A college interview is a part of the admission process highlighted by most colleges. It provides the college officers a chance to interact face to face with the candidates and learn more about them. For applicants, college interviews are a good way of making an impression on admission officers and make up for any discrepancy left in their applications.
College interviews are usually held after the admission application has been accepted and can be conducted either online or on a physical campus. The most commonly asked college interview questions include queries about the candidate’s interests, plans, and the reason why they wish to join a certain college. You can learn more about college interview questions on http://www.rtjournal.org/college-interview-questions/.
The Importance of Being Prepared for a College Interview
The main purpose of a college interview is to bring the applicant and admission officers together so that both the parties get to know each other. As an applicant, this might not make sense to you but many colleges seek students who are truly interested in studying in their institution. This is why, at the end of most college interviews, admission officers give the applicants a chance to ask them anything they wish to learn about their institute.
While many college students pass this opportunity and don’t have any questions in mind, the smart ones always come up with a few. This leaves an impression on the admission officers that this applicant is more interested in studying in their institution and might prove resourceful.
Yes! You read it right. Colleges seek students who will prove resourceful and add some value to their institution in the longer run. The more famous people or highly merited alumni a college has, the more its value increases in the eyes of the education industry.
So, how do you know what questions you can ask them to show your interest? Well, this is where the importance of being prepared for a college interview comes in. Not all applicants who apply for admission get the interview call. So, if you get a chance to appear in a college interview, use it in your best interest.
Start by taking some classes and get yourself prepared for the interview. This will not only make you feel confident and but will also reduce the nervousness. Moreover, you will also be able to provide admission officers with the desired responses to all their interview questions.
The Do’s & Don’ts of a College Interview
Next up is the most popular question most college interview candidates ask: What should we do/ don’t do at our interview? Here are a few tips for starters.
- Be specific about your interests, hobbies, and extracurricular activities. Avoid general descriptions such as ‘I like going on adventures’. Instead say I like hiking or have done scuba diving in the past, etc. Tell them about the hobbies you actively pursue.
- Do not name activities, sports, or bring up any other matter just to make an impression. If you don’t know a subject/field, don’t mention it. If the admission officers start digging in details about what you stated, it will do you more harm than bring you any good. You will end up coming across as a pretentious and non-trustworthy person.
- Show them that you are truly interested in their institution by talking about a specific program you have heard of or your favorite alumni who are your role model, etc. For doing this, you will have to conduct thorough background research on their institution and come up with genuine points.
- Don’t make everything about money. Admission officers know that the prime purpose of getting a college degree is to get a white-collar job. If they ask you about any particular reason why you want to pursue a certain major or degree program, try to frame your answer around the value you will be able to add to society/community.
- Always mildly state your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t come off as someone too great or someone who has no confidence in their abilities. State those weaknesses which wouldn’t count towards negative points. Be careful when framing replies to questions about these qualities.
- Give clear answers and avoid clichés when answering subjective questions. The reason why open-ended questions about your personality and choices are being asked is that colleges want to know how much clarity of purpose you have.
- Don’t try to act over smart. As much as it is emphasized that you must try to not come off as just another careless candidate, you must also not try to come off as someone too smart. Sure we all love Dexter from the cartoon series but in real life, nobody believes a person who solves math problems for fun. Therefore, when admission officers inquire about the activities you do for fun, state the ones that you engage in for having fun.
- Just in case a question you weren’t prepared for pops up in the college interview, don’t lose confidence. Try answering such questions with as much honesty as you can.
These are some of the tips which would give you an idea of what to say and what to refrain from saying in a college interview. For detailed knowledge on how to impress admission officers and getting past your college interview, you must get yourself enrolled in a good college interview preparation program.
College interviews are the stepping stones in a candidate’s academic life. If a candidate passes them and gets admission to the desired institution, it can open a window of opportunities for them in the future. Alternatively, if they fail the college interview, not only do they miss the opportunity grated to a few but also a part of their confidence also gets shattered.
To avoid situations like these, it is in the best interest of candidates to conduct thorough research and prepare in advance. Their research must not only cover topics related to interviewing questions about themselves but must also cover the institution’s history, programs, etc.