College Interview Questions

Make an Impression and Stand Out in the College Interview

Most colleges conduct an interview to learn how your interests, abilities and goals align with their program offerings and to confirm you would be happy at the school. An interview is a great opportunity for you to make an impression and stand out.

What You Can Expect in the College Interview

Typical College Interview Questions

About Your High School Experience

About Your Interests and Activities

About Attending This College

About Your High School Experience
  • How would you describe your high school?
  • What would your teachers say is your greatest strength and weakness both as an individual and as a student?
  • What would you say was your role within your high school community?
  • How would others describe your role in your high school community?
  • What courses did you enjoy the most?
  • What courses were the most challenging/difficult for you?
  • Do you like your teachers?
  • Describe your favorite teacher.
About Your Interests and Activities
  • What personal traits would you like to see yourself build in the next four years?
  • What articles and/or books have you read in the last year that have special meaning for you and why?
  • Do you have any hobbies or special interests?
  • In your life, what experiences have been most important to you?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
  • Describe a challenge you've had and how you overcame it.
  • How did you spend last summer?
  • What do you do in your spare time?
  • What do you do with any money that you earn?
  • Have you ever been a volunteer?
  • What questions do you have for the interviewer?
About Attending This College
  • Why do you want to attend this college/university?
  • Why should we (the college) accept you for admission?
  • What is your career goal and how would a degree from this college help you achieve that goal?
  • What qualities make you a good choice to attend this college?
  • What other colleges are you considering?
  • What interests you the most about this school?

College Interview Tips

Do Your Homework

Brag, If You Can Back It Up

Be Ready to Turn the Tables

Get a Good Night's Rest

Breathe and Smile

Do Your Homework

The best thing you can do to prepare for a college interview is to do your research ahead of time. Go online or request a brochure to find out what programs the college is known for, what degrees they offer and what study options are available. Learn how big class sizes are, how you can qualify for financial aid and ways you can get involved in campus life. Find out as much as you can — to show the interviewer that you are interested in what they have to offer and how you would be a great fit for their school.

Brag, If You Can Back It Up

Though it goes against everything you've ever learned, this is the one situation where boasting about your accomplishments is not a bad thing — in fact, it's expected. Talk freely about what you've achieved during high school, whether academic, athletic, social or personal. Bring in some notes to jog your memory and ensure that you don't forget anything important. All of these achievements combine to make you unique, and help you stand out from the rest of the crowd. When talking about your great qualities and skills, provide examples whenever possible. Prove points and detail experiences that back up what you say, making a much stronger impact than mere words.

Be Ready to Turn the Tables

Contrary to what you might think, college interviews are not simply a means to torture you by putting you under a microscope and grilling you with hard, if not impossible questions. The best college interviews are those in which there is an exchange of thoughts and ideas. Yes, you should come prepared to answer a lot of questions about yourself. But you should take the heat off yourself and ask a few questions of your interviewer about the college, the types of people who attend the school, the environment and the activities on campus. This demonstrates initiative and curiosity, showing that you're here for a meaningful dialogue to see if your skills and interests match up with the college's offerings.

Get a Good Night's Rest

This may be common sense, but it's still worth mentioning. If you're the least bit stressed or nervous about the interview, you'll only make matters worse by coming in tired or sluggish. Don't get caught like a deer in the headlights — frozen and unable to respond when you need to be on top of your game. Instead, arrive prepared, alert and ready to go, and you'll be sure to nail the college interview.

Breathe and Smile

Before you go into the college interview read over your accomplishments. You've probably never seen them on paper, all in one place. Take a minute to reflect on all that you've done and everything you've achieved to get to this point. Then take a couple deep breaths, and put your best foot forward. And don't forget to smile. This is your opportunity to shine!