College Interview Tips

About this article
While the college interview isn't a make or break audition for acceptance, it is not something that should be taken lightly. This article contains information you can use to effectively handle a college interview.
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Why you Should Interview

The college interview, which usually lasts about half an hour, is a chance for both parties (you and the college representative) to get acquainted with each other. While typically not mandatory, there are several reasons you should schedule an interview:

  • See the campus
  • See the surrounding community
  • Raise any questions you have about the university or the application
  • Clarify points on your application or transcript
  • Learn more about study abroad, clubs or other campus activities
  • Put a face to your paperwork

The college interview is a perfect time for you to go over the previously mentioned issues because you have a school official's undivided attention. If you setup the interview before you turn in your application, you can get a better idea whether or not you wish to attend that particular institution. Remember your interviewer probably won't have information about you so be sure to do two things:

  1. Ask the scheduler what materials you need to bring
  2. Remember to bring the needed materials

If you set up the interview after you turn in your application, still ask the scheduler if you should bring anything else. At the very least, you should bring some paper and a pencil.

What the Interview Involves

According to those at collegeboard.com, the staff learns about you from transcripts, test scores and application. Your essay and recommendation letters can offer some impression of the type of person you are, but words on paper aren't always the best way to present yourself. The interview gives you a chance to present yourself in the most favorable light by talking positively about yourself and showing your personality. Your meeting could be enough to convince your interviewer to support your acceptance if you are a borderline student.

What to Wear

As they say in the business world, 'Dress to Impress.' A businessman or businesswoman tries to dress better than he or she thinks the clients would dress, and this is how you should try to handle your interview. In terms of type of attire, think about the college interview as a job interview and dress professional. For girls, it is appropriate to wear a long skirt with a button-down or colored shirt or slacks with a similar shirt along with a pair of closed-toe heels. For boys, it is recommended to wear slacks with a button-down shirt and tie or a suit.

What to Ask

Basically, any tasteful question is welcome. The professionals at collegeboard.com say that asking questions shows that you are interested in the college and what the admission officer may have to say. You should always try to have a question in mind about the college or about your major so as to show that you are genuinely interested in attending the school. Even general questions can yield helpful hints from the interviewer. For example, you may ask something as simple as, 'Do you have any advice for me?'

Hopefully, this information can help you better prepare for an interview with an admissions official. In general, remember to stay calm and try to breath. It's just a conversation with another person.

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Featured Schools

George Mason University

  • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management
  • Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder Certificate

What is your highest level of education?

American University

  • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication
  • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication - Advocacy and Social Impact Concentration
  • Graduate Certificate in Agile Project Management
  • Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Analytics and Management

What is your highest level of education?

Johns Hopkins University

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice: Clinical Nurse Specialist Specialization - Online
  • Master of Arts in Communication
  • Certificate in Government Analytics

What is your highest level of education?

Kaplan University

  • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
  • Master: Legal Studies
  • Undergraduate in Legal Studies
  • AASBA in Business
  • Psychology

Which subject are you interested in?

Colorado Technical University

  • Doctor - Management - Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Computer Science
  • B.S. - Psychology
  • Associate of Science in Business Administration

Are you a US citizen?

Georgetown University

  • Master of Science in Finance
  • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
  • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate

What is your highest level of education completed?

Full Sail University

  • Master of Science - Film Production
  • Bachelor of Science - Software Development
  • Cert - English As A Second Language (Campus)

What is your highest level of education?

Northcentral University

  • Doctor of Business Admin - Applied Computer Science
  • M.A. in Psychology - General Psychology
  • Education Specialist - Organizational Leadership

What is your highest level of education?