An admission interview is a standard procedure that many reputable colleges rely on to test the candidates and pick the best ones. Such an interview can be tremendously nerve-racking, especially if you’re eager to get accepted by the particular institution.
What does it take to ace the college interview? A bit of preliminary work and doing your homework in advance can help you go a long way. Here are some of the most important strategies and tips to employ.
Learn about Some of the Most Commonly Asked Questions
Just like in the case of job interviews, college admission tests tend to have a few questions in common. Knowing some of these and preparing to answer such inquiries will make the task a bit easier.
Some of the most common college admission questions include the following:
- Tell us a bit more about yourself: it’s very important to avoid clichés and say something very specific about your personality. Show that you’re friendly, you communicate with ease, you’re committed to pursuing your goals and you know what you want from life.
- Why have you applied to our college? This is another tricky question and many potential students go down the slippery road of clichés. The majority of college administrators will ask potential students this question. Highlight your intellectual pursuit and the manner in which the particular academic institution can address that.
- Why did you choose the particular major? It’s very important to highlight your interest in the particular academic field without emphasizing on material or financial aspects. Saying that it’s going to give you a nice salary in the future is certainly far from the best possible answer.
- What do you do for fun? A question like this is designed to test your personality. College life is much more than going to classes. There are dozens of extracurricular activities and possibilities for connecting with others and learning something new. Show the interviewer that you’re open to these possibilities and highly interested in being an active community member.
- How do you see your future? Where are you going to be in 10 years? How do you see your life changing? It’s very difficult to predict what your future’s going to be when you’re just entering college. The interviewer is simply interested in your thought process, how you plan and what you’re interested in.
Be Ready to Ask Some Questions, as Well
Apart from knowing how to answer some of the most common admission interview questions, you should be prepared to get some information, as well.
The interviewer will usually give you an opportunity to ask a couple of questions towards the end of the interview. Use this opportunity to your advantage. Ask about specific information, not something that you can easily find on the university’s website.
Ask whether it’s important to belong to fraternities or sororities, which majors are most popular and why. The questions that you ask will give the interviewer some additional information about your personality.
Make a Great First Impression
The way in which you dress and your body language will say a lot about your personality before you even open your mouth. An interviewer will need just a few seconds to figure out whether you’re a good match.
Dress accordingly! Make sure that your clothes are nice and modest. You don’t have to wear a business suit to a college interview but leave the shorts and flip-flops at home.
Pay attention to body language, as well. It’s a good idea to do a mock interview with a friend and identify the biggest mistakes that you’re making. Maintain eye contact all the time but don’t stare at the interviewer. Good posture and a smile can help you achieve, a lot as well. Don’t keep your hands crossed in front of your body – this is a defensive position. Refrain from playing with your hair or biting your lips – both of these are signs of nervousness.
What to do on the Day of the Interview
Even if you’ve put a lot of work in getting ready for the interview, it’s nothing but natural to feel nervous about it.
Make sure that you’ve had enough sleep. Have a light breakfast but skip the coffee – it could make you even more nervous.
Plan to arrive at least 15 to 20 minutes early. Being late for a job interview is one of the biggest mistakes candidates make and the same applies to college admission interview. It’s better to spend some time at the venue and wait for your turn than to be late.
Finally, remember to be positive and enjoy the process. It’s an opportunity to present yourself, your passions and your past academic successes. Stay open-minded and honest. Letting your passion and seriousness shine through will usually be sufficient to impress the interviewer.