Ask Cappex: How to Prepare for a College Interview

on July 18, 2016

Our college expert Mark Kantrowitz answers your questions about college and financial aid.

Q: I'm currently a sophomore in high school and I'm starting to look at colleges. Many of the colleges that I've been looking at require an interview. I'm wondering: how do I prepare for a college interview?

A: Advance preparation can yield a better interview. Here are a few things you can do prior to the interview to help you feel more comfortable and prepare:

  • Ask your parents to conduct a mock interview with you, to give you practice answering interview questions. It is often helpful to videotape the interview. It will be painful to watch the video, but it will help you improve your performance.
  • Research the college ahead of time. Visit the college’s web site and read the promotional material. Think of a few questions that are important to you but which aren’t answered by this material. Also, identify a few unique features of the college. This will help you respond more intelligently to questions.
  • Even if you don’t normally read the newspaper, read the entire Sunday newspaper the weekend before the interview and the first section of the daily newspaper the morning of the interview. Visit a few news web sites. This will familiarize you with current events.

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