Preparing for a College Admissions Interview
Admissions interviews, especially at elite colleges and universities, can help applicants rise to the top of the applicant pool. Before heading to campus to chat with an admissions officer, here are a few things you can do to prepare yourself:
Dress for Success
First impressions matter — wow an admissions officer by donning a suit, dress or pantsuit. Make sure your appearance is neat and well put together. Shower, make sure your hair is combed, brush your teeth and clip your fingernails. Additionally, polish your shoes for some extra shine as you strut through the door. This meeting is important and you should look the part.
Don’t walk into the interview without thinking about what you’re going to say and practicing it a few times. Remember, you want to be as polished as possible. Be aware of your tone, though. You don’t want to come off as having nothing to offer other than rehearsed answers. Be genuine when you talk about why you want to attend a college or university and showcase how it can impact your future. Be energetic and specific.
Make a List of Accomplishments Beforehand
An admissions interview is your time to shine. Before your interview, write a list of accomplishments and rank them from most impressive to least. This way you can talk about the things that brought you the most success in high school and won’t waste time discussing things that didn’t matter.
Colleges and universities are increasingly interested in hardships students have faced. If you had a sick parent, a sibling with special needs or an obstacle not faced by many applicants, now is the time to talk about it. Good grades and test scores are impressive, but maintaining a strong academic performance in the face of challenging circumstances will impress admissions officers.