Ask Cappex: The Top 25 College Interview Questions

on July 18, 2016

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

Q: What are some questions I should expect during a college interview? How should I answer them?

A: Generally, when answering questions, try to respond positively. You don’t want to put the interviewer in a negative frame of mind. Try to provide information that doesn’t appear in your application

Your goal is to have a conversation, not an interrogation. Don’t answer with just a “yes” or a “no.” Ask some of your own questions. Give a few examples or anecdotes in response to questions.

The most common interview question is “Tell me about yourself.” This is also the most difficult interview question, since students don’t know how to answer it.

Don’t tell the interviewer your life story. Instead, use it as an opportunity to pitch why the college should admit you. Give two or three examples of how you are a good fit for the college.

Other common college admissions interview questions include:

  • Tell me about your high school
  • Tell me about your favorite teacher
  • What is the most useful thing you’ve learned in high school?
  • What subject in high school did you find most challenging?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Tell me about a challenge you have faced
  • Pick three adjectives that best describe you
  • What makes you special or unique?
  • If you could have done one thing differently in your life, what would you have done?
  • What do you do outside of school? Do you have any hobbies or other extracurricular activities?
  • How would you describe yourself to someone who did not know you?
  • What accomplishments are you most proud of?
  • Who has influenced you the most, and how?
  • Who do you most admire?
  • Tell me about your family
  • Tell me about your friends
  • Tell me about a book you read recently
  • Why do you want to go to college?
  • What are you looking for in a college?
  • What are your academic interests?
  • Why are you applying for admission to this school?
  • Is this college your top choice?
  • What can I tell you about our school?
  • What do you want to do after you graduate from college? What do you expect to be doing ten years from now?
  • Do you have any questions for me?

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