How do I prepare for College Admission Interviews?

How do I prepare for College Admission Interviews?  

  By: on Jan. 11, 2020, 1:20 a.m.

How do I prepare for College Admission Interviews? What should I expect?

Re: How do I prepare for College Admission Interviews?  

  By: Abhinav on Jan. 12, 2020, 7:09 p.m.

I'd say that the first and most important thing about interviews is that, almost always, the interviews are non-evaluative. This means that while your interviewer will be submitting an interview report to the college, in most cases it can never hurt you and can only help you. So when you're showing up to an interview stay relaxed and calm, also remember that getting an interview is not indicative of what the college thinks about you because interview assignments are almost always random.

For example, I got interviews to Princeton, Stanford, University of Pennsylvania, and Northwestern amongst other top schools but didn't get into or got waitlisted at all these schools but I never received an offer for an interview from Brown and I got into Brown.

I think I had 8 interviews in total, some were over an audio call, some were over a video call and some in person. All were very similar and here are some of the questions that they most frequently asked: (XX refers to the name of the school they're from)

• can you tell me a little about yourself?
• what’s important to you?
• what are your current academic and/or extracurricular interests?
• what led you to apply to XX?
• what classes, programs, and activities on XX’s campus are exciting to you?
• what plans do you have for your future?
• interests inside and outside the classroom?
• if there was one person, dead or alive, that you could eat dinner with, who would it be and why?
• what are my academic interests and pursuits and why?
• 3 greatest strengths and 3 greatest weaknesses and why?
• latest book you read? why?
• an experience where you learned something?
• what is the newest thing you tired?
• if you have 4 hours in a day extra, what would you do?
• extracurricular experience at the school that you are interested in?

Some Questions To Ask The Interviewer:

• can you tell me about the most influential parts of your XX experience?
• what is one of your favourite XX traditions?
• in what ways are you still connected to campus and your XX peers?
• what are the advantages of the XX alumni network?
• which dorm they stayed at?
• what activities they included themselves in?
• whether they felt happy during their time there?
• what surprised them about the school ?
• good and bad?

Interviewers love talking about their school because in most cases if they are volunteering to be an alumni interviewer it means that they love their school and so they will love talking about it - so always ask them questions, don't be nervous.

Also, here are some tips for interviews:

• arrive 5-10 minutes early
• ask to cover their coffee
• calm, composed, not nervous, don’t stammer etc.
• talk slowly - think a bit before giving your answers
• interviewer may have read your essays
• bring resumes/articles etc.
• well dressed - not a full suit and tie or a t-shirt and jeans - dress semi-formal
• drive it toward a 2-sided conversation
• don’t just answer their questions but take the initiative to talk about yourself
• why XX school? is the most important question to be well prepared for
• be respectful
• get them excited about their school
• remind them about their days at college
• show them how you are excited to join the university for these very same reasons

Also, a side note: interviewers will sometimes try to faze you, they usually do it just to see how you handle yourself and to have bit of fun, this rarely happens and even if it does you should not worry at all. For example, my Stanford interviewer asked me to talk about a policy that I would enact to improve the healthcare system in India if I was the Prime Minister of India and had the power to enact a new policy, (he asked me this because I was talking to him about how improving the healthcare system from both the scientific and business sides was a passion of mine). Additionally, he said this was going to be a speech in my political campaign to get re-elected and so I could not use any scientific or economic jargon because the common-man had to understand this. Initially I was super nervous and didn't know what to say because this was my 5th interview and no one had ever asked me a question like this, but then I just took a deep breath and said what came to mind and he was impressed (or maybe he just didn't want to be rude and acted like he was, but anyway). this could happen, and if it does, just don't be worried.

 Last edited by: Abhinav on Jan. 12, 2020, 7:12 p.m., edited 1 time in total.

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