As college application season comes to a close, many colleges hold interviews for their prospective students. Here are some things you should know to feel more confident about interviewing:
Types of college interviews:
- Evaluative– An evaluative interview is used for the school to evaluate a whether the candidate would fit the school. Many of these interviews are centered around the prospective student. Interviewers ask questions about the student’s qualifications and why the student chose the school, and then report back to the school.
- Informative– An informative interview gives students the opportunity to talk to a college representative or past alumni to learn more about life at the institution. Though the main focus of these interviews is for the student to learn about the university, interviewers may also evaluate the student and report back to the school.
- Interviewing shows your interest in the school– This is especially true for optional interviews. If you know facts about the school, you show the interviewer that you took the time to research about the school, and therefore have interest in the school.
- Interviewing gives you more information about the school– Most interviewers are alumni or have extensive knowledge about the life on campus. You can ask them specific questions about their experiences on campus to get a better feel for the school.
- Interviewing for college can help one practice speaking skills necessary for one’s future– If you can successfully interview for colleges, you’ll probably be able to successfully interview for jobs. Why not start practicing early?
Tips for those interviewing:
- Practice makes perfect– Avoid as many awkward silences and gaffes as possible. Don’t go into the interview without first practicing the basic questions (Why this school? What have you done to help out the community? Who are you as a person?).
- Bring an one-page resume– Most of the time, your interviewer knows practically nothing about you. Show off your achievements! The resume works both ways. It can help the interviewer learn more about you, and it can remind you about specific qualifications or extracurriculars you may want to mention to the interviewer.
- Be professional and polite– Hopefully, you wouldn’t wear sweats and act rudely on your first date. You would probably want to impress the other person. If that’s the case, why would you dress unprofessionally and act impolitely for a school that you’ll be “married to” for the next four years? Wear something that shows you are casual, classy, intelligent, and not trashy. Speak in grammatically correct English. Show your interviewer that you are serious about attending the school.
- Keep in mind that the interviewer is your friend– The interviewer isn’t trying to keep you from getting into the college. Think of the interviewer as another way to inform the college how amazing of a person you are.
- Remember that the interview won’t make or break your application– There are so many other components to your application that your interview that are also taken into account. For some schools, the interview can only help your application. Don’t worry too much about a “bad” interview, and don’t get your hopes up high only because the interview went well.
Personally, I have had two college interviews so far. One went better than expected, and one was subpar. If you’re like me and hate speaking to almost-strangers, good luck. (Just kidding. You’ll probably do great.)