Interviews may or may not be required but if they are offered, it is a good idea to participate, if you are at all interested in applying to the school. It is an important process that allows you, and the institution, to gather more information to see if the institution is a good fit. To participate is an indication that you are really interested in the school and are willing to take the time to better insure that that happens. Some colleges have local alumni interview applicants. In any case, should you interview, you need to be prepared with questions that you want to ask and you should be prepared for the types of questions the interviewer is likely to ask. The best interviews occur when there is an even exchange of information. Dress appropriately, obtain your interviewer's contact information so that you can be sure to write a thank you note within 2 days of the interview.
General Tips for an Interview
- Your appearance counts! Make sure you are dressed conservatively and are well groomed. If you think your grandmother would like the way you’re dressed, then you have the right look!
- Shake hands firmly with the interviewer when you first meet them and make good eye contact. Shake hands at the end of the interview and thank them for taking the time to speak with you.
- Make eye contact throughout the interview.
- Make sure you obtain the interviewer's contact information in order to write a thank you note within two days of the interview.
Questions for the Student to Ask
You should have researched the college before the interview. Avoid questions (like “Do you offer a major in forensic science?) that could have been answered with a little research. Here are some ideas for the types of questions you might want to ask. Be prepared with at least three questions.
- What percentage of the first year class returns for the second year and why do students leave before graduation?
- Which departments are most popular?
- What are the current student issues on campus?
- Which are the most active extracurricular clubs and organizations?
- What do your students tend to do immediately after graduation?
- Is this college a good match for me?
- If you are thinking of studying a certain major, ask if they can tell you further details about that particular major/department at that school.
- Any other questions that you still have after researcing the school.
Questions the Interviewer May Ask
- What do you hope to gain from the college experience?
- What can you tell me about yourself in addition to what I already know from your application?
- What characteristics of this college are especially appealing to you?
- What do you hope to do at college outside of the classroom?
- How would your teachers describe you?
- What are your concerns about the college search and selection process?
- What is your approximate GPA and rank in class?
- What are your easiest and most difficult subjects and why?
- What are your extra-curricular achievements and job experiences?
- What are your hobbies and main areas of interest?
- How have you used your summers and what have you learned from the experience?
- What are your reading habits – types of books you prefer?
- Tell me a little about yourself.
- What about yourself do you want our admission staff to remember most?
- Who was your favorite high school teacher and why?
- What have you done in your school or community that you are most proud of?
- What do you do in your free time?
- When are you at your best? Your worst?