What to Expect From Your College Interview

You’ve applied to a ton of colleges, you’ve written application essays, you’ve requested official transcripts, and you’ve finally heard back from your dream college. But before they’ll accept you, they want to conduct an interview. How do you prepare for an interview that will decide whether you get into your first-choice school or not?

A college interview may seem daunting on the face of it, but really it’s just a chance for your future school to get to know the real you better. Read on to learn more about what to expect from this process and how to prepare to ace your college interview.


Why Do We Have College Interviews?

Before we dive into what to expect from your college interview, let’s talk some about why we have these in the first place. Oftentimes, prestigious colleges want to get to know you a little more before accepting you into their school These universities only accept the best of the best, and a well-written application essay can hide a lot of sins.

Colleges want to get to know a little more about you, and an interview can give them some idea of what kind of person you are. They can see how well you prepare for the interview, how confidently you carry yourself, and how articulately you answer their questions. They can also get answers to questions that may be too involved to ask on paper.


How to Dress

When preparing for a college interview, you want to make sure you make a good first impression. This means you need to bring your A-game in terms of professional dress. However, this also isn’t a black-tie event, and you don’t need to go completely overboard with your outfit.

A basic suit can be a great option for any college interviewee. You may want to stick to neutral colors (black, dark blue, etc.), although if you want to show off some personality, a splash of color can show the interviewer your confidence. Most of all, make sure everything is clean and in good shape, alsoe sure you shower and do your hair nicely the day of the interview. 


What to Bring

There are a few things you may want to bring along with you to your college interview. First and foremost, a copy of your resume printed on nice paper is a good thing to have in your portfolio. This resume should include a list of any awards and accomplishments you’ve gotten in high school, as well as a list of AP exams you will be taking in the spring.

You may also want to jot down a few specific questions for the interviewer before you leave the house. They will likely give you a chance to ask them questions after the interview is over, and the more creative questions you have, the better. You should get a professional-looking portfolio to carry all this paperwork in if possible.


How to Prepare

There is a certain skill to handling an interview well, and it’s a good idea to practice. You will need to be able to keep your cool when an interviewer is firing challenging questions at you. You need to be able to put together intelligent, articulate answers and defend them when questioned.

Sit down with a parent or another trusted adult and have them ask you sample interview questions. Practice putting together thoughtful answers, and answer any follow-up questions they may have. After the “interview” is over, ask them how you came off and if they have any specific suggestions for how you can improve your “performance.”


Common Interview Questions

There are a few questions you’re likely to hear during your college interview. Being prepared to answer these ahead of time can boost your confidence during the interview and give you some time to formulate a good answer.

Many interviewers may ask what your favorite subjects were in high school and what you want to study in college. They might ask what you like to do outside of class and ask you to provide an example of a challenge or obstacle you’ve overcome. They may also ask you why you want to go to their college or what are three interesting things about yourself that weren’t on your application.

With all of these questions, try to make your answers both genuine and thoughtful. Show your excitement about your favorite subjects and their school. They want to see the real you, so give them an opportunity to see what really excites you and why you’re such an excellent fit for their university.


The Day Of

The night before your interview, make sure you get plenty of sleep, and take a shower when you wake up in the morning. Eat a good meal a few hours before your interview so you make sure your stomach isn’t rumbling. Get dressed, double-check that you have everything you need, and leave the house half an hour early to give yourself plenty of time to arrive to the interview location early.

During your interview, try to remain relaxed and confident in yourself – remember, this interview is happening because they’re already interested in you as a candidate. When you give your answers, remember your prep work, but don’t read them off like memorized lines off a script. Try to sound as genuine and open as possible.

Most college interviews last about half an hour, so don’t worry about or taking time to formulate your answer before responding. The interviewer will appreciate your thoughtfulness, and they can manage any time constraints they may have.


Learn to Ace Your College Interview

A college interview can be a daunting process. But with proper preparation and confidence, you can give your interviewer an excellent chance to get to know more of the real you. Stay professional and thoughtful and you’ll find yourself getting that acceptance letter you’ve always dreamed of in no time.

If you’d like to find more resources to help you succeed in school and beyond, check out the rest of our site at The Honor Society. We have information about scholarships you can apply for, a career center, and more. Join today and start down the path to your most successful life.

Source: HonorSociety.org Member Articles
What to Expect From Your College Interview

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