What to Expect in a College Interview and Why They’re Important

Here are some tips to ensure your college interviews are successful. Not all colleges require interviews, but if you applied to one that does, you may be a little intimidated. Knowing what to expect and why they’re important is key to nailing yours.

College Interviews 

Why Are College Interviews Important?

College interviews are not a part of every school’s application process. Some colleges do not hold interviews, others recommend them, and a few actually require them. These meetings help the schools’ admissions officer better understand you as a person. Schools considered “elite and private” tend to give interviews. The answers you give during the interview will definitely impact your chances of being accepted to the university or college.
Even if a school “only recommends” the interview, it’s advisable to still schedule one. With more insight than the students who skip the meeting, your chance of receiving an acceptance letter increases.

What Can You Expect at a College Interview?

It’s important to understand what topics will be covered during the interview. You don’t want to head in there without knowing what you’ll be discussing.
The interviews are usually conducted by a school admission officer or an alumni. They may ask you to talk about yourself, or ask you a more straight forward questions like:
  • Why do you want to attend this school?
  • Why do you want to go to college?
  • What do you want to major in? Why?
  • What are your strengths? Weaknesses?
  • What are your plans for after graduation?
  • What will you bring to the school?
  • What hobbies interest you?
  • What challenges have you overcome in your life? How did you get past it?
Each school’s interview may ask slightly different questions. For example, one college may ask about your favorite book, while another may ask about your inspirations.

How Can You Prepare for a College Interview?

If possible, you should try to get an idea of what the college may ask ahead of time so you can better prepare. If you know anyone who interviewed at the school or who is currently attending, that is a great place to start.
Once you have the questions in hand, you should think about how you would answer each one. Carefully go over your answers and review them with an adult you trust. You will definitely want to word things properly and explain yourself clearly.
Practicing (or role playing) the conversation of the interview with an adult is a good way to prepare. It’s also a good idea for the adult playing the interviewer to ask questions based off your answers. This is likely going to happen in the interview. Even if you don’t know the exact questions, you should be going over the questions that are most likely to come up.

College applications often require an interview, don’t skip it. Skipping it when it’s required is sure to get your application declined. You’ll also definitely want to go in prepared, too, and practice is key. Take a look at common college application requirements to learn more. 


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