What You Can Expect in the College Interview
One of the best things you can do to prepare for a college interview is conduct research ahead of time. Go online or request a brochure to find out what programs the college is known for, what degrees it offers and what study options are available. Learn how big class sizes are, whether you can qualify for financial aid and ways you can get involved in campus life. Find out as much as you can. This show the interviewer that you are interested in what the college or university has to offer and how you would be a great fit for the school.
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.
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.
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.
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!