Alumni Interviews

Seniors: Questions You May Want to Ask in a College or Alumni Interview

Seniors, over the next weeks, you may be doing interviews at the colleges or, over the holidays, with local alumni. Remember, the interview is a conversation, not a test. But you should prepare. It is likely that at some point in any interview, you will be asked if you have any questions and the general rule is to ask questions that cannot be answered via advance homework -- for example, by perusing the FAQs page of the college's website. Here are some ideas for questions that you may want to ask:

What kinds of students are most successful at College X?

What do you like about College X?

Most colleges have a specific personality that goes beyond its academic offerings. How would you describe College X's personality?

Is there a type of student who is smart and well prepared but who would be happier at a different kind of place? Why or why not?

And, in addition, for alumni:

Why did you choose College X and what did you like about it? What would you have changed if you could have? What surprises did you experience? How has the campus changed?


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.