having the “perfect answer” ready for a question.
- Follow up. Get the name(s) of the interviewer and send a letter to thank them and tell them how excited you are about the school.
Most importantly, have fun with the interview! An interview means that the university has a serious interest in you as a student. If you come off as eager, excited, and enthusiastic, these qualities will resonate with the interviewers.