College Interview Preparedness

October 20, 2012 Category: College Tips

college interviewsWhen it comes down to a college deciding to grant you admission, some will require a personal interview with that student and a college representative or a small panel of representatives.  Although this interview may not be weighed as much as your grades or test scores, it is a way for the college to see what “kind” of person you are.  These interviews should be taken seriously and you should be prepared.  Of course, you do not want to sound like a robot by memorizing exactly what you are going to say, but make sure you have rehearsed some answers and are prepared to let your personality shine through.

The interview questions that are typical are meant to help you and the interviewer figure out if the college is a good fit for you.  The questions will rarely catch you off guard or try to trip you up.  This is your time to make a good impression in a way that sometimes is not apparent on paper.  The following are some typical questions that you will run into, plus helpful hints on how to answer.

Tell me about yourself.  Sounds simple, right?  Remember, you have to pretty much put your whole life into a few sentences.  You want to show that you are friendly, studious and service oriented without saying, “I am friendly.” “I study hard.”  As with writing “show don’t tell.”  Think about also saying something memorable about you that would set you aside from other applicants.

Why are you interested in our school?  Answer as specifically as possible, showing that you have done your research and really know that particular college.  Highlight any intellectual interests and avoid materialistic goals.  If the college offers something that you are considering that is unique to that campus, use it.

Who in your life has had the most influence on you?  This question can be formed in many ways, but the essence is the same.  If you have not put any thought into this question, it can be quite difficult to answer off the cuff.  Take some time to think about how you would answer this.  Identify a person or persons in your life, even historical or fictional characters that you admire, and be prepared to articulate why you admire them or the impact they have had in your life.

Why do you want to major in . . . ?  If you have decided upon a major, be ready to talk about why you made that choice.  Many are undecided, in which it is okay to say that you have many interests and wish to take more classes before choosing a major.  An answer to avoid, though, is you want to major is something to make a lot of money.  Have your passion for that particular major show and not your materialism.

Tell me about a challenge that you overcame.  Your interviewer wants to see the type of problem solver that you are.  College is full of challenges and how you solve problems will give them a slight insight on how you will handle these challenges.  Are you prepared for college?

What do you do for fun in your free time?  Another seemingly easy question, but you do not want to answer this with, “hang out” or “chill with friends.”  Colleges want to see their students doing productive and interesting things even when they are not in class.  Show that you are well-rounded and have a variety of interests.

Recommend a good book to me.  Oh, oh, this means you have to read.  This shows the interviewer that yes you do read and it also shows that you can think critically as you articulate why a book is worth reading.  Have an answer ready, saying you do not read much may be detrimental to your admission to the college.

These are but a drop in the bucket when it comes to interview questions.  Research into some more and make certain that you are prepared for just about anything thrown at you.  An interview and make or break you when you are at the cusp of being accepted.  Good luck to you all.

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