Interviews can be stressful, there is no doubt about it. The more prepared you are, the better your chances of leaving your interviewer with a favorable impression that will be noted in your application file.  Here are a few tips that may help you deal with the situation.

Before the Interview

Be prepared to discuss yourself in a variety of ways by having answers for the questions you’ll be asked. Among the common questions are:

  • What classes have the enjoyed the most in high school?
  • Who was your favorite teacher? Why?
  • What are your strengths? How about weaknesses?
  • What do you like to do with your spare time?
  • Describe a typical day in your life.
  • What books have you read lately? How have they impacted you?
  • Who would you consider to be the most influential person in your life? Why?
  • What accomplishment have you achieved that you are most proud of?
  • What activity do you enjoy and what have you learned from it?
  • If you could change one thing about your high school years, what would it be?
  • Where do you see yourself ten years from now?

Do your research about the college and be prepared to answer questions similar to these:

  • What attracted you to this college?
  • What about the school is most appealing to you?
  • What other colleges are you applying at?
  • Why do you want to attend this school more than the others?
  • What unique qualities will you bring to the college environment?

During the Interview

  • Arrive on time.  Early is better than late so allow plenty of time to get there and park. 
  • Greet the interviewer with a firm handshake and introduce yourself and your parent(s).
  • Dress appropriately because first impressions do count. 
  • Speak directly to the interviewer and be sure to make eye contact. 
  • Engage the interviewer in a conversation that will allow them to get to know you. Do not use one word answers and feel free to brag a little bit.
  • Ask questions. Whether it’s about a particular program you are interested in, a sport you’d like to play or the college’s reputation, questions will show that you’ve done your homework and are truly interested.

After the Interview

  • Write down important notes and follow up questions.
  • Follow up immediately with a thank you note to the interviewer.