Smart Q & A: The College Admissions Interview

college admissions interviewQUESTION: What should students focus on when preparing for a college admissions interview?

From:  Jeannie Borin, M.Ed. , founder of College-Connections

A few interview tips:

  1. The first FOUR minutes of the interview usually sets the tone. Get it right at the start, and it can go well.
  2. Have questions of your own, and make sure they are not obvious factual ones.
  3. Dress informally so you are comfortable, but not too informally (avoid jeans or flip-flops).
  4. Be punctual.
  5. 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.
  6. Don’t talk too much. Catch yourself and stop. Think internally for a few seconds before responding to questions.
  7. 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.
  8. 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 number one thing I advise students about is to be prepared to thoughtfully discuss their academic preparation and achievement record during their college admissions interview. Be prepared; it’ll cut down on your nervousness!

IECA Jeannie is a member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (ICEA).

Updated September 4, 2019

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