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The College Interview
Why Try to Interview? Competitive colleges pay attention to whether applicants have demonstrated genuine interest in their college. In addition, if youre applying to a selective college that offers private interviews, this is a wonderful opportunity to stand out among the others in the applicant pool. It is a conversation with those who may actually be involved in the decision to admit you. What better chance could you possibly have to shine? If the college grants you an interview, then they want to get to know you. If you are prepared, you can put yourself in a very favorable light. If youre NOT prepared, well, you can guess what happens then. ©2007 Get in 2 College LLC
Obtaining the Interview Fewer and fewer colleges and universities are offering private on-campus interviews. However, if they do, take advantage of this opportunity to make a positive impression. You may have to pursue the interview, because it most likely wont be offered to you. We experienced a case where the interview reservation system was put on the internet but with no announcement. If you were lucky enough to find it (it wasnt obvious), the ID number you had been given didnt work properly to reserve the interview. It was almost as if it was a tenacity test! Successful applicants had to call the office and be given yet another ID number that worked. We never determined if it was truly a test, but the persistent students were rewarded with coveted personal interviews. ©2007 Get in 2 College LLC
The Next Best Thing If there are no on-campus interviews, the next best thing is one offered at your high school or in your area. Sometimes alumni will interview in your area for the colleges they represent. These opportunities should be on the college website, but call if they arent. Keep in mind the perspective of the interviewer. Its quite different to interview with a member of the admissions committee than with an alumni. Some colleges will not offer any individual interview opportunity at all; typically the public schools do not. The important thing is to take advantage of those that do. ©2007 Get in 2 College LLC
Preparing for the Interview Visit the schools website and thoroughly research the college. Practice answering sample questions. Develop 3 questions to ask them. Make your questions specific to that school if possible… do your homework! Have a parent or friend conduct a mock interview with you. Be prepared for the occasional weird question. If you were a tree, what kind would you be and why? Once in awhile they ask those… ©2007 Get in 2 College LLC
What to Wear The proper term for interview attire would be nicer casual. Avoid old jeans, T-shirts, sandals, short skirts, fancy outfits, gaudy attire, torn or ripped clothing, clothing with slogans (or worse) written on it, etc. Females should wear nice pants or moderate skirts with a conservative sweater or blouse. Males should wear nice pants with a collared shirt; even sporty golf-type shirts with collars are acceptable. ©2007 Get in 2 College LLC
Be on Time – Really Always allow extra time to get to your interview, because something will inevitably go wrong. Traffic will be horrible, youll get lost, or youll have trouble parking. Double the expected amount of time and you should be okay. Aim to arrive about twenty minutes early, because often you are given a form to fill out first. You can also relax a bit. If using MapQuest or other internet directions, try to find a way to verify them. ©2007 Get in 2 College LLC
Other Interview Tips Bring your resume. Offer it to the interviewer right after you first meet them. Dont bring your parents. The interview is for the admissions department to get to know YOU. Remember to have 3 (or more) good questions ready to ask them. Thank them for their time and ask for a business card. If not available, get their name and address. Write a thank you note the next day and send it off to them. ©2007 Get in 2 College LLC
Dont Think it Went Well? Some do, some dont. Dont dwell on an interview that didnt seem to click. It could be that the interviewer was having a bad day. Remember, the more you practice the better youll get at interviewing. So concentrate on the next one… Good luck with your interviews! ©2007 Get in 2 College LLC
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