Practice Questions to Ace Your Admissions Interview

on February 16, 2017

Before your admissions interview, take plenty of time to prepare. Reflect on everything you think defines you. Colleges are not looking for a complete or finished person. They want to see you’re mature, self-aware and interested in more than a few core subjects and ideas.


Here are questions to help you prepare:


How would you describe yourself in three words?


Settle on three specific words that give you the opportunity to tell stories or give examples. Don’t simply say you’re passionate, hard working and open-minded without evidence. Use this prompt to demonstrate your priorities and hobbies or talk about a niche subject you find fascinating. You also could recount a time you overcame an obstacle. Whatever words you choose, use this question as a chance to show why this college should want you.


Who is the person you most admire?


This question can lead you in many different directions, so it’s important to prepare a response. After you’ve settled on someone, identify the qualities you find most admirable in them, as well as those you hope to emulate. This question also allows you to open up about your ambitions: If you admire this person, it’s probably because of their accomplishments or approach to life. If you want to be like them, communicate your plan for doing so — this can include a vision of where you see yourself in the future.


What would you change about your high school?


With this question, the interviewer is trying to understand what you interpret as a fault in your school — be careful not to complain. Identify a problem — pick a substantial one — and provide a thoughtful, realistic solution. You don’t have to have the perfect fix, either. You just have to show that you’re thinking about how to improve a difficult situation.


Why this college?


Answering this question with passion and enthusiasm is crucial. You want the interviewer to understand why you would be a good fit at their college. Talk about specific academic programs or opportunities at the college (do your research beforehand), and discuss how they could benefit you as well as what you could contribute to them. Every college is looking for an excited and active freshman class that loves their college.


You also should have a few questions prepared about the college and life on campus.

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