What should students focus on when preparing for a college interview?
A few interview tips:
- The first FOUR minutes of the interview usually sets the tone. Get it right at the start, and it can go well.
- Have questions of your own, and make sure they are not obvious factual ones.
- Dress informally so you are comfortable, but not too informally (avoid jeans or flip-flops).
- Be punctual.
- There are no trick questions coming up; this is not an interrogation. Interviewers want to engage you in conversation – and – yes, they want you to be comfortable.
- Don’t talk too much. Catch yourself and stop. Think internally for a few seconds before responding to questions.
- Remain conscious of your body language and don’t play with your hair or you’re your nails – You may be nervous – but don’t act it.
- Have thoughts about the last book that you liked; the last film, favorite website, magazines you read and tell the truth. Students should be able to articulate what it is about them that makes them a good fit with that particular school.
Also, be prepared to speak intelligently about what you’ve done for/in any groups in which you participate. If you have time, a thank-you note (or email) is appropriate! Bring a resume in case it’s requested.
The #1 thing I advise students about is to be prepared to thoughtfully discuss their academic preparation and achievement record.
Jeannie is a member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (ICEA).
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