Typically, when it comes to a college interview you’re the one answering the questions instead of asking them. However, when the interview draws to a close most interviewers will ask the student, “Do you have any questions for me?” Your answer should always be YES!
What Should You Expect in a College Interview?
Not all colleges have interviews as part of their admissions process, but if your potential school does have them, they shouldn’t be skipped. Even if they’re simply “recommended, but not required.” It could be the difference maker between you or another student getting into college!
These interviews tend to be done by a representative of the school, either a member of faculty or an alumnus. They will cover why you’re interested in the school, your high school experience, academic interests, your goals in education, your future career goals, your hobbies, and other things about you.
make a good impression during your interview.
- Dress appropriately. You want to show you’re taking this seriously and want to make a good first impression.
- Arrive on time. Showing up late could result in some negative consequences – your interview may even be canceled. If an emergency comes up, reach out to the school as soon as possible to explain your case and reschedule.
- Make eye contact. Confidence can go a long way in interviews!
- Be polite. Being rude to the interviewer is a sure fire way to not get an acceptance letter.
- Be informed on the school. You need to know exactly why you want to attend this particular school. If you don’t know much about the college, the interviewer may feel you’re not that interested.
- Be prepared. It’s a good idea to do mock interviews with a friend, guidance counselor, or family member so you don’t get too nervous during the real deal! You can also find out more about your potential college’s interview process and questions you’ll be asked by doing a little bit of research online. This allows you to know what to expect and have at least some of your answers prepared!
- Ask questions! Keep reading to see some examples of questions you can ask and why it’s so important.
If you have any questions about your interview, what’s expected of you, or when you should be there, reach out to your admissions counselor well ahead of time, not last minute.
Questions to Ask College Interviewer
You should have a handful of questions prepared as you walk into your interview session—say, four to five. Some questions might be answered during your time with the interviewer, but others might not be. Here are a few sample questions that would be good to have at the ready:
- Can you tell me more about (the academic program you’re interested in)?
- What sort of career planning services are available at this school?
- What is your favorite thing about this college? Least favorite?
- Any advice for incoming freshmen?
- What sets this school apart from the others?
- What qualities does this school look for in its students?
- How would you describe the atmosphere of this college / campus?
- What sort of community / campus involvement opportunities are available here?
- What are my next steps? / Do you need anything else from me?
- When can I expect to hear back from the school?
- If they’re an alumni: why did you decide to attend this college in particular? What did you think of your time during school here?
- A professor or faculty: why did you decide to work here?
- What traditions does the school have that you enjoy?
- What is something you would change about the college if you had the opportunity?
- Can you tell me about this specific club?
- Do you have any extracurricular organizations or clubs you’d suggest joining? Why?
- What do you think about X (something unique and specific to the college)?
The Benefits of Having Questions Prepared
The interview process isn’t only for you to be interviewed; it’s your chance to interview the school as well. It needs to be a good fit on both sides.
Therefore, there are plenty of benefits of having questions prepared beforehand, including
It Shows Interest
By taking the time to ask questions, you are showing particular interest in the school and doing far more than just “showing up” for your interview. You’re taking the time to ask them questions as well to ensure this college is a good fit for you.
It Shows Initiative
Going the extra mile during an interview shows the interviewer that you’re willing to take the time before the interview to prepare properly. You don’t need to be prompted and you didn’t come unprepared. Schools like to see that in a student.
It Shows You Did Research
If you’re asking specific questions, you’re letting the interviewer know that you’re serious about the school. Completing research beforehand and asking about specific clubs, organizations, or on-goings at the college, you took that extra step to come to the interview prepared. You don’t want to ask simple questions for this reason – colleges will often have the answer to those “simple questions” on their website. So asking super specific ones shows them that you actually looked deeper into the school, rather than just looked at the surface.
Go to your college interview well prepared and with thoughtful questions in hand. You may just earn some extra kudos!
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