Master These Four Simple Stages of the College Interview

We get it, college interviews can be intimidating and scary. You picture sitting across from a person with a grimace on their face who is going to decide the fate of your future. But you’ll be happy to know, it’s not really like that anymore.

 

Today’s College Admission Counselors are generally friendly, nice people who just want to get to know you. And, the interview only makes for a very small part of your complete application to a college. Grades, scores, activities, recommendations, etc all come into play too.

 

Additionally, fewer and fewer colleges are offering interviews. They can be costly and time-consuming for colleges, so they aren’t offered as much as they used to be. That being said, if a college you are interested in is offering them, it’s usually a good idea to go for it!

 

One of the unique features of Campus Bound is that we have former College Admission Counselors on our staff who can do mock interviews with our students. They sit down in person with students and then offer detailed feedback about how to ace the interview.

 

But the simple thing to remember is that there are four main parts of the interview, and mastering each one can ensure an interview that will enhance your application.

 

  1. Greeting

This is the first time you will be meeting the interviewer, and first impressions can be a big deal. Eye contact, handshake and a smile go a long way. Small talk is appropriate at this point as well. Try to relax and relate to the interviewer on a personal level; talk about the location, weather, anything.

  1. Interview

This is the bulk of the time you will spend with the interviewer. This is when they are asking you questions. One very common question is, “Why are you interested in our college?” so be prepared to answer that, and other questions about yourself. The big hint here is to elaborate; don’t just answer a question with, “good.” It’s better to say, “It was good, because……” And, feel free to ask a question in return, more like a conversation, if the opportunity presents itself.

  1. Questions For Them

At this point, once the interviewer has asked all their questions, they will likely say, “Do you have any questions for me?” It’s important that you do so. It’s okay to have questions prepared, but be smart about the questions you ask: they shouldn’t be too obvious (is your school co-ed?) nor too specific (what is the course syllabus for Biology 101?). Ask thoughtful questions and it will make a big impression.

  1. Thank you

At the end of the interview, be sure to shake hands with the interviewer, look them in the eye and say “thank you.” Also, ask them for a business card. That way, you have their contact information and can get in touch (email or note) the next day to say thank you again.

 

If you can think of the interview as these four steps, it can become less overwhelming. For more information about the questions you may be asked during an interview, or to schedule a mock interview with a member of the Campus Bound staff, contact us.