Seniors: Advice for your Interviews!

Seniors, at this time of year, you will likely be doing interviews at the schools on your list -- either in the admission office or with alumni. Here's our best advice:

Take the time to reflect before you show up for the interview. For example, think about  what's important to you, what you're reading, which of your activities means the most to you, what class you most enjoy, what event going on in the world right now has caught your attention and why?

Have a well thought-out answer for a question you are very likely to hear: "Why do you want to attend College X?" Your answer doesn't have to be long or involved but it should honestly reflect your feelings and in-depth knowledge about the school.

Dress appropriately. Admission officers say by far the most frequent interview faux pas are wardrobe malfunctions.  Here's a guideline: dress like you're lunching with your grandparents.

Be on time. In fact, be a little early.

Be polite — to everyone: the receptionist, the other students and parents in the waiting room, the interviewer and your parents.

Remember: this is an opportunity to create a lasting first impression. One of the best ways to do that is to start out the interview strong. Make eye contact with and greet the interviewer, offer them a firm handshake, and state your full name clearly before you take your seat for the interview.  

Then, relax and have a good conversation with the admission officer. Your openness and receptivity to connecting with another person is as important as the subject matter discussed.


For more information about interviews, including interview etiquette, online interviews, and questions students may want to ask, see Chapter 11, "College Interviews," in College Admission: From Application to Acceptance, Step by Step.


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